Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human


Bitches and Puppies

About a year ago, our old dog (7+ years), Keana, gave birth to two puppies.  Unfortunately, the other died and only one female was left.  Being the only puppy, she became very protective and caring of her only puppy.  With only one puppy to care for, she fed her too often (causing the puppy to be chubby) and goes by the puppy’s side whenever the puppy makes any sound.   My mother and niece named the puppy, Chichi or Chichay.  She grew up fast and tall (taller than her mother).

Keana, with cataracts as sign of her old age.


Suckling a solo puppy (infrared)

Just a few months ago, the puppy (who is already grown) now gave birth to 5 puppies.  Probably because of her young age and having 5 puppies, she is not as caring and protective of her puppies as her mother.  In fact, sometimes, the grandma puppy would take care of two of the puppies while Keana takes care of three puppies.

Chichay and her puppies.


Haiyan (Yolanda), Strongest Typhoon in Recorded History

This weekend, we were supposed to go to a beautiful island (Coron, Palawan).  However, Haiyan happened and all domestic flights (except those going north) and many international flights were cancelled.  Furthermore, Coron was in the path of this destructive typhoon.

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).  Image from Huffington post but I’m sure, it’s been shared in many other websites.

Days before Yolanda (international name – Haiyan) made landfall, many news sites, not only in the Philippines but also abroad, have been monitoring its progress as it is expected to be the strongest typhoon on the planet this year (many say this is the strongest typhoon in recorded history).

On the morning of the typhoon, news from Tacloban City, Leyte still came and the impact is really strong.

BYggM_8CUAI7cGz.jpg largeThese pictures are stills from news reports of ABS-CBN taken 30 minutes apart.  The first one at 6:58 in the morning where the rain and wind was strong but the streets are still passable.  Thirty minutes later, the streets are already heavily flooded with lots of debris.

News coverage indicates that the impact of the storm is similar to a tsunami with the sea (not waves) comes in to land at a smaller height bet repeatedly.  After that, all communications with Tacloban was cutoff as infrastructure was battered.

Yolanda swiftly cut a path of destruction over central Philippines and exited in one day (thankfully if left Saturday morning, the original forecast was that the typhoon will exit the Philippines on Sunday).  Its first landfall was made in Leyte (where Tacloban is) and continued westward.  Thankfully, it weakened a little as it made landfalls on the subsequent islands on its path.

Only today are news coming in that show the effect of the devastating typhoon.

Ted Failon, a reporter of ABS-CBN, who was in Leyte during the typhoon recounts his experiences after the typhoon with some video clips.  There is a clip of the news team helping a teenboy lift the body of his father from the wreckage of a house.  He also informed of an evacuation center that withstood the wrath of the wind but the storm surge of the sea (which reached several meters high) drowned the refugees inside and when they got there, some still have foam on their mouths.  Reports are coming in that at least a 100 people are dead (numbers will inevitably rise as reports come in from areas cutoff by the storm).

I wanted to post pictures of the devastation but this is already being reported by all the world’s major news network (CNN, BBC, etc.).

Such a sad day for the Philippines.

And as one CNN comment that went viral said, we will survive!  The Filipinos in the affected areas badly need help now but we will survive and rise again.

Time to get to the know the hardy Filipino people…unbelievably resilient, long suffering, good natured, uber friendly, loyal, ingenius, and a bunch of survivors.

At the end of the day the Filipinos will just shake off the dirt from their clothes and thongs and go about their business…and SMILE. They do not complain much, they will bear as long as they can.

Maybe this is why they were given the “privilege” of bearing the burden of the strongest typhoon ever recorded.

The indomitable human spirit at its finest.


I will be changing the blog’s theme to a new one (wider with no sidebar) so the blog will appear weird until this is over.

Fun with Cameras

Today, with nothing else to do (aside from pack), I had some fun with my cameras and my tripods (gorilla pods).

The picture is supposed to tell a story wherein the DSLR (which I call Bardagul) is threatening the Fuji X10 (which I call Fjona) (shot with my Panasonic TS3, I call Tessa).

Anyway, I’m excited for a fun weekend (Eman’s birthday celebration).  And also Fuji X10’s firmware update coming tomorrow.

After a Week of Rain

Finally!  After a week of intense rain, the sun is shining and the sky is blue!

Just to give an idea what it was like the past few days, here is a picture taken yesterday of Pasig River.

The rain has been going on non-stop for several days and work has been suspended on Tuesday, work from home yesterday and today (though today the weather is definitely much much better).  There is no typhoon in the Philippines but the typhoon in China is causing the westerly winds (habagat) to intensify and cause rains.

According to news, 50% of Metro Manila has been flooded and in some areas, flood has reached second floor of houses or higher.  Some areas has been declared in a state of calamity.  Residents have been evacuated in these areas and the government and other organizations had done rescues and are now doing relief operations.  As of yesterday, 35 or so have died, several injured and thousands have been evacuated.

A sad week for the country but hoping everything will be ok.

Random Photos: Three Boats of Tingloy

The three ferry boats in Tingloy, shot at different times:  afternoon, late afternoon, sunset and sunrise.

Bataan White Corals Beach Resort

May 26-27, 2012

I realize that I haven’t posted in a while.  And May turned out to be what my travel buddies call “individuality” month where we had no outdoor activity as a group.

Last weekend was my company outing in White Corals Beach Resort in Morong, Bataan.  The beach is just ok but having been in undeveloped beaches before, I find the place too crowded and “too developed” or too tourist-y.

There were almost no natural object to serve as an interesting foreground to a landscape photo.  Fortunately, nature blessed us with a beautiful sunset.  Unfortunately, my Fuji X10 lost its juice (forgot to charge the extra battery).  Fortunately (again), the TS3 underwater cam takes good pictures (not clean high ISOs) but quite passable.

The cottages near the beach.  In the afternoon (left) and just before sunset (right).

The good thing about using a waterproof camera is I can take photos on water (with a different perspective) without worrying about the camera being wet and broken.

I always bring my Lumix TS3 on outdoor activities (for taking pictures on the beach or when it rains) and it’s a good thing to know that it can take nice pictures.  Nice enough for the web but maybe not good enough for prints (which I hope to do in the near future).

Fun Runs

April 2, 2011 – Hyundai Run for a Cause

When I began mountain climbing, Bong of DPM advised me to use jogging as a training for the climbs.  Last March 2011, Hyundai opened registration for a free fun run to advertise its new car, Hyundai Accent.  My officemates and I registered since it is a free fun run, with singlet and all.

Espie, Diamond’s sister, Ronald, Hero, Tin and I (pic by Diamond).

For the Hyundai Fun Run, there were two distances, 5km and 10km.  All of us in the office registered for the 5km but not all of us were able to come.

Since I have a rather weak lung capacity (since childhood and from smoking) and from being slightly overweight, I couldn’t run the whole 5km and it’s more like 2 km of run with 3km of brisk walk.

Me caught walking (official photographs of the Hyundai Run for a Cause).

After the run, we had breakfast at Jollibee Luneta.  It was a good run!  I finished 5km at around 45 minutes.  Seeing the morning sun rise (I usually wake up after the sun is risen) and seeing different people running – there were the nun running/walking in a full habit with leather heeled shoes, parents with their kids (some running some in strollers), people running with their dogs, etc.

* * * * *

April 10, 2011 – NatGeo Earth Day Run

A week after the Hyundai Fun Run, I run again.  This time with the National Geographic Earth Day Run.  And this time it’s not for free.  There is a registration of Php650 or Php750 for 5km.  This fee is for the singlet, facilitators and the rest will go the NatGeo fund or something.

The run was scheduled on a Sunday.  The day before, I dayhiked Mt. Maculot with Felix so I woke up a little later than I should.

I woke up (with an aching body), took a shower and then took a cab to Fort Bonifacio in Taguig for the run.  I arrived just in time!  No more than a minute when I arrived at the starting line when the gun fired for the start.

For this run, I was alone as my officemates either did not join or joined a run organized by GMA7 (a TV channel).


 The venue of the run (Fort Bonifacio) * My official time (around 45 minutes again)

Similar to my previous run, I walked for more than half of the 5km.  In the end, I clocked in almost the same time (the trail is slightly longer than the previous trail).

At the end of the run, I took a taxi home.  My legs hurt as I just did a 7-hour hike the previous day and then run without proper rest.  Again it was fun but not as fun as previous free run with officemates but I get to use the singlet more for climbs (it’s dri-fit).

* * * * *

After the NatGeo run, I got more involved with climbing mountains and schedules usually conflict.  I also find the registration fees a little high (P500-P1000) which would take me to a mountain for two-days (incl. food) so in the end, I did not join any more fun runs.

BUT Hyundai is hosting another free run for a cause so I may join again.

Random Photo: Sunset at Tondol


Fuji X10 using EXR mode.

When I take landscape shots, I always make it a point to keep the horizon level (while shooting and in post-processing).  This is the first time that I made a landscape shot with the horizon intentionally skewed and I like the result.

Random Photo: Parrot at the Zoo


Shot with Canon 60D and 100mm macro. This shot was taken during my first photowalk in the Manila Zoo.

Note: At first I was afraid that my free storage quota of 3gb would soon run out but my friend taught me a simple trick of editing in HTML and using my facebook account as image source. I can now share more photos without fear of running out of space.