Ka’anapali & Luau at Black Rock, July 2010

Immersed in the silky, clear blue waters of Ka’anapali, we trailed a sea turtle  to Black Rock and swam with the fishes along the coral reefs. This beach is popular for many reasons made apparent in the below images. While we splashed around a fellow Ka’anapali admirer shouted to the world soon as he jumped into the waves, “Yeah, Hawaii!!! This water feels so good!” We couldn’t agree more.

As we snorkeled without snorkels we spotted: needlefish, bluespine unicorn fish, yellowstripe goalfish, eyestripe surgeon, and rainbow runner, but the best sighting of the day, by far, was Phil Sanders taking center stage, hula dancing at the Black Rock Luau, a vision not to be missed. Take a peek for yourself!

Who doesn't love hula?


The last of the Hawaii photos will be coming soon, featuring a trip to Kihue, a tour of Ali’i Lavendar Farm and Surfing Goat Farm, and a final stop at a sacred burial ground near Wailuka.

Iao Valley, July 2010

A center of culture and civilization for thousands of years, Iao Valley is now known for one of Maui’s most brutal battles. We drove out to Iao Valley to mountain goat up a 5.2 mile hike straight into Cloud Supreme. As we ascended, helicopters crisscrossed above, giving aerial tours to other Iao Valley admirers, us looking up, them looking down. This hike couldn’t be more different compared to the dry moonscape of Haleakala. Come see paradise.

Next up, some overdue sun-worshipping on the beach and Phil hula dancing.

At the Salon: GoodReads Review on the anthology “Growing Up Filipino II”

Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**DISCLAIMER: This review is written by one of the contributors from the anthology. Please read with discretion.**

In her Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa writes of the mestiza consciousness: “The new mestiza copes by developing a tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity. She learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be a Mexican from an Anglo point of view. She learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural personality, she operates on a pluralistic mode–nothing is thrust out, the good, the bad, and the ugly, nothing rejected, nothing abandoned. Not only does she sustain contradictions, she turns the ambivalence into something else.” The Filipino-ness, as discussed by Rocio G. Davis in his introduction and depicted by the twenty-plus authors in this anthology, develops more than a tolerance for contradictions but zeroes in on the good, the bad, and the ugly, drawing strength, voice, character, and meaning out of the ambiguity that lies at the inherent core of Filipino and Fiilpino-American experiences. Filipino history is Pluralism, and Cecilia Manguerra Brainard through her keen compilation and organization of these deceptively simple tales shows readers the complexity of individual experiences and stories in this beautifully orchestrated anthology.

Read entire review here at Ruelle Electrique

‘Ohe’o Gulch at Kipahulu State Park: Hana II, Maui, July 2010

At five in the afternoon, you’ll find a lot of men hitch-hiking along the road to Hana. We figured they must be leaving their stands tucked in rare pockets throughout the highway. Selling shaved ice, kalua pork, or banana bread, these vendors lure adventure-seeking motorists all day long and then, soon as the clock hits quitting time, they head for home, and its difficult to get an authentic mixed plate after five since most places are closed. The only souls out and about are the mynah birds performing their Hana Highway strut as they play daredevil with the oncoming traffic. On our next trip to Maui, we hope to camp at some of the parks and then stay a couple nights at the Hana Hotel.

Hana today, the world tomorrow!

I’ao Valley trek will be chronicled next…


Hana Highway I, Maui, July 2010

The day after Fourth of July was smoky. The evening passed with the blare of sirens startling us, and we woke to smell, hear, and read about dozens of fires that blazed through the island. Our room was heavy with the scent of burning cane, but we stuck to our schedule and headed out to Hana. Along the infamous Hana Highway, a four-hour drive full of hairpin, blind turns, and one-lane bridges, from Lahaina, we stopped for one of Maui’s famous fish tacos, made with flour tortillas, fresh mahi mahi, black beans, and cabbage. Six miles before Hana, on the twisty turn-y road, at Nahiku, we had a taste of coconut candy: “hand-sliced coconut, slow baked in cane.” Delicious. The coconut candy vendor showed us his vintage bottle collection, which included an array of glass Clorox bottles dated before World War II, shaped like our plastic bleach bottles today but in beautiful green and root beer brown colors.

Hana thrusts you right into the thick of lush green jungles whereas the western side tends to be barren and dry. See for yourself.

The Hana Highway Adventure continues with more pictures to come.

Halekala: House of the Sun, Part II

On a trek like this, the more bottles of water and snacks loaded with carbs and sugars the better off you will be. Fearful of over-exhaustion and heat stroke, I had to take a breather more often than I would like to admit.  I’m not a hat person but with the sun blazing above, I really wished I had a visor, sombrero, or bonnet anythingto keep those pernicious rays off me. The red volcanic dust still clings to my shoes, a thick ash that sticks to your fingers, leaving a residue.

Next up, Hana Highway, coming soon…

Thanks for visiting!

Hiking Haleakala National Park

The Maui journey continued with a hike at Haleakala National Park. Haleakala means “House of the Sun,” and is a dormant volcano. The day was hot, the sky, perfectly clear, and the trek, out of this world. Click on the photos for a larger image and enjoy!

Part II of Haleakala National Park and more stories of Maui to come soon.

Maui, July 2010, Part I

Blessed with a honeymoon in Maui, we first checked into our lodging at the Maui Ocean Club in Lahaina, taking in the vistas from the wraparound balcony on the top floor with views of Ka’anapali Beach. The next day we hit Kapalua Beach and took a quick afternoon hike on the Kapalua Coastal Trail then followed up with a pool stop at our accommodation back in Lahaina.

The first four pictures are actually from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, visited a week before, June 23, 2010, though I wish I could say they were taken on a snorkeling-without-a-snorkel trip.

More pics and narratives from the trip to come…