Friday, September 08, 2006


After more than a dozen years, I went back to the Philippines June through July of this year 2006 as a Balikbayan (returning resident). I was accompanied by my son Mitchell, my daughter Paulina, my mom affectionately referred to as Grandma in the articles here, and my sister Cris at the front end of the trip.

Two of the weeks were earmarked for my Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), an event known as the 3rd World Martial Arts Festival, as well as a Bakbakan arnis tournament. The rest of the trip was a homecoming of sorts, seeing relatives, classmates and assorted friends and acquaintances, as well as taking care of some business-related endeavors.

I knew I would be writing a couple of articles on the Festival, either for an online magazine or for my own website. But I also wanted to write a bloggish, free-wheeling account of the whole journey. So the result is this mishmash of an e-book, a combination journal, travelogue and pictorial of the whole trip.

I hope the e-book conveys my impressions of the trip, as well as the Philippines. You see, I actually enjoyed this particular trip.

There were a few minor challenges. We lost the services of our driver for about a couple of weeks. My daughter Paulina needed some attention from daddy after a week in the boonies. Mitch and I got slightly sick for a few days with a virus of some sort.

On the other hand, the heat, mosquitoes and traffic did not seem to bother me as much, probably because it was the cooler part of the year. Rainy season had started, and in fact, two storms hit during the month, named “Florita” and “Glenda.”

There are some introspection and insights in the last part of the e-book, if you are looking for some. For whatever reason you bought the book, just read it leisurely. Read it the same way I handled the trip. Enjoy whatever bright spots show up, skip the boring parts or make up your own funny dialogue, go with the flow, and you may even enjoy the total experience.

Thank you and bon voyage.

A copy of the e-book “Philippine Odyssey 2006” by Jay de Leon is now available at the online store at


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