Palawan Trip Day 1 Photos

Here are some of our pictures taken during the first day of our company outing in Palawan.

NAIA Terminal 3

An aerial view of… I don’t know

The beach side from Microtel Puerto Princesa.

Microtel

Learning to fly

Dining. It’s more fun in the Philippines. (Rene’s Saigon Vietnamese Specialties, Puerto Princesa, Palawan)

Palawan Sunrise

Last November 2011, our company went to Palawan for a much needed vacation for three days and two nights. I will be sharing the sunrise photos I took from Microtel in Puerto Princesa City where we stayed. Below is my favorite sunrise photo in Palawan.

And here’s the rest of the sunrise pictures. (To view photos in full size, pause the slideshow and click)

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My Stand on “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”

I just can’t help but to vent out regarding this issue.

As a Filipino (and as a taxpayer as well), I support “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”, Department of Tourism’s new campaign to boost Philippine tourism amidst another issue that the campaign was plagiarized from a 1951 Swiss tourism slogan. And I believe that this ridiculous issue was raised by either:

a. a competitor ad agency (who didn’t get the DOT’s nod),
b. someone’s who’s not on PNoy’s side, or most likely,
c. just plain Filipino crabs.

I think it doesn’t matter anymore whoever started this, but I’m sure it’s maliciously driven. And the fact that this issue was spread out, ibig sabihin na maraming mga putang inang Pilipinong pinapairal na naman ang crab mentality. Pambihira, kaya hindi umaasenso ang ating bayan dahil pilit nating pinababagsak kung anuman/sinuman ang nakakaangat sa atin. If you look at the campaign’s website (http://www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com), you will see that it’s modern looking yet very Pinoy (because of the banig design). Mataba ang utak ng mga nakaisip nito, at halatang pinag-isipang mabuti bago inilabas ang kampanyang ito.

I believe that “It’s more fun…” is not one of the most original slogans (tulad ng “Amazing” ng Thailand), but let’s put it in this way. May mga kanta na magkakaparehas ng kanta. Halimbawa, “Hold On”. Parehas may kantang “Hold On” ang pamagat ang grupong Neo Colours at Side A. Pakinggan n’yo, parehas ba ng tono? Parehas ba ng lyrics? Isa pang halimbawa. “Forever”. Kaya ko kayong bigyan ng tatlong singers na may magkakaibang kanta na “Forever” ang title: Sina Martin Nievera at Regine Velasquez , Kenny Loggins at Rex Smith. See? It’s a matter of packaging, at kung pinuntahan n’yo yung site, makikita n’yo ang pagka-Pilipino ng site.

Mga kapwa ko Pilipino, tigilan na natin ang ugaling talangka. Kalimutan na natin ang ating colonial mentality. Magtulungan tayo para maitaguyod ang turismo, at ang ikauunlad ng ating bayan. At kung wala naman kayong mabuting masasabi, wag na kayong magsalita. Hindi kayo nakakatulong; nakakagulo lang kayo.

And it’s more fun in the Philippines. Wag na kayong kumontra.

(I have posted the same on my other blog, rand(). Please visit it as well.)

My First DSLR Shots

During my hiatus, I had a chance to shoot with a DSLR camera after a jamming session. One of my friends brought his DSLR with him, and let me shoot with it. Here are my first DSLR shots, featuring my Yamaha PSR-S550. 😀

The models were tired at the start of the shoot.

The keyboard module

Let’s jam

Let’s play the keys

Let’s play the keys 2

Top view

Logo

Minimum volume

Maximum volume

Main variation

[Laguna Loop Trip 9] Kalayaan, Laguna and the Sad Story of Longos

This is a view of the old church of Kalayaan, Laguna from Exotic Restaurant. This was taken April 2010 (see, my signature is the old one hehe). As much as I wanted to visit it right away, I can’t since I only accompanied my cousin and their family. Sabit, ika nga. Fast forward to 2011, here I am. As part of my Laguna loop trip, I made sure that I visit the church.

Kalayaan is a very small town in Laguna located at the shore of Laguna de Bay. The nearby towns are Paete in the north, Cavinti and Lumban in the south. And as far as my research goes, it has only three barangays: Longos, San Juan and San Antonio. Longos and San Juan are located at the Laguna de Bay’s shore, while San Antonio rests on the mountains of Sierra Madre.

Bro. Erning Galleros of Pakil church told me that each barangay in Longos has its own church, the eldest one is in Longos (the one viewable from Exotic Restaurant), then in San Juan (which looks like it’s not maintained well). Recently, San Antonio has its own because, as Bro. Erning explained, the difficulty of going up and down hill to San Juan to attend the mass.

And the search for the old Church in Longos made me appreciate more the sad story behind Kalayaan.

From my last stopover at Paete, I took a jeepney ride to Kalayaan, but I missed Longos and the church (I have reached the power lines in Cavinti already!). Of course, I took a jeepney ride back, and upon seeing the Kalayaan Municipal hall, I got off because I thought that it is where I can find the old church. But when I asked the locals, they pointed me to the San Juan church, because they thought that it is the old church, and the new one is in San Antonio. It’s a good thing that a tricycle driver knows what I’m talking about and took me to Longos for PhP15.00, almost the same amount of a special tricycle ride in Manila.

While on the tricycle, the kind driver (how stupid I am not to ask for his name!) gave me some history about Kalayaan. Albeit not that accurate, his story was somehow consistent with the history pamphlet I got from the Longos church and some notes from the Internet.

According to the tricycle driver, the picture above is where the former municipal hall was located. Originally, the name of this town was ‘Visita Babaye’, which was only a part of Lumban, Laguna (‘Visita’ I believe is the equivalent of a barangay during those times). It was renamed ‘Longos’ after Fr. Luciano Longos, who sought for the visita’s improvement. In 1600, the Visita Longos was transferred from Lumban to Paete, and in 1669, the town of Longos was born. During the American colonial period, Longos was again annexed to the town of Paete, but got back its town status a few years later. However, on March 30, 1948, the seat of power was transferred from Longos to Brgy. San Juan (where it is presently located). And as a final blow to Longos, the town was renamed to Kalayaan on May 17, 1957.

When I arrived in Longos, it was the opening of an inter-barangay basketball tournament, making Longos a little bit alive.

And more importantly, I finally found the church.

Inside the church compound, there is also a small garden. And a few steps ahead is the shore of Laguna Lake. From the outside, it seems that the Longos church has retained its Spanish-era features. When you enter the church, however, is a different story.

According to the lay workers in the church, the rooftop of the church was destroyed by the typhoon Milenyo last 2006. However, they don’t have the means of restoring its original roof, that’s why they settled to the less costly but more miserable looking roof. And I presume that the church (and the whole Longos itself) was flooded during typhoon Ondoy, since it is just within the shores of Laguna Lake.

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As I made this entry a month after the trip, I believe that Longos is a reflection of the Philippine society. Lacking in sense of history, just like the renaming of Longos to Kalayaan. However, like the Longos church, we’re resilient, resourceful, and will not back down to any challenge. Filipinos are survivors, just like the Longos church. Just like Longos itself.

[Laguna Loop Trip 8] Paete Walking Trip


If there’s something well-known about Paete, Laguna, it is all about wood carvings. These two men carving out a name plate in front of their shop.


And in the heart of Paete, wood carved items shops are just around the place.


The heart of Paete. Turn left to Sta. Cruz, and turn right to the Paete church.


One thing also noticeable about Paete (and maybe throughout Laguna) is their use of Filipino. Just look at this one way sign.


Direct trips to Paete are also available from Sta. Cruz, Laguna.


Unknown to many, Paete also produces lanzones, which is evident in the design of the lamp posts within the town.

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[Laguna Loop Trip 7] Paete Church

This is the second time I visited Paete Church. The first time was during the Holy Week of 2010. This is the most prominent landmark of Paete, Laguna.


To tell you the truth, there is little I know about Paete Church, except that during the Holy Week, you can see almost all well known saints, different images of Mary, and Jesus Christ, all of them carved by the locals. Also, during Good Friday, the Sepulcher of Christ is being brought back to the church. This event attracts local and foreign tourists alike.

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How to get to Paete Church from Manila?

Ride a bus to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. You can choose from bus terminals in Araneta Center Cubao, Alabang, or Buendia near the LRT station (I would personally recommend DLTBCo. Its terminal is located in the former Nirvana bar near the LRT Buendia station). From Sta. Cruz, ride a jeepney to Siniloan, Laguna, and tell your driver to drop you off at Paete.