Sunday, August 16, 2015

Orchids galore

The Big Island of Hawaii, the State's largest island, is also called "Orchid Isle."  Perhaps due to the mineral rich volcanic soil of the island orchid farms, including the largest in the State, abound on the Big Island, especially on the island's east (Hilo) side.

Every year, the Hilo Orchid Society puts up a long-awaited and well-attended  exhibit of the flowers grown by its members.   I went to the exhibit held two weeks ago and took the following pictures.






Posted with Aloha!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Beginning with me

My friend Jay and I see each other only in band gigs nowadays.  We both love the same bands. When I see him, I manage to remember to greet him with my hands clasped together as if in prayer while I bow my head. Jay said he prefers to be greeted that way. No kisses, hugs and handshakes.

I am grateful that Jay and I are even greeting each other. Jay has unfriended me twice on Facebook. Each time, it was because of our differing beliefs.

Let's simply put it this way. Jay is a conservative. I am a liberal. I think, for example, that the Affordable Health Care Act is one of the milestone legislations ever in US history.  On the other hand, Jay abhors "Obamacare."

So when I share or post something on Facebook touting the Affordable Health Care Act, I can be sure to get a disparaging comment from Jay to which I respond  That has always been how Jay unfriends me.  So far, he has unfriended me twice.

Last weekend, seeing Jay in a light mood while we were both enjoying our favorite band, I gained enough fortitude to ask Jay if we could be friends on Facebook again. "Afterall," I said, "we've always made up in the past."

Besides, I did not see the differences between our beliefs as reasons not to be friends. That's exactly what happens at the national and the international levels. People fight over differences in religion, skin color, gender preferences, politics, resources, money. And before anyone has blinked an eye, the backyard fights have escalated into full-blown wars between nations.

Although Jay and I are just small cogs in the overall scheme, we don't have to be a reflection of the bigotry and hate going on in the world.

"Can we be Facebook friends again?" I asked Jay in a plaintive note.

Jay did give it a thought. And then he said :"Probably not yet. I'm going to root for Ted Cruz. We could be in a fight again."

I wasn't about to give up and gave it another try. "I won't comment on any pro-Ted Cruz post that you will share and you can do the same about any Bernie Sanders post that I will share," I said.

Jay shook his head and walked off.

I'll give it another try next time I see him. Baby steps to love!

Posted with Aloha!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not without purpose

About two years ago, I left my  nice snow-white rabbit with a friend. I told my friend that when I'm able to muster enough confidence that I'd be able to care for it, I'll take the rabbit back.

Truth was I had no idea when I'd be able to get my rabbit back or if I'd be able to get it back at all. I was undecided but nevertheless enjoyed the thought that my rabbit would be looked after because my friend cared enough to do it.

Eventually, I left the matter of the rabbit for the Universe to decide on. I told myself that if the rabbit was really for me, it will be mine no matter how long it takes me to get it back.

A couple of days ago, without any clue as to what prompted it, I emailed my friend about getting the rabbit back.

It was uncharacteristic of my friend to take a while to answer my email. But when I read the response, I understood the reason for the delay.

"I am really sorry but I thought that you no longer wanted the rabbit. So I made it into a stew," my friend said.

What I learned?

Sometimes it takes seconds and at other times it takes months and even years  to get an answer but sooner or later if you tune in closely you will recognize what you are being told.

Posted with Aloha!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

People in our lives

On the way to a party the other day, I started thinking of why our lives cross those of others.  This was revealed to me: 

Photo from
Love heals!

Posted with Aloha

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Programs and patterns

Over dinner last night, guests and I talked about how the US Supreme Court upheld marriage equality for homosexuals.  My friend Greg then recounted how a good friend of his who was a foreigner wanted to hold hands with him one day while they were walking through a park. 

Greg said that although his friend was not gay the idea of holding hands with another man simply repulsed him. He said that later on he found out that in his friend's country, two men holding hands while walking was quite a normal thing to do and was not an indication nor even a hint of homosexual behavior, as it could be in the US.

Eating etiquette is another program I find amusing.  Emily Post admonishes against chewing noisily with an open mouth.  In Asia and especially in China,  smacking one's lips and making other loud noises while eating are meant to be complimentary. They are signs of appreciation for the food. The louder the sounds made while eating, the happier a host or a cook/chef is.

What we consider as acceptable and unacceptable made me think of the various "programs" we have in our psyche.  Some of our "programs," such as those pertaining to gender behavior, are so deeply engrained that we automatically recoil at an idea that does not fit patterns prescribed in the programs. One of those patterns says that straight men never hold hands with another man.

Greg's story reminded me of a photo I once took. I was inside a store and found a riveting pattern in one of the items for sale.  I thought that if I were to visualize the many programs and patterns that are in every person, I would see something like the photo below.

Posted with Aloha!

Friday, July 10, 2015


There are times when I am blessed as I dance. 

When the twang of a lone guitar starts feeling like a light caress; and when the music is into me even as I am into the music, I feel connected powerfully. And I dance to magnify and celebrate that connection. I fling my arms open wide and move as much of my body as possible to receive and soak in the essence of it all.

As if instinctively, the energy refreshes every cell of my body, healing and restoring so that even if only for a while as I dance I am way more than just myself.  I am you, her, him, they. I am us. I am that part of ourselves that is true, good and beautiful. 

I dance to the music and to what I experience.

If I were to imagine how I would look like when I am in that state of oneness I'd say I look like this photo I took of a Cattleya.

I have to work on being in that state of oneness even if I am not dancing.  Still, I am really deeply grateful.

- Posted with Aloha!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Self cleansing

In my previous blog, I talked about helping a friend expose an anomaly in  the neighborhood organization that  my friend and I both belong to. The anomaly revolved around a  contract worth hundreds of thousands of money members of the community have contributed.

In helping my friend write his expose I was also learning more about the circumstances around the shadowy contract.  I saw the sleight of hand, the smokes and mirrors, the manipulation.  I was incensed at how officers of the organization not only betrayed the trust of the many but also put the organization at risk for legal liability. I was furious.

In my rage, I sent a message to one of the perpetrators.  I castigated her. I was sarcastic. I was mean.

"For somebody so brilliant, so knowledgeable, so in control, how could you do something so stupid," I said.

 I even became somewhat physical when I  ended my message with this: "Do yourself a favor and give your manipulators a crisp. hard, resounding smack on the face."

But the satisfaction I felt was only temporary. I was bothered by what I wrote. I was not in a state of love. The "Shadow" had claimed me just as it did the perpetrators of the anomaly. I was horrified at how I was being corrupted.

As I write this, I try to see  with love.  It is difficult and I am still trying,  aware that this is a case of the rubber meeting the road.  If I claim love, I must be in love.  A shift in my heart requires a corresponding mind shift.

 "She is only a victim," I tell myself.

While I do not condone what she did and still believe that she has to come to terms with the gravity of what she has done, if  I shut the door on her I am only a "resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

Posted with Aloha

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Beauty and beast

For several days until yesterday, I was tied to my computer like a baby's umbilical cord is to its mother. I did not socialize. I  did not surf the internet. I did not log on to Facebook or Google+. In fact I even  deleted the Facebook app from my smarter- than- me cellphone.

I was focused on helping a friend write a memorandum exposing irregularities in the solicitation and award of a bid for a road project. A monstrous darkness  has imperceptibly crept into the community organization in which my friend and I were volunteers. 

The darkness arrived camouflaged  like wolf under sheep's clothing.  Not long after its entry into the organization  its tentacles  were inching their way into the nooks and crannies of the group. Unnoticed by those who didn't know any better, the darkness spawned corruption one after another. Deception and viciousness had a field day.    Hatred was so thick you could slice it with a knife.

Strangely, I both enjoyed and loathed writing for my friend.  I loved exposing the anomalies and indicting the crooks, especially since big money was involved.

But I  did not like how I felt in the course of writing the memo and learning about what happened.  It was as if the very darkness  had wormed itself into my heart. I was getting angry. I found myself thirsting for blood.

Looking back, I remember taking many showers and doing a lot of vigorous scrubbing as if in cleaning my body I could also purify my soul.

The darkness harvested the minds and souls of some people in the community organization. It was about to take mine when the Universe sent help. One lifeline was in the form of a Celebration of Life gathering. The other was a movie called The Book Thief.

Eleanor was in her 90s when she passed on. Although she was an artist and known in the community, I never met her. I was at her Celebration of Life gathering because she was the mother of my best friend's friend.  An eulogy given during Eleanor's celebration of life gathering particularly struck me.  One of Eleanor's granddaughters said that she will always remember her grandmother telling her to be conscious of the things and people around her, find the beauty in them, and create art.

The Book Thief was a deep mine of wisdom and an accurate commentary about the dual nature of man.  The narrator never revealed  his identity but for me he was Death itself.  Death had many memorable lines in the movie. One of them was this.

- Posted with Aloha

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Getting out of the funk

I confess that I was out of whack most days recently.  I suspect that my depression may have something to do with Michael’s death anniversary last Tuesday.  Remembering  the events  leading to  the day Michael died is always inevitable.

Funny how easy it is to go into sadness. And we all visit that place at one time or another. All I have to do is call in the troops. That particular battalion is named Regret. 
Here’s the formula: Sadness1 + Regrets +Sadness2 = Depression.  So now you get the picture.
I felt better  the other day, Friday.  I always look forward to   Fridays and Saturdays, my dance evenings.    I’m a certified card-carrying danceaholic.  And I know that someday I just might be lucky  enough to be famous. I just might go down in history as  the originator of the 12 Steps for Danceaholics Anonymous!   One of those steps will require  using one’s hips to illustrate the number “8”.  In some places, this dance step is called “Ocho-Ocho.” So now you get the picture. :)
What? I’m delusional?
I’d rather call myself hopelessly optimistic. 
Now how did I come up with that oxymoron?
The dancing made me feel better last Friday.  Yesterday, something I saw  boosted my spirits more and a seeming affirmation that everything is working towards my highest good.   The flyer jumped right out at me from  Mara's post on Facebook . It was a needed reminder and my marching  orders.

I got out of my funk. And I am grateful.

 Posted with Aloha!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Shaka sign

Hand signs are prevalent all over the world.  They are a universal language  quickly understood. Flash an upright index and middle finger and you're saying "peace." An upheld clenched fist is a sign of protest. And a thumbs down is an obvious "No."
There is a sign that perhaps not many know about,  especially those of you outside the US . Called the Shaka, the sign is associated with Hawaii and means to "hang loose" or to convey Aloha.  

Surfers visiting Hawaii in the 60s  noticed locals using the sign and quickly spread it to other places. In Brazil, the sign also means to "hang loose." In Asia, the sign is used to represent a Taoist concept of "going with the flow."
I saw the sign  the first time I visited Hawaii. While I was on the road I noticed motorists extending their hand out of their car window and flashing the sign to other motorists.  I thought it very cool.
During the parade celebrating his first inauguration as US President, Barack Obama noticed with surprise the  school band from his old alma mater, Hawaii's Punahou School, leading Hawaii's contingency in the parade.  Instinctively, President Obama  flashed a Shaka with a captivating smile quickly captured by photographers. 

Alhough I was merely watching the parade on TV, I  still couldn't help but brim with delight and pride at the President's unexpected reaction.  I was nearly completely sure that the rest of Hawaii felt like I did.

Shaka! Let's keep connecting.

Let's keep the love going!

US President Barack Obama flashing the Shaka sign during his first inauguration as President in 2009.  Photo source:
Posted with ALOHA

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Michael Murphy III

It has been nine years Michael and I still miss you. Before you left, you said that you will be with me always. And you are.

Thank you for the time we were together and what I've learned through you.

Thank you for having been my husband.

A hui hou! Till we meet again!

Posted with LOVE

Monday, May 25, 2015

Thoughts on Memorial Day 2015

Today is Memorial Day in the US. For readers of this blog who are from other countries,  Memorial Day is one of the most important holidays in the US and celebrated to honor all those in the US Armed Forces who died while in service to their country.

One of those I know who served in the US Army is my friend Ralph. During the Vietnam war, Ralph was a medic in the US army and survived two tours in Vietnam. After being at the forefront of war, Ralph went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley  where he avidly protested the Vietnam war in between pursuing his  Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology.

I cannot imagine how it feels being in the middle of a barrage of machine gun fire. I cannot imagine how it is not to know whether I will still be breathing by the end of a day of fighting.  I cannot imagine being a first-hand witness to the horrors of war.

But I can imagine easily that anybody who goes to the battlefield  and returns home alive  is never unscathed, be it physically or emotionally.  Not all wounds are visible just as not all wounds heal.

Some emerge from war forever damaged -- bitter, cynical, traumatized. Those fortunate, after having had first hand experience with carnage,  come out  of war with a great deal of wisdom and a compassion for others and a respect for life deeper than what they had before they left to fight.

Today on Memorial Day, I thank Ralph and others like him who laid their lives on the line and made unimaginable sacrifices fighting for our ideals of inalienable human rights, freedom and democracy.

Ralph in army uniform, 1967
At Phan Thiet, Southeastern Vietnam, 1968

 While a student at University of California, Berkeley in 1972 and protesting the Vietnam war
Posted with Aloha

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In Ireland there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Times like these make me proud to be a Murphy although I am Irish only by infusion.

Yesterday, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalize same sex marriage. Ireland has become the first country in the world to make that historic and remarkable decision.

Who would ever think religiously Catholic Ireland  turning liberal enough to emerge at the forefront of social change in the world?

(The Universe sure has a delicious sense of humor.)

Could the Irish vote be a sign of increasing tolerance and acceptance for  differences in sexual preferences among people of the world? 

(Hope is not only a virtue but a necessity.)

Imagine a world where there is no prejudice,  bigotry,  racism. Half of  the problems we have now can be solved. Instead of spending the bulk of the budget on guns, planes and other tools of war, governments will have more resources to improve infrastructure, education and health. The greater the harmony among people, the more economic opportunities  improved lives.

But it is not just the money. Think  of a world vibrating at a higher level where acceptance, respect and kindness prevail.

In Ireland, there is indeed a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  That pot of gold is called love.

May that rainbow cover the earth.


Posted with Aloha

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Love, death and life

On this day nine (9) years ago, my husband Michael was bedridden and in terrible pain. I was in denial that he was dying. I never lost hope that one day his will would win over his body and the cancer in him would disappear.  Three days later on May 26, 2006, Michael drew his last breath.

Last night at a dinner with friends in a hotel in Hilo  I met Mark.

Mark returned to  the Big Island partly to fulfill a dream he and his wife had to visit the Big Island again.  Mark and his wife planned the trip together six months ago.  A month before they were supposed to fly out, Mark's wife died unexpectedly.

Throughout the evening, Mark talked about his wife several times. He remembered how good a cook she was. He recounted  wirh obvious pride a story about how his wife thwarted a would-be home invasion by having great presence of mind.  He laughed as he recalled her quirks and idiosyncrasies.

When Mark excused himself from the table to wash his hands, I told the rest of the dinner guests that I very well knew what Mark was going through.

His wife died but he was still with her, every moment of the day.

He thinks of when she was last with him driving in his car to a particular destination.

He yearns for her voice, smell, touch -- her very essence.

He wonders why there are cars on the road and people still go about their everyday business.  He questions why the world hasn't stopped.

He was mourning for his wife in the exact same way I did for Michael.

My heart went out to Mark as I remembered Michael and how I struggled accepting his death  nine years ago.

It is said that nothing ever happens by chance.

I would like to think that meeting Mark three days before Michael's death anniversary was the Universe's way of telling me something.

As my friends and I said goodbye last night, Mark gave my hand a tight squeeze.

Posted with Aloha

Friday, May 22, 2015

A heron

Yesterday while on the west side of the Big Island, I saw a  heron flirting with fish in a Koi pond. The heron was not shy at all.  Seeing that I had my camera with me, the bird stopped trying to aim its neck and bill for a quick grab at a fish and looked at me.

"Wanna take my portrait?" said the heron.

"I would love to," I answered  and began readying my camera.

I had to take several shots as the bird kept moving --  distracted by the fish in the pond but thankfully I was able to come up with what I thought were two decent photos.

I have to remember to send the heron a hard copy of the photos  with a thank you note saying, "It is hard to believe that you evolved from dinosaurs. Once you were a beast; now you're a beauty." 


Somebody was taking my picture as I was taking a picture of the bird.

Posted with Aloha

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hawaii's phantom warriors

In George Martin's "Game of Thrones, there are the  White Walkers, a frightening massive band of undead that comes out in the thick of the night. They kill men, women, children and even animals and transform them into "re-animated corpses" with glowing ice blue eyes.

Hawaii has its own version of the White Walkers.  They're called the Night Marchers. Legend has it that during certain phases of the lunar cycle, the spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors march towards sacred places or where they had once battled.

Imagine yourself camping by the beach.  It is close to the witching hour and  you are about to put out the campfire and head for your tent. You notice that dark brooding clouds have replaced the stars in the sky. The air has become heavy and damp. There is a pervasive odor of decay.

Suddenly you hear the faint sound of conch shells blown intermittently as drums beat and  a thousand feet thump the earth hard in unison.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The cadence remains unbroken even as the sounds get louder and nearer.

By this time practically all the hairs on your body are standing.  You are scared stiff like you've never been before.

Instinctively you run for your life

I had goose bumps the first time I heard the story of the Night Marchers. I was told that the warriors'  feet  don't touch the ground although some say that footprints have been found  along paths where the phantom warriors have supposedly trodden.

Another strange claim is that the Night Marchers only show themselves to those with Hawaiian blood.

Why? Nobody knows.


A depiction of a Night Marcher by Jake Shimabuku. Source:


Another depiction of a Night Marcher. Source:
A "White Walker" from "Game of Thrones." Photo source:
A "wight" from "Game of Thrones." Photo source:

Posted with Aloha

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

20 odd-funny Hawaiian expressions

For those of you not from Hawaii, here are some Hawaiian expressions that you might encounter should you have a chance to visit here. Except for the last two, I took all of the following from Jill Kozak in the May 14, 2015 issue of, a travel website:

1. Locals  don’t cheer when they’re excited. They shout “Cheehoo!”
2.  When everything is all messed up, things are definitely “hamajang.”
3.  You don’t get hurt in Hawaii, you get “buss (bust) up.”
4.  A Hawaii local never has a lot of something, but always has “choke” amounts.
      Example: “Punaluu beach has choke turtles.”
5. A Hawaii local never travels seaside, but always goes “Makai.” Likewise, a local never goes toward the mountains, but “mauka.”
6. If something is bad, a local will most definitely call it “junk.”
7. You might think you just got in a fight, but really, you got “in one scrap.”
8. A mainland mother might tell you to change your underwear every day, a local mom will remind you to change your “bibidees.”
9. You don’t go to the bathroom to make number 1, you always make “shi-shi.”
10. Others will question whether or not you’re a local if you don’t call soy sauce “shoyu.”
11. Anything that’s a pain in the butt is mostly definitely “humbug”
12. When your nose is runny, auntie might scold you to blow out your”hanabata.”
13. If your tan  needs work and your pale skin is noticeable, someone might call you “Daikon legs.”
14. Sitting on a hard surface too long or dealing with hamajang situations is certainly a pain in the “okole.”
15. A Hawaii local doesn’t smoke marijuana, but smokes “pakalolo.”
16. Locals don’t’ ask if you’re finished, they ask if you “stay pau.”

And if I may add my own to the above…
17. When locals eat, they “kaw kaw” and food is "grindz"
18. "Grindz" that tastes good is very "ono."
19. Hawaiians  go not to the supermarket but to “da store.”
20. A disagreement  is a "pilikia."
Shown above is part of the Big Island's Ahalanui county park which boasts of a palm-fringed thermally heated hot pond right next to the ocean. I saw a rainbow on the horizon one afternoon I was there and took this shot.

Another view of the warm pond. Photo source:

Looking at the warm pond from the ocean side. Photo source: 
Posted with Aloha

Monday, May 18, 2015

A woman's strength

I just found out today that Cassandra, the young daughter of a friend, recently died in a shooting incident.  One moment she was driving to work; next thing she was collateral damage brought down by a bullet meant for somebody else.

When my husband passed on,  my grief was physical.  There was a undefinable constant sensation at the pit of my stomach that made me retch. I felt disembodied -- a zombie walking around.

Although I have not gone through the horrors (and heaven forbid) of losing one's own child, I nevertheless have an idea of the grieving and pain my friend is going through. 

Still, one never really fully recovers from the passing of a loved one. There is a permanent wound in the heart that stops bleeding but never really heals.

"Cassandra is now home and someday you will see each other again.," I told my friend in a message. I wasn't really sure of  how to comfort my friend, what to say,  or if any of what I had told her were true. Nobody really knows  but having faith works.  It comforts. It gives hope. Because only love conquers death and endures forever.

On my friend's timeline on Facebook, I found the quote below. I thought it an apt description of my friend's strength as a mother who lost a baby she carried in her womb for months and then nurtured -- flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood.

Posted with Aloha

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I met myself at a party

I was "led" to Hawaii." That's what I say when I'm asked how I came to be in Hawaii.

I've never wanted to relocate to Hawaii. It is very much like the Philippines where I came from -- same nice beaches, same coconut trees most everywhere, same flowers, same fruits, and just nearly the same climate. Humidity is higher in the Philippines than in Hawaii. 

I thought that if I were to permanently live in another place,  I would like to be able to enjoy the four seasons, which  tropical Philippines doesn't have and which I had a taste of when I once lived in Brussels -- one of the best times in my life but that's story for another blog.

My parents didn't even want me to leave  Manila.  They were aging fast and found comfort  from the those Sunday family  lunches and dinners I made a point to have and always looked forward to.

Besides,  I was the only daughter left. In Asia, daughters are expected to care for parents in the twilight of their lives.  But I assured  my parents of constant visits. And with every visit, whenever it was time for me to go to the airport for my return trip to Hawaii, my mom would always be in tears and my dad could not be found.  My dad hated to see me go.

The moment I landed in the airport in Hilo on my first trip to the Big Island, I had the impression of being in one of the provinces in the Philippines.  Understand that I was born and raised in Manila, a big metropolis with its attendant nightmares -- heavy motor and people traffic most everywhere.   Huge shopping malls, gated communities and mansions coexist with slums and vagrancy. Neon lights turned night into day.

No way I was going to live in Hilo, I told myself silently when I first visited the place. The silence intimidated me.  It was too dark at night.  It didn't take long for me to find out that street lights were kept at a minimum  so the illumination doesn't obstruct the huge telescopes peering into the universe from atop Mauna Kea, one of the highest mountains in the world when measured from its base.

But when I woke up one morning and saw red cardinals playing by my bedroom window, I fell in love with Hawaii. I began to notice the wild orchids by the wayside and fell in love some more. Seeing the clear bright stars at night instead of smog definitely hooked me in. By the time I realized that I could just pull over by the road and gather sweet-tarty juicy "guayvies" I definitely became Hawaiian.  It was a case of osmosis. Mother nature got into me.

It didn't take me long to realize that I am in Hawaii for a number of reasons some of which have already dawned on me. The others are yet to be revealed.

I believe one reason I was led to Hawaii was to help my husband pass on. I was with Michael as he battled cancer. I fed him. I took care of him.  Many times I  fell down with him on the floor as I helped him navigate our house when he could no longer walk. I was with him when he drew his last breath. I am with him still.

Another and maybe the most important reason I was  led to Hawaii was to continue my spiritual growth. So far I've learned acceptance, forgiveness, being conscious and mindful, patience, faith, hope, love. Some lessons were painful. Others were amazingly mystical. lately, I've been discovering what things really matter and what don't. I've been practicing patience.  I continue to learn. Once growth stops, I might as well be six feet under. In Hawaii, I don't just exist. I live.

Over the weekend, I met a lady in a party. She said that she had just relocated to Hawaii and that she thinks she was led to Hawaii for a purpose. According to her, one reason she is now in Hawaii is for her to plant on her land.

I was amazed and joyful to know another person for whom, like me,  being in Hawaii is both meaningful and a destiny.

I thought that meeting that person was like having had the privilege of seeing my own self through another. It was a gift -- an affirmation of where and why I am in Hawaii at this time of my journey.

I am grateful. Aloha!

Posted with Aloha

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Opah - warm-blooded fish

That fish on your plate may be a celebrity. 

Only recently, scientists discovered, for the first time, a kind of fish that is warm-blooded and not cold-blooded as most fish are. The scientific name of the fish is Lampris Regius.

Commonly called  Opah, Moonfish, Sunfish, etc the fish is popular in seafood markets. The Opah is prized  for its mild taste and non-stringy texture. 

It is not a rare fish and is found in oceans world-wide except in the Polar areas. But unlike other fish which travel in schools, Opahs like to be solitary. Fishermen find Opah by accident as they fish for tuna or marlin and others that come in groups.

In Hawaii which supplies most Opah sold in the US mainland, the Opah is regarded as a fish that brings luck. Traditionally, instead of selling Opah they've caught, fishermen in  Hawaii gift it as an expression of Aloha.

If anybody "opahs" me an Opah, I'll be happy to accept it anytime! :)

More info about the Opah are provided in the links below this blog.

Armando Castillo, Joe Ludlow and Travis Savala (left to right) pose with opah aboard the San Diego, California-based fishing vessel "Excel." Source:

Posted with Aloha