The Penetential Walk

Today is Good Friday and here in my area of Caramoan the locals have traditional penetential walk. It’s done barefoot from the driveway entrance of my village, Barangay Agaas, to the church in Barangay Tabgon. Just a little over 2 kilometers I think. We started with an opening prayer, a reading, and a blessing at 8:30 am and soon started walking. 

Penetential walk starting point

There were many loyal catholics of all ages who attended. There were easily over a hundred attendees. 

Waiting to start
Jesus will lead the way

The concrete’s texture along the road varied. At times it was smooth, rough, jagged, and almost like loose gravel. It was nearly unforgiving. I kept in my mind that through Christ I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. My feet started hurting, small stones stuck into my feet. I developed blisters on the ball on my feet, the heels, and the toes. The last couple hundred yards was quite dreadful to me. Sucks having soft feet now.

Front view
Back view

Because I am tall and long legged the pace for me was super slow but I understand why. We had a lot of elderly and very young with us. It was cool in the shade and the further we went the hotter it had become. I really appreciated the shaded areas. 

Passion of Christ being played out in the streets

At the end the Church had a play of the “Passion of the Christ” going on. Mostly younger church members performing. 

First look at the blisters

It was a good lesson in suffering. It gives us a little glimpse of what Christ went through enroute to be crucified on the Mountain. Of course we will never know the extent of his suffering unless we are too crucified. His sacrifice is understood and I am Thankful. 

Photos were taken with a Samsung Note 4. 

As always, Thank You for viewing and reading. Have a Good Friday!

Instagram: david_lee_martin
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran


Shadow of an Angel

Participating in another photo challenge by The Daily Post. This angel is in Saint John’s Cathedral in Naga City, Bicol, Philippines. 

Camera used is a Pentax X-5.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Peña De Francia Church

Today I went for a walk to the Peña De Francia Church in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Bicol. I thought it was a bit further than it was; but it is probably no more or less than a quarter mile from my apartment in Naga City. I feel bad that I have not been there sooner. I really love old Churches; the architecture and their art work as I have shared in previous posts.

Nunn’s from India doing a pilgrimage

While taking shots outside the church the street kids approached me begging for money. I had already put my loose change in the donation box. Since I had no change to give the kids they used foul language… Terrible parents raising them. The have never learned to use proper polite language on Church grounds. The church is surrounded by a poverty stricken squatter type neighborhood. Perhaps I should not expect better of them.


The Nave of the Church is not very wide but it is fairly long. Along the wall there are the Stations of the Cross, Fans, and Flat Screen TV’s to help deliver the word of God. I am not fond of excess technology in the church; but I guess it may be cheaper than issuing and tracking bench Bibles.

Statue of the Peña De Francia

Looking around I seen the ceiling paintings. I found them to be quite nice. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to paint like this on a ceiling. I guess laying down on the job, on a scaffold.

Brass Light Fixture

I am a person who is fond of old things. I love antique shows, museums, and collectable heirlooms. These light fixtures really caught my eyes. To me it seemed obvious that these may not have always been electric. I might be wrong; but to imagine these with the Brass polished with legitimate slow burning candles in them must be a wonderful sight to imagine.  I would love to know how old these are.


Thanks to my followers who read and like my photos. If there is a place in Bicol or Southern Luzon you think I may be interested in seeing just let me know.



David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Typhoon Nina Hits Us

Barangay Agaas, Caramoan. House collapse and tree fall.

Its been a few weeks since my last post. Been a bit busy entertaining a guest who came from abroad to visit, a Christmas Eve Typhoon, a lack of Electricity, and Traveling to and from Naga City a few times. In this blog post I am going to share photos of the damage to the Barangay, or village, in which I live.


Front Awning Blown away


My heart goes out to the locals here because most are really low income households. My home received minimal damage. we had a water line break and the tin roof awning to our guest house blew apart. However, Others were not so lucky.

Barangay Agaas, Caramoan. Windows Boarded, roof taken.


Barangay Agaas, Caramoan. House collapsed.


The typhoon passed rather quickly in the night. But the power of it was very intense. My home is made of Concrete and brick; rather solid from the ground up. Other families had homes of wood and nipper which is the leafy type roof. The wind was so powerful that I could feel my home shake from it. Windows rattled hard. wind pushed a lot of water through the window seals.

Barangay Agaas, Caramoan. House collapsed.


It is hard to see this and not feel so sorry for them. Life in the province is already difficult for some and this really hit too hard for many. If I had a lot of money I would do more to help. But I am not able to do as I wish I could. Our Peninsula since December 24th has had no Grid electric. We power our home at night by Generator and others come to our place to watch television or charge their mobiles. Communication signal returned the 29th to our area. Efforts for utility seems to be on going but it will be a while before it reaches my place.

Barangay Agaas, Caramoan. Back side


For some of the younger generation this damage was a bit hard to grasp. They never experience anything like this. Typhoon Nina started out in the Pacific Ocean as a tropical storm and within a couple days hit us as a Signal 4 Typhoon, the storm had very strong gusts of wind and rain. Many trees fell, many damaged, and some even landed on homes.

Barangay Agaas, Caramoan. Young girl still trying to grasp what happened.


Here the main source of income is Copra.  That is the dried meat of the coconut. It is used to make coconut oils and extracts. My wife is telling me that since so many of the trees were damaged they may not produce fruits for a while since the energy of the plant will go back into recovery. That is a major financial blow to locals in the long term.

Damaged Coconut Trees


Roof Blown off


Recover will not be easy. Some will do with what they have and some will rebuild with what is left.


On the 24th I took this photo of this house because I was having a discussion with my friend in the US about how strong this storm is. I explained that I was concerned and that there would be damage to homes like this one taken on the 24th. I did not expect it to actually be this one. It was only meant to be an example of how many local homes are structured.


While I was in the military I was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. I been through a few hurricanes. But not one that I have witnessed had this kind of intensity. This was a signal 4. The one that hit Tacloban a few years ago and killed over 10,000 people was a signal 5 super typhoon. I am thankful we were not that badly hit.


I give thanks to God and Jesus that no one in my area was killed or severely injured. There were a few deaths reported in our province but no one immediately close to us. This could have been worse. But for now, it is time for my neighbors and friends to rebuild and do their best to survive the aftermath. Thanks for Reading and viewing.


David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Words of Wisdom 

One of my old Army mentors posted this on his Facebook. Very wise words of wisdom. He recently retired. This was a person I had a huge amount of respect for even if at times I did not always agree, but I always did as told and every mission was always a success. So I thought I would share. 


1. God truly knows each and every one of our breaking points; I’ve often found that whenever I get very close to my breaking point, something unexpected tends to happen.  Whether it’s a profound encounter with a stranger or the big break I’d been looking for, something nearly always seems to happen whenever I get to a point where I’ve just had enough and finally give it to God to work it out on my behalf.


2. Friends will often come and go; simply because you were close with someone  20 years ago doesn’t mean you’re going to be close to them today, next week or next year and that’s OK.  People change, and so do relationships.  Sometimes people come into your lives at very specific times to help you get from point A to B, and then they somehow fade away.  That’s the real magic of life and relationships: they’re always evolving.  “The sooner you realize this, the better your emotional health will be.”


3. Don’t let little things get to you; think about it!  Does it really matter who is” right” about who did what chore in the house or on the job that you complained about all year long?  You might win the fight, but you lose the battle.  Don’t sweat the small stuff because little things don’t matter.  “STOP FIGHTING EVERYONE” WHEN YOU DO THIS, YOU WILL COME TO REALIZE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BEEN FIGHTING ALL THESE YEARS HAVE BEEN YOURSELF, THAT’S RIGHT YOURSELF, THINK ON THIS!  STOP THINKING TO GET ANYWHERE OR THING OUT OF THIS LIFE YOU HAVE TO FIGHT!


4.  No one is perfect; this especially holds true for people we put on pedestals.  No matter how great or enlightened they are, they’re still human.  Everyone make mistakes, and nobody is perfect.


5. Working hard doesn’t always mean working smart; just because you’re working 16 hours a day doesn’t mean you’re efficient with your time.  I have come to learn this the hard way, don’t get me wrong, you still have to work hard to succeed, but if you’re not also organized and efficient, often time you will come to the realization you’re just wasting time.


6. You are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with; it may sound like a cliché, but it’s true.  If you really want to change your life, you have to modify the people you hang around with.  Spend time with people who support you and believe in you.  I learned this the hard way.


7. Goals and deadlines are important, but sometimes you just have to say, “I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know it’s going to happen!”  “Now please you are going to have to wait.”


8. Never walk away mad from a loved one, Life is precious.  One moment someone is here and the next moment they might be gone… so treat every word with loved ones accordingly.


9. Gratitude is the key to happiness; the common theme behind every religion is gratitude.  It’s powerful, and it works!  Always be grateful for what you have; no matter how bad things seem, there’s always someone who has it worse.  When I was a young boy, my mother would tell me, “The boy with no shoes cried until he met the boy with no feet.”


10. There’s only one proper way to accept a compliment; the words “thank you” will suffice.
Stay Strong,

The Lord Answers Prayers

Last night I posted a photo blog of Dry Soil and rice plants trying to grow. The Title was Pray for rain. Today, God Answered. “Ask and you shall recieve.”

img_0029 I am very much grateful for when the rain comes. Here in the Philippines its more than just getting wet. It is preserving life, preventing hunger, and preventing unsanitary conditions. The children also enjoy playing and showering in the rain.


I hope the rain we get will be enough for the plants to last until the next rain.

img_0031 The Camera used for these shots is a Canon EOS 1200D with a 55-250mm lens with Stabilizer.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Pray For Rain

Please rain soon Mother Nature. The rice needs you. Normally the rice fields are partially flooded. Right now the stream near the fields is almost dry and the wells are extremely low. Lord give us a small tropical storm and flood these fields, fill the wells, and make the stream run again. Something…..

 This image was taken with a Canon EOS 1200D. 18 megapixel, using a 55-250 mm lense with Image Stabilizer. f/4-5.6 IS STM. It’s my first post using this Camera. This image is 9.64 MB in file size… Wow.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran