Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another Game of Spot the Birdie

I started my day yesterday with the tiring task of doing the laundry. With the summer heat enough to make one tired even without moving, hearing the birds tweet and chirp gave me the opportunity to relax and be still for a while.
Textured with A Rural Journal's "Painted Sky No. 2"

I used to wonder why the birds don't get electrocuted, but I heard (through the old TV Show, "Beakman's World") that there's something about their feet which allows them to sit on high-tension wires.

Where's Birdie?

Ready for another game of spot the birdie? I heard this one call on other birds, but because the tree was too high, this was the maximum zoom I could do, because if I still zoom on it more, it would look pixelated already.

I might be facing tiring chore yesterday, but thanks to these birdies, I was able to enjoy Mother Nature's gifts. Happiness do come in small packages...

....coupled with big zooms. :)

Loves on a Thursday Little by Little

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Catholic Churches in Cebu

Magellan's Cross Santo Nino de Cebu
Magellan's Cross | Santo Nino de Cebu

It was through Ferdinand Magellan, who docked in the shores of Cebu in 1521, that made the Philippines a Catholic country. It is now the Holy Week for us Catholics, so for this post, allow me to show some church pictures I took in Cebu - the place where it all started.

Basilica Minore del Santo Nino

The image of Santo Nino de Cebu is the oldest Catholic artifact in the Philippines, given by Ferdinand Magellan to the Cebuano tribe who became converts to Catholicism. That artifact is housed inside the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, and every January, there is a very big religious festival known as the Sinulog, celebrated in honor of the Santo Nino.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

The Santo Nino may be the most popular in Cebu, but their patron is actually the Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Sacred Heart Parish

The Sacred Heart Church is possibly the only air-conditioned church in Cebu.

St. Pedro Calungsod Chapel

Just last year, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Pedro Calungsod as a Saint, and he was the second Saint to hail from the Philippines (first was St. Lorenzo Ruiz). His church is located within the compounds of the Archbishop's Palace.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

A very memorable event during my first visit in Cebu happened here at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. At that time, they were welcoming the image of Birhen sa Simala, and I (together with my brother and another friend) were blessed to be inside the compound of the church to welcome the image, as hundreds of devotees were there earlier than us but weren't allowed to enter.

These pictures were taken in 2009, during my first visit to Cebu. The capital city - also known as Cebu, has lots of churches, but even if one is quite close to the other church, expect every churches to be full whenever a mass is celebrated. I am deeply in awe at how religious people here are.

Birhen Sa Simala Church

In 2011, I had the privilege to travel back to Cebu, and what a sweet blessing it was that I got to step inside the Monastery of Holy Eucharist (2 hours away from Cebu City), the home of Birhen sa Simala. Prior to this visit, I once told my sister I couldn't understand her personal connection to the Black Nazarene of Quiapo (that's a different story actually), but she told me in time I will understand. When I arrived here, I understood what my sister meant, because of all the Catholic churches I have visited, this one had an unexplainable connection to me. I actually ran the stairs from the base 'til I reach the top, but I didn't break a sweat and I never felt tired (even if it was a very sunny day and I didn't have umbrella) - something unusual because of my weight.

I always say that I am not really a religious person, but I do believe in God, and I have high respects for all churches, and for what people believe in.

These are just few of the oh so many churches in Cebu.

My Memory Art

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Flowers From Aunt Julie's Garden

When I was still doing my Project 365 and I am vacationing in La Union, I would often go to my Aunt Julie's garden to take flower pictures so I won't skip taking pictures during a lax day (at times I do take a day of just staying at home instead of roaming around checking tourist spots). This practice seemed to have become a nature for me, because even if I am not doing a photo Project 365 anymore, I still take pictures from my Aunt's garden whenever I am there.

Orange Flowers

I don't know the name of this flower, but I love the little clusters of flowers forming a bouquet. Initially, I took a picture of this with the flower on the right side, but the wind kept blowing and when I hit the shutter it was already leaning towards the left side.

textured with Kim Klassen's Happy Heart at hard light 30% and Rural Journal's Laundry Day Skies at divide 65%
About a few years ago, most of the plants in her collection included different kinds of Euphorbia. These plants are very easy to take care of because it doesn't need constant watering, but they do have thorns. I don't know why Aunt Julie stopped collecting this plant, and why the very few left in her collection were placed near the very old outhouse, but because they still produce pretty flowers, I continued photographing them.

Orange Hibiscus

Nowadays, she's collecting all sorts of hibiscus plants. She has so many plants in her garden now, though not all produces flowers just yet. I was lucky during this visit because two plants had flowers - this and the white one (same kind). By the way, the two bottom stigma pads were touching my lens as I took this shot. Very impressive for this camera to produce great macro shots even if the lens is already way too close to the subject.

These three images above were taken January this year, before I traveled back home after my cousin's wedding.


This one was taken last 04 March before we left the house going to the cemetery. That scary, big mosquito caught my attention, so I grabbed FiFi (my Cherry Mobile Flare cell phone) and tested its ability to take macro shots. I am very impressed. :)

I am not sure when I will travel back to La Union, but hopefully when I return, Aunt Julie's garden will have lots of flowers for me to take pictures of.

Scattered Horizons

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday | 032413

I wasn't able to join last weekend because the prompts proved to be difficult for me to hunt (as we don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day), but I am back this week. :)

Snoopy Happy Meal Toys

{Canon Powershot SX130is}
23 March 2013

This should be an easy prompt for me because I am Asian... but it would be difficult to explain if I take a picture of myself, my family and/or my surroundings. We do have some Chinese vases here at home, but showing Chinese related pictures might be too typical, so I just took a picture of this.

I was already in college when McDonald's introduced the Happy Meal (as far as I can remember), and one of its toy collection that got the family hooked was this set of Snoopy toys in traditional costumes. My dad, my brother, and I would hop to different McDonald's outlets just to buy these toys, and because this comes with the meal (at that time they only offer the burger and a regular cup of drink), it would mean eating as much as 5 burgers in one day. I practically had to give away the burgers when I purchased 5 toys at once.

All in all, there are 28 toys, and these are just 5 of the many Snoopy figures wearing Asian costumes. From left to right - the Philippines (my country), Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Swimming Pool

{Canon Powershot SX130is}
21 March 2013 

Last Thursday, my brother and I went to the Manila Diamond Hotel to attend the launch of Mega Creations Premium Sardines. Held at the Pisces Hall, located at the 27th floor of the hotel, I was able to see awesome view from the window (check my last post) including this. Nice to see a curvy/wavy designed pool rather than the usual rectangle ones...and the tiles on the floor of the pool provide a wavy effect on the water.

Road Graffiti

{Sony Ericsson K800i}
07 July 2012

This is from the archives, as I wasn't able to hunt one within the week. I took this while walking along the streets of Colinas Verdes, and the one who drew this used a stone. Quite impressive, I must say... I just hope in time it will be washed away because no one would want to have any kind of graffiti on their side of the road.

Fake Waterfalls

{Canon Powershot SX130is}
21 March 2013

Wasn't able to eat anything soft... wasn't able to photograph any soft object, so I will go for this, taken at the Manila Diamond Hotel (again). When I was still using the old point and shoot camera, I love freezing the water by photographing it using a forced flash. Over time, I got to see images taken by many photo hobbyists and was amazed at how they turn water as if they were soft clouds. I learned that one should go for 1/4 of a second to produce such effect, but going for this in the middle of the afternoon when the sun was super bright and shiny was very difficult. For me to produce this, not only did I go for 1/4 of a second, I also lowered the ISO and set the exposure to -2. I think it made the water soft... how I wish I can try this on a real waterfalls next time.


{Canon Powershot SX130is}
21 March 2013

The pollens of this Stargazer did provide textures. :)

studio waterstone
Ni Hao Yall Unknown Mami