Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kadayawan '08

This was my first Kadayawan sa Davao’s indak-indak sa kadalanan participation and it’s a blast, as a photographer and not as a street dancer of course. The weeklong celebration was a grand array of Davao City’s diversed cultures and showcasing them as the selling point of the festivity. One can expect vivid displays of colors with the red, yellow and blue as it is the indigenous peoples dominant colors.

I joined the photo contest to get a different perspective in enjoying the activities of Kadayawan (and of course the prizes in store), capturing the festival’s sights and people at their astonishing visual splendors.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Paying forward

I am voting for Lagal[og] of his blog for the Philippine Blog Awards 2008’s  - Blogger’s Choice Awards.

Call it envy but really I turned green every time I logged on to lagal[og]. His travels made me wished I tagged along with him and his fellow blogger ironwulf, exploring the corners of the Philippines and Asia in such astonishing perspectives. The guy is such an inspiration. Just after I recuperated from my leg fracture (motorcycle accident), even in cane, I started travel photography and blogging.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wedding on Freedom’s Day

This was a special day and to your disappointment it’s not my wedding. It’s for a long time used-to-be activist friend in Kidapawan City, Leny who was tying the knot to Oggie. But the afternoon nuptial turned out to be a reunion of sort to known “tibaks” (as we were fondly called) of our progressive days back in college. Yes, I was relatively active in my younger years. I just thought that in an institution like the academe where heavy traffic  of idiosyncrasies and idealism happened, being passive was to be ignorant and barbarian. On the other hand, there was no such thing as being neutral, one should took a side.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Photo emblems

I’m bitten by a bug that constantly itching and can’t help but scratch.  Every scratch gives insatiable satisfaction that consuming me for weeks. If it is turning me into a zombie, I won’t mind (George Romero could be prouder). There’s no prescribed cure but to run havoc and infect other mortal denizens. 

Its insanity… an addiction. I won’t really mind. My officemates, if I failed to go to work readily suspect me somewhere testing my addiction. I know this because when I returned to work rumors has it that I’m at Bankerohan public market or San Pedro Cathedral taking snapshots of almost anything under the sun.  Cris, on his usual in-your-face frankness, cannot contain and questioned me if I don’t even get a speck of shame. I just answered a beaming smile thinking “they don’t just understand, if only they had the itch”.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Eden outing

I don’t know if our company’s poster announcement was inviting enough to ignite synapses to relay interest to the brain and reconsider going to the outing this time. Or it’s just me being particular on how it’s been photoshopped. My colleagues surely wouldn’t mind. The detail that touched nerves was the fact that tag-along (wife, children, etc) is to employee’s expense. In this trying time, this is the concern that is highly considered. (note: I’m tempted to post the company poster announcement here but withdrew the motion to the last minute because I failed to ask permission since it a company memo. Besides they would not permit me especially now that I made comment about it).

Still it was a well attended event. Co-workers of different departments or of the same departments but assigned to various locations, were reacquainted. I’m talking here of 10 to 20 to 30 years of working under the same company but have got to see each other mostly only to this special event ( also assemblies, Christmas parties, seminars and awarding ceremonies).  There are people who still remain in our company, saw me as a little child maybe playing naked carelessly under the sun, and now became my co-workers. These are the people   who I looked up to and considered as one of the “elders” which I have high regards with.

I know some people didn’t attend not because of financial or schedule conflict but because of a boycott of sort to the company. A boycott maybe is a strong word. A more sanitized word would be “frustration” - frustrated on how this company’s management has transformed. Gone are the heydays where family members could come to parties free of charge; OTs were not controlled; manpower was adequate; workloads were enough to an employee to work on effectively and efficiently;  working tools were not limited… and the list goes on and on.

All of these were finger pointed to economic reasons: low forex rate (in export industry, high dollar value against the peso is beneficial) ; high operational cost (due to inflation in fuel, inputs, rent, power, and operational supplies prices); increasing manpower cost (having the lion’s share were the top management bosses where it lagged miles away from the rank-and-file workers salaries); stiffer banana war at the production level ( more industry players are mushrooming locally) up  to the market level ( big name suppliers are creating very strong product brand); and losing company ventures( this one is subjective – I’m just toying on most of the employees’ speculations). These are the things that they like us to believe in but half of my brain regress and beg to disagree.

The recent memos I’ve read have an apocalyptic view of the days ahead. Maybe this will be our last outing, if economic status worsens more. Then lets enjoy this while its here. These are the people and the places of the May 18, company outing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Eden's delight


The looseleaf lettuce salad tossed with sliced tomatoes, cucumber, green mango and singkamas was another gastronomic treat and the highlight of my visit to Eden Nature’s Park in Toril, Davao city. The best thing here - it’s free. This was made possible by my Company’s yearly employee’s outing.

There were of course other arrays of dishes to choose from during the festive lunch (lechon included) but those never come close to the salad. To describe: it’s the juiciest, crunchiest, freshest salad I have tasted. I even convinced the people at my table to try the salad and all made positive reviews.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Reunion '08


The cone heads have reunited for a diabolic scheme: a choice between world domination or total annihilation of species other than our clan. The unanimous decision was WORLD DOMINATION!!!  Beware weaker species. Bow down before the mighty ANDO Clan or you’ll be slaughtered. Mwuuuaaahahahaha!!! 

Of course I’m just exaggerating. Even if we could be capable of such things, we wouldn’t entertain a thought. That would be morbid. In a blink, I could even faint in a sight of blood. hehehe. I’m exaggerating again.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Food Trip

Note: It is just politically correct to title this posting as food trip. The foods I ate on my trip.


The best time to eat ramen is when you’re hungry. I don’t know if it is an old Chinese adage or just a line I heard in the movies. Needless to say it’s all true. The blue marlin sinigang, sea food chopsuey and itlog alat we ordered at Tikoy’s grill in Palao, Iligan City, were consumed voraciously in shortest time imaginable. An extra rice is on standby to avoid time delay. If it’s a contest we could have been the runaway winners. But no, it’s just a meal after trekking Tinago falls which I think, drained half of my body fluids.   In fairness, the viands were delectably delicious and I am not judging it on my gluttonous times but on savoring foods between my teeth and tongue.  Tikoy’s a gem and a ‘recommend’ finest diners in the City. See the aftermath picture below.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Daisy's souvenir

Just outside Ardent Hot Spring Resort lined souvenir shops of Camiguin Island items. The rain didn’t stop me from visiting the shops even if most of it were close and only one at the far end was open for business. As expected there were T-shirts with big prints of the island, burloloys, keychains, figurines, malongs and shoals were on display. I purchased a grey shirt and an orange painted wooden turtle keychain, all in less than Php 100 (how’s that for budget spending). The attendant offered if I wanted the keychain to be printed with my name on it. I said yes with out hesitation. The workplace where it is to be printed was just a stone throw away. It’s where I met the owner of the souvenir shop, the motherly but very candid, Nang Daisy. I requested for a photo opt which she gamingly participated in. While waiting for the guy (which I briefly instructed on operating my digital camera) to figure the click button, I stroke a conversation to Daisy which I regretted later.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sakay na!

A misquoted saying that became a joke, “ang di lumingon sa pinanggalingan…” is rephrased and became “ ang di sumakay, di makakarating sa paroroonan”. On my trip, the typical Pinoy rides were my reliable companions (I have to pay for it of course). I listed the top 5 vessels and vehicles of my recent Northern Mindanao trip.


Yes it is King Long and not King Kong. And yes, as a metaphor to the giant beast this is huge and could simply pass through as the luxurious grand transport in this part of the hi-way. The air conditioning is on superb condition, well for now I guess. And it can easily be manually controlled unlike the old traditional air-con buses where air outlets all busted. Just be sure to bring along jackets for those traveling a long trip. Among its commendable features are, two flat screen monitors, good audio system, per seat lighting fixtures and the seat can automatically recline and decline according to your body position and pressure - Now that’s total comfort.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Historic Butuan and Magallanes

I think it was in my fifth grade, in our HEOKASI subject (Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika) that we took up the balangay lessons. The balangays (balanghai as called by Pigafetta) were wooden plank-build and edge-pegged boats that were used by early Mindanao settlers long before the Spanish conquerors set foot on Philippine soils. There were 9 of it discovered in Butuan City and the oldest is believed to date back to 320 AD. The balangay if you still don’t know is where the barangay, Philippines’ basic political unit, came about. These balangays were also called Butuan boats.

I really don’t see the actual graveyard of the balangay (in Libertad) and Butuan museum because it was already Sunday that we arrived here and these sites were closed, but the above long introduction was for a friend who argued why the title ‘historic’ when all places has histories. I understand his point but Butuan and other neighboring towns have tangible evidences of early inhabitants through discovered artifacts. Now I realize that it is not just historic, ‘the-320-AD discovery” is prehistoric and it would aptly be retitled as “Prehistoric Butuan and Magallanes”


Monday, March 31, 2008

Stranger in Marawi

A professor friend in MSU- Iligan Institute of Technology (IIT) which I got to visit in the campus, after learning that I am heading to Marawi, persuaded me not to continue the trip. He once taught in MSU-Marawi and had unpleasant experiences which he hesitated to divulge. He just hinted me on cultural differences and the danger of traveling in and out of the place. But instead of being discouraged, I never showed hesitation in my facial gestures and just flashed an eager interested smile. I continued the trip anyway, as planned.

I was warned when boarding a public vehicle (just the jeep, if in case you are thinking of a bus) men should not seat right next to women. But on the actual scene, it was nothing like a set-up  in any ordinary jeepney ride, men and women seated together with no especial or specific seats for separation (maybe those were the olden days).

I was never been so paranoid in my trip. I was also warned not to display cell phones and gadgets, too bad I missed to take pictures of the power plants, manmade lakes and other unfamiliar sites. I just held mum and instead of being annoyed at the loud noise  by the engine's high gear uphill drive, I was thankful that the noise made my thoughts occupied and kept off paranoia at bay.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Iligan’s grandeur

We just passed by Cagayan de Oro City because I’m not planning to stay here. It’s not that the place has not much to offer, I just thought that it has another trip of its own. 

Colleagues assigned in Talakag had positive words on the city’s fun and wild night life. And a friend who tried the whitewater raftering here, sort of lobbied -like-a-politician, that I must experience this aqua adventure. If given enough time, I could have considered the suggestion. Though, a walk-in enthusiast has a very slim chance of getting into the ride because it needs a team of six before going to rafting. So you need to have a reservation first and then convince your 5 friends to complete the team. Another attraction is Monigue Cave which is “the” place for spelunking.

What I only loathed here is the separate terminals for east and west bound travelers, and it is separated way, way apart. You have to take a 10 minutes drive to get to another terminal (bound for Iligan). Maybe I’m not used to this (Davao and Tagum City has only one terminal for all directions): the probable reason – to avoid traffic.

Enough of Cagayan de Oro, another Industrial city is Iligan, abundant in great and small water falls. The grandest of them all is the infamous Maria Christiana falls. Sorry for us, we missed the 11 am downpour of her majesty: (this is only open on specific day and time). That was only one we missed, there were more than 20 falls to go (that’s the spirit!).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mystique Camiguin Island


My beginners luck was short lived. On our first destination, Camiguin Island, the weather is not cooperating. We were greeted with thick dark clouds that in any time lose grip and precipitate. Despite that the Island was still lush in green and inviting.  Mount Hibok-hibok just falls silent and dormant at the back ground.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tungkod and Hotshot's Adventures


What you gonna do when after a leg fracture operation, you have been confined for a long, tiring, decay-inducing  6 months in your house (Yes a house arrest of sort, I have to check my sanity after it) - Well, yearn of drifting farther from the limited space that you got. How about going up North? (with in Mindanao of coarse) Why not?
Well everything seem to fall into places accordingly. I got a 4-day compulsory leave from work. Compulsory because it would end up forfeited after the year ends (scheduled VL is a good reason for leave request, now question that) and I badly needed a break from the truckloads of work at the pier (and I mean truckloads literally).
Fortunately I got enough money to finance the “expedition”. It’s just a week that I collected my share of our cooperative’s annual dividend. And thank-God, the stars seemed aligned to my zodiac and favored me greatly, Doming, along-time friend now based in Butuan is pretty familiar with the routes I’m planning to traverse.  Huh, am I lucky or what? Paulo Coelho should be right when he wrote in the Alchemist that when you want something, all the universe conspire in helping you to achieve it
Before the trip I solicited ideas from friends on cool places to explore. I shy away from the net because it is always short on giving first hand account of the scenic spots.
Topping the list was Camiguin for its enchanting old Island appeal, magnificent hot springs, white sands and pristine beaches.
Second was Surigao for its very cheap fresh and sea water fish dishes (also one of the cleanest cities in the country) and great beaches of course. Somebody suggested that I could also visit the open pit mining in the area. For Christ sake, how come such destruction becomes a tourist attraction?
The runners up were Iligan City (for Maria Christina and Tinago falls) and Marawi (for the MSU campus and Lanao Lake).
What did I chose? All! With just 5 days in my hands, this will be a tight schedule I know.
Tagging along were the ever reliable duo, the All-mighty Tungkod and the carry-it-all-sumakay-ka-pa Hotshots, I just crossed my fingers that I will pull this one out, always keeping in mind Paulo Coelho’s insight.