Thursday, December 31, 2009

Skywatch#13 Full Moon Over Us

It was a full moon night when I returned to Mana House with some of my friends to take photos again. The place was full of people taking pictures. I was initially worried that we would not be able to do what we planned as it rained earlier that night. Thankfully, the rain disappeared, the skies cleared out to show this full moon hovering over us.

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This one I took on New Year's Eve..they say, there'll be a blue moon so I decided to check it out. Only to recall that in Asia, the blue moon will occur on the night of January 1. I took photos anyway. The full moon was hovering so bright and big over us while I took this. I'll check again tonight for the blue moon.
blue moon



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Friday, December 25, 2009

Skywatch #12 Christmas Lights Of Mana House

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All!

Pinoy Graphics Comments

Memories To Treasure
May the days until Christmas be full of sweet pleasure,
And your holidays create joyful memories to treasure.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
By Joanna Fuchs

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Monday, December 21, 2009

My World#52 Christmas Lights 2009 Of Mana House

For this year, the Mana Casa de Artes Y Antigos Davao store (or more popularly known as Mana House) did not disappoint in showing off their renowned Christmas lights. There were 3 million of them covering the entire front lawn, the store building and even among the trees.


Christmas, Mana House, Davao



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For this year's theme, Under The Sea, they added some real bubbles floating from the Christmas lights. It's too bad that I ran out of battery so I had to get home. My plan is to go back and bring my spare camera to take some videos of the place. By far, this year is the most spectacular display of Christmas lights at Mana House.

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Can you see the bubbles? How about somebody's ears? I tried to take some pictures of the bubbles but they are barely visible. Anyway, it was such fun just being at the place and I really thank the owners of Mana House for bringing joy to alot of people especially the kids and the "once kids" like me. It felt like I was in a fantasy land:)



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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Skywatch#11 Bag-Ing Island, Caramoan

These pictures were taken in Bag-Ing Island, Caramoan Peninsula. More about the island and pictures here.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

My World#51 (Philippine Churches#4) Bantay Church, Ilocos Sur

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St. Agustine Church or its more known name, Bantay Church, was constructed during the 1500s. It is located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur which is the town next Vigan City, the capital city of Ilocos Sur Province.

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Bantay Church is distinct from other churches in the region as it has two bell towers. One bell tower is at the right topmost of the church and the older one, is located several meters away from the church building sitting on top a hill.

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The church is also said to be well-known as a favorite location for local movie productions. When we first got to this church years ago, the belltower hill was largely undeveloped with its eroding sandy soil.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Skywatch#10 Skywatching in Caramoan

We were on our way home riding an outrigger boat from island hopping in Caramoan, Camarines Sur. It was a day full of adventures and amazingly beautiful places. The water was relatively calm and the islands look all mysterious and silent. This boy is the boatman's helper and I thought I should take a picture of him while he was just sitting by the edge of the boat and silently watching at the horizon.

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And I'm sure that the boy had seen what we have seen, rays of sun coming out of threatening dark clouds looming over the islands and the sea. For me, it was a reassuring and beautiful sight as we were starting to get worried that the rains might come.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

My World#50 Philippine Churches Part 3: More Photos of Betis, Guagua, Pampanga

I promised to post more photos of Betis Church, the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines in my previous post. So here they are.

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The church is considered one of the National Treasures of the Philippines. Not surprisingly, because it is really beautiful. The frescoes of the church is really something but we were not able to take alot of pictures as we wanted to as there was an ongoing mass when we got there. Nevertheless, the unassuming facade of the church belied its beautifully impressive interiors.

I promised to myself that I shall return to this church someday and take all the pictures to my hearts' content.

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Facts: (Credit:http://www.visitclark.com/LERT/betis_church.asp)

Art enthusiasts compare it to the Sistine Chapel, for its magnificent interior, although the Betis Church is more impressive in terms of symmetry, gracefulness and theme. Fr. Fernando Pinto started its construction in 1660 and was finally completed in 1770 by Fr. Jose de Cruz. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) declared this church a National Treasure, one of only 10 churches in the country bestowed that honor. Main attraction in the interior include: ceiling mural by famous painter Simon Flores; paintings on dome and walls depicting significant biblical events and figures by local artists led by brothers Martin and Severino Gozum Pangilinan; 19th and 20th Century sculpture by local artists supervised by the famous Maximo Vicente, and multi-awarded (internationally) artists Juan Flores and Willy Layug; esquisite retablo heavily coated/gilded with solid gold; ornate baptistery; intricate paintings on dome. Main attactions in the patio (exterior) include: Exquisite sculpture inthe Monument of Santiago de Galicia (Spain's most important patron saint); Monument of St. Joseph the Carpenter and the giant Monument of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.





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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Skywatch#9 Sunset At Divine Mercy Hills

It was late in the afternoon when we got to Divine Mercy Hills. The sun was already starting to set down so we explored the place in a hurry and took our pictures. The management allowed us to go up to the statue so we decided to stay longer. The view from up there was really beautiful and it was such a pity that cameras were not allowed to be taken along while going up the statue. Anyway, here are some more pics I took at the place...

Divine Mercy Hills,Misamis Oriental,Cagayan de Oro City,Mindanao


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Monday, November 30, 2009

My World#49 Divine Mercy Hills, El Salvador, Misamis Oriental

This is the tallest statue of Jesus Christ in the Philippines. Standing tall on the Divine Mercy hills of Barangay Ulaliman, El Salvador, Misamis Oriental, this 50-foot statue of Jesus Christ commands a breathtaking view of Macajalar Bay.

It has two sets of rays. The rays on the right are white representing the water that cleanses the sin of mankind and the rays on the left are red representing the blood of Jesus that gives life to man. Sitting right at the heart of the statue of Jesus Christ is an altar that houses that Blessed Sacrament.


Divine Mercy Hill,Divine Mercy Hills,Cagayan de Oro City,Misamis Oriental,Mindanao


More pictures of Divine Mercy Hills here and here.



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Saturday, November 21, 2009

PAL's The 777 Arrival Special

PAL (Philippine Airlines) is celebrating the arrival of their new Boieng 777-300ER in a big way. They are having a promo called The 777 Arrival Special for all flights from/to Manila.

Selling Period: November 19-25, 2009
Travel Period: December 1-25, 2009/February 1-March 15, 2010

Promo price:
For as low as P777 (Base Fare: P693)
Between Manila and Bacolod, Cebu, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legaspi, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Tagbilaran and Roxas

For as low as P777 (Base Fare: P693)
Between Cebu and Davao

For as low as P1,777 (Base Fare: P1586)
Between Manila and Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, General Santos, Ozamiz and Zamboanga.

Hurry, limited seats only!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Skywatch#8 Mt. Mayon, Bicol

Mt. Mayon's perfect cone was still visible at break of dawn while we were on our way to Caramoan Peninsula. The pinkish-purple color of the skies was the perfect backdrop of the mountain known for its beauty. Nowadays, alert level 2 is up on the surrounding areas of the said mountain.

Bicol,Mt. Mayon,Philippine mountains,Luzon





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My World#48 Philippine National Museum

The National Museum (Pilipino: Pambansang Museo) is a heritage site in itself as it is one of the few buildings that remained standing after the extensive bombing of Manila during WWII. It is just about 2-3 blocks away from the Manila Ocean Park along Padre Burgos St. and just beside another historic building, The Manila City Hall.

This museum is a repository of Philippine artifacts, paintings and art pieces by Filipino artists.

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This is the Spoliarium. The most prominent piece of art in the museum and a painting done by Juan Luna and was submitted by him to the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884, where it garnered a gold medal. It is housed inside the Bulwagan ng mga Maestro, the main gallery, which is the room at the center lobby of the National Museum.



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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Skywatch#7 Caramoan, Camarines Sur

This picture was taken in Bag-Ing Island, Caramoan Peninsula, Camarines Sur, Phillipines. The place is really beautiful and at that time, was being used as one of the location sites of the reality show, Survivor Europe. Good thing though that they were just done with their challenges that day and the Survivor participants have gone to their camps in another island; we were able to explore the island all by ourselves.

Caramoan,Luzon,Philippines,island,beach,CAMSUR
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Monday, November 9, 2009

My World#47 Victoria Peak and Victoria Harbour

Two of the most popular destinations in Hongkong are Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak.

Victoria Harbour is a natural harbour situated between Hongkong Island and Kowloon Peninsula. It has a promenade which features the Avenue of the Stars. It is quite popular not only among tourists but also among locals. At nighttime, Victoria Harbour features the Symphony of Lights that attracts a lot of visitors. The Symphony of Lights features buildings with decorative exterior lights on both sides of the harbour The Victoria Harbour as seen from Victoria Peak, accompanied by music. The display is already listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest light and sound show. (source: Wikipedia)


If you want a breathtaking view of Hongkong and its surroundings, Victoria Peak is the best bet and the best time is nighttime to see the colorful Hongkong building lights.

Hongkong,Victoria's Peak


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Friday, November 6, 2009

Cebu Pacific's Japan And Korea Seat Sale!

For as low as P2,499, you can fly to Japan and Korea. The seat sale starts now until November 8, 2009, for travel beginning January 15 to March 15, 2010.

Avail of the P2,499 ‘Go Lite’ seat sale fare to Manila-Incheon, Cebu-Incheon and Cebu-Busan flights. There are daily flights from Manila and Cebu to Incheon, and twice weekly from Cebu to Busan.

For Manila to Osaka bound passengers, get your seat fare of P2,599. Flights are every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday to Osaka.

Book your seats now at www.cebupacificair.com.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Skywatch#6 Skycrapers of Pudong, Shanghai

It was a foggy night when we ventured along Huangpo River in Shanghai, China. There was a slight drizzle as we took pictures of the Pudong skycrapers across the river. The sky took on an opaque-pinkish glow from the skycrapers' lights and the fog that covered the city.

Huangpo River Cruise, Pudong, Shanghai, China

Click here for more pictures of Shanghai skycrapers at night.



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Monday, November 2, 2009

My World#46 Philippine's All Soul's Day

If Westerners celebrate Halloween with trick or treats and parties, Filipinos do it by visiting the graves of their dead loved ones. Known more as "Undas", the Philippine tradition of visiting the cemeteries, offering food, flowers and prayers and lighting up candles on the graves start as early as October 31.

Philippine tradition


Days prior to All Soul's Day, which is on the 1st of November, people would start to clean, and even put on some new paint on the graves of their dead loved ones. Police presence in the cemeteries gets beefed up. Visiting usually starts on the October 31st that would last until November 2nd. Some people have tents and would stay for a day or two at the cemeteries. Some families use these particular days as their reunion days with other family members and it is not uncommon to see some parties going on right there at the cemetery. However, the more solemn aspect of offering prayers and candles are never absent on these days.



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