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Photo Diary | Terra Manna in Rainy July

“Dagko kaayo’g lusok ang uwan kagabii,” shared Ate Beth, a TM staff.  Last night, there were thousands of feet stomping and running on Traveller’s Palm’s roof.

I originally planned to take a dip after an hour or so of writing but the gloomy weather seemed discouraging for snorkeling by the platform. So I took a leisure walk around the garden instead.

Despite visiting this personal refuge every month, it is still surprising to see something new. It must be the weather or the soft light. It felt that I have not seen these ornaments before.

DSC_0004 A lesson from the morning dew: when it is time to let go, let go. Don’t cling.  Fall naturally.

From Traveller’s Palm, there are several flowers along the walkway. It is very soothing to see morning dew intact on the flowers yet ready to fall, to let go.
DSC_0010 These glamorous clusters of small wild lilies grow on top of the rock. Their fragile stalks are pregnant with dews. Wild, they can be found anywhere. I found a bigger variety in Sagada and brought and planted some bulbs back in Tuburan. I saw the smaller ones by the elementary school. I’ll domesticate some in my lirio section of the garden. So far, I have four varieties.
DSC_0012 These eggplants were just about a finger span last month. Rain and time made them grow healthily. I picked two eggplants and deep-fried them for lunch. It was very, very delicious! DSC_0006 Behind the ornaments is my favorite tree at Terra Manna. Its coiling trunks, a character common among acacia trees but not with camachiles, are rather appealing. They are like longings coiling. Nah. It is just me overreading its beautiful branches.DSC_0003These flowers seem to bloom all throughout the year. I once yanked out a branch somewhere Tuburan because I fell for its red blooms. Sadly, it didn’t survive. I’ll try it again. DSC_0016 Despite my regular visit at TM, I have not tried their bonfire area! I usually travel alone here, and it is sad to have a bonfire for one, isn’t it? I might ask the staff to have a bonfire kind of fun with me or travel with a group sometimes. DSC_0018 The branches of nymph trees are very Serengeti’s-like. Nymph trees are natural insecticide, warding off mosquitoes. During starry nights, guests can camp out without the scare of mosquito bites. DSC_0022 These deck chairs are on the ground. Sometimes they are by Lantawan, but today they are in the middle of the garden. I love them. They blend with everything. DSC_0025 TM has recently added three bahay kubos for the budget travelers. Instead of camping, it is very comfortable to stay in a bahay kubo during rainy days. I know it can be really frustrating to stay in the tent during a heavy downpour. Believe me, I have experienced it a lot, and not in a posh camping site like TM’s. I’m talking about raw camping here. On a mountaintop. DSC_0027 They are big! Last month, okra, tomatoes, ampalaya, and eggplants were a ruler-tall. Look at them now! The gardeners used chicken’s droppings for fertilizers. Yes, they are very organic. Guests can harvest and buy these organic produce for an affordable price. DSC_0028 Tomatoes are “just bent, not broken.” They could hardly carry their bounties.
DSC_0017 Can this be counted as a selfie? Reader—silent or otherwise, meet, my hardworking feet. 🙂

Love, Laugh, and Eat a lot,


Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at Find me somewhere else!

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