"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Monday, December 20, 2010

destination 2011: batanes!

"The human spirit needs places
where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man."

-- Author Unknown

I know this to be personally true: experiencing Batanes is a must. Returning to Batanes, reliving the experience is inevitable. Not returning to Batanes is unthinkable.

more travel & adventure photos are available in my online gallery:

On February 27, 2010, twelve days after I got back from my first ever trip to Batanes, I wrote:

"BATANES is more than the place, more than the people, more than the language, more than the underrated hype, more than all of them combined. it is not in any picture or magazine article -- the real BATANES is an experience."

Experiencing Batanes was a dream I nurtured ever since I was 12 years old. I nurtured it patiently for so long until I finally got the realization of that dream early this year. It took me 15 years! Batanes was a dream that eventually came true. When it did come true, I was overwhelmed. The experience was totally mind-blowing!!! Until now, more than 10 months after that dream-come-true trip, I still have Batanes in my mind. It is a fascination I cannot just shake off. Traveling to other places, which I constantly do, just won't make up for my thirst and hunger for MORE of Batanes. All those other travel destinations have their own lures but they cannot compare to the way I find Batanes -- so perfectly wonderful, this paradise of the north, undeniably a piece of heaven on earth.

Batanes is the place to be and I HAVE TO GET BACK THERE SOON!!! There, I've said it!

experiencing the humming winds | vayang rolling hills

Anyone who doubts my fascination for Batanes can go check out the previous blog articles which I posted:

destination: batanes
alternative links:

this is it: heaven on earth! | racuh-a-payaman
a.k.a. marlboro country, mahatao, batanes

but i knew i loved you even before i met you
alternative links:

the oh-so-splendid view from vayang rolling hills

You can also check the 20 photo albums (with 1200+ photos from my DSLR) which I dedicated to my Batanes trip here: http://kulitjr3.multiply.com

You can trust that when I get my chance of being back there in Batanes, I will write more and share more pictures. After all, I'm great at documenting my travels and adventures!*

With all that said, I'm definitely going back to Batanes. I made it my personal travel goal to visit Batanes every year of my travel life starting 2010. 2011 is just around the corner and Batanes is beckoning! The goal is calling!

*Read my travel & adventure stories here and ogle at my photo & video evidences of the moments here. (",)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

from: i, sunset-chaser

"J'aime bien les couchers de soleil.
Allons voir un coucher de soleil..."
("I am very fond of sunsets. Come, let us go look at a sunset...")

-- Chapter VI of Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)
by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

thank God for glorious sunsets! i cannot help but always feel like a child so filled with glee every time i see carpets (sometimes bursts!) of warm colors adorning the sky as sunlight does its spectacular battle against darkness when day turns to night.

delighting. inspiring. moving.

as seen from the centennial park in dalipuga, iligan city
17:37:00 (+GMT), december 31, 2007
the last sunset of 2007

as seen from the beach in naawan, misamis oriental
17:23:59 (+8GMT), december 25, 2008
christmas day sunset captured using a camphone

as seen from near lake danum in mt. province
18:15:39 (+8GMT), april 10, 2009
good friday sunset captured with deliberate tilt :)

as seen from the workplace parking lot in tanauan city, batangas
18:35:26 (+8GMT), may 11, 2009

as seen from part of battery grubbs in corregidor island
17:29:46 (+8GMT), november 1, 2009

as seen from the port of ozamis city
17:54:31 (+8GMT), december 27, 2009

as seen from the beach in brgy. kaychanarianan, basco, batanes
17:46:38 (+8GMT), february 14, 2010
valentine's day and chinese new year 2010 sunset

as seen from the summit of mt. tagapo, talim island, laguna de bay
17:58:47 (+8GMT), march 6, 2010

as seen from the van while going from laguna to rizal
18:07:32 (+8GMT), april 24, 2010

as seen from the beach near the port of siquijor, siquijor
17:28:33 (+8GMT), june 5, 2010

as seen from part of CCP complex, roxas boulevard, pasay city
18:20:24 (+8GMT), august 15, 2010

as seen from jones bridge in the city of manila
18:08:52 (+8GMT), september 19, 2010

as seen from la puerta al paraizo in guimaras
17:53:42 (+8GMT), september 25, 2010

it's time for dark but march on photons! bleed, sky, bleed! :D

previous project: unveiling my sunrise love affair
this project: sunsets! :)

Friday, November 05, 2010

unveiling my sunrise love affair

daybreak is a joyful time,
just listen to the song bird harmonies, oh the harmonies!

-- part of the lyrics of reo speedwagon's in my dreams

the room that my two younger sisters and i share at home in iligan have six big windows, three of which are facing east -- allowing us views of where the trees and greens abound and the distant mountains. with that, i could say that, growing up, i had all the opportunity to nurture my love for sunrise. ah, but i could only count with my fingers (and there's no use attempting to include my toes) the number of times i woke up just to watch the sun rays burst from behind the mountains that have long been there, in plain view through the east-facing windows that my father made sure were gonna be part of his daughters' room when they came up with the house plan years ago.

the sun would always rise. the mountains would always be there. i'd have tomorrow, the day after, and the day after that day after... and it's always nice to sleep in -- needless to say, i also had all the excuses to take our vantage for granted. it was enough for me to know that if i wanted to, i only had to rise from the bed in the early morning hours and take a peek as the sun glow slowly creeps up the horizon to put back color, one captivating moment at a time, to my world. aha to the things i do, the thoughts i entertain, and the excuses i come up with to let the time pass just like that.

after few lines from here, i will be sharing some of the sunrise photos i have taken with my camera in the past months and i just need to announce at this point that none of them will be from the very place i call home. a sunrise photo from iligan will be one of my major assignments come december, when i go home. i'm really, really looking forward to that.

time to say hi to the sun and the early morning colors:

as seen from banana island, palawan
06:07:34 (+8GMT), march 15, 2009

as seen from the calamian area of palawan, going to calauit island
06:29:41 (+8GMT), march 16, 2009

as seen from mt. tapyas of coron, palawan
06:03:00 (+8GMT), march 17, 2009

as seen from the kiltepan viewpoint of mt. province
06:05:01 (+8GMT), april 10, 2009

as seen from the top-side of corregidor island
05:52:41 (+8GMT), november 2, 2009

as seen from cagbalete island of quezon province
06:25:43 (+8GMT), march 14, 2010

as seen from the path to dagohoy hills of E.A.T. danao, bohol
05:46:11 (+8GMT), june 4, 2010

as seen from the summit of mt. pulag at 2922 masl
06:16:45 (+8GMT), october 24, 2010

previous project: rainbow collection
next share: sunsets! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

why i love being busy

i'm busy. i'm busy with work, i'm busy knowing God, busy experiencing places & seeing sights, busy taking pictures, busy looking at rainbows, busy sharing knowledge, busy learning tunes, busy connecting with people (the old & new) -- i've never been this happily busy & i'm sure this'll even get better. happy, happy, joy, joy! Ü

-- i already posted these lines before and i'm posting them again because doing so is more than worth it and one way to acknowledge the blessings that keep coming :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

daytrip: the seven lakes of san pablo city

10th of july 2010
a saturday adventure with gal pals
a D.I.Y. trip inspired by internet research ;-)

laguna: san pablo city, nagcarlan, liliw

what this was like: mission accomplished and more! yey, it's a gurl power saturday! :)

the plan was to see 5 lakes instead of 7. we started late (9am instead of 8am) due to circumstances beyond our control. bunot lake and calibato lake were both already stricken out of the itinerary days before. however, due to what could be called a spur-of-the-moment decision, we ended up taking the chance of seeing these two lakes -- first stop was bunot lake.

destination: bunot lake
we asked around how to get there. we walked from where we alighted the tricycle that brought us to brgy. concepcion from san pablo city proper. there were barking dogs -- whew, morning stress-inducers for me! bunot lake turned out to be picturesque enough. one down! next target was calibato lake.

bunot lake

destination: calibato lake
we took a ride on a jeepney bound for nagcarlan and got off at this resort just before rizal that had calibato lake on its signage. wrong move! the place looked inhabited but there was no single person to be found and there was no sign of calibato lake from what we initially thought was the viewdeck. we had to walk several hundred meters back and got help from a very small signage that says "seven lakes" and with confirmation from a stranger. it was a long walk under the heat of the sun until we went down some stairs and found ourselves in a very forest-like environment. we followed the path of a young boy whom we asked and told us that calibato lake was further beyond -- there -- where he was going, where we were going. indeed, calibato lake was where he said it was! with that said, we already hit two targets -- two lakes. next stop was pandin lake where we were scheduled to have lunch.

calibato lake

destination: pandin lake + yambo lake
from calibato lake, we made our way back to the highway and rode a jeepney to where ate sion, wife of mang tano (whose number i only saw on the internet and with whom i made arrangements for our raft ride and lunch in pandin lake), was waiting for us. with ate sion was kuya rene, a barangay tanod. they both escorted us to pandin lake. it was a 10-to-15-minute walk to the lake but it was worth it -- the raft ride (with local women as paddlers) was relaxing and fun. we got to see yambo lake, too! :) at this point, we hit 4 targets already -- 4 lakes!

pandin lake

yambo lake

destination: liliw
after our pandin adventure, we went all the way to liliw to look for what liliw is known for -- slippers, sandals, footwear! (haha, when gals go together, have an emergency room for shopping in the itinerary).

destination: nagcarlan underground cemetery
from liliw, we went to nagcarlan to visit a historical landmark -- the nagcarlan underground cemetery. after this, we took another jeepney ride in order to get to sambat (ilog), the jump-off point for palakpakin lake.

destination: palakpakin lake + mojicap lake + sampaloc lake
the jeepney driver turned out to be slow and absent-minded -- needless to say, he got on our nerves. we had to take another jeepney ride to undo the effects of his inefficiency on us. we got to the right stop, hired two tricycles for our group of six, and got ourselves to where we could view palakpakin lake. (note: palakpakin lake seems to be the least impressive among the lakes we visited). while we were making our way to palakpakin lake, our tricycle driver made small talk and that's when we found out that he was mang tano (wow! cool chance!), my contact for the pandin lake trip and president of the pandin lake association. after palakpakin lake, we went on to see mojicap lake and then sampaloc lake. super big smiles!!! :) :D ;)

palakpakin lake

mojicap lake

sampaloc lake

aha, mission accomplished before sundown! before we called it a day, we went to prosperity food house in san pablo to reward our famished selves. after that, it was time to go home -- time check: past 7pm, going 8pm.

despite starting out late, despite the plan of seeing only 5, we were able to see 7 lakes out of san pablo's 7! :D 7 lakes plus a trip to liliw plus a trip to nagcarlan cemetery for a daytrip? achievement! hahaha.

breakdown of expenses per person:
(1) jeepney ride from san pablo medical to san pablo city proper: PhP7
(2) tricycle ride from san pablo to brgy. concepcion (special ride): PhP15
(3) jeepney ride to calibato lake jump-off point: PhP8
(4) jeepney ride to pandin lake jump-off point: PhP7
(5) pandin lake raft ride + lunch + tip (optional but we recommend it): PhP180 + PhP180 + (how blessed are you and how much are you willing to bless others?)
(6) jeepney ride to liliw: PhP18
(7) jeepney ride to nagcarlan: PhP7
(8) jeepney ride to sambat (ilog): PhP15
(9) jeepney ride to undo the driver for item #8's inefficiencies: PhP7
(10) tricycle ride to palakpakin, mojicap, and sampaloc lakes (special trip) + tip (optional but we recommend it): PhP15 (up to palakpakin only) + you decide + (how blessed are you and how much are you willing to bless others especially if they're doing more than what's expected to help you?)

click here to see the complete set of photos directly related to this trip.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

one year apart

the before look and the work-in-progress look -- a comparison:

june 12, 2009. keeping my mouth open for this photo was a struggle. had my braces installed. look at that misalignment. a gum bleed here, a wax strip there. all that excess cement (or whatever that whitish stuff is that orthodontists use to make every bracket stick to their respective tooth assignments).

june 12, 2010. not quite done yet but notice the major improvement. :)

looking forward to eating korniks hassle-free again soon, very soon. i can hope for very soon, right?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

destination: batanes

"isang libo't isa mang bagyo ang dumating, di ka matutumba.
malalim ang kapit mo dito."

this is the how-to-get-there, what-to-do, what-to-see, how-much-to-prepare part.

this is it: heaven on earth! | racuh-a-payaman
a.k.a. marlboro country, mahatao, batanes

time stamp: 12:38:40 philippine time | february 14, 2010, sunday
(finding paradise on valentine's day and chinese new year 2010!)

in this picture: part of the oh-so-green communal pasturelands, the awesome blueness of the pacific ocean, and shy mt. iraya in the distance

how to get there:
easiest/most convenient:
via seair (manila-basco-manila)
32-seater dornier jet
tel. no. +63 2 844 0100
check out their website, too
current normal rate: 13.6K pesos per pax (roundtrip, excluding PhP200 optional baggage insurance)
promo rates: 10% discount on selected travel dates; 50% discount (PhP14K roundtrip for 2 pax) on selected rare occasions
note: the flight route is manila-basco-manila but i'm not recommending SEAIR anymore. their customer service badly needs improvement.

where to stay:
webpages on batanes often have a list of options. google for those.

where we stayed:
shanedel's inn and cafe -- rooms are decent, neat, and the inn has terrace for seaside views
this will cost PhP 300-500 per head per day of stay
owner: deli milan (send me a pm for her contact number)
they can also arrange the basco, sabtang island, and batan island guided tours for you
(we availed of the 3-day package inclusive of lunch for 2 days, permits and fees, van rental with driver, local tour guide services, and boat ride fees. tip: per-head price of tour package goes down if there are more people availing the same package. check if it's possible to be grouped with others.)
OR you can try directly coordinating with the tour guide assigned to us, jacklord labrador (0921 241 6455; i guess it's ok to share his contact number since his name and contact details are also published in wikipedia. astig, di ba?)

length of stay options (our options):
4 days/3 nights
- 1st day (arrival, basco guided tour)
- 2nd day (sabtang island tour)
- 3rd day (batan island tour)
- 4th day (departure for manila)
5 days/4 nights
similar as above for the 1st 3 days
4th day is "free day" for biking, beach bumming, hiking, idling, exploring the place on your own OR you can hie off to itbayat island (3- to 4-hour falowa ride -- nakakalula! sure na! -- or 12-min plane ride at 700 pesos per head if the airstrip in itbayat is functional)

day 1 (our day 1)
- arrival, check-in at place of stay
- 10am-1pm free time (walk around basco proper -- everything is hiking distance around the capital: trial court building, provincial capitol, plaza, kilometer zero marker (haha, i almost missed seeing this one!), general hospital, philippine national police (ivatan's finest!) headquarters, banks, food shops, public market (just one small building!), basco cathedral (built in 1776?), abad st., national road, national food authority. interact with the locals you meet -- ivatans are very hospitable!
- basco guided tour (day 1 tour package)
* tukon church (rivals caleruega! i love it more than caleruega. it stands on a hill offering a great view of both the pacific ocean and the south china sea and mt. iraya as well.)
* radar tukon / basco PAG-ASA station
* idjang (local term for old tribal rock fortresses)
* japanese tunnel
* valugan boulder beach (your assignment: how many boulders are there in valugan boulder beach? give high tide and low tide figures. haha!)
* vayang rolling hills
* basco lighthouse / naidi lighthouse
- back to place of stay
- dinner

day 2 (our day 2)
- breakfast
- start of day 2 guided tour -- destination: sabtang island (where the nescafe classic TV commercial was shot)
* port of ivana (sights in this area: san jose church, honesty coffee shop, jackstone port, old port)
- falowa ride to sabtang (it might be helpful to take bonamine or candy. the waves are notoriously nausea-inducing -- it's like a 45-min non-stop rollercoaster ride.)
* sabtang registration
* savigud village (stonehouses, church, ivatans)
* lime beach (make your guide share the ivatans' traditional way of making lime for their stonehouses -- a practice already stopped due to ecological reasons)
* idjang
* chamantad sanctuary
* chavayan village (vakkul weaving, stonehouses, church, ivatans, beach)
* nakabuang beach (strong waves, ahaw rock arch)
- lunch (pananayam canteen)
- falowa ride to batan (another 45-min rollercoaster-like ride)
- free time (options: walk around basco, go biking, revisit the basco lighthouse and naidi hills, sit by the beach)
- dinner
tip: observe where the national road in sabtang leads.
reminders: sabtang has a lighthouse: the sabtang lighthouse. if favor is on your side, you just might witness a real bayanihan and be invited to eat their delicious bayanihan food -- may pabaon pa! -- like what we experienced.)

day 3 (our day 3)
- breakfast
- start of day 3 guided tour -- batan island tour
* chawa viewdeck (see the treacherous waves of the south china sea hit the cliffs of batan)
* white beach
* house of dakay (oldest stonehouse in batan; built in 1877 and still inhabited)
* ivana (san jose church, honesty coffee shop!, port)
* song-song ruins (a village facing the pacific ocean that was ruined by a tsunami in the 1950s)
* alapad natural rock formation
* ruins of the long-range aid to navigation (LORAN) of the US coast guard
* brgy. imnajbu (pronounced as im-na-bu; place where the first catholic mass on batanes soil was held by the spaniards)
* racuh-a-payaman a.k.a marlboro country (communal pasturelands facing the pacific ocean and mt. iraya
* mahatao church
* old spanish bridge in mahatao (the other old spanish bridge is in ivana)
- free time
reminder: do not miss the mahatao hedgerows and the mahatao lighthouse

dining places:
hiro's cafe, resto at basco lighthouse, pension ivatan (just ask around). try ordering casa napoli pizza (yummy! their most expensive pizza costs PhP430 -- and it's big, big.)

souvenir shops in basco (at least, those that we've entered/checked out):
* wakaii (where i bought my "wow batanes -- wind over waves" shirt)
* tawsen
* of this and that
* there is also a souvenir shop just outside the basco airport terminal building
* basco lighthouse
* honesty coffee shop (where no one's watching and where i bought my shirt by dropping my money into the honesty box)

you may also visit the following websites (google, google!):
* batanes online
* batanes cultural travel agency (BCTA)

- the ivatans started using BLOW UR HORN road markers long before SMS became popular, long before texting was acknowledged as a word and as an independent lingo. look for those road markers. disclaimer: ivatans are NOT jejemons. they have high literacy rate.
- bring flashlight. you might want to take a walk to the hills (where basco lighthouse dominates) to watch sunset there. you will need the flashlight on the way back. it's relatively safe to walk. ivatans are kind.
- their doors have locks pero hindi uso mag-lock sa batanes.
- sunrise is best seen from valugan bay. sunset can either be enjoyed from basco lighthouse (naidi) or from brgy. kaychanarianan's beach (shanedel's beach front)
- overnight in sabtang island is 300 pesos per pax per night
- walk around basco and always be on the look out for interesting things like tippuhu trees, abandoned stonehouses, road signs, old-spanish-bridge-inspired modern-day bridges, and fuel prices.
- food will cost.... ~PhP1500 all-in-all per head (actually, this would really depend on your preferences because good food -- complete meal -- in batanes can cost 30-250 pesos per meal per pax)
- souvenir shirt will cost ~PhP150-250
- luxurious place of stay in basco is fundacion pacita (super nice but pricey as well)

flashpacker's budget:
normal flight rates + tours + accommodation + food + transpo: ~20K pesos per pax

previous article on batanes: but i knew i loved you even before i met you
next article on batanes: my february 2010 batanes travel diary (and you thought i'm already over it? haha!)

acknowledgment (of course, this is important!):
to mati and kat for the great company, weeeeeeeeeee -- kat deserves a special mention since she's the one who made the arrangements for the group.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

meet my travel soulmates

13th-14th of march 2010

the cagbalete trip + baliscar super adventure

in lieu of a full story blog, i came up with this video file

length: 4 minutes and 10 seconds

in this video: meet my travel soulmates, meet the pinas flashpackers :-)

we ♥ jumpshots!
we ♥ group shots!
we ♥ adventure!

if you should watch, watch 'til the end -- watch until 'Play Again' shows up on the video screen.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

of light and rainbows

♥ "And when the earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And You stand before me,
I know You love me.
I know You love me." ♥
-- lyrics, At the Cross

what draws me to rainbows? i believe this:

And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set MY RAINBOW in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.' -- Genesis 9:12-15, The Holy Bible, TNIV

rainbows remind and assure me of God's faithfulness and that whatever my cares are, all is well because favors and His blessings are continuously pouring!

let me share my ever-growing rainbow collection (starting 21st of november 2009):

11.21.09 thank you, Lord for this big beautiful rainbow

picture was taken using my mobile phone while i was making my way out of batangas for manila | vantage point for this particular scene: the spacious vacant lot of the pamilihang bayan ng sto.tomas, batangas

11.27.09 wow, rainbow!!! | sabang, camarines sur

11.28.09 another rainbow sighting on a saturday afternoon | as seen from sapitang lahi island, caramoan, camarines sur

12.11.09 just a week before my birthday and wow, it's an amazingly big, beautiful, rainbow in the december sky! | just outside the workplace, tanauan city, batangas

02.13.10 look, there's a rainbow! | start of our falowa ride from batan island to sabtang island of batanes

02.14.2010 happy valentine's day and 2010 chinese new year rainbow in basco, batanes | photo was taken using my mobile phone during an awesome sunday morning!

03.13.2010 the big, big rainbow we saw from cagbalete island of quezon province

03.18.2010 early morning rainbow over first philippine industrial park, sto. tomas, batangas on a workday thursday! | saw this rainbow on my way to work ;-D nice motivation! photo was taken using my phone and from behind a tinted windshield

i get delighted by the sight of rainbows and natural light sky shows. i look forward to seeing sunrise and i also look forward to seeing sunset. sun rays? they get my attention.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

but i knew i loved you even before i met you

.o0 ('i knew i loved you before i met you.'
i ♥ batanes! if batanes were a person -- male --
papakasalan ko na s'ya, walang arte-arte. Ü )

-- my tweet for the 23rd of february 2010, a week and a day after i got back from batanes

the oh-so-splendid view from vayang rolling hills

finally, i can say that i have been to my ultimate dream destination in the philippines. after just merely thinking of reaching it for so long and keeping myself satisfied with the photos and features that i got to see and read about it and the ivatans since i was, maybe, 12 years old, i was finally able to see, touch, smell, feel, and experience batanes. wow! it feels great that i finally made it MY batanes.

it used to be just a 'forever distant dream'. however, i learned from my recent batanes trip that even being there also feels like a dream. you'll be tempted to pinch yourself, close your eyes, shake your head... just to make sure that everything you're seeing and feeling is really, really real -- the place is unbelievably beautiful, too beautiful. all the other beautiful places i've been to fade -- not only pale but fade -- in comparison.

the views are undeniably awesome -- the seas are as blue as awesome blue can be, the hills are as green as delightful green can be, and, even in some areas where there are patches of gold and brown, everything just seems to fit perfectly -- even the winds in batanes can sing!

this dream come true overwhelmingly exceeded my expectations. see, before i reached batanes, i already had high expectations about the place, the people, and the experience of seeing it with my own eyes. when i went to batanes, i was rewarded with favor overflow because the experience that i had was wonderfully far more than what i imagined or ever dreamed. it was, to say the least, totally mind-blowing!!!

batanes is more than the place, more than the people, more than the language, more than the underrated hype, more than all of them combined. it is not in any picture or magazine article -- the real batanes is an experience. i can only try but i cannot really describe it for you, you have to experience it for yourselves.

having accomplished that goal of reaching my local dream destination, i am now ready to start saving for switzerland (with france for a side-trip) and israel (with, maybe, egypt for a side-trip).

p.s. i sort of thought that maybe i'll write about the trip when i'm finally done uploading to multiply the photos i took. however, i took so many and it'll take long before i finish sharing them 1000+ pics so let me just post this one ahead. i'll improve this when i... wait, did i already say i love, love, love, love batanes? ;-D this goes with saying that batanes won't be out of my future travel list. we're definitely going back there next year!

p.p.s "we're definitely going back there next year!" we, who? kaming mga never na magtatanong ng mga PTL questions gaya ng (1) batanes?! saan yun? (2) batanes?! anong meron dun? (3) batanes?! may dagat ba doon? (4) batanes?! may daan ba papunta doon? ;-D

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

manila bay

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —
think about such things."

-- Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

i have seen manila bay in good light. this is how it looks like.

this is the philippines' manila bay

yes, it looks as awesome as that. i took this picture one early november morning last year. sure, it does not have the cleanest seawater but under good natural lighting conditions and under clear blue skies, manila bay gives one's eyes a truly amazing sight to behold.

picture was taken using a nikon d60
manual exposure
time stamp: 2009:11:01 06:49:01

Sunday, January 24, 2010


"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary."
--Aaron Rose

what can you say about a five-year old pair of everyday slippers? that it was black, ordinary, and other than the 'summer walk' embossed on its soles, it was as brandless as no-name-recall. that it was mine and that, just this morning, it gave up on me.

my 5-year old brandless pair of everyday slippers gave up on me today. there, i've written it down. that's something i just have to let out. wear-and-tear finally succeeded at severing the right half at its weakest link.

it was with me -- it was my everyday wear -- during my UP diliman days. it traveled with me to mindanao, accompanied me back to manila, stayed with me in laguna, transferred with me to batangas, and, today, it reached its end of duty.

old meets new

goodbye, tsinelas.

you have served me well. i knew when i first saw you that you were not designed for abuse. nevertheless, i bought you for that purpose and you lived up to that. you've demonstrated a staying power that earned my amazement. you even put my merrell pair of shoes to shame -- that merrell pair which i could no longer use since one year and eight months ago because it hated surviving mud and bowed out of active duty by cracking open in the wrong places.

i'll say it again and for the last time: goodbye, tsinelas.

you now have a successor. it is white, ordinary, and other than the "palm beach" embossed on its soles, it is as brandless as no-name-recall like you are. but it is mine and, beginning today, it is the new everyday pair for my feet and it shall have the burden of living up to your feat.

p.s. erich segal, the guy who wrote the book, love story, died this week. he started that book this way: "What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful. And brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. And the Beatles. And me." that, in a way, makes the first paragraph of this write-up familiar.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

local travel list/wishlist

happy. life. under the tropical sky.

batanes (february 2010! tuloy na 'to!)

ilocos (vigan and pagudpud)

apo reef



anawangin, zambales

donsol, sorsogon for encounter with the butandings and the fireflies

bohol-siquijor (by 2010 mid-year or after; if there's a side-trip to cebu island, too, why not?)

tubbataha reef (but this will probably be more likely only after i get a scuba diving license)

i don't mind going back to palawan. i love it there.

i don't mind going back to bukidnon, either (gotta try that 840-m long zipline 4000 feet above mean sea level; i read about it on inquirer)


in and around panay island

mt. pulag

any of those mountains in batangas for some climb training

babuyan islands

those parts of the philippines and then the world!

jumpin' high

This photo was taken at Tamaraw Beach in Sabang, Puerto Princesa, Palawan last August 27, 2009. While others were busy taking pictures closer to the water, I celebrated my first few hours on the sands of truly beautiful Puerto Princesa by playing with the wind, jumping happily, and giving the Palawan sky a well-deserved high five.

now, what did i miss?

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