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This is yet another very overwhelming post to compose. I look at other blogs’ submissions (Lucid Gypsy, Madhu, Adin) to this and I feel pitied, hesitant and dried up to even respond to this award. Look at one of the links and tell me that I’m overreacting! Plus, I wanted to include new/er pictures for this. Disappointingly, I have nothing new show you. This has been waaaaay overdue post so I’m just gonna let it out. I wanted it to be special, but what I only got are images that you, my followers, are already familiar of. Here are my 7 SUPER SHOTS!
A photo take took my breath away…
From a picture-taker’s end, there are these images that as soon as you took it and reviewed from your camera’s monitor, you know that other people are going to love it. I took this one in Virgin Island in Bohol, Philippines. The scenery speaks for itself. And that it presents itself making it easy for anybody to get good shot of it. I knew it, then and there, that this IS my winning shot.
From looking down the sand on the sightly low, clear blue water to looking afar the vast ocean that you can see an island miles away, and with the cotton candy clouds on the horizon, this truly is such an arresting view! It’s the most pristine spot in the world I’ve ever seen. Point Blank.
A photo that makes me laugh or smile …
There are pictures that might take a second look, or something that you have to broaden your perspectives before you appreciate it. Some you have to manipulate to get the best out of it. This picture I took wouldn’t be here if I had not turned it to Black and White.
I completely neglected this image at first. I stripped the colors, and ahoy! the colors no longer are stealing the main focus of the shot. After that, I got an acquired taste for my own Black and White photos. Note that this is taken from Venice Beach in California where skaters, segway riders, rollerbladders, biker, etc. come to roll. It’s a candid image seeing these these ladies spin their own wheels.
A photo that makes me dream …
I’m a big fan of rock formations. And this another breathtaking part of this world, The Rocky Intertidal Zone in San Diego, California, I truly admire and completely stunned by it. I was snapping away with my camera and I couldn’t believe my eyes what I was witnessing. I was smiling in disbelief that people must have thought I’m crazy. I’m sure they are astonished by these magnificent views as well that they understand the glow in my eyes. There’s a lot of people that just sit there and just absorb the views around them. Looking at the two couples seating there, it makes me long to have someone I love to be beside me again.
A photo that makes me think …
This is a no brainer. Animals, plants, flowers, mountains- nature in general makes you wonder. I think jellyfish is the epitome of that. They’re such a delight in your eyes. When you look at them, their movements, how you can see the parts of their body operate, their weightlessness, it gives you that polarizing effect. The way they float freely and gracefully, it makes you wanna be like them, or float with them. They really are wondrous and marvelous creatures.
Not to be confused, this one I took from Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, San Diego.
The Jelly Experience is from Monterey Bay Aquarium. I hope you read what I’ve written here.
A picture that tells a story…
How the boy takes care of the carabao. How he walks in the field every morning for a day’s work …with a dog as his company. How farmers create a smoke to make the trees healthier …not realizing how it immensely beautifies the surroundings. How people can be so poetic without even realizing it. How the sun lovely shines creating magnificent silhouettes. How ambient the image is and what effect it has on us. How the boy goes on to help in his family’s livelihood at a very young age. How he may considers it as his way of playing outdoor. And what separate us, people who travel far, from him who is blessed by this field everyday? One picture, different open routes to interpretations.
A picture that made my mouth water …
This one takes the cake, and brings home the bacon. This is a picture of a Gnocchi I got from Carpi, Italy. One who goes to Italy shall not let pass the opportunity of tasting this heavenly, mouthwatering culture food.
A picture that I am most proud of …
People may not agree but this one is my most accomplished shot for me. It took a tremendous toll on me capturing my concert images. I was wrestling with the crowds. I have to constantly change camera settings. My concert shots are action shots. The band moves a lot that it’s hard for me to capture a still image result. I was raising my arms trying to keep focus. There are stoners around that I have to have to avoid. Amidst it all, I was living the moment of appreciating the performances. Some shots, you really have to be patient or work hard just. And that oftentimes, it is be the most satisfying.
I’m reviving this old award. My 7 Super Recipients are
Debra of Bagni Di Lucca
LuAnn of Paint your Landscape
Sony Fugaban of Stories of my Wandering Feet and Mind
Allan of Modes of Flight
Amy of The World is a Book
Marianne of East of Malaga
Angelia Sims of Living, Loving, Laughing
Here’s to a blog where compositions is always well thought-through. This photography blog shows its followers what expert photography really is. Looking at Cardinal Guzman’s blog, you can tell that he varies his subjects from time to time. Street photography, nature, people, designs … you can eaily find a visual treat that suits your eyes. Do check out his Travels, Recipes!?, his History of Tattoo series, and his IMPRESSIVE list of movie recommendations to which we are in agreement to a lot of it. My favorite post – Morning at the Western Wall.
Last Call …
Some of your most commented photos …
By the way, I have collected 4 stars so far. Blog of the Year requires 6.
Our city tour of Bohol was kind of like a tuck and roll act. YES, just like what robbers do – quickly get out of the car while donning their hoods (without tripping), purposely do their clockwork mission, hop back to the car and put the pedal to the metal while constantly looking back to see if they’re being followed. NO! Me and my girlfriend, Edith, didn’t performed such Bonnie & Clyde acts, but the kind of traveling we did was not the most ethical. We would pull over, wander around, take pictures and return back to the car, ready to roll again to the next.
It’s just that there’s plenty of destination stops that we, I mostly, didn’t want to miss. I would talk to our driver in trying to pursue on hitting the best that we can cover. We, I mostly, were overtly demanding especially we added the zip-lining to our tour. You can read my Edith’s side of story on how she conquered her fear of heights … here.
We zipped by a rope above Loboc River. We also ate our late lunch on a Floating Restaurant navigating through that river.
The Floating Restaurant took a stop…
…to watch a traditional folk dance called “Kuradang”. It started with a welcome greeting of a children choir. Then it continued with pairs of male and female, portraying courtship and wedding through this interpretive dance. It ended with an altogether ensemble Thank You finish.
I really like this part of the tour. They also performed the Philippine national dance called “Tinikling”, an acrobatic dance of skipping between two bamboo sticks.
The first picture above is Chocolate Hills. It makes a visit to Bohol, Philippine an automatic MUST. Together with tarsiers, both signifies Philippine tourism so much. Tarsiers are small animals with big eyes. Philippine Tarsier Foundation saves their dropping population as they can only be found in four Southern Eastern countries.
I can tell my girlfriend particularly liked the Butterfly Garden and the Bee Farm.
I suggest trying the BUZZZ Ice Cream. *grin*
You see that’s a lot of activities, sights and senses to do in a day. We started early in the morning …
…and finished at night.
This is our Day 2. Our Day 1 includes a church, exotic animals, a beach and an underground cave. Our third day is a Sea Tour in Balicasag Island, Dolphin Watching and Virgin Island. Hope you can understand now how we did it the tuck and roll style. It’s not like we didn’t stop and smelled the flowers. The picture below is a man-made forest.
With me, I have no problem with the exhaustion. My girlfriend, Edith, she surprised me in dealing with me, for enduring her challenge of going through her ziplining adventure, and catching up with the speed of travel engine I’m always prepared for. I extra love her for it.
I’ve only been following this blog for about a month. I just can’t resist. It isn’t just because we have a lot of common, esp. Italy. A post after another, I get more and more impressed with her travel destination posts. Do check her Italy posts, her 7 Super Shots entry, and her submission to Travel Challenge: Leading Lines. A visit to her blog is A Day in Paradise.
I feel the need to squeeze these …our food.
By the way, I want to thank all who viewed my post on Balicasag Island, that post has never left my Top Posts.
This post is part of Flashback Friday.
Visiting the Katimbang family (see post before this), I went to San Diego this weekend. It was a four-day staycation for me. I was also touring around California our old-time friend we’ve known way back when we were all in Missisippi. While I thoroughly enjoyed the company that I don’t normally get, my travel opportunities, however, became limited. Frankly speaking, it was quite frustrating. I dare not to elaborate further not to sound such a very mean tattletale. Let’s just say that I didn’t get anywhere on my destination plans in San Diego. Anyhow, the disappointment were replaced with great conversations of new and old times. I guess, it still worth the long drive. Traveling with group sure has the “inner” benefits, but in all physicality, going solo gives you umpteen possibilities and freedom. See my post here about traveling in groups vs. solo – Lost in Paris.
With the aching, rising price of gas and the long hours on the road, I just couldn’t bare the thought of getting nowhere after three days of staycation. Going back home, in Los Angeles, I tried to cover LACMA but got there too late with too little to see. Knowing me, I just don’t give up that easily. I continued on. I punched in another address on the GPS and I was ready to roll again. When we got there, I told my good old friend to wait in the car handing him my iPad so he has something to do. I already took him to Santa Monica, Chinatown, Griffith Park, Fairoaks Pharmacy, Mission Beach and La Jolla. I’m sure he understood.
I went for a solitary walk in Venice Canals. The good riddance, perhaps selfishness or rudeness for some, was all worth it. It can easily be one of the top best solitary walks I had in my entire travel days of all-time.
Yes, the Venice Canals in California is set-up to resemble the one in Italy. Only this is a high-end part of Los Angeles. Not of historical signifance scenes than its predecessor, and no gondolas in sight, the scenery here is then beautified with glamour, stylish houses, gardens, trees, cemented and wooden bridges, and varieties of paddle boats.
These are the only passengers I saw on these boats.
I ran so quickly I tripped three times, bumped into two people blocking my way where one of which, I pushed to the water, dropped one of my lenses, just so then I could get on top of the bridge to catch this shot.
I was, of course, just joshing. I stood on the bridge and waited eagerly and patiently for that shot above. This one below, however, was a serendipitous sighting.
The lanterns that are hanging from a tree lit up, telling me I should go back now and get back to my friend I left so horribly inside the car. He did like the Hollywood sign and Santa Monica for those are popular, but I don’t think he had the same interest in seeing these views.
This post is part of Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary.
Italy and California?
Here is an excellent all-around blog. I don’t mean it in the slightest. This blogger is an artist, a poet, a traveler, a photograph expert, and a well-versed writer. She is currently enjoying Verona, and sharing wonderful street photography and stories of her stay there. Mind you, stateside, she’s been to San Jose, San Diego, Honolulu, Chicago, Anchorage, to name a few. My most favorite from this newly Freshly Pressed blog, One Street Shy, is this Verona-slash-intrapersonal post.
Last Calls…. Brace yourselves, as I did.
Though I didn’t anywhere in San Diego while traveling in group, this bookending solitary moment completely made up for it. With this scenery, I was certainly relieved.
Reflection. It’s always good to reflect, to contemplate, or to mull things over. When your world is revolving so fast and you’re overwhelmed, when it drops a bomb on you and you have to react, or when it presents all its magnificent nature in front of you and you found yourself so blessed. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to pause and not jump immediately to the situation, and take a moment of reflection, compose yourself and sigh to what life hands to you, good or bad.
It’s a universal feeling- returning back from a vacation of a lifetime and couldn’t return back to reality. It’s hard to wake up, especially with the annoying alarm clock. It’s hard to stand up, drag your feet, and face your responsibilities. To sit and ponder, to find your peace, when nature is staring back at you, is a beautiful thing to do. The world is vast and wonderful, but it is also cruel and unforgiving. It is unstable, and that you need to locate your balance to everything. That, in every greatness, every grandeur, every splendour and all things glory and holy, it can be deathly. While its best to have moments of reflections, you also need to snap out of it for it can eat you alive and then swallow you whole. Too much reflection can bring you down, and pondering too deep can lead to procrastination. I know it’s a difficult thing to do but you need to stand up and shake that feeling.
Survivor Caramoan premieres this Wednesday, on September 19. I do wish and plead for you to see it even just the very first few scenes where they usually show the beauty of the location they are in. I’m just proud of my motherland. I’m glad that I’ve been to Caramoan. And that, I would want you to see what Philippines has to offer despite many setbacks.
Capture the Colours and let Lance Romel be your guide to some of the most beautiful locations in the Philippines. Take a tour to Zamboanga, Bohol, Tagaytay and more. Clicking on his blog, it doesn’t take a second for you to realize how captivating, arresting and impressive his photos are.
I didn’t have much more to say about our trip to Caramoan than what I already narrate to my related posts. But I knew, even way back then, that I still old some pictures that I’ve been dying to share. To stop me from thinking too much, and to just let it out, I decided to segue it to Jake Printer’s Sunday Post. Thank you Jake for the save. Here’s the link to participate to his photo challenge.
This post is also a part of Flashback Friday. *sticks tongue out*
I can hear computer mouse already clicking miles from blogosphere to where I sit, with that title that reads “Nude Beach”. I hate to disappoint you but I have to respect all the nakedness on this beach.
When I said “sweet nothings”, I didn’t just mean to play with words. It was when I was browsing through my shots that I found out that most of what I captured are commonly those languid, spontaneous, subtle moments.
Coming down the high cliff was easy as there are made-up stairs and paths provided. Caution still has to be practiced because the descend is prone to tripping hazards for its slippery sandy ground, and landslides can occur at any time. The ascend is however a torture. There are a lot of hesitations from people coming down, and a lot of catching breath from people that are going up.
Once you hit the bottom though, you’ll be in for a surprise. I hit the shore and ahoy! people are on their birthday suits. A lot of hanging and dangling going on while walking, suntanning, reading newspaper, playing volleyball or eating. I highly admired their “boldness”. This is something I won’t even consider doing.
But that is not the end reward I was talking about exactly…
To my left was a really good view to a portion of San Diego cityscape. Black’s Beach is also surfers’ favorite for its great waves. To my right is this unbelievable, picturesque view that looks as though painted by nature or pixel-designed for a video game location setting.
It looks quite unreal to me that I went trigger-happy with my camera.
Black’s Beach is 3 miles from La Jolla shores and is below the Torrey Pines Gliderport. Soaring hang gliders are additional sights.
Watch out when taking pictures, most naked people do not appreciate strollers with camera around their neck. You do want to ruin or disturb the liberty of them exposing their entire body, esp. not for the whole web to see. I respected their privacy, or should I say public display.
After all the stealing glances, nature watch, and gasping for breath climbing up, I got Cassandra front row tix to view the golden California sun.
I know my images of the sun have been praised a lot, but I was never content. I continued to play with the camera setting… Finally! I get to take a picture of the sun with that ring so visible. Sounds simple and low, and that most of you are already successful with, but this is quite an accomplishment to me.
San Diego Zoo
Torrey Pines Gliderport
I can’t seem to figure out the highlight of our tours in Bohol, Philippines. Is it my brave instinct of wrapping myself with a python? Ziplining? The Floating Restaurant? We get to see the famous Chocolate Hills and the highly-protected tarsiers. Is it dolphin watching on our way to Balicasag Island?
Or, is it snorkelling there? The incredibly beautiful beach view of Virgin Island can easily be the highlight. Balicasag is more or less 20-min boat ride away from it.
We hopped out of our boat full of great excitement, but with empty stomachs. It’s was so cool that we can select from the morning catch of fresh seafood and have it grilled while we snorkel. We rented the gears and camera cover for underwater picture-taking, wore our life vests, hopped back in to another boat and off we go with even higher expectation.
Sure, it is fascinating to watch marine life from aquarium tanks. However, having the aquatic animals right at the tip of fingers is even more wonderful, and an absolute fun. Darn great time being my first snorkelling experience.
There was no specific highlight. The highlight of the trips is for the personal reason that I shared all these amazing adventures and beautiful travel destinations with the woman I very much love. I know romanticism comes out every time I post about my visit back to my motherland, and granted the kind of relationship that we are in, I can’t help but go back to that fact that I enjoyed it most because of the people close to me.
We then had another diving experience. This time into a deliciously food. When we headed back to shore, our hot and ready fresh meal was already grilled and served.
Overlooking the beautiful water, we let our savage nature show and had the plate a fishbone finish.
Please check out my It’s More Fun in the Philippines blog post for pictures of me underwater, the fishbone finish and dolphin watching.
Last call …
I asked if it’s okay for me to sit in front of the boat going back to our lodging. I was tippy-toeing getting to it, but it’s fun to play navigator for a little bit.
Going to Cebu?
Here is Arvee. He posts everything and anything about Cebu including travel spots, events (look for Sinulog Festival), hotels, to-do’s and how-to-go-to’s. A great ambassador of his birthplace, make him your virtual tourist guide of Cebu.
My favorite is his escapade to Santa FE, Bantayan Island.
Here’s more of the fishes, the snorkel and the island…
There’s so many islands there that I don’t even dare remember each one every time our navigator or guide mention their names. Caramoan is actually my first island hopping experience. To avoid too much crowd, I didn’t want to choose the country’s more popular summer destinations like Puerto Prinsesa or Puerto Gallera or Boracay. Some of the islands were off-limits because of the production of the next Survivor season. It’s good enough that there weren’t as much people as one would expect for such a beautiful place. We were there considerably time-served. There’s a good possbility that people we’ll be more aware and curious about Caramoan after Survivor.
We played with Patrick’s relatives as my brother-in-law, Red, kept bringing the starfishes for us to look at, feel and take pictures of. We sure had our fun “star-gazing” within reach. I was there with my two sisters,each of their husbands and my grilfriend, Edith. Below is my sister, Analyn, who I always love and miss a lot.
Water is not the only exciting thing in Caramoan. There’s also something-something for the ground areas. There are wonderful rock formations en route to different islands. You can also get the chance for some mini rock climbing. It’s always me and Red who were nonchalantly braving it up for it while the women were keeping their fingers crossed.
Keep your eyes peeled for this one, if you do go there.
Although our island hopping tour was only half day for me and Edith because we had to depart to another Philippine travel destination, Caramoan certainly accomodated the fun and good time we expected. Knowing I was with my family and love one was an icing on the cake. With googles, mouthpiece and lifevest, I also had my first snorkelling experience in Caramoan.
More ‘More fun in the Philippines’?
I don’t know where is Jesse Jaca now. I do know he has a great great great photography gallery. I actually first found out about the ‘More fun in the Philippines’ slogan through his page. Check out his submissions here. I’ll add one for preview …
And prepare to be impressed by the rests of his photo exhibits.
By the way, my featured blogs have a new spotlight. Look up at the menu bar on top!
Bookending our back-to-back trip is Virgin Island, pinchly small yet so unmissable.
Throughout my stay in the Philippines, I had to economize the use of my camera because, forgetful that I am, I didn’t get to bring its battery charger with me. I had to refrain from taking random shots and sacrifice capturing the urban life of the city where I grew up in. I just had to save the battery life for our back-to-back trip to Caramoan and Bohol before anything else. With the urge to capture each destination stops, it was quite a task for my hard-laboring camera to capture it all.
I’m very glad my cooperative camera managed to click its last pic to the very last tourist spot. It would’ve been a pity, a crime to my trigger-happy camera not to capture these sights.
The cotton candy clouds against deep blue sky stretching along every horizon really added lace to the already delectable views of Virgin Island. It catches my eyes every time.
Convenient to our late schedule, the entirety of the island is a stroll of even as quickly as 15 minutes. You know what they say …
“The best things come in small package.” Virgin Island definately proves that.
As a way to revisit my blog before I hit my 100th post on my next post, I’m traveling back in time and places … The Amazing Race style.
Is everybody ready? Alright, let’s get this race started. The world is waiting for you. On my mark, travel safe, Go!
Paris: Lost in Paris [From the Category Cloud: Rest of Europe]
- Season 1: Leg 2 Roadblock
- Season 1: Leg 2 Pitstop (Arch de Tromphe)
- Season 1: Leg 3 Place du Chatelet
- Season 4: Leg 4
Italy: [Category Cloud: Italy]
- Rome - Season 1: Leg 6 Roadblock, Fast Forward (Colloseo)
- Venice – Season 4: Leg 2 Fast Forward (Rialto Bridge) w/ Venetian Masks Task
- Rome – Season 9: Leg 6 (Spanish Footsteps and Trevi Fountain)
- Florence – Season 12: Leg 8 (Florence)
California: Hsi Lai Temple [Tag: California]
- Season 4: Leg 1
- Santa Monica Pier – Season 5: Leg 1 Starting Point
- Hsi Lai Temple – Season 19: Leg 1 Starting Point
- San Francisco – Season 16: Finish Line
Florida: The kid in the picture has grown as seen on my Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple
Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle [Category Cloud: Rest of Europe]
- Munich – Season 3: Leg 7 Fast Forward
- Neuschwainstein Castle: Season 3: Leg 7 Pit Stop
- Munich – Season 9: Leg 3 Pit Stop
- Garmisch – Season 20: Leg 5
Amsterdam: Amsterdam [Category: Rest of Europe]
Philippines: [Category: Philippines]
- Season 5: Leg 12 w/ Task of Decorating a Jeepney
Spain: [Category: Spain]
- Andalusia – Season 3: Leg 10
Brussels: Pralines, Frites and Escargot [Category: Food]
- Season 19: Leg 10 w/ Task on Belgian Waffles
Prague: It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s, it’s … it’s Prague Orloj? [Category: Humor]
Not all are listed per country or destinations. The lists with seasons and legs are in conjunctions with exactly where I had been. For example, TAR had been to Germany 7 times with 5 Pit Stops. I listed 3 Seasons with 2 Pit Stops. Also, I’ve been to other places as well such as Japan, Singapore, Las Vegas, Mississippi, Switzerland, Kuwait, New Orleans and Austria. Future posts noted and seen here are Gondola in Venice, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Santa Monica Pier, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
My golly wow. It took me a long time to complete this post. Browsing through my blog, archiving my pictures, linking my posts and wikipedia-ing all the seasons of the Amazing Race. Again! Great ideas are always are just hard to execute. What an amazing race posting this, and an amazing journey I’d been in.
I wish I could be in this guy’s luggage every time he visits one country to another. See the world, follow Andrew Ameit’s footsteps and read on his experience, lessons and tips. Come along with him to Africa, Europe and Asia, to where he is currently enjoying his stay.
This is my favorite post of his.
I don’t how this post stands in seeking viewers. But, I owe this to myself and my blog, esp. I’m about to hit my 100th post. This is technically my very first hiking trail. Something I’ve been longing to experience and been meaning to cross off my bucketlist. I’ve been traveling in common tourist spots, mainly cities and of man-made features. To have hiked an official trail is quite an accomplishment for me.
Ojai is sorrounded by hills and mountains showcasing plenty of accessible forests that offers many outdoor activities. That’s why Ojai is Ventura’s pride, and that is why a lot of folks in the area help preserve, supervise and protect it so much from abusive visitors.
I got to Ojai’s city center and spotted the Information Center to have a better view of where I can find this Rose Valley Falls Trail as my GPS couldn’t locate its exact location. At the Information Center, the attendant so willingly accomodated my inquiries and guided me where to drive giving me a map and a note assuring that I’ll admire the drive in Highway 33.
He was right! The route to the destination alone is already a trip on its own. I stopped to a lot of vista points admiring the scenic views of Highway 33.
The supposedly 15-minute drive turned into an hour as I took a lot of pictures. I will have a separate blogpost for Highway 33.
Now for my first official hike. I was greeted by some pleasant folks that are safeguarding the place. It was admirable to see these people offering their time watching over nature and the preserving its beauty. They also guided me to which of the two trails is the Rose Valley Falls Trail.
As a hiking noob, I didn’t want to get so overwhelmed by extreme distance nor heights. And so I pick this very easy trail, only 30 minutes or less. The effort may be minimal but the result is extensive.
Finally I reached the climax of my mini-hike. It has this small waterfall to where the water comes down through leafy paths as if distilling it before hitting the ground. It was quite a magnificent sight… and sound. The water trinkling is always pleasant to hear even with this small waterfall.
I was actually surprised that this trail and waterfall, eventhough small, still attracts a good number of hikers and wannabes.
There’s a group of hikers who repelled down the side of the waterfalls.
I’ll leave this post with this… just something for the springtime.
Step by step, I’ll definitely seek more trails.
For more of adventurous travels, why not try …
Philippines, and let Sony Fugaban be your guide to the most wonderful hikes in the country. He is one of my main inspirations to go hiking. Join him and hear the Stories of (His) Wandering Feet & Mind. He has covered so many thrills and beauties of the Philippines, my favorite post …
is his brave and oh-so daring act of crossing a rope bridge underneath ravenous crodociles. Eeek!