Monday, April 30, 2007

Inspired by a 16 yr old

We have been warned time and again. Our new world that they call
"adulthood" is one that's full of compromises, where success is
determined more by the ability to belong than by the ability to think,
where it is much easier to do as everyone else does...

Today, the nation needs brave, defiant pioneers to reverse our nation's
slide to despair. Today, we must call upon the spirit that beat the
tracks. Today, we must present an alternative way of doing things.

Do NOT just take courage, for courage is not enough. Instead, be BRAVE!
It will take bravery to go against popular wisdom, against the clichid
expectations of family and friends. It will take bravery to gamble your
future by staying in the country and try to make a prosperous life here...

Do NOT just be strong in your convictions, for strength is not enough.
Instead, DEFY the pressure to lead a comfortable, but middling life. Let
us lead this country from the despair of mediocrity. Let us not seek to
do well, but strive to EXCEL in everything that we do. This, so others
will see us as a nation of brains of the highest quality, not just of
brawn that could be had for cheap.
These words are excepts from the graduation speech of the UP Diliman summa cum laude Mikaela Fudolig April 22, 2007.

Friday, April 27, 2007

sand and salt water

These are images from El Nido, Palawan photos by Carmelo Sorita a good friend we spent our vaction with :) who was in town this past week.
How I wish we all can go back and spend the remaining summer days in the islands.

I've worked in the remote islands of Tawi Tawi in Taganak where the transboundry Turtle Islands is located. Our office is actually on the beach. Everyday is summer. I've always imagined sleeping with the sound of the waves on the background. I was really happy that particular dream came true. I've work in Palawan for the Tubbataha project and was happy to live in Puerto for over a year. I miss just going out the door and be right there on the sand. I can sit there for hours. Before dinner watch the sun set. But there were some sad times when I remember family back home. I think the ocean does that to you. Both happy and sad, mixed and many emotions surface while sitting watching the waves, the horizon.

I think the heat of Manila now makes me appreciate those times I lived on the beach. It was just a few years back and yet it seems a lifetime away.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

flying fiesta

Secure your shoes!

We went to Enchanted Kingdom (EK) last weekend. Tatay had a ride-all-you-can pass. While moi Nanay and Isay just roamed around. But we did ride the carousel. More on that in the coming post. It was hot and humid as ever in the Philippines. But we did enjoy an afternoon out at EK. A bit pricey for me but Tatay never visited EK so I guess it was worth it in a way. There were the old classic rides while some have closed down. There are some new rides worth to try out.

The first time I went to EK was circa 1996. Wow! having said that, I realized it is now more than ten years ago. I distinctly remember flying fiesta, I am seated at this suspended seat with only a small iron bar in front of me for security. I wanted to go down the instant that the ride started. I felt I will be thrown off althrough out the ride. Haay, but that was then. Last weekend we just watch Tatay who looked like a little boy giddy with excitement at the rides.

Monday, April 23, 2007

at the space shuttle

The first and last time I rode the space shuttle was circa 1996. Hahaha. The ride was less than two minutes. This last weekend I just took pictures. Amazed that it still looks the same after more than 10 years!!! It was after that ride that I read that it was 11 storeys high. No wonder the people on the ground look like the size of a small bug.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day 2007

Happy Earth Day! Water that refreshes, quench our thirst, trees to give us shade, air to breath. Earth is our only home. Let us take care of it.

Earth Day is now observed each year on April 22 by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries.

See what is going on and what we can do visit the Earth Day Network.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

b&b at PNKY

All the things inside PNKY are for sale. From tables, chairs, to aparador and rocking chairs that are unique and one of a kind. The image on top is the al fresco area where you can enjoy a lazy afternoon enjoying one of the delicious miryenda served at their cafe. We had a late dinner one time under the green umbrella and the light from japanese lamp created nice setting while we enjoy the cool air outside.

The main house is an old style house. Nothing extravagant but you feel homey staying in this place. The little details are done with taste. It is also in the small details that impress me alot. The heat of Manila makes me plan to go up again--soon.

twin towers

I always thought that to be able to get to Baguio cathedral you have to climb these hundred set of steps. For the longest time I had that notion. It was fairly recently when I realized that there is this road just beside it. You can actually get down from the taxi cab just a few steps from the entrance. I noticed that they built a "shade" right in front of the main entrance. I deleted that part in this picture. It doesn't fit the architecture. I guess there was a need for it when it rains. But I hope that they built it to blend with the old structure.

I call the cathedral the twin towers. I just realized now that there is this clock in one of them. This just proves that even though I've visited the city of pines several times, there are still new things to discover. The wonders of photography is that it makes me more attentive to details than before.

This shot was taken last Sunday just after the 6 am mass.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It has been a while since I've visited Baguio. This time for work. I am really happy that we stayed in this very nice place pnky bed and breakfast which have 4 unique rooms. We have the place to ourselves for a few days. There are alot of people in the city, I guess because it is summer already and it was a weekend. The best thing is the fresh vegetables for salads. The first picture includes water with fresh mint and carrot cake for snack. There is no ordinary water served except if you order it as bottled water. Weather is cool but goes up still during mid-day.

Baguio for me is a special place. It holds some of my most beloved memories. I first visited the city of pines when I was just 8 yrs old. I can't remember how many times I've visited since then. But there were some very special occasions that warms my heart when I recall it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Insights Photo Contest

Intercontinental Insights Photo Contest Grand prizewinner receives a trip of a lifetime – spend 16 days on a National Geographic Expedition around Australia.

This is one of my dreams to travel and see the world on a National Geographic Expedition. I've been to Australia and I've visited GBR. But HEY! this is THE National Geographic. I would love to be on this trip! I've always been a fan of NGS. When I was young I used to stare for hours on end at the pictures from Africa and unique cultures wishing that I could travel the world.

There was this ad that was shown a long time ago. It shows a woman with a camera on hand just about to fall asleep in the plane and her thought bubble goes...when I wake up I will be somewhere beautiful. My recall of that ad is still vivid thus, whenever I travel it never fails to come to mind.

Thanks to Senor Enrique for sharing the information. There are great photographers out there, even though I am not one of them :) I would like to join this and have that chance! Contest opens March 21, 2007 until July 1, 2007. Tara picture picture na tayo.

We will be leaving for a trip up north tonight and will not be posting for a few days...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


This was during my last visit at Batad with good friends from Palawan. I missed them thus this post. Coming back from our waterfalls visit that morning, we rested and enjoyed the spectacular view of the terraces in a small store perch in the middle of the mountain side. The view was vast and awesome.
Every visit to the Cordillera is different and special. My first time to visit Banaue was when I was just 8 years old with family. I took lots of photos and shared some of them in my other blog Pinay Mountain Chef.

Monday, April 09, 2007

An Easter

It was one long weekend and holiday for some. It was a time to go through the traditions for some. It was time to rest for some. It was time to reflect and meditate. This year was none of the above for me (or so I thought). In my mind I was planning to maybe go home to Laguna but I dont want baby Isay in a bus together with the mass exodus to the provinces. Aside from time spent with family, everything was ordinary. But I guess, the available time I had the past week made me reflect more about things. Small things seemed magnified. More questions brew in my mind that manifested as stress in different forms. Writing seems to bring comfort but I was unable to write the past week.

Easter came and I felt I was just going through the motions of the traditions. My heart was unprepared. My spirit was down, it always seems so during lent. Many things bothered me recently. Small domestic things seem intolerable, brewing anxiety at uncertainty. Anyway there were other things to attend to.

I bought the Sunday paper then I set it aside for reading later. Thank God for friends, we were invited to an Easter ballet performance of a friend's daugther at Eastwood and Market Market! We had a great time then we had a really good dinner at North Park afterwards.

When we got home, it was then that it hit me. I realized that I always receive my messages in the most uncanny and unexpected ways. I was unprepared to receive an answer I needed.

Reading the comic strip of Full House, it says: "You forget all that when you focus on what really matters. Don't sweat the small stuff."

I was moved at the familiar words. I didn't expect that receiving the message at the time that you most needed it, can be that powerful. I felt that the message filled a gap. As if completing a sentence I am struggling with. It made me realize to once again learn to appreciate what matters most. In my reluctance to open up, I was humbled.

Even in my resistance, my insignificant self received an affirmation: that I am loved. A great Easter affirmation.

Indeed He makes all things new.

at the barnyard

Last Thursday we were at my father and sister's house. We spent the afternoon watching animated films on dvd with the babies. Jane's choice is the Barnyard.

It is interesting when you try not to contemplate or meditate, interesting insights come your way.

"A great leader is not always the strongest or the wisest, it is the one who cares the most".

I really learn or re-learn again when I watch these animated films.

Friday, April 06, 2007

visita iglesias

Simbahan ng Santo Tomas de Villanueva, Miagao, Iloilo. This church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visited this church during Holy week of 2003 as Amats and I together with Rex when we visited him there. This is one of the most beautiful churches that I have visited. It is not huge compared to other cathedrals. When we visited the Miagao church, restoration works have just been completed at that time.

I've only had one complete visita iglesias and it was with Mayang I think circa 1998. We went to 14 churches in Manila and Quezon City. We started at Manila Cathedral, then San Sebastian and up to Quezon City where our last stop was at the Della Strada along Katipunan Avenue.

I took these pictures of a window of the church in Miagao, showing how it looks at the inside and at the outside. I love these pictures.