Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human


Things happen everyday. And sometimes, we just want to photograph things that we remember. I don’t always carry my camera or sometimes too lazy to bring the camera out so a cellphone camera makes a wonderful tool. (Plus, there is very easy upload to facebook and other photosharing sites).

Here are some of these daily snapshots.


Eman’s aunt arrived from Hong Kong and she brought some chocolates and some wallnuts.  Wallnuts are available here in the Philippines but they are already shelled so this is my first time to see wallnuts in their shells.

Harp Players in SM

As it is Christmas season (where many people go in malls to buy gifts), SM Makati has a pair of harpists playing in the mall (a mother and son pair (I think).  Sounds very relaxing and we stopped for three or four songs before continuing with our errands.

Kris Kringle

A Christmas tradition here in the Philippines is Kris Kringle or Secret Santa.  Basically, you give gifts to a person (who doesn’t know who’s giving the gifts) on specified days based on a theme.  Then on the Christmas party, there is one main gift of higher value.

For our second gift giving, the theme was “smelly but satisfying” and my generous secret santa gave a kilo of cashew nuts and I think 1/4 kilo of danggit (dried fish).  Very very nice and very satisfying too.  (Cashew nut is not smelly but the fruit is).

Buying Indian Costume

Christmas parties are very common (most Filipinos are Christians so Christmas is a big celebration – no Hannukah or other holiday celebrations).  To give flavors to these parties, there is usually a theme.

For our company Christmas party (to be held next Thursday), the theme is Bollywood so I went to Market Market to buy an Indian costume.  This is a display of the costumes showing the costumes for both kids and adult.  The one I eventually  bought is a maroon kurta with a black embroidered hat.

Glorietta 1 & 2 Reopening

Back in 2006 or 2007, an explosion from the basement of Glorietta destroyed most of Glorietta 1 and 2. The explosion was determined to be coming from methane that seeped in the basement (I think noone was held accountable for this accident that led to the loss of several lives). I was supposed to go to the mall (in the exact area where there was an explosion that fateful day. Thankfully, I got lazy and did not push through with my plans during the lunchtime that the mall exploded.

After several years of building, Glorietta 1 and 2 is now ready for reopening. The structures are all ready and the stores are now being readied for moving in of new and old tenants.

J. Co Pops

High end (expensive) donuts are becoming common here in Manila.  Beginning with the arrival of Krispy Kreme, there are more and more specialty donut stores opening, including J. Co.  These are the so-called J. Pops, small versions of the donuts.

When I was a kid, the donuts available then are only from Dunkin Donuts and another donut stores were the main competitors.  (I still love Dunkin Donuts and go there regularly for coffee and their newly offered premium donuts).

Male and Female Toilets

Signage on male and female toilets in malls and fastfoods tend to be very bland.  They’re usually of the blocky staid male and female with rectangles for bodies and circles for a head.

These are the doors to the toilets in McDonalds in Bonifacio Global City.  Pretty fun and creative.

Designer Coffee

Before the explosion of expensive donuts here, designer coffee came first, led by the international coffee chain Starbucks.  Now I like coffee  – a lot – but I’m not gonna shell out money for expensive coffee if I can get a coffee in the office (we have a delicious pressed coffee) or in Dunkin Donuts of McDonals.  Coffee is coffee no matter where you buy it.  The only times I go to a coffee shop is when I’m meeting a friend.

This coffee is cappuccino from UCC in Glorietta.  Nice design on the sprinkling of cocoa powder on top.

Messenger/Camera Bag

I already have a Benro camera backpack which can pack my 7D with battery pack and all my lenses (except for the Samyang 650-1300mm).  But it’s too big for everyday use.  Then I saw a wonderful messenger-camera bag from Ona called the Ona Brixton in antique cognac leather.  What a beautiful bag!  But also at a wonderfully high price.

Luckily, there are similar bags for sale at a cheaper price.  This one is a Junie Cambridge bag that Eman gave me.  I use it everyday when going to the office (it carries my ipad, Fuji X10 and a small folding umbrella).  Ona will have to wait.

Grass Heads

These are cute little heads that you water and grass grows on top.  They kinda look like the troll dolls.  I bought them in Divisoria and gave three to my co-managers in the office.  We named them Rufo (Princess’, the one with the green glasses), Groucho (mine, which is named after Groucho Marx – red glasses with grass hair), Papa P (Irene’s, black glasses) and Bogart (Espie’s, red glasses with little grass hair).


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