Pilgrimage destination: Cebu

Cebu is home to the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño or more commonly known as Santo Nino basilica. Local lore tells that the Sto. Nino image housed in this church sometimes disappear from it’s glass case and returns with grass stains on the feet as if the Sto. Nino took a walk.

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Magellan’s Cross

Right beside the Santo Nino basilica is the chapel housing Magellan’s cross, which I doubt is original at all. Anyway, it is there to represent the first cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan when he “discovered” the island for Spain back in 1521. The natives were then forcefully converted to the new religion. Continue reading

Earthy lightroom filter

Hallows! I just want to share the “earthy” lightroom filter which is now included in the “Liyfe Presets”

The earthy filter is subdued and works best on subjects with natural lighting. I find it useful mostly on floras to highlight the subject by creating an overall subdued highlight by tinting close to earth tones like in the following examples:

random_lrcat_-_Adobe_Photoshop_Lightroom_-_Develop  Continue reading

Moody lightroom filter

I use Adobe Lightroom to process my pictures and create filters to make batch processing a lot easier. Today I’m feeling moody and ended up processing pictures t0 match how i feel. Saving and then applying the filter over and over again seem to have helped alleviate my gloominess … it felt like i’m stamping my mood away on every picture I applied it to.

The filter looks nice on subjects that are small or contained like the following:
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Beach destination: Siargao

Cloud 9Siargao is better known as a surfing destination and previously ignored invitations to visit because I’m not interested in the sport. They have this beautiful pier that leads close to the huge waves with comfortable shelters at both ends allowing spectators to enjoy the sport without getting their feet wet. Aside from surfing, the destination has more to offer.

Sugba Lagoon
My favourite part of Siargao is the Sugba Lagoon. It’s so quiet and beautiful. This tour company can help you get there. Pack everything for the day and take with you because this slice of paradise is  a couple of hours away by boat. Be ready to rough it out and forget about going to the toilet.
Sugba Lagoon

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Bacolod’s Masskara Festival

street partyBacolod city celebrates Masskara festival on the 3rd week of October. It’s not tied to any religious occasion like most festivals in the Philippines. It’s simply a time for locals to come out and make happy around the City of Smiles. It started back in 1980 during a period of crisis that the city government and local groups decided to have a festival of smiles to lift the spirit of the community.

masskara fest 2014

The highlight of the festival is the street dance competition between barangays and between schools. A barangay is local term for a village. Villagers take pride in their entries and put a lot of effort in designing costumes and perfecting the dance choreography. Continue reading

So-called friends

People are multifaceted and there will be always be quirks that is very annoying. The following are my top pet peeves.

Borrowers
They are usually nice, outgoing and friendly. Once in a while they will say hi and ask how you are doing over popular social media. They are so nice that when they suddenly call you to borrow money it’s very hard to say no. If pressed for the loan to be repaid, they will end up making you feel like the bad guy because you’re not being nice.

So how do I differentiate from actual friends? It takes time because expert borrowers rotates their sources and are usually caught only when common friends start complaining. Continue reading

Why I continue to smile :)

We saw the signs and knew our team’s impending retrenchment but when it actually happened it still felt like a sucker punch. After we got the notice, we still report for work to complete the required two months transition. I still dress up, smile and joke around. Smiling and just being generally happy is my way of coping with the situation.

It’s sad but I’ve already seen so many colleagues leave and I helped arrange numerous farewells. I smile cause it’s ironic I get to arrange the final farewell for myself and the last remaining teammates who are also affected.

HK DisneyI’m scared because of the sudden uncertainty but happy because I need the shock therapy to move on. I don’t know what am going to end up doing but I know it will be different from the humdrum routine this past year. I’ve made new friends here and earned more money but it’s still lonely.

I decided to retreat back home instead of fighting to stay on in foreign soil and some people think it’s a bad decision. Yes, logically going home is a not the ideal choice but in this matter my heart won. For the first time in years, listening to my heart and finally deciding I’m going home made my days seem brighter.

Kimmidolls

Kimmidolls are pretty and there are a lot of designs to choose from. Plus taking pictures of these lovelies are far more satisfying than selfies 😀 These dolls inspired me to start a photo project using only my mobile phone and doing the editing on the flickr mobile app itself or using snapseed for android.

Despite looking similar to traditional Japanese Kokeshi dolls and having Japanese sounding names, Kimmidolls are not from Japan. These are from an Australian company. I’m not sure if they are actually made in Australia because there are nicks, scratches and smudges on new dolls. Packaging looks good but the dolls are glued to the plastic encasing them to keep it from turning around.

Dolls come in different sizes and these are some of the “mini” dolls I have, each about 2.5 inch tall. All the quoted spirit description are printed on the packaging. Check out all the dolls and their spirit descriptions on kimmidoll.com.

Yoriko

Yoriko Dependable

“My spirit is steady and true. Your steady nature and trustworthy character reflect my faithful spirit. May your dependable way bring happiness and purpose to your life every day.” Continue reading

Flower — beautiful non-violent ps3 game

I bought a bunch of games a while back based on reviews from friends, fully intending to try each one out on the coming weekend but other interests got in the way. Last week, I read the article “How Islamic Art Can Influence Game Design” and remembered I got the game “Journey” on my stash.

So I finally opened “Journey Collector’s Edition” and saw this game in the bundle: Flower. It’s lovely and pretty and so calming. I had to drag my housemate into my room to show her the game — she doesn’t play any console game and she liked it too. So there, I’m currently playing “Flower” and I have not even started on “Journey” yet. lol

5 Tips to Enjoy Malacca

A friend and I took an impromptu weekend trip from Singapore to Malacca and these are tips I would like to remember for future trips. I’m the type to relax and chill on vacations so it will take several more trips to fully explore Malacca.

1. Book bus seats early
Bus stop enroute to Malacca :DWe booked our bus online on the same week and the only available seats left were on the last row. Choosing the ones with expensive fare online does not guarantee it’s going to be a comfortable bus ride. We picked Luxury Coach Service going there and Konsortium for the return trip. Both have old seats that have seen better days.

2. Yummy Malaysian snacks
On the way to Malacca, the bus will make a rest stop and there is a huge grocery there selling local treats. Grab all the yummy local goodies you fancy because the bus return route will have no such stop. We skipped buying thinking we have another chance later and eventually went home empty handed. Continue reading