Hong Ching Ting

I came across this quaint little Chinese nursery rhyme about dragonflies.
It sounds like this:

Hong ching-ting,
ching ching ting.
Shih shang ching ching ting,
shui shang ching ching ting,
feng li ching ching ting.

which I think looks like this in Chinese characters

轻轻停 (or 青蜻蜓 )

The following is my translation:

Red dragonflies
gently stop (or green dragonflies)
On the rocks gently they stop;
on the water gently they stop;
in the breeze gently they stop.

*anigif of dragonfly - thanks to Tagtooga.com

Dragonfly Cartoon 1 - Hagar

Cartoon copyright by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Bottle of Bliss

THIS is a bottle of actively - almost violently - bubbling, wonderfully sweet, thirst-quenching, happily intoxicating and naturally produced, therefore organic, drink called TUBA in the Philippines (sometimes LAMBANOG), aka BAHAR in Sabah and TUAK and TODDY (elsewhere in Malaysia). To Indians it's KALLU (கள்ளு) (കള്ള്) and Chinese drinkers call it YE JIU (椰酒) or YE HUA JIU (椰花酒) . It's made from the sap that oozes out of the flower (inflorescence) of the coconut palm when it is cut (a process known as tapping).

This sweet white sap is collected in a container attached to the flower stump and begins fermenting almost as soon as it is tapped due to natural yeasts in the air (spurred by residual yeast left in the collecting container). Within two hours, fermentation yields an aromatic and sweet beer-strength wine of up to 4% alcohol content. When allowed to ferment longer, up to a day, a stronger and more acidic drink which some people prefer is produced. Longer fermentation, however, produces vinegar which can only be used in cooking instead of stronger wine!

Thank you Mee for buying and sharing this bottle of bliss with me! ;)


WE who live in the tropics are so used to sharing our houses with the house gecko that we hardly notice them. It's usually only when they land their black and white droppings onto our belongings or even on us(!) that we curse them or try to chase them out - or worse when one of them lands on us! (Just imagine the fun if you're only an onlooker!) Otherwise we (lizard and us) co-exist quite peacefully. I think they do notice us though, and even listen to our conversation sometimes, busy-body lot they are! When they agree with what we say they will "chak-chak-chak" away, and as an "Amen" the superstitious among us would quickly knock on wood.

Well, the Malay name for them is cikcak, no doubt from the sound they make. The Bisayan people call them (as far as I know, not being one of them) butiki, also, I think, mimicking their retilian sound which they hear as "tiki, tiki, tiki" (I believe different people hear sounds differently from one another!). The Chinese however have a more noble name for these ninjas that climb walls and walk on ceilings! They call them 壁虎 pi-hu or "wall-tigers"! Which I think is not quite right, look at the close-up photo I took of one of these creatures! Doesn't it remind you more of a crocodile than a tiger? So I think they should be called "wall crocs" instead!

Lakbayan Map - Where the dragonfly has landed

My Lakbayan grade is C-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.