Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rediscovering Kahlil Gibran

Gubran Kahlil Gubran 1883 - 1931
The book, The Prophet came to me in about 1963 when I was an early teen and it helped me get through the rough spots and when I was in need of some inspiration. It was the only thing I can remember bringing with me to live in San Francisco, California in 1967. When ever I felt overwhelmed I would draw a hot bath, light candles and read The Prophet. This book changed the way I looked at life and helpd mold my character.

Khalil Gibran (born Gubran Khalil Gubran[1] bin Mikhā'īl bin Sa'ad; Arabic, January 3, 1883 – April 10, 1931)
"Also known as Kahlil Gibran, was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer. Born in the town of Bsharri in modern-day Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Mount Lebanon mutasarrifate), as a young man he immigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. He is chiefly known in the English speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, a series of philosophical essays written in English prose. An early example of Inspirational fiction, the book sold well despite a cool critical reception, and became extremely popular in the 1960s counterculture. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu." extracted from Wikipedia at:

Gibran's many wise passages spoke to and consoled my aching heart or anxious mind.

This is one of too many favorite passages to count:

"Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love."  Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931), The Prophet
The Prophet, On Love

"If you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

The Prophet, On Work

Life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love.

This next passage help me heal my wounded spirit:

The Prophet, on Beauty

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

On my Issues with Mortality this passage ease my discomfort: 

The Prophet, On Death

Drawing by Kahlil Gibran
and used in book The Prophet
"For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then shall you begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."    Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feliz Navidad -Chrismas family Video

I made this Christmas video on  Starring me, our daughter Alysha, Dave and my parents. They have been playing Christmas music in Puerto Princesa since Oct. 1. With just 46 days till Christmas I figured it's ok to get with the spirit.

It's sort of chopped up to view it in full width view it click this link:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Images Asia Magazine Aug-Sept. 2010

Diana Limjoco bottom left.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to feature the fine artisans and scenery as backdrops or props for the shots in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

These were all shot at the end of February 2010 for their April May 2010 Issue. It was a fun 2 day shoot. The city of Puerto Princesa, through the kindness of Mayor Edward Hagedorn, sent the crew to our most popular tourist spots, and one of the nominees as one of the new 7th New wonders of the World, the Puerto Princesa Underground or subterranean River.

Thanks to the photographers, MJ Cachero who took the magazine issue shots and Voltair Fernandez Domingo for the behind the scenes shots, with all of us under the sound direction of Images Asia Magazine publisher, Ernest Gonzaga.

 Shot at Lotus Garden Restaurant and Suites, one of our favorite restaurants at that time, the food is great and the ambiance at night to us, is one of the best in Puerto Princesa.  Fine pineapple silk scarf by Rugungan sa Tubod weavers. I'm addicted to their fine scarves and have a collection of them going.

Shot at Lotus Garden Restaurants and Suites. Fine pineapple silk scarf by Rugungan sa Tubod weavers

Fine pineapple silk scarf by Rugungan sa Tubod weavers
Photo on right: Gown by Oskar Peralta
Fine orange pineapple silk scarf by Rugungan sa Tubod weavers
Photo on right: Gown by Oskar Peralta.

Shot at the Bay Walk in Puerto Princesa by MJ Cachero for Images Asia Magazine. Diwan drummers and fire eaters headed up by Jones and Kyle Tabuhara. Large woven bracelet by Nigiro/Jones Tabujara
Original Vintage 1970's dress by famous Hollywood star fashion designer Holly Harp. Hand signed by Holly and named "Ultimate Power".  I have many wonderful memories associated with this dress, and now this is one more.

Rocking out on the Baywalk in Puerto Princesa.

Fine pineapple silk scarf by Rugungan sa Tubod weavers
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Friday, March 12, 2010

GNN Talk News TV by Annete Ablan

L to R: Annette Ablan, Dave Dewbre, Diana J. Limjoco
March 11, 2010 We were guests on GNN Talk News, hosted by Annette Ablan while we were in Manila. We are trying to pass the word on about electric motor bikes and electric tricyles as an alternative to vehicles using fossil fuels. We were able to go in depth on the pros and cons of the technology as it stands today and we feel the benefits far outweigh the cons, as long as people know and learn how to take care of them. And the retailers should have full mechanical support of units. Otherwise, it's a bust, leaving disillusioned first time electric vehicle buys with a bad taste in their mouth.

Read  more about our electric tricycles on my blog.

On the set at GNN Talk News TV
Interviewing us is Annette Ablan. Host at Talk News of GNN TV. Dave Dewbre, my hubby in Red.

One of our Electric Tricycle prototypes in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Our Etrikes and and electric motorcycle
View our blogs:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hectic exciting February

I can't believe it's the end of February. What a hectic month this has been. Seems like it was just Feb 1, and now the month has flown by. We had a friend of ours from Subic fly in for a few days to explore Puerto Princesa. He seemed to have a good time. He was the perfect guest, just went out on his own and did the things he wanted. We took him to our favorite beach an hour away for a native, eat on banana leaves picnic and we all enjoyed that. He's even coming back next week in March!
Next Merle Deen who is working with the city of PPC for an intergrated tourism plan so everyon benefits from her ideas, and printed collaterals that visitors will receive. Great gal, full of energy and great ideas. We met her the first time we came to PPC in May of 2009. We took her to our Green Tech Eco Center and she was excited about the possibilities there. We did a lot this month with the new electric tricycles at the Green Tech Eco Center. Dave refitted some of the new prototypes with more safety features among other things and now we need to work on the rest of the body. Merle seemed to really like the Etrikes too.

February 14th is a big day for Puerto Princesa, as that is when the city sponsor's the Love Affair with Nature event wherein the Mayor heads up the marriage of hundreds of people, who then have to plant new mangrove trees at location which have been degraded. Thousands of people show up for that and since our company Green Tech EcoCenter handles the official maintenance for PPC we had to dispatch all of the electric vehicles to said location by 4am that day. What a day that was!

 Dave drove our two Eagle prototype electric trikes the ET3's, which the City ordered and our partner from Manila, Willy dela Cruz came with a gentleman who is going to help us create an assembly program so we can make the etrikes here and help create jobs.

Suddenly it was the 17th and some business people from Manila came to explore the possibilities of teaming up on our Etrike technology, that day was also Dave's 53rd birthday, so after working all day and also taking my friend Mylene Abiva around town, who was here for a GoNegosyo Seminar sponsored by DTI and held at the PPC coliseum., I was able to throw a little get together for him that night at his favorite restaurant, Kinabuch. He loves the sizzling spareribs and all the waiters never even bother to give him a menu when he gets there since that's pretty much all he ever eats. Mayor Hagedorn was gracious enough to drop by as the first of 4 dinners he had to attend that night. He didn't stay long but we were all so very happy to have a few minutes of his time to ourselves. He's such a nice man, as well as an excellent Mayor.
The next day at the PPC coliseum I was scheduled as one of the first Go NeGosyo entreps to speak along with Vincent Tan at an open forum which was scheduleded  for 30 minutes but went on a little longer. That was fun and I really enjoyed the interaction with the crowd and the opportunity to inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs. I had to jump out of that event to attend to some emails and run my U.S. corporation back at my console at our home office, then head back to attend the Mayor's presentation of awards at same event to local entreps. Hop back out and then attend a dinner that night with Mylene that the Mayor hosts on behalf of the City of Puerto for important guests.

By Feb. 23 Images Asia Magazine Publisher and team and photographers arrived to do a story on me and Mayor Hagedorn, and I sort of co-produced Mayor's shoot by coordinating with his team, in between my shots, doing that kept me fairly busy till then left on the 26th.
Dancing at the Baywalk for Image's Asia Magazine shoot
This was a shot I arranged up for Images Asia to feature some of our local talents. It was at the Baywalk and the drummer/fireeater/dancers set up just at sunset and the Publisher, Ernest Gonzaga said to dance to the drums. This is one of the most fun things I enjoy. Dancing to drums. There is something so basic and primodial about the sounds of drums any way. I just to bye bye and all I hear are the drums, my heart beat and I can't help but sway.

Jones Tabujara, whose wife Kyle and daughter also drum with him made a great commotion on the Baywalk. I was so taken by the dance that I didn't realize there was a throng of people all around where we set up.

He a also designs jewelry, native crafts, works of art, hand made drums etc. made from native materials. I own several bracelets, necklaces etc. 
At Lotus Garden restaurant
This shoot was at one of mine and Dave's  favorite restuarants in town, the Lotus Garden Restaurant and Suites. They were so nice to let us use one of their cabanas as a prop and gave me a suite to change my clothes in. Very nice people that run it. We wound up taking the magazine crew to dinner there on their last night in town.

Picking up Monica and her son Santi!
Feb. 27, 2010-We picked up my niece Monica Eleazar Manzano and her hubby Ramon Manzano III, or "Montri" and their son Santi at the airport at 6pm. They were so excited to be here. Took them to the usual Kinabuch, then on to their new home not but 10 mins away from us!! It's a cute two storey affair and at a fairly reasonable rate, considering the greedy landlords have been tryin to get 20,000 Pesos for just horrid houses.  They have been planning this move or at least dreaming of it and telling us of their dream when Dave and I first moved here in Oct. 2009. Monica gives her explanation of why they moved here in a blog she wrote on the eve of their trip here.
Ramon Manzano III and wife Monica Eleazar Manzano
Since Dave and I need help building our Green Tech EcoCenter, I offered him a job with our company to help us grow it. They discussed it together and now here they are! Beginning to live their own dream.

Visit my personal website at

Cover of Images Asia Magazine April May Issue 2010
More photos of behind the scenes for Images Asia Magazine at
These two photos by by MJ CAHERO for Images Asia Magazine April Issue

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One Amazing Wedding- Singson- Michael - Jan. 4, 2010

Manila fashion designer Icon
Oskar Peralta. The first Filipino designer
to be featured in Vogue Magazine.
In December of 2009 Richelle Singson invited me to be Godmother at her wedding to Richard Peter Michael.  Her father, a family friend, just happens to be the Deputy National Security Adviser in the Philippines, and former govenor of Ilocos Sur, Luis "Chavit" Singson. As far as invitations go, it was rather last minute considering I didn't have anything suitable to wear and most of the fashion designers in Manila were already pre booked and buried in orders for the holiday season. I actually tried some of the higher end department stores, but alas, nothing would fit my shortness.

I was lucky enough to run into a social acquaintance in Facebook chat, Becky Garcia, who I know has great taste and also knows everyone around it seems, especially fashion designers. She turned me on to a designer named Oskar Peralta, who I later found out is an icon in the fashion world. I was in Manila for a doctor's appointment early in December and Oskar was kind enough to fit me in my hotel room and then made an ink drawing in less than 5 minutes, of what he thought would be flattering on my small stature. The scary part was that I would not be back in Manila to try on the gown until 2 days before the wedding, so if there were major adjustmests, I was afraid he wouldn't have time to change anything. My fears turned out be be unfounded and the dress, with minor adjustments was delivered to my hotel room in enough time the day of the wedding.

L to R: Diana Limjoco, Philippine President Gloria M Arroyo,
bride Richelle, Groom Richard Peter Michael, Phil Vice President
Noli de Castro.
What I didn't know until after I ordered the dress was that the bride had 37 other Godmothers and Godfathers that included Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Vice President Noli de Castro, Former First Lady Imelda Marcos, her son Congressman Bong Bong Marcos, two major Presidential candidates, Manny Villar and Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro, and many more congressmen, senators and other notables!  I couldn't help but feel paranoid! Had anyone decided to bomb the event, it would have taken out the heads of state, the two most popular Presidential candidates, and half the candidates it seems, including our national boxing champion and hero, Manny Pacquiao!

It all started off well enough, we picked up my cousin Tata McNamee who was also attending and we got to the church, St. James the Great Parish, in Ayala Alabang Village with time to spare. We went inside the church to get good seats for my hubby Dave and Tata, and I went to the back of the church to lineup with all the notables to wait for the wedding march to begin.

Gov. Singson, Diana, President Gloria
M Arroyo
All went well, the wedding ritual was beautiful and the bride and groom had their teary eyed moment saying their respective vows. Then all Godmothers were called to the altar to have the formal photo with the bride and groom. This is where it all went south for me. When all the other Godmothers were done, there was a small moment in time while they gathered the Godfathers. I took this opportunity to get my solo shot with the bride and groom along with President Arroyo and VP Noli de Castro. Two perfect shots and I sallied down the steps, only to trip on my gown. I slid, rather gracefully I might add, right onto my BUTT down the marble steps in front of one and all!!! When I finally landed, one of the Mayor's offered me his hand and I raised myself up with as much dignity as I could muster. What I really wanted to do was crawl under a rock!! However, not being a quitter and not wanting to totally shame my family honor, I stood right back up in front of the altar and pretended I still had some composure.

Dave, Tata and I decided to head to the reception at the beautiful Byzantine Fernbrook Garden thus I was able to avoid the looks of pity and I had time to go into denial about the whole thing by the time we got to the reception. Somehow one of the waiters managed to spill some grease on my beautiful gown without me knowing it, until Dave pointed it out to me. Well nothing to be done for it there. Strike two for this event. I took it in stride. It was nothing to falling on my butt at the church.
Dave Dewbre, Diana Limjoco, boxing champion and
PI Icon Manny Paciquiao

We walked around and talked to those we knew. I walked around getting the invitation signed by as many of the Godparents I could find and then I sprained my ankle. I couldn't believe my bad luck. I managed to hobble to our table where I remained with a napkin full of ice on my ankle,which I asked one of the waiters to get for me. My spirits totally whacked out at this point, and in a great deal of pain, I asked for a wheel chair to be brought to me, and we skulked out a side door, with only a couple of tables witnessing my horrible luck. But of course as someone else pointed out, I looked great, and I guess that was all that mattered!

Dave Dewbre, Diana Limjoco, Imelda Marcos and Tata Roxas McNamee

The beautiful bride, Richel Louise Singson Michael, and handsome groom, Richard Peter Michael

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Facebook | My Photos - Showroom Puerto Princesa

UPDATE - June 2015
The eco center has been closed since it was way before it's time and we have moved on to the countryside outside of the city. We are into solar and sustainable living ways now.

Green Tech Eco Center, our showroom in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines is coming along nicely. Electric Trikes to arrive by Feb. 2, 2010. We will show case them here. It is also the official service center for all the of the City's electric vehicles. As far as I know, it's the only dedicated Electric vehicle service center in the Philippines.
Facebook My Photos - Showroom Puerto Princesa

Mural painted by local artists Mario and Tontong

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Living in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

We moved to Puerto Princesa, Palawan in October of 2009. It's a small backwoods type of town, but the people are mostly friendly and helpful. It's quite inconvenient as there are no repair shops for our Ford Expedition truck, and only 1 supermarket in the entire town. Yet somehow, it brings me back to the time I while I was growing up in the then sleepy town of Batangas, Batangas, which was not yet a city when I lived there. It's easy to make friends here and those we have made make it worth the daily inconveniences. I like the small town community feel and I am hoping to get more involved with projects that will help educate and move the population to Zero household waste, sometime in the future.

Mayor Edward Hagedorn, Diana Limjoco
and Dave Dewbre
We met the esteemed and well loved mayor of the city, Mayor Edward Hagedorn, back in May of 2009; it was love at first sight for all of us. He is very concerned about keeping the city (one of the largest cities by way of land mass in the entire Philippines) and does something about it. He's quite the legend in his own time and has turned out to be a very good family friend whom we all cherish.

Puerto Princesa Underground
River tour

When one hears of Palawan, the first thing that comes to mind usually is El Nido, a tourist spot with pristine beach with emerald green waters, a 6 hour drive north for us. Puerto Princesa is not about beaches, although about an hour out of the city there are a few good ones. It's a city in a forest. We do have beaches but not the clear placid and emerald green coves that can be seen in the north. Most of the population of Palawan live in Puerto Princesa. We have a lot of Mangrove forests here which dot the shoreline. I've learned so much about how mangroves protect our land mass in a short time.

One of the major tourist attractions here is the Puerto Princesa Underground river, also known as the St. Paul Subterannean river. It is a Unesco World Heritage site and has voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Before it was well known to the rest of the world, Puerto Princesa used to get 7000 or so tourists per year. Now that it's one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, tourism has jumped to over 240,000 in one year. (UPDATE- July 2012- Tourism well over 600K this year)  The investors cannot build hotels and services fast enought to accomodate them. It's attracted people like me to move here and it's also created a rather large housing shortage. As in all places that see a lot of tourists, housing prices are up and skewed, and I believe it's creating quite an imbalance in the economy, or soon will.

My elderly, but spry parents moved as well, and they have already bought a house near us. My dad, Ramon Limjoco, is 90 and mom, Helen Limjoco is 84. They are still adjusting to the little nuances of the town and the lack thereof of many little conveniences we take for granted in the larger cities like Makati, where they onced lived.

One of the bigger annoyances while driving are the ubiquitous tricycles with a sidecar. They are like an infestation of ants. In most large cities like Manila, it's the jeepney that is everywhere. Here, because most everyting is just about 15 minutes away and the streets are narrow, the tricycles rule. They drive at night without headlights or brake lights making the roads unsafe for all.  They don't even bother to look when merging into traffic! Their street manners are non existant. How there are not more accidents is beyond me.

Dave is introducing the new electric tricycle this week when they arrive from Manila.

We hope to replace every gas powered tricycle to these electric versions someday so that Puerto Princesa city will not become a smog ridden place like many other places in the Philippines. We have a showroom  called Green Tech EcoCenter and it's being prepared now to recieve the first prototypes of the new eTrikes ordered up by Mayor Hagedorn on behalf of the City of Puerto Princesa. We will also sell electric motorcycles, because it seems that is the second most popular way of getting around town, and gas bikes are everywhere belching fumes and creating lots of noise.

I miss my friends in the city, but having lived in Subic Freeport in Olongapo, Zambales, I am used to the solitude. We lived in a housing subdivision high on a hill overlooking the beautiful forests, but it was isolating for me socially. Most of my family and friends live in Manila, Makati or Alabang, all within the Metro Manila area. One nice thing is that it's only a 1 hour flight away.

 I think one of the big reasons we moved here is that it's much easier to get around to take her places like the little beach down the road. Even with the gas Tricycles everywhere, most everything is only 15 minutes away and we felt that this would be a healthier place for Alysha to grow up in. In a couple of years she will be going to school and it will be easier for us to take her to and fro in a healthy environment and clean air.

Raising a child at my age is challenging enough. I have never been much for kids. Even when I was a kid I didn't like kids!!! But she is teaching me patience and she's good for my parents and Dave adores her!

Update July 2012: We have bought our own 2 hectare slice of land and are learning and practicing sustainable living and recycling trash into useable items.

Visit my personal website at:
Dave's website:

Blog of Diana J. Limjoco of the Clan Limjoco