Spelunking Phu Pha Phet Cave

Derick and Summer were the youngest in the group of tourists in Phu Pha Phet cave. I thought they won’t survive the two hour walk inside the cave, well I thought wrong. As a matter of fact they enjoyed it, Summer got so fascinated by the things she saw and Derick, oh well, because it’s so dark and he gets to use a flashlight.

We came as a side trip since the cave is within the vicinity of the waterfalls we went to earlier that day. Although unprepared it turned out successful. They love it and are looking forward to spelunk again.

This time though we have to prepare some things before hand like.

  • Face mask especially if your kids are asthmatics. It might be dusty inside from loose soil or bat droppings.
  • Tiny backpacks for water bottles, face towel, and the likes
  • Comfortable rubber shoes are definitely better than open loose slippers
  • Long stretchy pants would be comfortable and it would be easy to crawl or duck if there is a need to.
  • Wear mosquito repellent lotion for protection.

For more details about Phu Pha Phet Cave Satun Thailand.

Here’s a slideshow of them in the cave

I’ll Return Back Your LOVE

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You’ll Be Forever Remembered H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

 

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Photo credit

The night of 13th October 2016 is the quietest in Thailand history.  The King so loved and revered not only by Thai people but also by foreigners, has died.  People are mourning, and those who have been praying outside the hospital where he was admitted, cried their hearts out upon knowing.  My family and I are one with our Thai friends, colleagues and the entire kingdom in this mournful time.  His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will forever live in our hearts.  May he forever be remembered by his kindness, good deeds, and love for his people.

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How Do Majorettes Dress Like In Your Country?

Majorettes are dancers doing a choreographed movement, baton twirling.  They perform this during parades together with marching bands.  I remember as a grader I used to envy how great they look in their glossy, skimpy dresses and how awesome to see those tricky baton twirls.  All were always excited to see them. Young girls dreamed of becoming one but were told that only selected few could become one as there are qualifications to meet like one must be tall, slim, fair-skinned (oh so discriminating!) and must be pleasant looking.

Now living in Thailand, it’s amazing to know that anyone could be a majorette.  Qualifications? Nothing like what were mentioned above. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to join.

Amazing Thailand.

And totally amazing costume!

Majorettes here look like Moulin Rouge dancers.

FotorCreated

 

How do majorettes dress like in your country?

 

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Total Solar Eclipse: Thailand

IMG_5179 (2)
Solar Eclipse, Thailand March 9, 2016 Photo by Ryan D.

With the sky so cloudy, the spectators did not really get to see the moon move into the path and cover the entire disks of the sun revealing the corona. The sky cleared up though as the shadow of the moon was moving slowly away from the sun.

It was, nevertheless, a good experience for kids whose experiencing it for the first time. They got to use the filters issued by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand.  They got curious about the sun and the moon; and ask many questions like. Why do we have to use this? Why is it not good to look directly at the sun? Why is the sun’s color different in this photo? Why couldn’t I see the moon?

FotorCreated7

For me though, this solar eclipse is not as thrilling as the 1995 total solar eclipse in Davao City Philippines.  It was fascinating.  It happened on a broad daylight, so there was a few minutes of total darkness, some roosters even crowed.

There are 4 kinds of solar eclipses( total, annular, partial, and hybrid ), which of these have you already observed?

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Krathong Making

Here are the materials needed in making a krathong.

  • Banana trunk
  • Leaves
  • Pins
  • Flowers

Procedure:

  1. Cut banana trunk into 2 to 3 inches chunks.

    2
    chunk of banana trunk wrapped in leaves
  2. Wrap it with leaves. It could be banana or some other kind will do. You may also fold strips of banana leaves into triangular shapes resembling a lotus to cover the chunk of banana trunk with.
  3. Use pins to secure the decoration into the banana trunk base.
  4. Decorate it with different kinds of flowers.
  5. Finally, stick in a candle and incense sticks.

 

Thai people add in the krathong lock of their hair and pieces of trimmed nails.  This is to symbolize that they are want to drive off misfortune and bad things in the past.

 

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DONT’ MESS WITH THE IMMIGRATION OFFICERS

Krathong Making Contest

Loy Krathong is celebrated on the month of November.  The word “loy” means to float in English.  Krathong, on the other hand, does not have an exact English equivalent as far as I know.  If you have any idea please let us know in the comment section below.  It is somewhat like a floral “float” made from either banana trunk or bread, with a candle and incense sticks. They then float this on a river, lake, or pond.

Some schools run a contest to make krathong making even more exciting and memorable.  In the university I work with, students majoring in English were responsible in running the entire program, which started with a brief history of the celebration; followed by the krathong making; and finally the contest.  Students and staff were welcomed to participate.  Everyone gathered in the faculty hall, took the materials, and made their krathong for an hour.

 

Here are this year’s beautiful krathongs (2015)

Happy Loy Krathong!

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Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom (บัตรประกันสังคม)

Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom
Thai Insurance: Batprakansangkom

Batprakansangkom is a government insurance of Thailand. It comes as one of the benefits for working here.  There are private insurance of course if you opt for it, or if the company you’re working for is affiliated with one. Personally, though, I’ve been with the government insurance since a came almost ten years back. It may not be the best. There are better ones somewhere in the world for sure, but as a Filipino I can’t help but compare it with Philhealth.

Last month I was hospitalized, got in with nothing but my health  insurance card  and driver’s license. Meals were served. After 5 days, I walked out of the hospital with my medicine, and without paying a dime. This is totally awesome! Any Filipino who have had experience of some sort with the Philippine government insurance would totally say the same.  I wish something like this for the Philippines. Anyway, what are the benefits I got from Prakansangkom so far.

Medicine and doctor’s fee are FREE in designated hospitals and clinics.  Clinics usually open after working hours until 8.00 in the evening. Which makes sense, right? One doesn’t have to skip work or school to do a simple medical consultation or a follow-up check up. You can use it as many times as you need it.

Maternity compensation is given by Prakansangkom on the month(s) you are on maternity leave. This is given aside from the monthly salary you receive from your employer as part of the company’s maternity benefit. What is so awesome about this is that compensation is given in lump sum, without delay and without further ado, the moment you present the child’s birth certificate.  You just sit and wait for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how busy the insurance office is, and voila! You walk out with your money. For foreigners, additional documents like a copy of your passport, visa, and work permit are needed.

There are other benefits, I will talk about them in my next post.

 

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Life’s Simple Pleasures

Life's Simple Pleasures
Life’s Simple Pleasures

For mothers, WAHM or working full-time, life is neither a bed of roses nor a walk in the park.  There are many things to do that there seem to be not enough time to do everything.  There are so many things to remember that at times your brain just gets tired remembering things.  There are so many things to get done but you can’t seem to figure out where to start.  There are so many places you want to go, but you just can’t.

Oh well, these may seem like complaints.  But, despite and in spite of these, mothers are among those who are grateful and happy even at petty things.  At least that’s what I think.

Anyway, hear this. Mondays are definitely my least favorite.  Coming from a relaxing weekend, there is this feeling that you want to extend it a little bit more.  Who would want to get up early in a Monday morning, right? But you just have to, like everybody else.  So, I would literally drag myself out of bed, shower, and get dressed.  Then follow strings of errands like waking the kids up, helping them shower, putting their school uniforms on, reminding them to brush their teeth, to put on their socks, eat breakfast, drive them to school etc., and oh I forgot, I have to wake up my husband too.  All of these have to be done within two hours. Just when finally you have driven them to school and you are very well on your way to work, you suddenly remember that you forgot your toddler’s milk.  Grrrr, but yeah, what choice do I have but to buy that milk as fast as I could.  You can sense the desperation, right.  The last thing I need at this point is another inconvenience, like showing your driver’s license before getting inside the store.  But then again I have no choice but to comply. It has become a part of Thai culture to show valid ID’s upon entering any establishments large enough to have their own parking space. At least one thing I am thankful about though, which could have me blow my top had it been otherwise, was that my wallet makes access to my driver’s license and other electronic cards quick and easy.

Aah well, a simple, petty thing like having a good, convenient wallet could amazingly save ones sanity.

Life’s simple pleasures.. indeed.

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Empowered Kids Corner: Following Dad’s Footsteps

Great things start from small beginnings.

Most often than not success whatever its magnitude is, always begin with a small step forward.  This tiny effort may seem insignificant, easy but it actually makes a whole lot of difference; and could be difficult and a scary thing to do. It takes courage, support from loved ones, and a bit of “You’re dong great!”,”Keep up the good job!” here and there.

Summer showed a flair for photography early on.  Whether it is a prognostic sign of the future or just a momentary hobby she finds interesting, my husband and I see to it that she is encouraged and given every opportunity. She enjoys tagging along with her Dad’s photography group SOMCHAI Studios .

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Her photos started from these….

dsad

to these…

FotorCreated

Kids usually obey and take heed of advises from people they trust.  Fear and doubt hinder this.  That is why parents and teachers play a crucial role. If we could only create an environment of acceptance, encouragement, and trust for all children, then, they would surely reach great things.

What do you think of Summer’s photos?

What small beginnings have your children started?

This corner showcases all the creative things our little ones do, captured in photos. Be featured here by submitting your kid’s photos at mitchelle.juaban@gmail.com with a description. 
Disclaimer: By submitting your photos to mitchelle.juaban@gmail.com you are affirming you own the copyright to the photo and that you give permission for MitchRyan’s Blog to reuse your image anywhere on the website, including but not limited to the MitchRyan’s Blog, as well as using your image on MitchRyan’s pages on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. 
 

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Cha-Manaw: Lemon Iced Tea

lemon iced tea

My ultimate favorite Thai drink is the Cha-Manaw or the lemon Iced Tea, which comes in variants of hot (Cha-Manaw-Ron) and cold Cha-Manaw (Cha-Manaw-Yen). It’s main ingredients are tea juice, extracted from dried tea plant, and Manaw or lemon.

For the cold lemon iced tea, this is how they do it –  mix the extracted tea juice and sugar together in a small cup.  Pour this solution in a bigger container or cup full of ice.  Then squeeze a quarter of lemon into it.  You may increase the amount of lemon according to your own preference.  I personal like it with a lot of lemon juice.

For the hot lemon tea, just follow the instruction above except the ice part.

It is served by peddlers on the street and even in the most posh restaurant in Thailand.  Thai people from all walks of life, from kids to oldies drink Cha-Manaw.

So it’s no surprise if Thailand like India, China, and Japan has low incidence of gout, a form of arthritis. Lemon (Manaw) is an integral part of their diet.  Lemon juice is extremely beneficial in combating joint pains and gout.  It helps expel uric acid in urine. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purine-rich food like legumes, nuts, anchovies, organ meat, meat extracts, spinach, mushrooms, and alcohol and other beverages.  Excessive level of uric acid results to its crystallization and deposition in joints, ligaments, and tendons.  Consequently causing joint pains.

Below are food that help lower uric acid;

Oranges,  Papayas,  Kiwifruit, Strawberries, Bell pepper, Broccoli, Bananas, Celery, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Parsley, Pineapple, Cocoa, Vegetable oils, and Water

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  What is your favorite health drink?

Leave your comments and creative responses below ^_^

 

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