Sunday, February 27, 2011


The Pinnacle Desert, Nambung National Park, Cervantes, Western Australia
My hours of stay in Western Australia are numbered, tomorrow at 6:45am a Virgin Blue flight will take me back to South Australia.  Generally, I enjoyed my stay in this state: the locals I’ve met were so accommodating, the transportation was quick and easy which had given me the chance to visit some interesting destinations in and surrounding Perth.  The Pinnacle Desert in Cervantes, the lovely buildings in Fremantle and the very relaxing, eye-satiating beach in Cottesloe are the best three for me, so far! 

I was also blessed to catch the earliest mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral this morning, the gospel reminded me to set aside all my personal anxieties and let tomorrow worry for itself.  

But there’s no such thing as a perfect holiday.  I had accidentally dropped and broke the polarizing filter of my camera down the cliff of Kings Park and Botanical Garden last Friday; good thing the shops close at nine during Fridays so I was lucky to have the time to purchase a new one in preparation for the Pinnacle tour the next day- where I needed to have that accessory the most. 

Before I left the backpacker resort early this morning, I asked the receptionist to secure me a booking for an airport shuttle tomorrow so I could get to the terminal without spending much dollars.  But he said that I could ask another receptionist assigned in the evening to do it for me because, he added, the Perth Airport Shuttle booking service is open twenty-four hours a day, anyway.  

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

And at about a quarter past seven this evening, after being told by the receptionist on duty, I was surprised and terribly upset to know that shuttle bookings are only until six in the evening.  No choice, the fault or laziness of the other receptionist will force me shell out three times the amount of the shuttle service for the early morning taxi tomorrow.     
In and out of the workplace, in this life, every person has nowhere to escape from various challenges and worries in this universe!  But look at these attractive limestone formations in the Pinnacle Desert; they were believed to be a mixture of broken seashells blown by strong winds into the location where they are now.  Rain, the vegetation that had grown and died, sedimentation, sunlight, strong winds, and soil erosions that had happened for millions of years were the complex phenomena that occurred to reveal the beauty of these Pinnacles!         


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two birds at a time

It was 36'C in Perth when I saw this pigeon seeking refuge under the shade of a tree infront of the Western Australian Museum.
 I missed to publish a post yesterday, but yes I pursued my trip and I am currently in Perth.  For two successive days I have been enjoying my stay here as Western Australia gradually unfolds herself before me.  I’ve been in this continent for more than four years now but this is my first visit to the Golden State.  I decided to fly out of South Australia after completing a batch of a relatively successful broiler-growing cycle.   We’ll not be getting day-old chicks until the fourth of March so I considered this as an excellent opportunity to (1) explore W.A. while at the same time (2) recharging my ‘batteries’.

The place is nice and interesting; the city centre is bigger and busier than Adelaide and sincerely- the people are very friendly!  After visiting the Perth Visitor Centre, browsing some travel brochures and seeing a small part of the W.A. countryside up to 270 kilometres north of Perth today, I started to fear that I might eventually fall in love with this state and forget about my long-time stand that Queensland is my most favourite state in Australia.  

A lone seagull on the shore of Indian Ocean; near Cervantes, Western Australia

This is it for now because my mortal physique is screaming that I need to go to bed.  I promise to post some great photos I’ve taken in Western Australia soon...


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seriously 'flooded'...

I've been very busy in the chookery (chicken farm) for three days now; it's harvest time and we're emptying the sheds.  There's a very tiny part of me that says I am happy because after a hundred and twenty days I can finally have my three-day break!  For four weeks now, I couldn't figure out what I have been feeling- whether this is burn out, depression, homesickness or love.  I cannot blame myself for including love in my differential diagnosis because even Gabriel Garcia Marquez had eloquently associated love with cholera.

Anyhow, I have started to regret meeting and knowing someone in my life.  But I don't want to ruin my three-day break from work with all these negative thoughts and feelings that I have had for almost thirty days.  So despite the financial insufficiency that I am experiencing these days (see this is another worry), I still spared some pretty penny for my trip to Western Australia this coming weekend.  Well, my trip is simple, I am just looking at exploring the city of Perth and visiting the moonscape-like place located 270 kilometres north of the city- The Pinnacles.

It was early this afternoon when I, at last, made up my mind for this trip so I rang the Flight Centre and booked a complete package.  But I needed to go to the store and pick-up the documents; so I drove all the way to Elizabeth and hurriedly went back 'home' (or 'farm', I live in the farmhouse) to prepare the chicken sheds for the final catch this evening... and on my way home, it was almost sunset.  Before I entered the town of Port Wakefield, I noticed the sea water flooding this tidal flat located just a few hundred metres outside the town centre.  For me, the lighting was nice so I pulled over and took some photographs; this is the best, so far:

The phenomenon had really caught my attention because it was my first time to see the water this deep in this tidal flat, everytime I drove past the area before, it was always relatively dry.  I hope you like this photo.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another 'first time'...

I've been in Australia for more than forty-nine months now, but it was my first time to attend a funeral in this country this morning.  It was very different from what I've experienced in the Philippines; I, honestly, have the impression that the occasion was a scene in a Hollywood movie and I was one of the background actors. 

My boss's dad passed away seven days ago, and before taking his body to the crematory late this afternoon they had the funeral mass and eulogy this morning at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Clearview, South Australia.

The event was solemn and emotional, and there were approximately 200 people present- 68 of them came from overseas.  Four members of the family gave memorial speeches in honour of their patriarch named Jose- who was a full-blooded Spaniard but born in Manila, Philippines.  At the age of 50, Jose and his wife took the risk of migrating in Australia in 1971 to seek for a better future for his seven sons and two daughters; and he succeeded.

One of his sons, who spoke in behalf of the family, said that who they are now- their life and their continuously prospering poultry business is all because of their Papa.  And even if he's gone, his memories and legacy will always be with them.

Like this photo that I've captured just this evening; after the sun had set, it left behind this beautiful and meaningful colors to the world!   


Sunday, February 20, 2011

...bigger in Faith

The Patron, St. Vincent de Paul, is depicted in this glass-stained window of the Roman Catholic church in Port Wakefield, South Australia.  The parishioners had generously contributed to pay for the cost of this artwork.  There are only few devoted parishioners in this community, though (less than ten)... the reason why at the base of this lovely window there's an engraved brass plaque that reads:  Small in number yet bigger in faith. 


Saturday, February 19, 2011

In due time

It was cloudy, raining and drizzling the whole day yesterday, and last night I didn't have the chance to see the February 2011 full moon.  But tonight, after shutting the blinds of the chicken sheds, I noticed this round, golden ball rising in the east... then I decided to take a photograph.

Indeed, there are times in this life when we couldn't get to see or achieve something right on the exact moment that we want it, but the universe has it's own special way of showing or giving it to us on a different but surely the perfect time... probably not exactly the same as what we desire but it could be as lovely or even more beautiful than we want it to be.  


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Look up

A juvenile magpie perching on my telly antenna.  There were, actually, three of them when I was aiming my camera but the other two had managed to flew away right before I pressed the shutter button down.  

This omnivorous bird is native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, and though they have the same colour, Australian magpies are not related to European magpies.  They are classified as passerine birds.  (Source:  Wikipedia) 


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Burn out

One of the company's new chicken sheds.  Port Wakefield, South Australia
I have a lot of stories to tell, but haven't got the luxury of time to write... 

At work, I have more than enough in front of me, my plate is so full!  24/7.  Shed alarms on my mobile phone (ringing even if I'm in the supermarket), feed stocktake, feed ordering, dozens of work-related phone calls in a day, bird weighing, night-time harvest (5 nights a week), daily mortality collection, water supply problems, hot temperature... No excuses, no day off, and no right to take a legitimate sickie unless it's really bad.  

The farm capacity has doubled since December 2010- from 250,000 to 500,000 chickens... and until now the company is still struggling to find a qualified person to complete our staff so we can easily run the 'show'.  There are qualified people out there but the next question is their interest or willingness to work and live in a secluded place like this- nothing but ten chicken sheds, fifteen grain silos, and four water tanks standing in the middle of the infinite, auburn South Australian plain... a modern chookery in a small town located 98 kilometres northwest of the city with the population of 600 people.      

And just like in the previous years, I am facing the same challenge- I am in captivity!  I am a captive of my ambitions- so powerful that I cannot just easily or instantly leave this job at this point of time until I am totally cleared of any immigration issue.  Don't get me wrong, I like the work experience here (dealing with this state-of-the-art chicken farming facility, probably one of the best in the world), I wanted to stay longer...  I am just in a desperate need of an assistant; and every time our job offer was turned down, I am considering to pack up- which is not and will never be a good option at all. 

Seventy-nine days more to go... and as I get closer, and closer to my eligibility for Australian citizenship, the 'game' is getting tougher; really, really tougher!  I am seriously tired, and honestly, I don't know how much further can I go.   

(By the way, happy new year and happy Valentine's day to all!)