Ishmael Ahab is Still on Leave

Ishmael Ahab is busy

First of all, I want to say “thank you” to all my good friends here who are patiently waiting for my return. I regret to say that I am not coming back yet. I am yet to finish my blog maintenance and there are scores of things to do. I’m still clearing my blog of dead links, and, unfortunately, there are hundreds of them. Good thing that I found the Best Dead Link Checker, which I highly recommend.

I am enjoying my leave from blogging. I got the time to think about the many aspects of my life, including my blogging activities. I managed to craft a rough plan for the future of my blogs.

There also many things that are happening in my personal (a.k.a. offline) life. I am still fully loaded at work and full of stress (well there’s nothing new about this). My Beloved Wife Lei’s belly is now the size of a watermelon and it continues to grow. The Ob/gyne warned her to lessen her food intake or else she’ll undergo a Caesarean operation.

Our baby is kicking now. I can feel him/her move inside Lei’s belly. This makes me so excited to meet him/her.

By the way, we will know the sex of our child in the next pregnancy check-up. I might give a big announcement about that soon. But before I do that, I challenge you, Dear Readers, to guess our child’s sex. Is it a boy or is it a girl? Leave your guess in the comment below.

Well, that’s it for now. I will be back to my lair and continue my “leave of absence”.

I hope to resume blogging in the middle of October.


Image courtesy of iosphere /

Ishmael F. Ahab is on Leave

Me balancing life
In my regular job, I am entitled to 5 days of mandatory leave. This 5-day leave is mandatory because the powers-that-may thought a one week vacation will de-stress employees, which in will turn boost production.

I think that those who made these “leave rules” are correct and I need to apply that to my blogs right now.

There are plenty of things that’s happening right now and I couldn’t squeeze all of it in a day. There are plenty of things running in my head too. And because of these things, my way of writing is affected so much that some of my blog posts took 3 days to 1 week to finish.

I suddenly lost my voice and I need to regain it. So, I will be taking a break for the remaining weeks of September.

This doesn’t mean that I’m closing shop. The truth is I’m opening my blog to those who wanted to guest post. So if you want to share your stories on this blog (and my other blogs), please leave a comment.

Good bye for a while Dear Reader. Just wake me up when September ends.


Image courtesy of Jesadaphorn /

An Open Letter to Karate Kid: Where’s My Unli Rice?

Dear Karate Kid,

First of all, I wanted to say that I intended this to be a normal blog post about your shop. My Beloved Wife Lei and I dined at your place in Lucky Chinatown Mall two or three weeks ago and we had no problem with anything. We actually enjoyed your Beef Teppanyaki and veggie meal. In fact, we availed of the one-time refill of rice and red iced tea.

Karate Kid's beef teppanyaki

What prompted me to write this open letter is the great loss that I felt when I read the receipt of our meal:

Karate Kid receipt

It said: “Beef Teppanyaki w/ unliric D”

It is clear as the clearest bottled water. We can get unlimited servings of rice from the meal that we bought.

I felt so devastated. Imagine how much calories those unlimited rice will add to my belly.

But don’t worry Karate Kid. We didn’t push the issue to your crew. I don’t want them to feel devastated as I was.

My only request is that I get more rice the next time I visit your restaurant. Don’t worry, I only eat up to 4 cups of rice.

Thank you very much and I am hoping for your quick action.


Ishmael F. Ahab

A Peek at the New Pinoy Komiks for the Youth: Patron Comics

Patron Comics
Filipinos for Life president Anthony James Perez has always been busy with things related to the pro-life advocacy. Whether it is in giving talks, lobbying in congress or in the senate, or organizing seminars in schools and parishes, AJ and his cheery group of pro-lifers (of which I am a part of!) have been dedicating their time and talents for defense of life.

Recently, his latest project is something that caught my attention. He is now writing a series of comic books, and I took the time to ask him a few questions about his endeavor.

“It’s called Patron Comics, a series of comic books intended for the entertainment and catechism of the youth,” he said. He explains: “It’s 100% entertainment infused with 100% catechism. I was thinking of a way to reach the youth and get their attention in order to reinforce and supplement the Catholic education they receive from their schools.”

The story is set in a small rural city that is rocked by CPS, or comatose possession syndrome, a kind of demonic possession where the victim is comatose and cannot be exorcised the usual way.  Our protagonists are a group of teens, and they have to enter a spiritual dimension called the Portal, a dimension that reflects the sins of the possessed, in order to release the soul of the possessed  from CPS and the exorcism to take place. Meanwhile, they also live normal lives outside of their duties as holy warriors. Mentored by a priest who develops their talents and character in an effort to lead them along the path to holiness, the team tries to lead lives of virtue, but struggle with their personal and family issues. In a nutshell, they battle demons, while waging war against their own inner demons.
A hero in Patron Comics

It seemed that the characters are really ordinary people trying to become saints. AJ agrees. “I made them very conflicted; on the one hand, they are still in the process of confronting and resolving their own issues; on the other hand, there’s this mentor who teaches them that being a saint is the only way to go for them, and he develops them from an ordinary band of misfits into gentlemen and ladies of virtue.”

I could easily see how astonishing artwork was, and we have to compliment the creative team of Gilbert Monsanto (penciler), Raymond Ferrer  (inker), and Bryan Arfel Magnaye (Colorist), and Jayboy Acosta (editor, layout). “Yes, I got the best team to create the best comic books for our youth. They deserve nothing else but the best.”

He goes on with the challenges of a project of this scale. “My intention is to reach all high school students of all our Catholic schools. Since this is the first time I am doing this, and this being a personal endeavor I represent no bigwig nor maverick millionaire, it was quite hard at the beginning to convince people that I am serious with this.”

A preview of Patron Comics
“I was trying to take a look inside myself a few months ago and the inspiration came when I realized that I am a man who was received excellent education from the Salesians of Don Bosco, but those values and those teachings were reinforced by what I read, saw, and heard in the media, and fortunately during my time, we had good books and were shown good movies.  So I said to myself, what if I could do the same for the young ones today? To strengthen the Catholic education of our youth through entertainment? We never, never should underestimate the power of good media, and that’s why I am doing what I do now. “

I asked when and where the book will be available. “The book should be out by last week of October or first week of November, barring any snags. When it comes out, it will be offered to schools via subscription. I am still negotiating with popular bookstores for Patron to be available on their shelves. But I do accept pre-orders. Contact me at or 0922-827-7772.”

There you go. I hope all parents, religion teachers, school admins, and principals take note. This is one book series that should be read by your students, especially for Catholic schools  The series will start with an introductory book called Patron: The Temptation of Strange, which will be launched late October or early November, and the next books will be available via monthly subscription starting next school year.

More preview of their comics may be viewed at the Patron Comics Facebook page.

Honda Bay Tour (Part 1): A Big Disappointment at Starfish Island

My Beloved Wife Lei likes going to the beach. During our last vacation to Davao, she planned (with her sister) a side trip to Samal Island. When it was announced that their company outing will be at a beach in Batangas, she immediately told me that she wanted to go, as in really (really) wanted go. Knowing that Lei is a certified beach person, I chose the Honda Bay Tour over the Underground River Tour when I booked our travel package in Cash Cash Pinoy.

The Honda Bay Tour allows us to visit many islands and I think that the more islands that we visit, the more beaches that we will see (the more happy that Lei will be (and as some people say: happy wife = happy life)).

Honda Bay is big body of water north of Puerto Princesa. The bay is not named after the car manufacturer Honda or the Street Fighter E. Honda. Its name actually came from the Spanish word “hondo” which means “deep”. This means that we can also Honda Bay as “Deep Bay”.

After our hearty breakfast at Balay Inato, our tour guide Roger came to pick us up. We joined a group other island hoppers composed of a Pinoy family of 7 and two ladies from USA. Our destination is the wharf at Barangay Sta. Lourdes.

Aquatic Gears: the most FAIL snorkel and booties rental shop in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

We made a short stop over at Aquatic Gears in Brgy. Tagburos, where we rented snorkeling masks (150 pesos each) and booties (150 pesos per pair). Since my camera is not waterproof, I also rented a sealed camera case for 250 pesos.

Our booties

We reached Sta. Lourdes wharf few minutes before 8AM. Since we’re in packaged tour, we didn’t need to queue and to haggle with boatmen. Roger did all of those things, including the bureaucratic rituals (paying the terminal fee, etc.) so it was all hassle free for us.

Our outrigger boat for the Honda Bay tour (Puerto Princesa, Palawan)

I read somewhere that it is better to go to Sta. Lourdes wharf to avoid the long lines, especially if you are doing a do-it-yourself (DIY) Honda Bay Tour. Travel on a Shoestring said that cut-off time at the wharf is 2PM so it is really good if you start your tour in the early morning.

Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

The sea was calm so our boat trip was uneventful. This is perfect for Lei because she is not accustomed to sea travel. A little pounding of waves is enough to make her shriek.

An island in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

It is good to visit Palawan before the start of the typhoon season. Presence of typhoon anywhere in the Philippines brings bad weather to Puerto Princesa. Bad weather means cancellation of boat tours.

After around 30 minutes, we finally reached the farthest island in our itinerary. This island is the Starfish Island.

Starfish Island of Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

I believe that this island was named because of the starfish that are abundant in the area. This island sits on the coral reef so it’s a perfect place for snorkeling. Unfortunately, we had to pass through some difficulties before we can meet Nemo and his friends. In fact, we fought monsters before we could snorkel.

My daring escape from Honda Bay's Giant Clam
That's me, trying to escape the giant clam.

While other island hoppers are still fighting their monsters, Lei and I did a little tour of our own.

Guard House at Starfish Island, Honda Bay

There is nothing much to shout about Starfish Island. It has fine sands, which is typical of the islands in Honda Bay. The place is under-developed and has shrubs and trees in the center. I think that the government does not allow commercial developments on the island to preserve the beauty of Honda Bay.

Beach of Starfish Island, Honda Bay

The beauty of Starfish Island is not on the island itself but in its seas. We were stunned by the coral reefs and fishes darting around the place. Our knowledgeable boatman told us the name of the fishes and corals that we saw.

It felt so good to be surrounded by fishes. I am so glad because such beauty still exists in the Philippines.

Our joy turned into disappointment because of one person who didn’t do his job well. I’m referring to that person in Aquatic Gears who made a lousy job in sealing my camera. The paper that was meant to hold the camera in place actually blocked the lens.

My fail underwater shot in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Great job Aquatic Gears. Great job.

I was so disappointed and angry at the same time that it spoiled our happy moments in Starfish Island. Violent thoughts ran in my mind and I felt myself turning into Incredible Hulk. Thank God that I realized that anger will not do anything good, so I calmed down and just enjoyed the whole tour.

More visitors to Starfish Island, Honda Bay

We didn’t stay long in Starfish Island because we still had other islands to visit. We really had a good time snorkeling the sea. We enjoyed snorkeling so much that we think of going to El Nido in the future. Well, I guess, we should buy a waterproof camera so will not experience another disappointment like what we experienced in Starfish Island.


Read more of our adventures in Honda Bay:

Honda Bay Tour (Part 2): Killing Time at Luli Island
Honda Bay Tour (Part 3): Finale in Cowrie Island

Our Overnight Stay in Balay Inato, Puerto Princesa

I mentioned in the previous post that the travel agency sent us Balay Inato instead of the hotel mentioned in the deal that we bought via CashCashPinoy. Well, that inconvenience was not a problem because they booked us in a good hotel, which is Balay Inato.

Balay Inato in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Upon arrival, the hotel clerk immediately ushered us into our room. They also gave us two glasses of cold iced tea to quench our thirst (how thoughtful of them :-))

Our room has one bed, a bathroom/toilet, a small table, and a cable TV. This is just simple room but it was cozy enough for us. And since we’re here to explore Puerto Princesa, we didn’t need a fancy room.

Our room in Balay Inato

Our room may be simple from the inside, but from the outside it looks – well – impressive.

Rooms in Balay Inato

Balay Inato’s accommodations looks like houses, which made us feel that we have our own home in Palawan.

Aside from its budget-friendly rooms, Balay Inato boasts of its restaurant: the Haim Chicken Inato which is hailed as the best chicken house in Puerto Princesa City. In fact, hotel guests will have to pass by the restaurant before reaching the accommodations. It is as if the management wants you to dine first before you book a room.

Haim Chicken Inato in Balay Inato

Since we’re not keen on searching for other restaurants after a tiring flight, we just had our dinner at their restaurant. We were not disappointed because their dishes was so good. My Beloved Wife Lei’s favourite is their sinigang na hipon. If you’re curious about Balay Inato’s restaurant, I suggest that you read my post about our dining experience at Haim Chicken Inato.

Haim Chicken Inato's chicken inato
The popular chicken inato.

All in all, our overnight stay in Balay Inato went good. We got the much needed rest that we needed, thanks to this hotel’s location of being far away from major thoroughfares. After a good night’s sleep and the delicious (complimentary) breakfast, we’re ready to face the day and go touring Honda Bay.

P.S. I have a little complaint about our stay in Balay Inato. It is about the water coming out of the water. It had a hint of bad smell. It was just a minor thing and I think they can fix that by cleaning their tank.


If you want to know more information about this Puerto Princesa hotel, I suggest that you visit Balay Inato's website.