Saturday, July 31, 2010

PhotoHunt: PUBLIC

This monument I don't have too travel far to see. In fact, there'd be at least eight other similar statues all over the Philippines. And rightfully so.

This is the University of the Philippines Oblation- the icon of the University. Rendered in stone, bronze, and other media, this is the quintessential symbol of what the University aims for its students- the total offering of oneself for service to the nation. The young man's arms are way apart, with palms open and directed upward, chest thrust forward, face looking to the sky, with the lips almost caught in the middle of a spoken prayer. At his feet is a local plant called kataka-taka, a commonly occurring species that grows and thrives anywhere- an added symbol that connotes the need for the University's leadership and excellence to be planted and to take root anywhere and everywhere.

When the University commissioned Fine Arts professor and future National Artist Guillermo Tolentino to create this monument, he was requested to draw inspiration from the Last Farewell of our National Hero, Jose Rizal. The latter's words, uttered in 1896, converted into a statue in the 1930's that survived the Second World War and beyond, still rings true today, a call for Filipinos to be better versions of ourselves for our nation:

In barricades imbattled;
fighting with delirium,
others donate you their lives
without doubts, without gloom,
The site doesn't matter;
cypress, laurel or lily;
gibbet or open field,
combat or cruel martyrdom,
are equal if demanded
by country and home.

(Please read this UP alumni site to find out more about the Oblation.)

in front of the University of the Philippines Manila - Philippine General Hospital, February 2010, using a digicam.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: CHASE

Paavo Nurmi, the Flying Finn, is prominently positioned in the grounds of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium where the Games of the 1952 Olympiad took place, embodying humanity's desire to be faster, higher, stronger, better.

along Paavo Nurmen tie 1, Toolo district, Helsinki, June 2010.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

PhotoHunt: HANGING

An interesting souvenir being sold at the downtown tramway mall of Ober Gatlinburg. Can you guess what this little piggy means to say?

(Please leave a comment to find out =])

Gatlinburg, December 2009, using a digicam.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Litratong Pinoy: TAWID (Cross)

Ito na marahil ang pinakamalapit na pagkakataon kong "makapunta" sa Afghanistan, isang bansa na hitik na hitik sa kasaysayan at biyaya ng kalikasan nguni't sa kasalukuyan ay nilalambungan ng hindi kagandahang mga balita. Sa ngayon.


This is probably the closest I will ever be to Afghanistan, a country with a rich cultural heritage and an abundance of natural wonder but is, unfortunately, hidden in a veil of not-so-pleasant news. For now.

aboard a Finnair flight from Bangkok to Helsinki, May 2010, using a digicam.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: FINNISH LINE

This is a view of Helsinki as seen from our sightseeing boat approaching the port. The skyline is dominated by the Lutheran Cathedral, with the City Hall, Bank of Finland Museum, Swedish Embassy, and the Presidential Palace nestled at the foreground. Market Square, with its various tents and stalls, is abuzz with summer activity as vendors sell to willing tourists and locals anything from Baltic herring and wood carving to magnets, strawberries, and fresh flowers.

Often referred to as the Maiden of the Baltic Sea, this capital city of Finland is one of the most walkable cities I've ever been to. It has a city center that is a curious but tasteful mix of the past and the future. And in the event that I have to be somewhere quickly or I'm just too lazy to take a stroll, the extensive tram system readily whisks me off to where I need to be.

off the coast of Helsinki, June 2010, using a digicam.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I will never grow weary of this church. It's a place that feels so very close to God- the roof seemingly like hands clasped in prayer pointed heaven-ward, with a light breeze and warm sun swirling about, assuring the faithful of a Supreme Being that continues to hear, provide, bless.

Monastery of the Transfiguration, City of Malaybalay, April 2007, using a digicam.