Grids in Las Casas Filipinas

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Grid.”

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan, Philippines prides itself in its showcase of “Filipino talent, ingenuity and craftsmanship”. And
I was blown away by how beautiful this place is, and how the owner is able to preserve the past.

My family and I went to this place as part of our 3-day trip around Luzon, which I will write about in the succeeding blog posts. For this week’s photography inspiration, I have chosen this picture of the  Balanga Church replica in the Las Casas property.20150824_172959

Stay tuned for my posts about our travel adventure!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

Aww. They’re one of the things I miss in Manila. I miss giving these puppies a bath and drying them until they’re all fluffy again. Most of all, I miss playing and running with them! 🙂 I’m really happy to see them again whenever I go on Skype with my family. Seeing them bark, albeit happily, and having that faint recognition of my voice? PRICELESS.

Aren’t they the cutest? 🙂 Now, time to watch the Presidential Debate on TV!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

Butterfly wings + Me = I’m flying!

Hahaha! This photo never fails to make me laugh. I’m sure I was also jumping and laughing at the same time while this picture was being taken.

It took me three attempts to get this okay shot before I got tired. Preserved butterflies were mounted on a glass wall and this jump shot was sort of a must-do when you get to the Bohol Butterfly Sanctuary. Visitors simply have to jump while a skilled tour guide positions the camera such that the subject seems like he/she were flying with butterfly wings.

/*Bohol, Philippines 2012*/

Salzburg Residenzbrunnen

Residenzbrunnen, the main attraction in Salzburg’s Residenzplatz, is considered the largest baroque fountain in Central Europe. It was also the setting of the scene in Sound of Music where Maria sang I have confidence in me.

/*Salzburg 2012*/

La dame de fer

La Tour Eiffel | La dame de fer, “The Iron Lady”
Visitors are in for a charming light show during the first three minutes of every hour at night.

Paris, Île-de-France | May 2011

Eiffel Tower (1889). A visit to Paris just isn’t complete without stopping by the Eiffel Tower, much like visiting NYC isn’t complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty. Both iconic landmarks were designed by Gustave Eiffel, who is reputed to have been also involved with the design and construction of the San Sebastian Church in Manila.

Paris was the last stop in my trip last year and was the least enjoyable. I was keen on seeing as much as I could for a span of two days. The hostel I picked was the worst I have ever stayed in – oh, how I wish I could forget the terrible snoring of one of my roommates! Or the rude treatment of the hostel receptionist! What was the worst thing that ever happened to you while you were on a trip?

Nonetheless, Paris is very beautiful. What I absolutely loved about it was the lovely district of Montmartre and walking around its historic cobblestone streets was exciting! I dream of visiting France again – I’d love to see Southern France with my family!

Giant Pinwheels

Just a 2-3 hour drive up from Vigan City in Ilocos Sur (click here to view my previous post about this UNESCO Heritage Site) sits the quiet little town of Bangui in Ilocos Norte.

Facing the South China Sea (or “West Philippine Sea”) is the Bangui Wind Farm in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The first of its kind in the Philippines, this wind farm consists of 20 wind turbines which line up along a nine-kilometer stretch off Bangui Bay. An average of 20 typhoons (or tropical cyclones) enter the country in a given year – just imagine the potential to create more sources of clean energy!

My family and I arrived at the wind farm just a little before dusk. We missed the sunset; the tide was high and the clouds were heavy and dark, almost as if rain’s about to fall. So after taking in the beauty before our eyes, we headed to a beach resort in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, where we spent the night.

The beach resort provided a great vantage point for these towering beauties! I’ll put off the details of my day at this beautiful beach for another blog post so I’ll just tell you more about the time when we stopped by to see the windmills on our way back to Manila.Got a little lost for a while.

Then we’ve reached it finally!

We knew then that our luck has turned around – the sea looked really calm and postcard-pretty.

Do you want to know how it feels like to stand next to one of these wind turbines? It felt awesome, because I knew that these generate clean energy that supplies a chunk of the electricity needs of the province. But how exactly? On the other hand, I felt a little nervous. It might sound funny, but I had this image of being blown away into the sea tattooed on my mind (I don’t know how to swim).

Here are some more photos:

The wind farm is located in a little fishing community and the only establishments around were these little huts wherein souvenirs were being sold.

We just can’t leave without buying our own souvenirs.

My mom bought two large souvenirs and four small ones. I guess in her mind she wanted those to represent our family. (A little FYI: it’s customary to hang a rosary on the rearview mirror in the PI.)

Good bye, giant pinwheels! You are well worth the ride from Manila!

Colosseo Roma

Colosseo, the largest amphitheater built by the Roman Empire

May 20, 2011. I remember feeling extremely tired from walking around ancient Rome, thinking that it might be the longest walk I’ve had and will ever have.

Colosseo – Anfiteatro Flavio.

I walked and walked along a well-trodden path as I marveled at the ancient grandeur that the city offered. Then I realized that it stood there, right in front of me. I caught myself standing in awe of this mega-structure, as it was nothing like I’ve imagined.

That moment reminded me of how blessed I was to have eyes that see beauty in everything I see. Right then and there, a little smile crept into my face and the unbearable pain in my feet seemed to have vanished into thin air.


P.S. A ticket includes entrance to the Roman Forum and Colosseum. I first went to the Roman Forum and got inside  the Colosseum a little more than an hour before its closing time. The queue to go inside the Colosseum is always long – it’s always best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. And maybe read up a little about its history, as you’ll appreciate the craftsmanship better with those little bits of info in mind.

A fleeting moment

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

~A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

White, puffy, and light

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
         And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
         I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
         The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
         Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
         And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
         I arise and unbuild it again.
~ Excerpt from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “The Cloud”

It’s more fun in the Philippines

It's more fun in the Philippines

One fine day at Panglao, Bohol. Really beautiful.

But then again, it’s one thing to tell about it and another thing to see it for yourself. If you haven’t already, why don’t you go spend a holiday in one of Philippines’ finest beaches?

Here are more photos: