Noticing Poverty

I had just spent a week in Naga City. A city in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. Sadly poverty can bee seen here just about everywhere here in the Philippines. There are relief groups scattered throughout the Islands but I don’t think that their efforts are very impacting. 

While shopping at the SM supermarket I noticed a young boy asking his mom to buy a small drink in the cooler section near produce. It was a fruit drink and didn’t cost much. I took a look a while after they left. It was about 20 pesos or so. Anyways she kept saying no and he was very disappointed with his mom. 

As they were walking away I was looking at his young mother. She looked about 20-22ish in age. He may have been 4 or 5. I had taken a look at her clothing and quickly felt bad for them as most foreigners do when they haven’t experience that level of poverty. Her shirt was worn thin with holes wearing through in different parts and near sewing seams. Her bra was only half clasped in the back, maybe the catch had finally wore out. Her shorts were cut off blue jean pants which had additional holes and not the stylish kind. On her rough feet she had an old pair of cheap flipflop’s that her heals have almost worn through. I felt bad for her and her little boy. 

In her buggy she had only a few items. I really couldn’t make out what it was. I can only imagine that she was spending what little they had available. Hopefully she has the help of the father. But in many cases here, probably not. 

This can be seen just about everywhere around here. One just needs to open their eyes. It’s sad. Hopefully one day their luck will change. I would like to see the Philippines come out of being a 3rd world country burdened with poverty and such sad cases. If I could help them all I would but I am not rich, the government, or an NGO. If this place would ever take common wealth status from the United States their luck might change for the better.

I think the government could do more to help their citizens, but I think they like the division of social casts. Like India, the poor stay poor and the rich get richer. 

All around I see second hand clothing shops with clothes in almost new condition and often wonder if some local politician took donated goods for the poor from abroad and decided to profit on them. I really don’t see how there can be so much second hand goods to sell when there are so many people without and in need.

Thanks for taking the time to read. It’s been a while since I posted anything. I kinda been chilling at home in Caramoan or my apartment in Naga City. I have been lacking motivation lately. Email me if you want my thoughts on any issue’s.
David Lee Martin

davemartindsshop8@gmail.com

Functional US Army Veteran

Wishing to Sail the Seas

Something I have always wanted to do was go sailing. To be able to just throw my gear and provisions on a boat and just go where ever I pleased for next to nothing; to just disappear for years and visit the countries that I have not been to yet. I have been to 15 countries so far thanks to serving in the U.S. Army and after serving I went into defense contracting in the Middle East.

Gemini Catamaran
A Wonderful Shallow Draft

The idea of owning a boat seems great until you see the costs of a good sail boat. Whether it is a monohull (traditional boat) or a multihull (catamaran) the cost can be quite insane. More than most homes. But it is understandable, a lot has gone into making sea-worthy boats that are safe. They include floatation devices, life rafts, dinghies, crash lockers in the hulls, radar, sonar/depth finder, fish finders, GPS, auto-pilot, and so on. 

Cockpit and Control Station

After watching nearly a hundred plus videos on youtube on the differences of hull designs, performance, and capabilities, I have decided that I really want to own a Catamaran. I could easily live on it without a problem. They can be outfitted with many accessories. Many have solar panels, wind generators, and fresh water filtratation systems to include trapping rainwater. They can be equiped to have up to 5 berths, a few heads, a galley for cooking, and a cockpit on the back for relaxing in. Catamarans can be a self-sustaining home. I just want a simple one; 2 berths, 2 heads, and plenty of storage. The only down fall is head room. I am 6 feet and 4 inches tall. That’s the boat life I guess. They have multiple layout options.

The catamarans I think I will most likely ever afford some day might be the American made Gemini series. They are more reachable to the common man. 

Berth
Galley
Interior Lounge and Dining Area
Gemini Catamaran

The photos I used here on this post I found on Pinterest by searching, “Gemini Catamarans.” To me this is kinda like the poor man’s yacht. It’s enough for me to enjoy life a little more if ever I could afford it. Simple luxury without the super high costs. 

Not sure if a Gemini.

The Multihull boats have a much shallower draft than monohull’s do which means they can get closer to shore safely. That’s great if travelling with family and young children. You are basically able to lift rudders and back up to the beach and step into the shallows. 

The Catamaran seems to be the best choice for me all around. I will keep my eyes open online and maybe some day I will get my chance to afford one. My primary income is only disability from Veterans Affairs. Hard to afford much with that. So for now I will just chill.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Harvesting The Rice

This morning when I woke up and started moving about the house I took a look out the window as usual. I just love seeing nature and this peaceful country side. The province life of the Philippines is so much better and healthier than being in the polluted concrete jungle called Manila. 

I noticed my neighbors were working the rice pad’s.  They are cutting it, stacking for drying, and separating the rice from the plant. It’s not easy work as light as rice seems. It’s a lot of bending over, swinging a blade, stacking, and being under direct sun. For me, if I was doing it, I am sure my back would be killing me.

Rice stacked for drying
Neighbours in the rice paddy

From an upper view the stack of rice looks similar to the shape of a doughnut. The rice that isn’t quite ready remains uncut as seen near the stack. 

Breaking for a moment
Burnt straw

Later they will burn the straw from the rice to return some of the nutrients back into the soil. 

When all the rice is gathered they will separate it under improvised shade made of palm leaves.

Separating the rice under improvised shade

Later they will lay it out again on tarpaulins for the rice to continue hardening in the husk. Some will be saved for seed and the rest will go to the mill and the rice grains will be separated from the husk. This is the Provincial farmers life.

Photos were taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO DG MACRO zoom lens with hood. No editing or filters were used other than name and data stamp.

Thanks for reading my blog and viewing my photos. Please follow me here and on Instagram @david_lee_martin. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

April Flower’s Part 2

Once again I went around our Barangay Agaas taking macro photos of flower and such. Barangay Agaas is part of the Caramoan Municipality in Camarines Sur, Bicol, Philippines. I don’t know thw local or scientific names. I just enjoy them, so here they are. 

Some are very colorful, unique, and stand out. I just like how they can stand out from the background. I used manual focus without the flash. I wanted to isolated the flower from it’s surrounding’s. 

The Camera I used is a Canon EOS 1200D. The lens is a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro with Hood. No filters were used. No Photoshop either. 

If you like what you see in my photos you can follow me on Instagram: david_lee_martin

As always, thanks for viewing and reading. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

April Flower’s 

I thought I would share some shots of flowers I took this month here in the Philippines. Most of the shots are Macro.

Photo taken with Pentax Model X-5

Photo take with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 mobile phone

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6 APO DG Macro lens
Photo taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6 APO DG Macro lens
Photo taken with a Pentax Model X-5

When I get bored I sometimes grab the Camera or what’s always handy, the mobile, and just go for a walk. If I see something of interest that I like I take a photo of it. Living in the Philippines has been at an advantage for seeing a lot of beautiful scenery, flowers, nature, and wildlife. It’s a great place for photographers of many genres. I am still an Amateur photographer and I feel I am improving. I watch “how to” videos and observe the work of other photographers so I can have an Idea of what I want to get out of my shots. I been doing wildlife, macro, and landscapes. Soon I hope to get some portrait practice in that goes beyond selfies.  I dont use photo shop. I use a phone app to pute my name on the pictures. Let me know what you think. I am always open to constructive criticism.

As always, thanks for viewing and reading.

Follow me on Instagram: david_lee_martin
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

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