Pictures Speak

Big or small, ordinary or amazing, happy or sad, seasonal or plain day-to-day happenings, I have a habit of taking pictures and creating images that I hope will last a lifetime.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Gone Fishing

Last Sunday, my wife wanted to do something nice for my son. After a delicious brunch of dim sun, she asked our 8-year old, “What do you want to do?” Excitedly, he said, “Fishing, mom.” Unprepared for fishing, we both asked him, “Are you sure you want to go fishing? We can just go the beach, play and eat at the restaurant after.” Sticking to his original answer, he replied, “Mom, dad, I want to go fishing so we can eat seafood.” I told my wife, “Oh, well, you did asked him what he wants to do.” Laughing she said, “I guess we’re going fishing.”

weekly photo challenge: habit

Before going to Galveston Island, we had a quick stop at Wal-mart to buy our fishing rod and other supplies. Then we bought shrimps as bait at Island Seafood. We reached Galveston State Park by 03:00 and sat next to another family whose daughter was about my son’s age. While I was trying to figure out how to assemble the fishing rod, my son was already busy sharing his Dunkin’ donuts and popcorn with the little girl sitting next to us. The girl’s dad called her daughter and my son to show them the two big fishes inside the cooler. Inspired by what he saw, my son started shouting, “Hurry up dad. I want to catch some fish.”

weekly photo challenge: habit

It’s been 2 years since I last gone fishing. I totally forgot the basics. Much as I wanted not to be noticed, my son’s voice was so loud that other people started staring at us. My wife approached me and whispered, “Hey, you guys look really funny. You should have read the instructions first.” Feeling a bit embarrassed, I replied, “I bet, we are.”

weekly photo challenge: habit

My son felt a tag on his bait. Happily he reeled in his first catch. He ran and grabbed his blue gloves to pick up the fish. As he tried to pick up the fish, it moved. My son jolted up and shouted, “It’s still alive!” Laughing hard, I told him, “We need to keep it alive. We will return it in the water after we remove the hook.” Before he let go of the fish my son told me, “Dad, I really wanted to eat seafood.” I assured him, “Don’t worry. We will eat seafood. I promise.” We both looked at the fish move its fins as it swam back into the water.

weekly photo challenge: habit

The Island Sunset gave a spectacular show before it bade farewell. I told my little boy, “Hey, it’s getting dark. We need to fix our stuff and go.” He looked at me and begged, “Dad, let me catch one more fish. Please, please, please…” I replied, “Okay, one more fish.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

So, what about the seafood I promised? Smelling like shrimp bait, we stopped by at Jimmy’s. Browsing the menu, my son asked my wife, “Mom, it says here, Seafood Po’ Boy sandwich. Is that cooked fish?” My wife replied, “Yes, it is.” Looking cheerful, he told his mom, “Okay, I’ll have the Seafood Po’ Boy please.”

Why Take Pictures?

Pictures speak. It reminds us of who we were and what we are now. It reminds us of the people we care about, of the many homes and countries that gave us so much to be thankful for. Pictures touch our hearts and make us empathize with the pain and hardship of others. It teaches us to see beyond the four corners of our room. To see the reality of what’s going on in our world. It open our hearts to care and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Sometimes it seems easier not to look because the images are too hard to bear but then it’s just a matter of time that we have to. We need to.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Pictures Of The Super Storm

I tried calling my parents this morning after the super typhoon Haiyan, locally known as typhoon Yolanda ravaged the Philippines. All phone lines were down and there was no way to reach them. I felt a mixture of fear, concern, helplessness and panic. Finaly, a relative texted, “I just talked to my brother via Skype, your parents and sisters are okay.” I felt a huge relief and thanked God for hearing my prayer. I then checked her brother’s Facebook postings and got a better picture of what’s going on in my hometown.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Fallen trees, flooding waters and house debris surrounds my parents and relatives houses. I can’t not imagine the fear they felt when Typhoon Haiyan struck our city.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

The images I share today, were taken by him after the storm within Roxas City. It is but a speck of dust compared to the severe damages around the countryside of Capiz. Worst hit was Tacloban in Eastern Visayas. A once beautiful and serene place now full of horrifying pictures of death, tears and devastation. I had to stop watching several times. The vividness of terror and suffering strikes mercilessly picture after picture.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

This used to be my grandma’s house. A place where we once celebrated Christmas, Birthdays and many family reunions. If only walls could speak, it will tell you stories more heart breaking than the torn roof tops blown by the super typhoon.

Then I saw a picture of a group of kids smiling and comforting each other. Their smiles were a sign of hope that everything will be alright. That with faith and generous support from family, friends and the world over, my countrymen can once again rebuild their lives after this tragedy.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

My relative wrote via Facebook, “To all family,friends ok KMi tanan life will go on,” which translates, “We’re all okay, life will go on.” I admire his courage and optimism. Just a while ago, he posted a part of their house with the roof all torn off.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Growing up, me and my cousins were so close. I spent a lot of sleep overs in this very room. A lot of laughter, play and exciting stories. They were an extension of my family. In all honesty, I miss those times. Life was simpler. Our joys were simpler. Everyone now has their own families living in various places in the Philippines and in America. I wish one day we can all have one big reunion and help rebuild our ancestral homes.

I sent him this message via Facebook, “Thank God all our family is safe there. We are all praying here for you and everyone. Tried to call mom and dad today but all phone lines are dead. Favor, can you tell mom and dad that we are thinking and praying for them. I wish we are there to help rebuild what was lost. Please hug Lolo Jessie and Lola Erlie for me. I admire your courage. Despite of the scary typhoon you were able to give a piece of hope. Yes, life goes on but it feels good to know we have a family to walk it with. God bless.”

 Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

The last picture is the home I spent 31 years of my life. So many happy memories. I am what I am now, because of the two most amazing parents who gave me and my siblings so much love to help us through our very own personal storms in life. I wish I too was there beside them when they had to battle several storms in their lives.

In one of the Facebook pictures, I saw my dad sitting by the balcony with my nephew. Right then and there I wanted to jump into the computer screen to give him a hug.

Pictures help us reconnect with love ones. It help us feel close to one another even if we are continents away in distance. It helps bridge the gap between the memories of the past to that of the realities and situations of the present.

Thank you for sharing my pictures and the stories behind them. If you have a spare time today, please pray with me for all who perished and all the survivors who are yet to face many hardships in the days to come. Please do visit the many news website offering links to agencies that accepts any help and donations. Together, we can rise above any storm.

A blessed day to all.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in family, kids, Life, parenting, photography, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Pictures Speak

  1. We forgot to tell you that Alix & Roxane from “Tails from Paris” have nominated your blog for the Inner Peace Blog Award :
    http://tailsfromparis.com/2013/11/08/the-inner-peace-blog-award/

    Because you’re worth it ;-)

    Have a peacefully coming week !
    Alix & Roxane

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  2. Aw what great pics of your son fishing. As far as the other images, oh my. I am so glad that your family is okay and will be praying for them and for others affected by this storm. I am so very sorry for yours and their loss!

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  3. A treasured set of images, especially the first, which talks about youth and dreaming. I’m sure that you are somewhat comforted by the fact that you family is safe. It must be hard for you to be so far away from them.

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    • Yes, hearing there voice and knowing they are safe was very comforting. I just wish I’m there to hug them close at a time they are shivering from fear. To help rebuild our home. Thanks for praying for them and all Filipinos. God bless.

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  4. SimplySage says:

    Sadness and prayers for your far-away family.

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  5. misswhiplash says:

    Hope that you received my email…. Our God does answer our prayers..your family are safe. However I cannot help but ask myself ‘ why does God let such things happen’ my love to you all. Thank you for all the great pictures..you really are an artist with a camera xxxxx

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    • My dear Patrecia, you are an angel with a very generous heart. Other than my sisters, no one shared an uplifting email full of comforting words of thoughtfulness and faith. I’m truly thankful. Indeed you are God’s creature, a mirror of his kind heart. God bless you my friend. Best wishes to your family.

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  6. Pingback: Pictures Speak « donniebishop

  7. Angeline M says:

    I am so relieved to hear your family is ok. What fear they must have gone through, and now the work of clean up and rebuilding. If you know of a special local charity or organization that I could send a donation to, I would appreciate knowing of one that you recommend, rather than donating to an unknown agency.
    Your little boy is not so little anymore :) He has grown so tall!!

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    • Thanks my friend. I’ve yet to talk to my dad what his Christian group is planning to help out. I really want to make sure it goes to those who needed it.you can’t blame me why I don’t trust fully the local government. Politicians will be politicians but real people with genuine honest, kind hearts will do what’s right. I guess everyone right now is busy fixing their houses too but perhaps this week I will find out. I told my sis, ” I want dad to be there to give, take photos, and an inventory so people know where there hard earned money went. If only I have the means and can be off from work I would to be there in person. I work in a government hospital for two years, I see and feel their poverty and it strikes you hard in your heart. Sometimes too much. God bless you my friend. I will keep you updated.

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  8. Imelda says:

    I am so glad that your family is safe. I pray for strength and grace for everybody. Your family is brave – life goes on indeed. Good cheers to the people of Tacloban and surrounds. Thanks be to God to all those who help and pray.

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    • What happened in Tacloban, I don’t even know if I will survive the emotional and psychological trauma and terror. They need all the help and prayers we all could give. My folks are okay but except for one sister, they are by themselves. I feel a bit helpless. God is good and I know he hears our prayers. Thanks.

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  9. Indira says:

    My sincere prayers for the victims and the survivors and your family there. Its sad people have to suffer so much.
    Pictures speak a 100 words. Its a nice habit.

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    • Just like what Patrecia said, it kind of made me ask why God allowed something horrible to happen. Entire schools full of children washed away by natures wrath. But perhaps he has a plan. I just pray that those who survive stop suffering further. It did brought different nations to help and be one towards helping the Philippines. Thanks for your prayers.

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  10. Gail says:

    Many prayers are being said for your family and all those affected by the typhoon. Thanks for sharing your pictures. I’m so glad to hear your family is okay…. I know that had to be super scary for you also. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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    • It feels comforting that my blogger family have me, my family and the Philippines in their prayers and thoughts. There is still so much goodness out there despite of the many painful events we see around us. I trust that God will not forsake his people. The death and suffering are hard to take just looking at the pictures. Can’t imagine what it is for those who were there. Thanks for praying for us. God bless you and your family.

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  11. When I heard about the typhoon, I worried for you and your family. I am so glad to hear that they’re OK and will pray for all those affected by the storm. Blessings, IT.

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    • Thank you. They are okay. For 2 days, we can’t reach them cause land lines are down. It was pure joy and relief to hear their voices. A bit shaky but they are braving up and moving on.

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  12. To all my blogging family who shared in their thoughts, hearts and prayers the sufferings and hardships of my countrymen in the Philippines, thank you and God bless you for your kindness and thoughtfulness. I’m still in a daze. I’m trying to figure out how I can best “directly” help the surviving victims in Capiz aside from the global and local agencies who are already helping out with rescue and relief. My family are okay but thousands of rural families in Capiz and Roxas we’re not so lucky. Their worst personal storms right now is having no shelter, food, water, medicines, a source of income to survive the dark days ahead. I’m hoping that together, we can be a piece of light and hope for them. That they will have something to look forward tomorrow. God bless you all. I’m truly touched by your generous outpouring of caring words. I will update everyone of what’s going on in my province via family and relatives. Thank you…

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    • auntyuta says:

      The situation in the affected areas of the Philippines is getting more and more desperate. Help organisations do whatever they can and as quickly as it can possibly be organized. Sadly for some people any help may come too late.
      Good to hear your family is okay.

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  13. blogbyflogs says:

    Island Traveler, your posts are always so thoughtful and appreciative of every day life. You have a way of elevating it to a state of wonder.
    I’m so very thankful your family survived the typhoon and will keep those who are suffering in my prayers. Your countrymen have experienced a tremendous loss.

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    • Thank you for your kind thoughts. When we allow are hearts to speak, whether in words, letters or images we create something that touches someone to feel just like the recent news I saw and read in the Philippines. I have hold back tears every time.

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  14. Wow! Pictures make stories amazing. It creates a feel of reality.
    Reading through made me feel like I was there, through it all.
    I even have some memories of the scenes right now. :)
    What pictures can do!

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  15. Amazing photos! Thank you! :)

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  16. mpejovic says:

    Thanks for sharing all of these pictures with us! I think it’s great to make lifelong memories with your family and pictures definitely help with the remembering. Being digital now makes it hard to take the time to print out those events, but I want to be able to do that one day for my kids to be able to go back to, flip the pages and remember those good (or not so good) times that make us who we are.

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    • Guess what? I just finished 4 photo books. I bought Picaboo in groupon which is on going by the way. Since the digital age, I stop making prints too. When my wife saw the finish product she was amazed and now wants more. Hope I won’t run of ideas. Thanks.

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      • mpejovic says:

        Good for you! I want to make photo books for my kids too, but I still have to find the time to go through thousands of pictures and pick the best ones to go in there. It will be a great project to work on for sure.

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  17. likeitiz says:

    What poignant photos of the storm! I’m relieved to see your family is all right. It’s okay if they have to rebuild as long as they all survived it unscathed! Wow!

    Your son is becoming a pro at fishing! He has the right stance. Good training from dad, huh?

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    • That was his first official fishing by himself. He even was better than me. Ain’t that embarrassing? I don’t mind though. I do hope and pray he will be a better version of me in every way. Ain’t that our wish for our kids? Better life. Better future. Thanks.

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  18. Amy says:

    My heart goes to the Filipino people! So glad to hear your family and relatives are fine. Thank you so much for letting us know.
    Somehow your posts have not come to my WP reader. Sorry I miss some of your recent post. Take care, IT.

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    • Thanks Amy. I appreciate that a lot. It is comforting to know others have you in their thoughts and prayers during a scary time. I’m not sure what’s going with my WordPress. I don’t even see my weekly photo challenge post in daily post. Honestly, I am already happy and contended with me blogger friends who consistent join me through the ups and downs in life. God bless Amanda best wishes to your family,

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  19. restlessjo says:

    I can’t begin to imagine how awful it must be to see your home ripped away from you this way. It’s wonderful to see those smiling kids and to hear the message “life will go on”. So glad your family are safe. :)

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  20. I was very worried, and thought of you and your family when I heard about the storm. I am so thankful that they are okay, and so sorry for the loss of life and damage inflicted by the storm.

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    • I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I saw the videos and images. Then I panicked like never before. I witnessed a bad typhoon in the 80’s. My mom said , ” multiply that x 4.” I witnessed hurricane Ike too but Typhoon Haiyan is the scariest of all. In a way, we all live now in a world of extreme weathers & calamities. All the more, we all need to help and pray for each other globally. Thanks. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers,

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  21. As usual, your photos are beautiful and your words and pictures so personal.

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  22. timecollage says:

    Amazing fishing story, your son is so cute for wanting to fish!

    I am glad to hear your family is well, that’s what’s most important.

    Beautiful photos :) photos are indeed very important parts of our lives nowadays.

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  23. Pingback: Typhoon Haiyan A.K.A. Yolanda Update On Capiz | this man's journey

  24. Pingback: Random photography | Processing the life

  25. Mélanie says:

    I know Galveston so well… in 5 years spent in Clear Lake(NASA area) we used to take all our visitors there… :-) btw, US-friends have just spent one week in Italy and one here, and another one will land in London next week… and then here! small world! :-) Most Americans love “old Europe”, their roots and origins are here… :-)
    – – –
    I do understand your pain for the tragedy caused by the typhoon… you’ll always remember your family, relatives and friends as you’ve come to the US as an adult with a solid background… stay healthy, optimistic and positive! Mélanie
    http://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/

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  26. Oddly enough – or maybe not so – you were one of the first people I thought of when I heard of the news of the storm. My prayers are with you, your family, and others who have lost so much. God bless and be well. Beautiful post. Your son will not be your “little boy” for much longer, ;-)

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  27. The Guat says:

    I love the fishing picture…awesome. And I love that you have a habit of taking pics. Don’t stop! :)

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    • Yes, we will continue. For now, I had to set aside fishing so I can help out the Philippines. I’m thinking selling cookies, Chocolates, coffee and juice at my soccer game all morning. My son is donating some of his toys and Lego bricks. We need to teach our kids to start sharing and caring as soon as we can. That there people in other places with barely anything to survive. Thanks.

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      • The Guat says:

        Duuuuuuuuuuude. I was thinking about you and wondering if you had any family out there. The pictures and stories are so tough. I’m so glad that you’re teaching him values you hold important. He looks up to his Dad and you totally lead by example. You should be super proud, you’re kid is gonna grow up to be awesome.

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  28. mariannegv says:

    Island Traveler, regardless of the material losses, it’s good to know that all your family is well. I wish the best.
    Kind greetings,
    Marianne

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  29. That little story in pictures of your son going fishing is wonderful. Both of you must have had a great day together. As for the typhoon that hit the Philippines I hope things are slowly normalizing for you family – and for the rest of the country. They are in my thoughts.

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  30. Beautiful post; my thoughts are with you and your beloved country.
    z

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