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My time here in Crete, Greece summarizes a lot about growth and openness.

TOP 5: Secret Beach in Souda Bay


I found myself tapping back to being very open to people, and really build different kinds of relationships. With my line of work, where I go from one place to another, cultivating relationships is definitely a hard thing to do. Even though I know the relationships I built here won’t last, I still maintained that openness and rapport to people I’ve encountered here.


TOP 4: Omalos

Personally and, more so, professionally, I did a lot of growing here in Greece. :) I became more of a persistent self-starter and a determined goal-oriented person.  Even though I wasn’t successful to some of my goals, I still felt good with my progress. I took care of myself, and I  really became much more focused and responsible than ever before.

TOP 3: Carnivale in Rethymno

It’s most certainly been so much fun. I loved the place, and at the same time, I loved coming to work here and the people I worked with. That is not always the case.  With Crete being a very small island and that we are all away from our families and we lack the things we are used back in the U.S., it’s easier for us to bond together.

TOP 2: Santorini, Greece

Greek culture to me has been phenomenal. Residing here for a year allowed me to delve deeper not just with the Greek culture but also the comparisons between European countries I’ve been to. My carefree and easygoing personality fit perfectly me here. :) Other people would dwell on the chaos and sloppy nature here, but me, I love it. Greeks are good people. They have their pride. They’re a little disorganized and very laidback with the way they do things. But really, they are amiable. You are very safe with the Greeks.

TOP 1: Gramvousa and Balos in Kissamos

Greece is drop dead gorgeous! Especially with everything that goes with the water. So many pristine, crystal clear beaches to admire and dive into. Greece really turned me into a water person. It is so beautiful. It is so beautiful.





My time here in Greece is coming to an end. It’s been a great year. I gained a lot more experienced and travel opportunities. More importantly, I’ve grown so much here.

P.S. I loved my apartment. :)


Last Calls…

More of Greece favorites…

A chapter soon to close, another one opens. Me and my girl will explore more of Greece. We’ll stay in Athens, Thessaloniki and Corfu. Very soon, I will be in Japan and reside there for 2 years.

Very Last Call ….


Happy New Year Everybody!

Top 10 Posts of 2015:

10. Unique California 2.0
09. The FIFTH Element
08. California 1 and the Pacific Coast Highway
07. Yosemite National Park
06. What’s white and blue and churches all over?
05. My Big Fat Greek Apartment
04. Omalos in Crete, Greece
03. Secret Beach in Souda Bay, Greece
02. IOS
01. The Best of Crete: Balos and Gramvousa


Here it is! The moment that we’ve been waiting for. Wait! No. The moment I’ve been waiting for.

It took me a long time to put this all together. What you will see here are quotations that are typed into images. First of all, it was hard for me to come up with the quotes. I’m not as witty as I claim to be. This is one of rare posts where I came up with words first before the images. I tried different variations and combinations of words and images. Some of the images I have one or two or three more versions of. The major delay is the theater shot. I really want it to be the way it is now. In order for me to get that shot, first, I had to schedule the theater. I had to bribe the keeper some chocolates. Then, I politely kicked everyone out of the theater explaining that the picture is intended for blog purpose. They were not very cooperative as they were leaving.

For whatever it’s worth, I hope you enjoy.

This post is part of Special Reports.

Happy Thanksgiving week, next week.


Featured Blog

Do yourself a favor. Go and see some highly impressive frames by NW Frame of Mind.

The Sophomore Slump Recommends

Music: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon – This album has my choice for the best album opener ever!
Movie: Spirited Away. An animated movie about a girl whose parents turned into pigs. ;) Now she must work to turn them back into human again. This one of Japan’s finest films will never leave the list of the best films of world cinema.


Hopefully next time I use this same concept for a post that I do better. Here I created titles for my Special Reports. I made it a thumbnail gallery because the idea is that I want it to act as if you’re flipping covers to the next.

You can also find these blog posts by on my menu tab.

This is my submission for Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art.

I used a free app called Phonto.

The Sophomore Slump Recommends

Movie: Silence of the Lambs – “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” … ‘nough said.
Music: American Idiot by Green Day – A conceptual rock opera that begs you to listen to it from start to finish (except for last track – not really part of the story). It includes two 5-part epic songs, both in time lengths and brilliance, “Jesus of Suburbia” and “Homecoming”. It’s no wonder this album was turned into a musical.

Featured Blog

This blogger is all over the globe browsing the atlas. Let Juliann be your tour guide in Browsing the Atlas. Here’s one for you – Crafty in Korea.

Letrato e Cronicas


This post is part of Special Reports.



What a compliment from a cashier!
She carded me to see if i’m old enough to buy alcohol? :D


Today my fortune cookie reads: You will live a long, fulfilling, rich and happy life…
… only if you order another egg roll. Bwahahaha :lol:

Did anybody watch Titanic in 3D?
So since it’s in 3D, did the captain see the iceberg then? Ahihihi :D

The ice cream truck has ice cream in it. Garbage truck has garbage in it. So why do we call it “fire truck”? And if my place is on fire, I wouldn’t want to call a “fire” truck to come over. Shoudn’t it be called a water truck instead? ;)


So I was driving in LA. You know how traffic can get there. I was with a parent and a kid in the car. The kid asked, “Why are there so many cars?”. I replied jokingly, “Because there’s traffic”. He asked again, “Why is there a traffic?”. I joked back, “Because there are so many cars.”


Why do people say “I hate to be the bearer of the bad news….”?
Geez, if I’m the receiver of the bad news, I don’t think your bad news bearing feeling is gonna be the utmost importance.

I just came out of a particular room.

Someone: How did you do?
Me: Just fine.
Someone: How did the result came out?
Me. Good.
Someone: So what’s your score.
Me: Hmmm… about 8 out of 10.
Someone: There’s only 10 questions!
Me: What questions!?
Someone: You took that test, right?
Me: Oh no, I didn’t. I thought you were asking how I did there inside the restroom.

bwahahahahaha! :lol:

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Just remember… There’s always tomorrow … …. …. unless you die today. :D

Last Call…



Music: Rip Tide by Beirut. An instant indie classic. A favorite of mine as a driving companion.
Movie: Blue Valentine by Derek Cianfrance. Blue Valentine takes the arrow and then hard-hittingly throws it back to Cupid. It so real, so honest that it completely discolorizes the rainbows of romantic movies. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams deserve the great recognitions.
Book: Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. Everyone has their opinion about this book. And that is what makes it a remarkable important literary work.


LFFL – Loving Food, Fashion, & Life. This blog sure is full at that. Drool on food, dress up, and talk about life. Here’s one for you – The Non-Date From Hell


Hi! My name is Rommel. You are viewing The Sophomore Slump and this is my 300th post. Followers and alike, I hope you enjoy…

May I borrow your precious time as it took 1 year, 8 months and 27 days :D for me to finish this 300th post. I beg of you to view each of the entries. Not just beacuse I browsed and sifted through countless of blogposts to compose this, but mainly because these are great words and images by your fellow WordPress bloggers. It doesn’t take too much time to finish this post. I promise. ;) And if you don’t finish all the pages, you can always come back. :D

See Page 5 for my posts that are the Most Popular, Beautiful Piece, Pride Worthy, Underrated, etc.

Here comes …

One of the fun things about writing a blog is the people you meet along the way.

— Debra Kolkka of Bagni di Lucca and Beyond, Almost spring in Lucca














It was going to happen eventually. It was only a matter of time.

I see it in other social media platforms. I can’t deny how good the pictures look when others upload it. Instagram truly helps people improve the photo that they’ve taken with their phones.

I always had in mind to create a post with extensive photo progressing. So I already knew that this is coming.

What I didn’t anticipate is how incredibly addictive it is.

I was instantly hooked!!

It’s fun choosing filters. The filters Instagram has is just incomparable to others. From before, I just used the basic photo editors that are automatically installed in computers.

Not to mention, it is very effective. I was able to release images that I wouldn’t normally upload because of some errors.

The thing with Instagram is that it makes your images too much processed that you are losing a lot of authenticity. I had plenty of images that quite didn’t come out right using Instagram.

I think I’ll do just fine doing the same thing I’ve been doing. As much as I enjoyed and been impressed by Instagram, I don’t think I’ll use it majorly on my blog. I do, however, encourage other people to give it a go. ;) Perhaps it may help you release those images you haven’t uploaded and been trying to patch. Maybe, Instagram might just be the photography hook that you’ve been needing… or wanting.

My Instagram handle is rommeldb.


These photo rejects never saw the light of day …. Until today ….

This was taken somewhere in Spain. Silly me, when I was posting about Spain it felt just wasn’t enough for me.



This was actually uploaded as a Weekly Photo Challenge submission for Winter. It was never seen because it was a featured image. It was taken at a rest stop in Florence, Italy.



I saw this mural while driving on the way to The Bunny Museum. When I drove back, I had to find it, stop, and take a picture of it. For those who are acquainted, they can easily recognize that this is from Pasadena, California. That is because of all the roses.


I didn’t include it as Last Call photo because the main topic of that post was The Bunny Museum.



The above image was overshadowed by a better another picture. [Idelweiss, Germany]


This next one I was going to upload …


But I just forgot about it. :P :D [Sea World in San Diego]


This next was from Hoover Dam.


I never get to post something about Hoover Dam. It’s collecting dusts in my Draft box. :)



The image above was from the post strips. Now, it’s the original picture. [Slab City, California]


This next was from a show (play) in Universal Studio.


I had a lot of Universal Studio images scattered on my blog but I never had a proper post entirely for Universal Studio.



The above image just never found a place in my Ryukyu Mura post.


The next one was supposed to be a part of my skive gallery.


I forgot about to include it. :P :D [Big Sur, California]


1455186_10152068104338578_1520246522_nI took the above image from Shuri Castle in Okinawa. It didn’t make sense for me to include it to that post.


These were taken with the images I presented on my post, The Scientist. Most of the images on that post was taken closely.



These just didn’t belong because they’re wide images.


The below image was taken from Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa. I only posted about the giant whales….


… I haven’t gotten to compose another one about Churaumi Aquarium. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Yikes!


I couldn’t find this when I was posting about my unforgettable experience during the running of the bull in Jerez. We saw this on the road getting there.


It’s actually a shame that I didn’t include this photo, because this roadside view actually has some sort of significance to Andalusia region. Read it from one of my Featured Blog, Marianne of East of Malaga. <- Just click on the link of you’re interested.


From my Okinawa World post. It might be because that light on the left. Maybe it’s freaky enough to scare someone. :D (not likely the reason) I think maybe because there was just so much to show on that post.



This next one was one of my earliest shot of Ventura (my current state of residency). For a long time, I never released it.


… I don’t know why. Bwahahahaha :lol:

etc was the name of my first blog. ;)





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