July 11, 2015

MY PARTNER RAUL is from The Philippines, and we’ve been together now 12 years, married (with my sister officiating) in 2008.  We met online in 2003, and a month later I flew to Manila where he met me at Aquino International Airport.  My sponsorship of him as my ‘conjugal partner’ brought him here in 2007, and Raul is now an LPN, whose specialty area is Geriatrics.

The small Barangay of San Jose, Plaridel, Bulacan, features rice fields whose rhythms set the tone for the annual life cycle of villagers and livestock, including the stolid and dependable beast of burden, the Carabao.


“Bulacan Dawn”, watercolour, 43cm x 74cm (17″ x 29″), Arches Cold Press Paper 140 lb

Water buffaloes are well adapted to a hot and humid climate. Water availability is of high importance in hot climates since they need wallows, rivers or splashing water in order to reduce the heat load and thermal stress. They thrive on many aquatic plants and in time of flood will graze submerged, raising their heads above the water and carrying quantities of edible plants. They eat reeds, giant reeds, bulrush, sedges, water hyacinth and marsh grasses. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carabao)

There is something so completely humbling about how humans are graced with the educational presence of massively-strong animals whose disposition is nonetheless docile, coupled with a willingness to be put to work with little being asked in return.  My three stays in The Philippines of some 6 weeks each, allowed me to learn from the perfect symbiosis of rice worker and carabao, whose calm partnership in the tending of the greenest of green fields was both reassuring and a powerful living metaphor.


13 Responses to “…..carabao”

  1. Sharon Mann said

    Dear Lance, thank you for sharing your wonderful painting and writing the background for your inspiration. You inspire us all. Best to you and Raul!


  2. Lemony, it is a delight having you come and comment. Your recent flower portraits are exquisite.


  3. THANK YOU Laura and Rebecca!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lance, your sky in this painting is exquisite! Your work is luminous with light. Thank you for sharing your painting and story with us, and many happy returns to you and Raul. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca said

    This is spectacular! Wow. The light, the clouds… love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. …Jodi, I so enjoy your site, thank you for stopping in with your encouragements.


  7. ….another lovely visit by you, Cynthia–thank you (again)!


  8. How beautifully you describe that symbiosis between the rice worker and the carabao, and how exquisite your painting!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jodi said

    Beautiful words and beautiful painting. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. …oh, I am very happy to learn of your family connection to that remarkable country. And ‘color bone’ is bringing a big smile, barry!


  11. Barry Comer said

    Oh funny. I forgot to say “nice design and painting”. This one in particular strikes my color bone.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Barry Comer said

    It’s a small world. My cousin and her partner are moving to the Philippines to be close to her partner’s family.

    Liked by 1 person

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