Saturday, December 31, 2011

PhotoHunt: GATHER

At the Smithsonian Castle, its "America's Treasure Chest" exhibition features a display of the footwear created by different Native American tribes. It honors a heritage that continues in the face of gnawing, convenient modernity.

It also brings to mind an adage attributed to Native Americans, the one that discourages judging another individual until you've walked a day in their shoes- or mocassins...

May this New Year bring us all a sense of belongingness, and bring us all towards a sense of equity and fairness.

Smithsonian Castle, Washington DC, December 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

PhotoHunt: RIPPED

The cruise ship traversing the waters between Stockhom, Sweden and Turku, Finland is a place where one gets ripped, thanks to the duty-free sale of alcohol. The ship was by no means a mere vessel to ferry tourists to and from Stockholm; it was in itself a party place that was a bit too rowdy for comfort at times. I think some passengers were more interested with the cheaper booze than experiencing either Nordic country...

*** Special thanks to TN Chick for having hosted the PhotoHunt for the last five years. It's her last weekend to host this meme so head on over to her site for a proper send off =].***

Between Stockholm and Turku, September 2007, using a digicam.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


An exhibit on a relatively unknown side of foremost scientist Carl von Linne as a prolific letter-writer is one of the highlights of my trip to the Postal Museum in Stockholm's Gamla Stan (Old Town).

Stockholm, September 2007, using a digicam.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

PhotoHunt: WET/RAIN

On an almost empty beach. By the warm calm sea. Under an azure sky. You juggle.

Station 2, Boracay island, Aklan, March 2011, using a digicam.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

PhotoHunt: TWO

I stared into too many of these in my supposedly 45-minute-drive home that turned into a 3-hour test of patience. My camera and my favorite radio station playing the right kind of music kept me sane.

While on the road, a small pebble may cause discomfort all the way inasmuch as a fleeting second of stunning vista can cause a lifetime of joy- if we choose it to be.

November 2011, using a digicam.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

PhotoHunt: LIGHT

Shafts of light pierce through the drizzle falling over Metro Manila. In the Philippines, there's a belief that a pair of tikbalang- half-human, half-horse mythical creatures- are getting married when the whether turns, well, ambivalent. In any case, we wish them well, as we enjoy cooler weather in this most tropical of capitals.

aboard a Philippine Air Force chopper, October 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

PhotoHunt: BROKEN

Some of the damaged structures in the seaside town of Dinapigue, as seen from our chopper during our aerial survey of the effects of the twin typhoons Pedring and Quiel.

Dinapigue municipality, Isabela province, October 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

PhotoHunt: PUBLIC

The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is about two kilometers of rough roads away from the main national highway in Burgos town, Ilocos Norte. Without a very basic signboard, you'd miss the entrance to this amazing wonder of nature. When we visited last May, a typhoon was just on its way out of the western seaboard of the Philippines, thus huge meters high waves were licking the distant but distinct white rock formation.

Save for a small shack which serves as the shelter of the lone tourism officer cum photographer cum security guard and a couple of warnings against gathering mangrove trees, the areas around Kapurpurawan is almost devoid of any sign of humanity. If I had my way, I choose for it to remain as such.

Burgos, Ilocos Norte, May 2011, using a digicam.

JUST A REMINDER EVERYONE! October 16th is BLOG ACTION DAY! Use your blog to discuss the Issue of the Day = FOOD!

I am proud to take part in Blog Action Day Oct 16, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

PhotoHunt: WAITING

A lone serviceman sits at a bus stop, en route to somewhere from somewhere, hopefully homeward-bound and not off to violence and bloodshed...

Between Helsinki and Turku, August, 2007, using a digicam.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

PhotoHunt: COVERED

Water and lights bathe this ornate fountain at the plaza in front of the provincial capitol of Ilocos Norte. During the day, it's hardly noticeable but at night, that it's a thing of beauty is just an understatement.

Laoag City, May 2011, using a digicam.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

PhotoHunt: WRONG

Is this in Thailand? Nope.

How about Hong Kong? Not in HK.

This must be in Indonesia then, is it? Not in Indonesia either.

These giant Buddhas are located in the town of Gerona, in the province of Tarlac in the Philippines. They are housed in a massive outdoor floating-fishing-village-style restaurant complex called Isdaan, located some 120 kms north of Manila. The place is always packed so the service can at times be slow- but the food is always worth the wait.

ISDAAN, Gerona, Tarlac, September 2010, using a digicam.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Painting by BENCAB
Acrylic on canvas
150 x 120 cms

Housed at the fantastic BENCAB Museum, a jewel of Filipino artistry tucked in the mountains of northern Luzon, "REUNION" depicts the happy ending of each journey, whether the sojourn itself was a pleasant one or not.

*** My thoughts and prayers are with the communities being battered by Typhoon MINA in the northeastern part of the Philippines as well as family and friends preparing for Hurricane IRENE by the eastern seaboard of the United States. May we all have happy reunions after these storms pass. ***

off Baguio City in the BenCab Museum, Tuba, Benguet, September 2010, using a digicam.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

PhotoHunt: DRINK

Even bears couldn't resist the call of the river, fresh and flowing freely through the center of downtown Gatlinburg...

But something must be wrong with the water though: it turned the bears into stone! Talk about *hard water* lol

Gatlinburg, April 2008, using a digicam.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Litratong Pinoy: GINHAWA (Comfort)

Labinlimang higanteng mistulang bentilador ang kasalukuyang nakatindig bilang bantay sa baybayin ng Bangui, Ilocos Norte. Ang mga toreng ito- bawat isa ay katumbas ng gusaling may 23 palapag- ay sama-samang nagbibigay ng 7 megawatt ng kuryente sa lalawigan o katumbas ng 40% ng kanilang pangangailangang enerhiya. Bukod sa kanilang malaking ambag sa elektrisidad ng Ilocos Norte, sila mismo ay talaga namang kagila-gilalas na tanawin. Sadyang dapat dayuhin, kahit may Bagyong Chedeng na nagpapatindi sa alon at papawirin.


Fifteen giants stand guard along the shores of Bangui in Ilocos Norte province. These towering turbines- each about 23 storeys tall- collectively contribute 7 megawatts of power to the province- 40% of their entire electricity needs. Aside from their massive contribution to industry, they themselves are a sight to behold- worth enduring the wrath of Typhoon Chedeng, rough seas, dark skies and all.

at the Bangui wind farm, Bangui, Ilocos Norte, May 2011 using a digicam.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

PhotoHunt: ONE

A scoop of chili ice cream plus a scoop of Moringa vegetable-flavored ice cream with another scoop of Bailey's-laced ice cream make for a singular dessert experience in the 1st Colonial Grill Express in Daraga. I tried to capture the contents of my cup in the best way I could but they were so close to melting that I just snapped whatever picture I can muster before they turn into a gooey mess =]

1st Colonial Grill, Daraga, Albay, August 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

PhotoHunt: PAINTED

Street art or vandalism?

along a main thoroughfare in Yogyakarta, June 2007, using a digicam.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Its reputation precedes it the world over. To watch a Cirque Du Soleil performance is arguably a mainstay in many people's bucket list, what with their much-publicized death-defying stunts, intricate costumes, and overall jaw-dropping productions. That's why when the Cirque came to Manila, no doubt we really had to go.

Cirque did not disappoint. The 2.5-hour show was a huge cauldron of music and humor, a visual feast that often caused by heart to almost jump out of my chest and/or my jaw to drop to the floor. Some sections were more spectacular than the others, but each minute of the show had its stamp of Cirque hard work and artistry on it.

An amazing experience it was, to be front and center when the Cirque came to town =]

lobby of the Cirque's Grand Chapiteau, Quirino Grandstand, Manila, July 2011, using a digicam.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: EARLY

These fisherfolk have started their day soon after sunrise. Or are they just returning from an overnight sojourn to the Pacific?

But these past few days, the waters off Bicol Region, practically the entire eastern seaboard of the Philippines, have been rough because of Tropical Storm JUANING. Hoping for the safety of all those who harvest from the bounty of the sea-

off the Port of Legazpi, January 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

PhotoHunt: PATCH

Original designs and intricate patterns mark the handiwork of the T'boli tribe in the southern part of the Philippines. Their culture, slowly being eased out by the influences of the 21st century, are carefully being cradled at the Museo De Oro inside Xavier University - Ateneo De Cagayan. These ceremonial attires can arguably be more precious than gold, considering the time, effort, passion, and heritage embedded in each square inch of material. Truly irreplaceable.

Museo De Oro, Cagayan De Oro City, March 2009, using a digicam.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


LEGO bricks are toys for kids. In the age of Harry Potter, Star Wars is a relic well past its prime. But when these two icons are merged in one exciting presentation, the geek in me cannot help but do a little dance for glee. These guys stand proudly at attention- and, too bad, behind locked glass cases!- at the lobby of the Golden Pine Hotel we recently stayed in for a week-long training.

The Force is definitely in that building.

Baguio City, May 2011, using a digicam.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Litratong Pinoy: MAPANGLAW (Melancholic)

Nang makita ko ang larawan nito sa hotel na aming tinuluyan sa isang training sa Laoag City, sinabi ko talaga sa aking sarili na kailangan ko itong makita. Mayroon akong kakaibang interes sa mga parola. Sinikap naming isingit sa paspas naming pananatili sa Ilocos ang pagsaglit rito.

Sa malayo pa lamang, mapapansin na agad ang tikas ng parola ng Cape Bojeador sa Burgos, Ilocos Norte. Nang mapuntahan namin ang parola at nakita nang malapitan, higit na maganda ito kaysa larawan. Yun nga lang, may lambong ng lungkot sa lugar. Marahil dahil sa ang ilang bahagi nito ay hindi na singlinis o sing-kaaya-aya tingnan. Marahil dahil sa mga malulungkot na kuwento ng ikatlong henerasyon nang tagapangasiwa ng parola, hinggil sa pulitika na kumakalawang rito. Hindi rin nakatutulong ang pagdaplis ng bagyong Chedeng nang panahong iyon sa hilagang Luzon. Basta.

Sa harap nito, patuloy na nagsisilbing gabay ang parola sa mga bumabaybay sa karagatang dumadampi sa baybayin ng Ilocos. May liwanag na maaaninag sa gitna ng kakaibang kapanglawan ng kapalaran ng parola.


When I saw its picture hanging along the corridor of the hotel I was staying in for a training in Laoag City, I told myself that through whatever means, I HAVE to visit that lighthouse. I did manage to slip the visit into my schedule for which I was thrilled tremendously.

From afar, the majesty of the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos town, Ilocos Norte province is beyond noticeable. It is so much more beautiful up close versus the framed photos in the hotel. However, I can't quite put my finger on this... cloak... of heaviness that surrounds the area. Perhaps it's because the lighthouse and its surrounding environs are not in the pink of health, so to speak, having fallen into some disrepair as of late. Perhaps it's because of the not-so-nice stories the third generation lighthouse keeper couldn't help divulge to us as regards the intrusion of politics in the operation of the lighthouse. Or perhaps the gray clouds are just brought into the area by the tropical cyclone which was passing nearby. Perhaps...

But in the face of all this, the lighthouse continues to be a beacon of safety, guiding ships as they skim the shores off Ilocos. The light continues to shine through the haze and muck of life.

Lighthouse at Cape Bojeador, municipality of Burgos, May 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

PhotoHunt: NEAR

I have been to the City of Legazpi a couple of times and its most iconic feature just has to be the Mayon Volcano. From afar, it really is the Philippines' answer to Japan's Mt. Fuji- what with its perfect cone, towering height, and truly commanding presence.

On my latest flight to Legazpi from Manila, I was on the seat by the window on the "ABC" side of the plane. As we approached Legazpi, I had a fantastic view of Mayon on my left, welcoming me into the city. On the flight back to Manila, I rummaged through my brain to figure out which seat to take in order to have the view of Mayon be my parting vista of the city. Luckily, I figured it out, that I had to be on the window seat of the "DEF" side of the plane. The flyby beside the very top of Mayon is just truly breath-taking.

And I guess it was really meant to be for me: my camera's batteries gave up after I took the last photo of the soon-to-be-veiled-in-clouds Mayon as our plane zoomed back to Manila.

over Mt. Mayon, Province of Albay, January 2011, using a digicam.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

PhotoHunt: BUSY

The repairs being done on this major bridge I use on the way to and from work doubled my daily driving time since May of this year. There's a poster counting down the days until the construction work is finished. As I see a lot of men and equipment focused on the job on hand, I really pray they get to meet the deadline they set for themselves, for the sake of our collective mental health!

along the Buendia Flyover - Osmena Highway, Makati, June 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PhotoHunt: CARD

Following this PhilPost truck one time made me think of the lost art of letter-writing. In the age of emails and Twitter, how many of us have received birthday cards by mail lately? How many are still excited when the mailman swings by to unload a bunch of letters (minus the bills, of course)?

on the road to work, March 2011, using a digicam.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Stamps are a window to a country's soul. They are my favorite snapshots into its psyche- the serious, the whimsical, the historic, the sporty, the mysterious, the business side of a nation- all can be captured, one image at a time in a 2-cm by 2-cm frame.

As we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of our national hero, Dr Jose Rizal, I hauled out of its 15-year hiding place these stamps which commemorated the centennial of his martyrdom in 1996. These series of stamps contain vistas of his life, including: his portraits from childhood to adulthood; the places he visited, including his home-away-from-home in Heidelburg, Germany; his many eclectic loves, including sculpture, and; most importantly, his masterpieces- Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, both of which stoked the embers of a fledgling nation's desire for independence, which resulted to a conflagration of a revolution that paved the way for our freedom, albeit short-lived, but no less significant in the eyes of our citizens, of Asia, and the world.

Stamps are my favorite souvenirs to take home whenever I travel to a country outside my own. However, revisiting my Philippine collection is also a worthwhile journey to take, if only to rediscover how truly blessed I am to emerge from a lineage of heroes, how blessed I am to be Filipino.

June 2011, using a digicam.