Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Since my first cross-country flight to the Angeles Flying Club in September, this rainy season has grounded me for the most part, which has been rather anti-climactic. Even today (mid-November), regular rainfall keeps the airstrip too muddy for pleasant (not to mention safe) take-offs and landings. I get splattered with too much mud when I take-off and land my aircraft. Because we have a bit of cattle grazing the farm, the mud is really a combination of soil, pipi and poo-poo. You get the picture.

The parts I had ordered for the overhaul of my first Rotax 582 engine have arrived. My friend, Ricky Aguas, lent me certain specialty tools to remove the piston and the magneto. I just need to disassemble the engine (easier said than done for a first timer) and have the crankshaft inspected and redone by Bert Padua, who (I have been informed) is the definitive machinist for Rotax crankshafts in the Philippines. Thereafter, I will reassemble the engine (now overhauled) and have a second airworthy aircraft. Target completion by end of March 2012.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Life Starts Somewhere Between 43 and 44

The often quoted statement “Life starts at 40” didn’t mean much to me. In the first place, I didn’t give it much thought . . . until recently. I retired from employment after I turned 41. Mom was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after that and life switched to suspended animation. It was the most painful time of my life, even though it was Mom who was suffering. After nearly a year, Mom passed away.

She was a presence in our lives, so it had been difficult to resume without her physical presence—although we are certain of her spiritual presence and guidance as we move on today.  And so another year or so has past and life seems to be normalizing; hence, life (for me at least) appears to start somewhere between 43 and 44.

I am fortunate and infinitely grateful that I am not compelled to think of “putting food on the table.”  Instead, I can think of . . . fun stuff.  Like enjoying the company of loved ones, flying and assembling more planes, riding my motorcycle, pursuing new things (like paragliding, scuba diving, growing vegetables and cooking), experimenting at the farm, traveling, among other things. Moreover, I am abundantly blessed in my desire to simplify every aspect of my life . . . in due course.  To simplify until there is nothing more to take away.  And so my journey begins . . .