The rolling hills of Bukidnon in Mindanao is one of the most picturesque places i have been to in the country. It is home to a lot of pineapples, cattle, and sunflowers that line the main highway I pass by while riding a bus.
I took this photo while going around the Del Monte plantation on one late afternoon. I was hoping to get a photo of the sunset but the sun went down that fast that I was only able to take these dark silhouettes of really really old trees that reminded me of the movie Lion King. It looks alike a dark African savanna with a couple of trees on the background.
waiting for the bus.
There is a virtue in waiting.
That is what my mentor would always tell me. He is very fond of time and its different dimensions in relation to love. Here is one of my favorite articles he wrote a year after the original article was written.
For those who were brave, are brave, and continues to be brave. Prost!
I like churches.
I always make it a point to visit one when its my first time in an area. Its a habit that I was able to inherit from the men in my family. Whatever land I may be, the church is one of the places that I look forward to visit.
One particularly memorable church is that from the humble town of Morong. It is unique compared to other churches because of its beautiful belfry which according to experts is very neo-baroque.
It sits on a relatively higher ground compared to the houses near it with an overlooking view of Morong’s rice fields and to a distance, the majestic laguna de bay.
When you arrive in the church, you will be greeted by lion sculptures that are usually found in temples. This was probably because most of the workers who built the church were Chinese settlers in the area. More of their chinese aesthetic could be seen in great detail with how the church’s interiors and the belfry’s top looked like an eight sided pagoda.
The four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Courage were sculpted as images to support the different sides of the belfry.
The church is really old and its such a wonderful thing that it was able to withstand the test of time. If I’m not mistaken, the church was built in the 1600’s making it a really really old church. Its patron saint is Saint Jerome whose first class relics are said to be on display inside.
Unfortunately for me, I only literally dropped by the church to quickly pray and snap some photos before I went on with my journey. Perhaps in the coming days I can revisit the church to pray, learn more about it, and write.
I love going to the Manila North Cemetery. As strange as it may seem, I value the rich history, art, and life that one finds in this humongous place.
In this cemetery alone, I can trace up to four generations of my family buried here, from my grandparent’s parents, down to my nieces who have gone ahead of me. Then, there are the other historical figures like famous politicians, patriots, heroes, comediennes, artists, writers, and other people that just sound popular/awfully familiar that whenever I read their epitaphs, I feel that they are of great significance to a everyone.
I particularly like this burial place and the one after because of their uniqueness and cultural value. The designs are just artistic and full of history. I particularly like how this grave marker was designed. It had a lot of delicate curves that reminded me of the old Manila Metropolitan Theater.
Here lies Juan Nakpil (1899-1986)- a Filipino National Artist for Architecture and probably his also famous father Julio Nakpil a popular composer during the Philippine Revolution who eventually married Andres Bonifacio’s Widow, Gregoria De Jesus.
A stylized cross with the Pax Christi symbol.
Arellano Family Burial Grounds- probably related to the owners of the now popular Arellano University
This is the common cross found in the cemetery’s center. This common cross was erected in order to provide people whose relatives are buried in a different place a location for them to pray and offer candles to their loved ones.
At the same time, names of the deceased were also placed here even without their remains as a marker for their visitors. Year on year, the common cross has served its purpose and people drove in flocks here every November 1.
Leftover candles are collected by this young boy in order for him to earn a quick sell.
The candles that were used will be weighed and then recycled for the future. Usually, when I was younger, I collected these candles with them but nowadays, its just too much effort for five pesos per kilo.
Where do we find God in a world full of suffering? How do we see goodness in the face of adversity?
Picture taken while biking around. :)
i was having coffee when I spotted this chubby labrador retriever walking around the piazza. He was sniffing around and approached the nearest person to beg for food. he would sit down, look at you, and do a whine and bark combination that will really make you want to share your food to him.
Oh was this dog smart! he was able to ask food from a lot of people! When he was done with person, he would go around the corner to eat and rest for a while . Then, he would slowly peek around the corner to check if the donor was gone and off he goes again with his routine.
No wonder this dog was fat and chubby!
Graduations mark the beginning of one of the most exciting seasons (well for me at the least) of the year- summer.
For me, summer means travelling and the whole process of going to the airport, meeting new people, learning about history, and eating food is just exhilarating.
As a young kid, I really cherish the times I got to meet the pilot in the cockpit. My father is so awesome that he always found a way for us to meet the whole crew. At the same time, I also enjoyed eating airplane food. It wasn’t really that great but there was a sense of amazement and surprise to eat food in a sleek foil pack that reminded me of space food. The food was always artfully proportioned with small sachets of condiments and a set of metal cutlery that I bring home with me (bad!).
Its such as shame though that nowadays, we don’t get to experience airplane food like before. Anyway, I am excited of what this year’s summer would bring-of the new lands and places to go to, faces to meet, pilots to greet, and pictures to take.
cheers to the summer of 2012. this will be awesome.
(this photo was taken in an airport in italy. I was again fortunate enough to explore the sides of the plane because the boeing engines fascinate me)
I am very fortunate and grateful for my three days around Rome. It was a refreshing experience to be able to walk in such a colorful city where every corner is rich with history and color
My mind goes wild with the thought that perhaps the very spot that I was standing on was where some great historical person stood hundreds of years ago.
The afternoon I landed in Rome, I began walking around to scout for the places I had in researched prior to my tour- the places where the movie angels and demons was shot, the vatican, piazza navona for the best gelato, the colosseum, spanish steps, the church of the gesu, and all the other places that my feet and euros could bring me.
The following day, I started early with my adventure. The long walks, awesome food, and history lessons really made the fatigue endurable. With my camera in tow and a little conversational italian from my college days, I began my walk.
This is via della gatta. Via means “way/street,” while gatta means “cat” which was probably the etymology of the spanish word gato for cat.
In roman tradition, white flowers were symbolic of purity and honor. these white flowery plants seemed to sprawl all over the blank patches of land in rome.
It was strange but incredibly beautiful that most of the structures in rome were very colorful. They didn’t have much of the boring white-washed walls but more of the grainy stucco-like wall finishes in pastel colors that perfectly matched the bright blue italian sky.
mi casu su casa.
The colors may be bright and contrasting but it works so well to the pleasure and enjoyment of my eyes. I was becoming teary-eyed as I tried to absorb all of the colors in. The little patches of greens, oranges, yellows, and bright blue was just too beautiful!bellissima!
The windows of the houses were also quite interesting. They were always proportionally placed on the buildings’ facades. They also came in a contrasting darker or lighter shade than their walls.
rust and green look good together right?
peach and blues too!
The buildings had a uniformed look. They were mid-rise, and to a certain extent quite vanilla to the eyes. However, with a closer look, they were really unique architectural gems with their own sets of lines, curves, and sense of balance.
This building looks a bit off to the set but I liked how the executed this corner. At the ground floor is some luxury brand that I didn’t bother to go in to because beside it was an old man selling sweetened figs. yummy!
ciao, arrividerci! :)
i love sitting on the passenger seat. i love it not because i can escape the stresses/perks of driving but because it gives me a chance to see the world around me more. i get to peek out the window, watch people, and appreciate how life unfolds in front of me.
Here are some of my “passenger seat photos” during one of my travels.
another picture of the sun.
roman aqueduct used as a means to distribute water in the olden days
ancient ruins that I wish I was able to get a closer look of.
I have a recurring dream in the form of my old photographs.
My old photographs were taken at a time when I enjoyed things too much and too often. It always began with me walking in an unending road. I never grew tired and I kept on walking and walking and walking.
At times, the colors of the dream-world would change and I began to encounter my other photographs like that of a tree which unusually came to life and introduced itself as the burning bush. Apparently, it grew up after all these years.
I also met Guglielmo Marconi in my dream as I passed by his world of antennas and radio broadcasts. His world of signals and lines took center stage for some time.
Finally, the dream ended with a sunset.
All photos were taken at Italy when I was walking back home one afternoon.
It was a cool sunny afternoon when I took a boat to visit Venice. The air smelled fishy like the Pasig river but it didn’t matter because I was excited to set foot on it before the Adriatic Sea eats it up one day.
Inch by inch, as the water level rises, this city will slowly sink into the sea until it is completely lost and gone forever. In my mind, I thought of taking this picture to help me remember how it was when I visited it and maybe serve as a comparison with how it will be in the future.
I love animals. When I was a kid, I always wanted to have a fierce winged sidekick like an Eagle. It never came true because eagles were an endangered species. But just because I can’t have a pet I couldn’t get close to a real one. :)
One afternoon, I decided to go to the nearest zoo to take pictures. This is one of my favorite photos. I was using my 50mm lens for this.
The angry bird pecked at the lens! Good thing it had a UV filter that was strong enough to withstand this bird’s pecking power. haha
Every time I look back at this picture, I feel good that for a split second I had a moment with my dream pet.
Happy New Year! I am very proud that my first post for 2012 is on Cooking :)
For my family’s new year’s eve meal, I decided to tap my amateur cooking skills as a way to show my gratitude to my family. I prepared a mix of dishes from tried and tested family favorites to new and experimental ones. Good thing everyone liked what I cooked. :)
I don’t know if professionals do it this way but everytime I cook, I follow a strict process that helps me keep things organized while doing all the kitchen work. It involves the following steps: (1) Planning the menu, (2) Creating Recipes (3) Sourcing Ingredients (4) Scheduling of Tasks (5) Prep-work (6) Cooking (7) Plating (8) Serving (9) Clean-up (Admittedly though I hate step 9 :< ).
I rarely document my cooking exploits. Usually, I would just jot down all my recipes in my cooking journal. Maybe it was because of New Year’s eve but I was energetic enough to document my cooking this time:
I love making pizza. I usually make my own dough and I like it very thin and biscuit-like so that its not too heavy. At the same time, I purposefully make the dough taste nutty so that it balances out the rich flavors of its toppings. To be honest, the dough making process is tedious but making your own dough is that extra step in making your pizza awesome. :)
For our meal, I made four pizzas: Pepperoni, A compost mushroom pizza, Sardines, and a variant that has veggies on it.
For my next dish, I made use of this very pungent herb called dill. Its one of my favorite herbs next to coriander and saffron as it gives a familiar and yet distinct taste in a dish.
Rolled Smoked Salmon in dill sauce plated with a whole lemon as a joke to my family.
Fish Roe with crackers.
Traditional Hot Chocolate made with Tablea sourced from our province. I made this using a batirol/batidor to make it foamy and thick. At times though, when this needs to be rushed, I start using a mixer/blender. My concoction usually consists of a tablea of secret blend, water, a bark of cinnamon for stirring/flavor/aesthetic value. Sugar and Milk is only added when requested. I like my hot chocolate thick and bitter.
I also made a deliciously cute (tastes and look good) dish that I call: Barquillos Panna Cotta topped with my tropical syrup. The panna cotta part was easy but the syrup part was very tricky. In the end though, my family greatly enjoyed this unusual dessert. It is light, airy, and with the right kick in the syrup.
Hopefully this year I’d be able to make my culinary exploits have the same photographic treatment as my other shots. :)
Happy New Year!
I also post pictures of what I eat and cook here: talesfromthekitchen.tumblr.com
this was my student’s photo 3 years ago during the annual christmas party on my last year as a volunteer teacher in Payatas. I can proudly say that it was a wonderful four-year stint where I learned so much. I learned to appreciate the simple things and to be grateful for the generosity and hospitality extended to me.
His name is Bernard Ofemia. He lives with his Lola whose name always seem to escape my memory. I’d usually chat with lola as I waited for Bernard. Lola would then have her usual Hope menthol cigarettes as she told her story of how she became bernard’s guardian. I somehow memorized the story since its the same thing for four years every week. The highlight though of this visit is when the upstairs neighbor Ate Pinky, a toothless and chubby-in-a-cute-kind-of-way lady, will join the conversation with the gossip of what recently happened in their community.
A lot of Ate Pinky’s gossips/stories were quite memorable. Examples include: a kid who was found dead without its kidneys because it was sold to foreigners; or the unending saga of the community aswang who always seem to elude the community albularyo in hot pursuit to stop the aswang from eating babies in women’s wombs. It was amazing that she never seemed to ran out of stories and the creativity to keep my attention.
Anyway, I somehow remembered these wonderful and genuine people on a night like this and I am looking forward to visit them at Majaas St. one of these days :) Merry Christmas everyone :)