Saturday, August 30, 2008

San Jose City and the Smiling Monkey

There are five cities in Nueva Ecija and San Jose City is the third City to be chartered. Like most of the towns in Nueva Ecija, there are rich fields of palay in the area. The City is more commercialized than Palayan City but less developed compared to Cabanatuan City. There is also nothing much to do here but just hang-around and rest or have a picnic at Tayabo Nature Park. San Jose City thou is a good stop-over for those who wish to go farther north heading to either Ifugao or Isabela.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jump 4 Joy

Don't you just miss those good old times when you were just a kid - so carefree and unworried about the problems of the world and just enjoying every minute of your hassle-free life?

Just like these two kids at play who are having the time of their lives in a rural area untouched by modern civilization.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Palayan City - A Laid-Back Capital

Palayan City is the Capital of Nueva Ecija but unlike its more progressive neighbour City of Cabanatuan, life there is very simple if not boring. The place is devoid of any modern recreational activity and its massive land area is so thinly populated.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Seven Friendship Awards

Friendship Awards, Tags and Meme are common stuff in blogging. Unlike chain letters, these things are more personal and usually associated with that purpose of wanting to learn more things about the receiver. This blog is no stranger in receiving these tags, meme and friendship awards. I often apologize to the sender for not doing their tags sooner and for breaking the chains of awards. So to make-up for those long lost times, I am making this special post on the awards given to me and this is the proper time also to pass these awards to the blogs I admire and to the friends I have met along the way.

Kick-Ass Blogger Award was given to me by Fishing Guy. The rules of this award are to choose 5 bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”. Let them know in your post, via email or blog comments that they’ve received an award. They are supposed to share the love and link back to the person who awarded them. The 5 bloggers I chose to have this award are:

1. Abou - a whimsical and entertaining blog.
2. BW's A Warped Zone - a laid back but clever proverbial tale of a Filipino abroad.
3. Coldman's Anukayayun - a funny take on anything under the sun with great travel photos.
4. King Daddy Rich - a comic, hip and young blog.
5. Mang Badoy - this blog offers jokes coming from a serious guy.

Must See Blog Award was given to me by Alice of Singapore. This award was created for blogs that cannot be missed.
Whether you secretly lurk, always comment, or frequently check in to see what’s new, these are blogs that must be tuned into regularly. I want to pass this award to:

1. Fishing Guy - his photos and stories will definitely make your day.
2. Anino's Mga Hiwaga ng Kasaysayan - very amusing stories that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
3. Luna Miranda - amazing blog with lots of travels, photos and lovely stories.
4. Redlan's Web of Art - very creative blogger and you will love his personal style of writing.
5. Shades - great photography coming from the heart.

This is another award given to me by Fishing Guy. The Blogger Award for Amazing Friendship is a unique award because the feature of this award is to develop friendship. This award is for bloggers who give joy in our everyday life either thru their beautiful posts or comments they made on your blog. Is there someone who has visited frequently and writes a comment on your work, if so you can give them an award. Take a look through each one and enjoy their sites. I am giving this award to:

1. Acey's Tralala - a talented young lady
2. Alice - she will keep you amazed not only about Singapore but on her views and experiences as well.
3. Belen - i love her, reading her blog is like reading your mom's thoughts.
4. Doc Rio - not just a diary of a dentist but of a sweet lady looking for true love.
5. Shionge - a personal blog full of lovely posts, stories and pics.

Brilliant Weblog Award was given to me by Alice of Singapore and the rules says it shall be given to Bloggers who write very well or take very good photos. I don't know if I deserve this but I am pleased she appreciated my blog and visit it often. I pass this award to the following:

1. Daniel J. Santos - amazing photographer from Portugal.
2. Digital Polaroids - you will learn a lot from this Argentinian photo blogger.
3. Lionheart - a nursing student who likes adventures a lot.
4. Luke Wiley - this magnificent photographer is only 17 years old.
5. Selerines - a blogger from India who writes about interesting topics.

Redlan gave me this PERFECT BLEND OF FRIENDSHIP AWARD, This is given to 3 kinds of FRIENDS:(1)Friends of your own age whom you can talk over your problems, plans and goals with confidence. (2)Friends older than you to whom you can confide and be assured of wise counsel. (3)Friends younger than you whom you can share your life's experiences. I want to pass this award to my new found friends namely:

1. Arabian Josh - you will enjoy this expat's journeys and life experiences.
2. Em of Bato-bato Pik - a very warm-hearted blogger.
3. Beero - one of the few bloggers in my friendster account.
4. Cedeux - a doctor-to-be and an amazing writer.
5. Dakilang Islander - a wanderlust in a beautiful foreign island.

The Five Star Blog Award was given to me by Vanessa. Although I do not know the rule of this award, I suppose that it will be given to blogs whom I consider as 5-Star (ala-5-Star Hotel). So i am passing this award to the following 5-star bloggers:

1. Aethen - watch out for this achiever, this young man will go places.
2. Aline - her blog knows the best places to eat. very informative.
3. Ash - definitely one of the best photoblogger UK can offer.
4. Kris Jasper Van Dyke - trendy, hip somewhat jocular pinoy blogger in London.
5. Vanny - you just want to cuddle and protect this fragile IT blogger.

THE AMAZING BLOGGER AWARD is my own brainchild and this is to be given to bloggers whom the giver thinks excel in their category - be it travel, photography, sports, personal, IT or any other categories. And since I am a traveler and a photo blogger, I would like to give this award to 10 of the best travel-photo bloggers that I have been visiting since I started blogging. So, I am giving this award to the following:

1. Ferdz' En Route - this blog is one of my all-time favorite and way, way up there. great photos and great way of telling stories as if you are traveling with him.
2. Oggie's Lagal[og] - this blogger is very humble yet he has achieved so much. his photos will keep you mesmerized.
3. Dong Ho's Nightscape and Lakbay Pinoy - one of the best travel and photo blogs around with insightful stories about people as well.
4. Allan's Lantaw - an amazing blogger who takes sharp and admirable landscapes of the beauty of the Philippines.
5. Carlo's Ar-We-Der-Yet - a fun traveler and an astounding writer taking you places in the Philippines and Asia.
6. Estan's Ang Langyaw - this guy is a machine, his extensive travel around the Philippines will definitely amaze you. one of the best blogs i have ever seen.
7. Ang Anino ni Abaniko - a jack-of-all trades. photographer, traveler, sportsman and more.
8. Tutubi's Backpacking Philippines and Asia - one of the best blog when it comes to tips on traveling around the Philippines and Asia.
9. Traveler on Foot - a very detailed journal of a Pinoy traveler.
10. The Islander - a blogger from Surigao going coast to coast from the rivers to the boondocks.

Links to the above bloggers are located in my side link. Feel free to check them out.

And speaking of AWARDS, the 2nd Philippine Blog Awards will be held on September 21, 2008 at One Esplanade located at Bay Boulevard near Mall of Asia.

To all Pinoy Bloggers please help the organizers spread the word and to all those nominated, congratulations and good luck to all of you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cabanatuan City - How About My Place?

Welcome to my hometown - Cabanatuan City. It is high time to feature my place because in a research conducted by Asian Instititue of Management, my City is among the best places in the country to live, work or start a business. See related news here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bangkok's Erawan Shrine

One of the most popular tourist attraction in the central district of Bangkok is The Erawan Shrine. This Hindu shrine houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. It often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.

The Brahma Statue

The Erawan Shrine amidst the Busy Intersection.

The Thai dance troupe prays and performs.

For a few offerings, these Thai dancers will join you in prayers.

A devotee planting Incense.

The Shrine is located in Ratchaprasong Intersection and can also be viewed via the Skytrain.

The Deity has four faces and six Arms.

The Deity as we see it today is not the original statue of God Brahma. In 2006, a mentally-illed person vandalized and smashed the statue into pieces. After smashing the statue, the man was beaten to death by devotees of the Shrine. Two months later, a new Brahma statue containing fragments of the broken one was installed in the Shrine.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bangkok Night Market

One good thing about downtime (re: the time you can't travel because of the weather) is that you can systematize your backlogs whether at work or just about anything to do at home. In my case, this is the time where I can arrange all the digital files and photos from my previous trip. More so, since I have no new travels to share, this will also enable me to post some more previous travels I had. Let me start with a trip to the Night Market of Bangkok.

Elephant in the street will keep you entertained.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lingayen Gulf

Whenever I hear Lingayen Gulf, what comes to mind is a magnificent display of roll breaking sunset - the amazing colors of orange and blue surrounding the setting sun as it descends to the silvery beach of Lingayen.

However, because of another impending tropical storm that weekend, the spectacular sunset that I have dreaming to shoot remained just that - a dream. To make use of the time however, I still took some shots of the beach, albeit its gloomy weather as well as took some shots on the other things the Gulf is famous for - that is memorabilia of remnants of war prominently displayed in the Gulf's Memorial.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pundaquit Beach

Pundaquit is probably one of the closest beach resort if you are looking to escape Manila for a few days. I have featured in my previous posts Capones Island which is the main draw in this small fishing barangay southwest of San Antonio.

Pundaquit Beach is considered as the jump-off point to more adventurous places like Capones Island, Camera Island and Anawangin Cove. The beach however has its own charm and a good practice ground for surfing and wake boarding. There are no resorts in Capones or Camera or Anawangin so most visitors who don't want to set-up tent in these islands opt to stay in resorts located in Pundaquit Beach. Although, the sand in these beach ain't that white, beach combers cold still enjoy its fineness and shallowness. And if pic-nic is what you are after, there are several cottages for rent in front of the beach and some of them even have karaoke where you can sing your heart out amidst the sometimes forceful strike of the waves.

Here are some shots I have taken at Pundaquit Beach:

To the left, to the left.

To the right, to the right.

Fishing Boat waiting to be deployed.

Capones Island.

Camera Island.

Path to the Beach.

Bamboo Fence.

The Adjoining River.

This is where the fresh and salt water meets.


To get here, take any bus heading to Iba and get-off at San Antonio. Then take a tricycle to Pundaquit. If you are bringing your own car, be sure to ask around 'coz the streets can be quite confusing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Capones - Not Your Ordinary Island

Dong Ho and I have shared and showed to you in our previous posts the hills and amazing rock formations as well as the pristine beaches and shorelines of Capones Island.
However, the island is not just hills and beaches but also has everything that a nature-lover wants. So, in my last post about the place, let me share to you some other elements and scenes not only on the beach and the hills but from some other things in between.
Again, I would like to thank my friend Dom and the Lingkod-Alabang Brothers whom I joined in this memorable trip.








Although we shared to you the beauty of the place, it is disheartening to see piles of trash left by fellow campers and tourists as well as writing of "XXX was here" in the rocks and hills of the islands.

As you look at these pics, please join me in pleading to everyone who wants to go there to protect the place and refrain from vandalizing and leaving their thrash in this wonderful island paradise. Let us be responsible and share this wonderful island to future generations.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pure Shores at Capones Island

The bone-shaped island of Capones is home to scenic shorelines and spectacular off-white beaches, and considered one of Zambales' best. What is more amazing is that, wandering around the shores, you will discover than these shores vary in texture. The beach fronting Pundaquit is fine-off white sand while the beach at the back of the island fronting the open sea is more course. The left and the right-most part of the islands are bit rocky and not safe for swimming.

Here are some photos I have taken as I wander around the shores of Capones Island:


Beach Front of Capones Island

Strong Waves and High Tides Gave this effect to the Island's Sandy Shores

The left part of the island overlooking the mountain-range of Pundaquit

The Black and Cream Sand at the Back of the Island (I'm not quite sure if it is caused by an oil spill or lahar).

Strong Waves at the shore fronting the open sea.

Footprints in the sand...


Beach at front of our camp site.

Neither the moon nor the stars showed but the blue hues dominate the night sky.

Life is a Beach Indeed

For more photos and stories about the place, please check out the informative posts of Dong Ho who was with me in this trip.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Hills Are Alive In Capones Island

I know, the title is cheesy, but I think it's way better than "The Green, Green Grass of Capones". Well, I don't mind being labeled "A Fool On The Hill" as long as I have captured the panoramic charm of the slopes, contours and shapes of the magnificent hills of Capones Island.

An astonishing view of the beach, the hills and the rock formations of Capones Island.

A combination of amazing rock formations, green flora and the strong waves make the island a landscapist's dream.

Rocky shoreline view of the opposite side of the islands facing the open sea.

Flowing tap waters from the top of the hills make-up a mini falls perfect for washing-up after a dip in the beach.

Massive stone structures at the Island's opposite shore.

One of the flat hills in the rightmost part of the island.

An unfinished structure besides a green hill.

Nothing to see but a view of the open sea that seems to ends up to eternity.

Just one more step and Lawstude will be history.

The sun eluded us all day but it's ray seem to peek at the dark clouds above.

For more amazing views of the hills and a greener perspective of Capones Island please check out Dong Ho's detailed entry about the place.

The beach and the waters of the Island in my next post.