Monday, June 30, 2008

First Cloud



Well, as the title implies, this is my first cloud post here. (I can't even think of a good enough title.) And one of the first good shots I ever took of clouds, which was just a few hours ago at Sapa Libutad, Angeles City. I visited Mama's cousins there for the first time.

Clouds were the main reason I got into thinking of photography way back in 4th year high school. I dreamt of having a camera just so I could take pictures of the sky, nothing else. I have always loved the sky --- its grand blueness and cotton clouds at day; and its glittery stars and lovely moon at night.

So after almost eight years of waiting... here's a cloud for you. :D

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time Stood Still



Time stands still, especially here in the Philippines, whenever Pacquiao has a fight. Zero crime rate. Zero traffic. We weren't even able to buy LPG because it may not be delivered today because the store owner and staff were watching Pacquiao and Diaz.

It seems that only a half-naked little man with big gloves can make a nation at peace. Hehe.

Nevertheless, congrats to Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao for being the new WBC Lightweight Champion!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Overflowing



If you will notice, this well is overflowing with water. (Because it's a fountain. And a beautiful fountain as well. ^^)

Isn't it that our bodies consist mostly of water? But what kind of water flows through our bodies (minds and souls)? Pure crystal clarity or putrid vileness?

I hope we can be like this well, overflowing with water that cleanses and refreshes everyone that comes by.

Be a blessing to others. ^^

Friday, June 27, 2008

Untouched



This will surely be one of my personal favorites.

As the title implies, this image hasn't been touched or edited by any application. (But then, I can only count the edited images in this blog on my left hand.) But what makes it stand out among my untouched images is that I haven't even used any custom settings in my camera to get this green and gray shot.

That's what I also like with a few people --- untouched. Pure hearts, sincere souls. So rare can you find such individuals; that it's a treasure to have such friends.

I'm blessed to find some untouched gems on my way. Have you found yours?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sunog na Kilay (Burnt Brows)



Ikalawang lahok ni Neri sa Litratong Pinoy

Pagsusunog ng kilay --- isa sa mga natatak na matatalinhagang salita sa akin.

Hindi ko kasi mawari kung ano ang kinalaman ng kilay at sunog sa pag-aaral. Marahil noong unang panahon nang naka-kandila pa ang ating mga ninuno at malapit sila sa apoy para makapagbasa sa gabi. Kaya siguro nasunog ang kanilang kilay. Sa antok. ^^

Hindi ko rin kasi maalis sa isipan, kapag nabasa ang katagang 'nagsusunog ng kilay', ang eksena ni Jose Rizal at ang kanyang inang si Teodora Alonzo sa tapat ng gasera. Dito mag-uumpisa ang alamat ng gamu-gamo. (Pero hindi ko na iyon ikukuwento dito ha.)

Ngunit sa panahon natin ngayon, nakakalungkot mang isipin, ay mayroon pa ring mga bata sa Pilipinas na nagtitiyaga sa nauupos na gasera o kandila para makapagbasa ng kanilang mga aralin. Mayroon pa ring mga batang kailangang maglakad ng kilo-kilometro at dumaan sa mga bundok at ilog para makarating sa kani-kanilang paaralan.

Hanga ako sa mga batang ito dahil hindi ko alam kung magagawa ko pang mag-aral sa ganoong kalagayan. Mahirap man kami pero hindi ko naranasan ang ganoong tinding pasakit para lamang makapagtapos ng pag-aaral.

Sana'y hindi magsawa ang kabataan ngayon upang magsikap sa pag-abot ng kanilang mga pangarap.

***

Neri's second entry in Litratong Pinoy

Pagsusunog ng kilay --- one of the [Filipino] idioms that stuck in my mind. (Literal English translation: burning one's eyebrows.)

It's because I don't understand what eyebrows and fire have to do with studying. Perhaps in the olden days when our ancestors used candles to read at night, their brows get burnt. Due to sleepiness. ^^

When I read the term 'nagsusunog ng kilay', I also can't help but think of the scene where Jose Rizal and his mother Teodora Alonzo were in front of a lamp. This scene will start the legend of the moth. (Which I won't be telling here.)

Yet in our times now, saddening as it may seem, there are Filipino children who still use lamps or candles to read their homeworks. There are still children who walk a few kilometers and cross over mountains and rivers just so they can go to school.

I admire these children because if I were in their place, I don't know if I can still have the guts to study with such conditions. My family might be poor but I did not experience such hardships in order to finish schooling.

I hope that today's youth won't stop reaching for their dreams.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

If It Fits



I'm a sandals fan. I go for comfort.

I remember the movie "Hanggang Ngayon" starring Regine Velasquez and Richard Gomez. Richard's father told him there that the right partner is like a pair of tsinelas (sandals). Even if you wear shoes at work or at play, you'd still want to wear those comfy tsinelas. You'd always yearn for your tsinelas.

Another foot-relationship analogy comes from my ex-boss. He said that marriage is like shopping for footwear. Dating and pre-marital relationships are like trying out the shoes (or sandals, what-have-you's). Marriage is the actual buying. No return, no exchange.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hanging for Dear Life



This was yesterday's lunch. Mmm... yum. Yummy creepy crawlie. ^^

However because of the recent sea tragedy, I can't help but be sad again. And think of our fellow Filipinos who hung for their dear lives by Sibuyan Sea. :(

God bless their souls.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Princess of the Stars



Let's pray for the victims of Typhoon Frank, especially for the rescue of the missing passengers and crew of the capsized MV Princess of the Stars in Romblon.

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy and may this sampaguita be a symbol of hope for the search of the missing victims. May they be found safe and sound at the soonest time possible.

Click to read on Inquirer's special report on Typhoon Frank. Capsized MV Princess of the Stars. Taken from GMANews.TV As of this writing, only 57 survivors have been reported while 20 are dead out of the 800+ people in the ship. Click the ship's image (taken from GMANews.TV) at the right to read Inquirer's special report on Typhoon Frank.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Missed Church


Click here to view inside this church.


I wasn't able to go out today because of the storm. Well, I can go out but I don't want to be drenched. Thus I missed Sunday mass as well.

It's not that I'm a devout Catholic. (Sorry, but I'm not. Really.) I'd rather think of myself as a spiritual person than religious.

But there's that gnawing mindset that you've grown up into, which in turn molded part of your conscience. So I've grown up reminding myself to attend mass every Sunday and feeling empty when I don't.

Why not Monday?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Children's Joy



This is a rough shot from my Nokia phone. I beheaded Jollibee! Waaah! Sorry, Jollibee. :(

I took this photo just this evening after watching a movie (by myself). I was on my way to the mall's exit when I passed by these children playing musical instruments at the Jollibee fast-food chain. What really dragged my feet towards them was the violin. I've always admired violinists because it was my childhood dream to play the violin. (But then I have a lot of childhood dreams. Hindi naman masamang mangarap nang marami, di ba? Hehe.)

I've never approached strangers so I can take their pictures. (I just take shots without them knowing. Har har har.) But because I didn't have the power of zoom in my hands, I asked them if I could take their picture after donating in their box named Children's Joy Foundation. (I'm convincing my conscience that I did not pay them for the picture.)

I was too shy to ask for their names; what I only knew was they came from San Fernando, Pampanga. Perhaps one day I can visit them... if I find them.

***

I have a soft spot for orphans.

That was since I visited a local orphanage back in high school because of an outreach program. We were told to bring toys for the kids and play with them. I picked a frail little boy of five in a sando shirt. I can't recall now if his name is Paul. At first, we were both shy and didn't know what to talk about. Until I played swing with him and that made him smile. I held his hand while we walked around the vicinity and got food and drinks. He sat on my lap while we watched the programme my classmates prepared for them. We were silent most of the time but I felt we both enjoyed each other's company.

The visit lasted for about four to five hours. The time came for us to go. My classmates and I said our goodbyes to our "children". Most of the kids didn't want us to leave. Tears welled up on Paul's eyes and he held my arm firmly. I hugged him and promised I'd be back.

Our class went back to the bus so we could go home. The kids waved us goodbye. When I got seated, I saw Paul waving his arms to me as well. I waved back to him despite the clutching sadness in my heart. I wanted to cry. I knew I would be breaking my promise.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Something Green and Horny



So after my serious post yesterday, let's do away with a little humor for now. ;)

I want some comedy now because I'm getting a bit pressured with the comments on Papa's photo. Perhaps I overdid it, ei? :D

TGIF, guys. Have a cool and happy weekend! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Papa



Unang lahok ni Neri sa Litratong Pinoy

Ang kamay ng naglalaba rito ang siyang kamay na umakay sa aking mga unang hakbang sa mundo. Ang siyang humawak sa akin habang nakasakay sa bisikletang may apat na gulong. (Kaya siguro di ako natutong magbisikleta.) Ang siyang tumulong sa aking sumagot ng aking mga homework. Ang siyang nagtuloy ng mga proyektong pinagpaguran ko ngunit hindi ko matapus-tapos. Ang siyang naghanda ng almusal kong hotsilog at hapunan kong Maggi.

Ang siyang nagtiis ng maraming hirap at pasakit upang makatapos ako ng pag-aaral. Ang siyang haligi ng aming tahanang matagal na sanang nabuwag. Ang isa sa dahilan kung bakit andito ako sa mundo.

Salamat, Papa.

***

Neri's first entry in Litratong Pinoy

The hand that you see here is the hand that guided my first steps in this world. The hand that held me when I rode a four-wheeled bicycle. (Perhaps that's why I didn't learn how to ride a bike.) The hand that helped me do my homeworks. The hand that continued the projects I worked hard for yet I could not finish. The hand that served my hotsilog (hotdog, egg and fried rice) breakfast and Maggi (noodles) dinner.

The hand that sacrificed through a lot of difficulties and hardships. The hand that held firm the home that should have been gone long ago. One of the reasons I exist.

Thanks, Papa.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder



So after our visit in Bayanihan Park, let's head back home. :D

This picture is one of my early takes in shooting... at anything. Hehe.

Yup that's our "trap" door, er, gate. XD
I was shooting at anything and everything in our small frontyard and I came upon our rusty gate. Our beloved rusty gate. I showed this image to my parents and they were repulsed. I loved it. (Not their disgusted reactions, but the shot.) ^_^

Funny how we see the same thing but have different perceptions, ei?

Have a happy Wednesday, everyone. May we see beauty despite the ugliness that surrounds us. Ciao! :)

P.S. Don't worry, we're painting the gate since yesterday. Details on that tomorrow. ;)

[Update 19 June 2008]

Details on the Project Paint Gate (PG). Sorry to redirect you to my personal blog because it's a mighty paint story, which cannot fit here in my photoblog. Hehe. Hope you can hop there for a while. Good day! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Huge Symbol of Fil-Am Friendship

The Salakot


So as I said yesterday, here's the big salakot stage situated in Bayanihan Park, in front of Clark Main Gate and SM Clark. You will notice our previous bartending boys doing their show in front of the stage. :D

I've done a little bit of research on The Salakot and found this info:

...this monument stands as a sign of Philippine-United States friendship over the years. It was originally built to symbolize the historical signing of the Republic of the Philippines and United States Military Bases Agreement in the early 1950s.

Source: Clark Air Base History Guide


Before the Bayanihan Park was constructed (in line with SM Clark), there was the Salakot Arch and not this stage we see now. This has become one of the attractions in Pampanga already. Sa bagay, who has seen a bigger salakot than this? Moreso, who will wear it? XD

The salakot is a common symbol for Filipino identity. It is often portrayed as the hat worn by Juan de la Cruz, the symbol of the collective Filipino psyche equivalent to Uncle Sam of the Americans.

Source: Wikipedia

We need a humongous Juan dela Cruz for this salakot then. :P

Monday, June 16, 2008

Salakot

Salakot


Enough of Bayanihan Park's grass for now. Hehe.

I don't know the exact English word for "salakot". Hat is not enough. It's a native hat used by farmers here in the Philippines.

And I also don't know why there's a big salakot in Bayanihan Park. It's like a symbol already here in Angeles/Pampanga. I should research it I guess. Tomorrow I'll show you the huge salakot stage. :D

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!



Happy Father's Day, everyone! :)

May we celebrate this with warmth in our hearts and gratitude overflowing for the man in our lives who sacrificed a lot for our well-being. Cheers!

white rose
BTW, I've been tagged by Lissa. Thanks for the beautiful rose, girl! :)

So to keep it going, I'm tagging Kaycee, Enday and Beevee. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Stock-Still Peacefulness



Do you sometimes feel that the world moves on but you're just stock-still in your place? And yet it feels peaceful inside, ei?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flying Bottles



I'm having a hard time picking out which picture stands out and depicts the flying bottles so I just gave you the slideshow. Hehe. Anyway, at least you can see everything that happened. From the two bartenders-to-be (I think) to the two peanut vendors.

Ironic that there are two college students practicing their field in front of two out-of-school youths peddling for income.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Darts



This dart board can symbolize a lot of things.

But for this post, the board can be likened to a heart. Pierced by every individual that comes by. Yet the game goes on. And at the end of each game, the darts come off the board. Ready to take their place again in another match.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back-to-School

Laus Deo Semper. Praise God Always.


It's the first day of classes for most schools today. (Therefore it's also my sister's first day as an official teacher. :D)

But of course, I'm not affected by school stuff for four years already. *sigh*
When I was young, I loved the smell of new books and was excited to read them all. I glowed looking at my new notebooks and fought with myself over which notebook goes to which subject. Those were the only complications in life then. *sigh again*

So how's all this back-to-school reminiscence related to the picture? Nothing much except that these angels were taken from the top of the Main Building in Holy Angel University, my alma mater.

Eight years. Eight years I've stayed in the university. Four of which I met some of my life-long friends. Another four of which I rode into the roller coaster of love. Haha. Funny how I did not mention studying here. XD

Let's stop this reminiscing already before it gets worse. Hahaha.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Independence

You are not alone


Today the Philippines is celebrating its Independence Day because of a republic act that moved the original June 12 Independence Day on a Monday.

I also took this picture while riding on a provincial bus going to Manila but fortunately I was on a regular passenger seat unlike the other time. Thus I used my cellphone to take this, not my S5, and still some reflections on the glass. :D

We can never be fully independent. At some point, someday, you'll need someone for something. Or for just being that special someone. But we take for granted that Someone is already here with us... all the time.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Night Lights



This was taken last night after watching movies at SM Clark. Movies because I and my friend Tetay watched two movies consecutively with only an allowance of 10 minutes.

I don't know why I didn't stop walking and just took this picture. Anyway, I like how the neon lights danced. It looked like neon bikes here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yellow - Green



This pic brings into mind a long-time running joke.

Green, green!
Yellow?
May I know blue's on the line please?
White a minute!


Hope that didn't ruin your day. Haha!
Happy weekend! :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Somewhere Down the Road


Somewhere down the road
Our paths are gonna cross again
It doesn't really matter when


This pic and song excerpt (not the whole song) are dedicated to my friends who are out of the country, namely Prick, Yen, Pepe, Loim and his lovely wife Wim who's leaving later in the afternoon.May God always keep you safe. Till we meet again... in SG? ;)

I took this pic using my cellphone while sitting on the conductor's seat of a provincial bus going to Manila. That's why you'll notice that this image is not as sharp as compared to my previous post despite that they have the same resolution. And you can see reflections on the glass. Hehe.

We're always on a journey towards our hopes and dreams. Have a happy and safe trip ahead! :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Holy Angel, Holy Angel



When our battles won you'll see
Banners high we'll wave for thee
In our hearts thy name will be
Holy Angel dear.


That's the last stanza of the Holy Angel University hymn, which almost always gets salvaged when it reaches its crescendo.

This is the much-anticipated library building that looks like a mall. Hehe. I don't know much of the full features of the San Francisco de Javier Building since it was finished four years after my graduation. So it's my sister who benefited from this.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Let It Rain

Let It Rain


It's June. Therefore the official month for the rainy season. It's not raining now but for the past weeks it has been raining almost every afternoon.

When you think about the past crisis with no rain, downpour is a welcoming thought. Not until the streets get flooded and my feet get wet.

Here in the Philippines, the start of classes depict the start of flood-eds. You go into the adventure of avoiding splashes and getting your new black doll shoes squishy to reach your beloved alma mater. Only to find out that the classes are suspended. Nyahaha! Torture, sweet torture!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June Bride

Holy Rosary Parish Church


I dreamt of a wedding last night. Sadly, I wasn't the bride.

But recalling the dream, I refused to be the bride for the groom there. Hmm...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Behind Bars



The indistinct red lines are the balcony grille. But who would have guessed? :D

Perhaps we can make this pic an analogy of our lives.

We're always behind bars. Be that our emotional insecurities, financial worries, physical disabilities, spiritual numbness, whatever.

But what do you see in this image? The grille or the trees?

If we focus more on the beauty and goodness that surrounds us, and I know that's difficult nowadays, we will see that the world is still a better place to live in despite having the limitations we have of ourselves. There's always something to thank God for.

What are your blessings today?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Nighty Night



I know this is bleak. I love the moon but I haven't yet given myself the opportunity to capture its loveliness.

This is a reminder of the power failure last night. Thus the late post.

I can't access my poem for the night so here's the closest poem I can get now, written a year ago:

The Moon Saw
The moon saw me and whispered a prayer
The moon saw him and answered with a sigh
The moon wept aloud in the silence of the night


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