18 Feb2008


These were rather unusual footprints left on a powdery white sand beach on the island of Coron, Palawan. I have really large flat feet so you will understand why these “foot” prints seemed a bit “Jurassic” to me. I figured out what left the prints after a few seconds, but someone else I was with initially guessed a large chicken, possibly dragging a stick or other item that would make the continuous long line in the sand… Frankly, the prints were really rather enormous and you couldn’t help but check the nearby beach just in case some bizarre being came to say hello. They were left by a pretty large bayawak or monitor lizard, say 4+ feet in length! And as it lumbered along the beach, its tail swayed and left the long continuous line among the chicken like claw prints. Cool, huh? The last time I came across lizards this big was while sunbathing by the pool on Lagen Island at El Nido Resort several years ago, and two humongous lizards slithered by my chair and semi-freaked everyone out… Not to mention the thought that they might take a leisurely swim in the pool while there were people in it!


But it is unexpected moments like these where I do wonder what “footprint” I will eventually leave on this planet. There is so much talk about “carbon footprints” these days (amazing what a catchy phrase can do) that the phrase “leaving a mark on the world” seems to have taken a back seat. There are those who would like to leave massive structures like the pyramids, fabulous inventions like the 747 or airconditioning, or a cure for an awful disease. I think I have seriously scaled back my earlier youthfull ambitions, now I just want to leave as little of a discernable imprint as possible…


I will be thrilled if I can continue to find beauty in a stunningly large and gorgeous kalachuchi tree…


…marvel at the thousands of years of erosion needed to craft these jagged edges of rock…


…have a simple lunch of grilled reef fresh seafood under a nipa hut…


…and leave my own humongous duck-like prints on a remote beach, only to be washed away by the waves of the next high tide…


Sometimes it doesn’t take much to realize that at the end of a simply wonderful day, while watching a postcard perfect sun set, it isn’t going to be about the “great” things you leave behind, but rather, what you choose not to.



  1. Edik says:

    hahaha i really thought the first few pics were your footprints. sorry.

    Feb 18, 2008 | 4:02 pm


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  3. kasseopeia says:

    Wow! The pictures are gorgeous! Especially those of the sunset and the water around the jagged rocks. :)

    You have already left a mark in my life: my inspiration for finally working on my food/travel blog. Yey!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 4:30 pm

  4. suzette says:


    Feb 18, 2008 | 5:14 pm

  5. Mandaragat says:

    Nice pix MM! We’re heading home by June for 1 month vacation. I’m kind of torn between Cebu or Colon, anything that you can recommend would be a big help.

    Feb 18, 2008 | 5:38 pm

  6. Lei says:

    the pictures are stunning!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 5:49 pm

  7. bernadette says:

    we also have a monitor lizard here by the name of Cha-li. He’s about 7 feet long and ate one of our doves. One afternoon, I saw him checking out our balcony…all i can say was impressive!

    Writing this blog leaves many of your ‘footprints’ in my memory!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 6:09 pm

  8. Teresa says:

    Beauty untouched…stunningly lovely!!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 6:45 pm

  9. mardie c",) says:

    pang-postcard material talaga ang mga pics mo MM. at sa bayan natin hindi talaga tayo mauubusan ng mga magagandang tanawin. these pictures alone will be enough to lure or entice a tourist or two looking for wonderful places to see.

    Feb 18, 2008 | 6:53 pm

  10. Joey says:

    “Sometimes it doesn’t take much to realize that at the end of a simply wonderful day, while watching a postcard perfect sunset, it isn’t going to be about the “great” things you leave behind, but rather, what you choose not to.”

    Wonderful words MM…wonderful indeed…

    Feb 18, 2008 | 7:18 pm

  11. nina says:

    The sunset is awesome! Actually, all the photos are awesome! Makes me wanna go home !!!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 8:04 pm

  12. kitkathie says:

    Really awesome sight! Sana makapunta ako!!!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 8:46 pm

  13. chunky says:

    as i left the working world to “be” with my children when they were at that awkward age of being molded, founded, and grounded, i thought that “turning out” people is the best job for me. how our children would turn out, with their abilities to succeed or to fail with the knowledge that they can go back to their foundation, is a great thing to leave behind.

    Feb 18, 2008 | 8:57 pm

  14. ECC says:

    MM … what beautiful pictures and meaningful words! When I was young, my mom used to bring back a boiled bayawak’s egg from the market in Blumentritt. Not knowing what a bayawak was, I just enjoyed eating the gooey egg. These days, I just shudder to even think about it!!!!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 10:08 pm

  15. Silly Lolo says:

    What a wonderful post, MM. I like how you wove the Bayawak’s footprint into a discussion on what we should all leave as a personal imprint.
    Isn’t it amazing how a few more years can make one more caring and more insightful?
    I can see more wisdom and peace in your inner you and you should feel good about that.
    Don’t get me wrong, I still think old age sucks!
    Again, a sincere Thank You for this particularly wonderful post. You are making life more pleasurable for this old man.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 12:12 am

  16. Raneli says:

    Posts like yours are Godsend..thanks for making our day with your insights..wonderful photographs..and yes..glorious food!

    Feb 19, 2008 | 1:36 am

  17. Myra P. says:

    Like Chunky, the only “imprint” I care about leaving behind is my imprint on my kids. I flushed ambition down the toilet years ago. But hey, I think we should all still ambition to make that feeding program a permanent reality. These are the kinds of footprints people should be making in this world.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 1:42 am

  18. Silly Lolo says:

    AMEN, Myra P! And believe me, there are many of us with you on that one.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 8:42 am

  19. linda says:

    Beautiful post and photos,MM!

    Feb 19, 2008 | 9:01 am

  20. mrs m says:

    simply gorgeous pictures, MM.
    the footprints could have been the subject of another contest,
    “name the animal that left the footprints”. i thought they were of the pawikan’s.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 9:56 am

  21. Beth says:

    I love this entry! It is so thought inspiring!I think the best footprint a parent can leave behind is how you raise and mold your child.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 12:19 pm

  22. Ley says:

    The ability to appreciate the simple joys in life is in itself a gift. The people involved in the ZTE scandal should read this feature to realize what truly matters. What the hell did they intend to do with the US130Million?

    Feb 19, 2008 | 12:23 pm

  23. eej says:

    Nice piece, MM. We should all do our share in making this world a better place.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 2:26 pm

  24. Jennifer says:

    MM, did you fiddle around with the aperture settings on your camera for these gorgeous pics? :)

    Feb 19, 2008 | 2:50 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    Jennifer, I wouldn’t even know where the aperture is…hahaha. No, I didn’t do anything but point and shoot. :)

    Feb 19, 2008 | 2:52 pm

  26. portugalbear says:

    Hi MM,

    I know what you meant by people getting freaked out by the monitor lizard. i saw one in Indonesia and they really look scary. almost like baby crocodiles. but you’re right, its not everyday you come acros such creatures.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 5:53 pm

  27. Eileen Clement says:


    Feb 19, 2008 | 6:02 pm

  28. Maria Clara says:

    Amazing sunset and fabulous rock formation! Your feeding program, providing unselfish assistance with your staff in clearing up some land title issue, sharing of your market finds, travel and dining experience and rants are your legendary footprints!

    Feb 20, 2008 | 4:21 am


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