Photos of Ocean Adventure at Subic

Friday, January 29, 2010

A great way perhaps to spend a weekend with family members or with friends is to visit Ocean Adventure at Subic Bay Freeport. Ocean adventure is a marine park located at Camayan Wharf at the former American Navy Base. As per information, this park is the only one of its kind in Southeast Asia.

It was a hot sunny day when we visited the park last Sunday. There were several groups of school children and some foreign tourists particularly Koreans. I was with pre-school kids. When we arrived, the children were very excited to see many monkeys roaming around the forest near the park.

The park was divided into sections. The first section that we entered was the aquarium. There lots of fishes and other sea creatures.

sealion show
This is the sealion show.

acrobat show
Then we were led by our guide to an open air mini amphitheater where the acrobat show was being held. The sun was already high but we enjoyed nevertheless the singing, dancing, and the spectacular acrobatic acts of two "imported" entertainers.

Then there was the sort of finale show right after lunch. Dolphins jumping and splashing, spinning, "walking on water", "running", and well feasting on fishes given by their trainors.

(I really have to apologize for posting the photos very late and very few because I am encountering internet connection problems. Grabe, so much time is wasted. Malapit ng mag-overflow ang baso. Pag nagkataon, magpapalit na ako ng ISP.)


Destination: Subic

Monday, January 25, 2010

bus from Island Discovery Tours
Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining the kids and parents from Sunshine Learning Center in their field trip to Subic Freeport in Zambales Province. The trip was serviced by Island Discovery Tours. Aside from the driver, three other personnel from the travel agency joined us in the bus. These were the trip supervisor, the storyteller/entertainer, and the "historian" whom I would learn later to be actually an engineer by profession.

It was not my first time to travel to Subic Freeport but my previous itinerary was limited to the commercial part of the former American navy base. This time I got to see Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Zafari and of course the much-talked-about tropical rainforest where monkeys, bats, and other forest animals abound.

While on the way, Paul, the entertainer, did not fail to amused me and the other passengers, I guessed. A sample of his joke was when he asked the children to mention what they saw on their left side and on their right side. Farms, houses, buildings, trees, street light, sky were all mentioned except one. When the children could not answer, he asked the parents who can't guess either. Then he shouted the "bus window" followed by a loud laugh! (Corny).

Then it was the turn of the "historian". He explained the basis of the number of kilometers which one sees on signposts beside any road. He also informed us about the different places that were being passed by such as Candaba Swamp which is frequented by birds from other countries, the city of San Fernando, how the province of Pampanga got its name, famous places, persons, and cuisine from pampanga. Sensing that he would fail to mention Mt. Arayat, I pointed out to him the famous mountain. (Ay may naitulong din pala ako.)

And then, while we were leaving San Fernando City, I waited for him to mention it as the capital of Pampanga but in vain so I uttered to him in a small voice as I was seated near him. He thanked me. Well, I just can't help but that I felt it was very important for the children to know more about Philippine Geography. Actually he was having fun communicating to the children about a television show which is being shot in Pampanga.

Pampanga Rice Farms
(Photo above shows rice farms in Pampanga which is part of Central Luzon Region, considered as the Rice Granary of the Philippines.

Tipo Tollgate
(This photo shows the Tipo Tollgate, the entrance to Subic Freeport Zone which is now connected to the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. Tipo Expressway is a short tollway built during the Ramos Administration. It was built in time for the holding of the APEC Summit which was erroneously mentioned by the entertainer from the travel agency as ASEAN Summit.)

By and large, the bus trip was enjoyable as I was also seated with a very shy four-year old kid. From time to time I would strike a conversation with him.

(To be continued...)


Huwag Mo Akong Awayin

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sabi ng isang Kaibigan: most of the problems in this world start the moment one says "I Am Right". Once we say this, it necessarily means the others are wrong. Why can't we just express ourselves and that's all?

If we stop saying "I Am Right", then nobody is really right and therefore nobody is wrong. So there's no conflict. It follows then that there is no problem.

Do you agree with this assertion?


8,000,000 Witnesses?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

There is this news item in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (January 18, 2010, page A17)where reporters Jhunnex Napallacan and Chito Aragon quoted the police who said that the grand parade during the Sinulog Festival was witnessed by an estimated six to eight million people despite the incessant rain.

Six to Eight million? Even if it is just an estimate, the number is too big as to reflect an iota of truth. Consider the following: The whole of Cebu Province had a population of a little over 3.8 million in 2007, according to the National Statiscal Coordinating Board. Since this is 2010, perhaps the total population has already breached the 4 million mark.

Okay, let us take the lower estimate of 6 million. If this figure is to reflect reality, all the people of Cebu must have gone to watch the parade - that is including non-catholics, babies and old people from the remotest barangays (IMPOSSIBILITY NO. 1). Then another two million tourists must have travelled to Cebu from other provinces and countries. Aha, imagine how many ships, boats, and airplanes used to ferry these number of people. Imagine also how many rooms (hotel or otherwise) were used by 2,000,000 bodies? (IMPOSSIBILITY NO. 2).

Sabihin natin, hindi naman lahat naghotel eh. Mayroon dyan dumating umaga tapos umuwi pagkatapos ng parade. Eh mayroong bang enough hotel rooms within Metro Cebu for 500,000 people? Masyadong Malaki pa rin.

You see 6 million doesn't hold water. How much more for 8 million?

So what if the estimate is bloated? Anong issue? Well the proper question should be: Why can't the police give a better estimate? Also, why did the journalists who are supposed to give us balanced news did not bother to question or correct the police estimate?

Why is there a need to exaggerate? Just asking...


I Am Happy

Friday, January 22, 2010

It is 1:30 in the morning. I just arrived home from a drinking session. You see I just met some friends who shared their ideas on how to be happy.

It may seem shallow to some but I am sure everyone wants to be happy. Yet how many times we end up being sad and sometimes even bitter?

These friends claimed that happiness is not found outside of us. Even love is not found anywhere. That is why it is useless to look for happiness or love beyond ourselves.

Consider these situations. If happiness is found in marriage, then all married people must be happy. But this is not true. If happiness is found in money, then all the rich people must be happy. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. If happiness is found in power, then all those in power, i.e. government officials, must be happy. Again, the current situation does not support this. If happiness is found in fame, then why is it that famous celebrities aren't the happiest people on earth?

The fact is, in whatever situation you are in, you can be truly happy. You just have to choose it! If you have difficulty in choosing to be happy, it is because you have not come to terms with yourself. First you have to love yourself and everything will fall in line!

So you want to be happy? Relax, just accept and love yourself as you are.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I have always been a believer in the can-do spirit of Filipinos. We do have many innovative ideas on how to achieve development. Yet somehow and somewhere along the road to progress, we seem encounter setbacks after setbacks. Still we move on.

We have great thinkers and policy makers. We have good engineers and scientists. We also have bureaucrats with good intentions. And there are the private citizens who are willing to serve the country. Among them are the people who came up with Filipinnovation initiative.

Filipinnovation is simply a catchword referring to the strategy adopted by both government and private sector to make the Philippines an innovation hub. It aims, according to the Department of Science and Technology, "to increase industry productivity, to ensure an innovative environment, and to shape the national mind-set for a competitive innovation agenda."

The strategy is now on its third year of implementation. In support of this project, IBM Philippines opened recently its "Innovation Center" at its building in the UP-Ayala Land TechnoHub located right near the University of the Philippines Campus in Quezon City.

Another project of the Filipinnovation initiative is the launching of the electronic version of its magazine which will chronicle progress on the four major aspects of innovation namely: human capital, business incubation and acceleration, public policies, and the Filipino mindset.

More on this undertaking at Manila Bulletin.


Feast of the Black Nazarene

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quiapo Church
Every January 9 of each year is the Feast of the Image of the Black Nazarene. The center of the celebration is of course Quiapo Church in Manila City. This festival is perhaps the most popular festival in Metro Manila. According to newspaper reports, around 2 million people attended yesterday's celebration, the largest to date.

The Catholic Church in Quiapo is of course the home of the black image of the suffering Christ. The Quiapo Church is also called the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. Here are some of the photos of the "Pista ng Poong Nazareno".

Feast of the Black Nazarene
Quezon Avenue is filled with devotees, kibitzers, and media people.

image of the Black Nazarene Festival
Devotees have been waiting for many hours for the carriage to pass by.

Images of the Black Nazarene Festival
Finally the carriage bearing the real (original) image is making headway inch by inch.

Procession of the Black Nazarene
There is pushing and shoving to touch the rope (lubid) that is connected to the carriage. Devotees believe that by just touching the rope, their prayers would be answered. Hence by all means sinisiguro nila na mahipo man lang iyong lubid kahit minsan isang taon. Iyon ang kanilang "panata" which I would translate as "covenant".

images of the Black Nazarene Festival
This boy wants to touch the image with a white handkerchief. Well, would you literally step on others head and shoulders just to get what you want?

images of the Black Nazarene Festival
Tired but with faith renewed?

Images of the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene
What does it feel to sit on the throne? and to have women as your disciples?

Images of the Black Nazarene Festival
Business as usual. Make money while there is opportunity.


Mona's Cat

Friday, January 8, 2010


I am not fond of pets but I have a friend who is very much interested in domesticated animals especially cats. One time I visited Mona in her office and I was surprised to see a cat playing on the floor. Without much hesitation, I brought out my camera and began to take some shots. The photo above is one of them.

In between conversation with my friend, I would glance at the cat. I was not actually feeling well at the time. Yet the cat was making me smile with its tricks and turns. Then it dawn upon me the thought that this cat does not work nor does it worry about anything. I was thinking how lucky this cat is because somebody is taking care of him! Somebody loves this cat! I felt all my worries at that time vanished. Could this be a moment of illumination?

If this cat is taken cared of, what about me? What about the street children like those in the photo below?

Street children


Carabao Vs. Boracay Islands

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Map of Boracay and Carabao Island

The Philippines is truly blessed with many beautiful places particularly stunning beaches. Who have not heard of world-famous Boracay Island? This so-called crown jewel of Philippine tourist spots is considered one of the best beaches in the world today. What about Carabao Island? An interesting article in the Panorama Magazine proclaimed this island as the next Boracay.

In the article, it claimed that Carabao Island has a longer and more beautiful beach. Moreover, it is unspoiled unlike Boracay where it is now congested. An international airport is now being constructed by private investors.

In the map above, you will see the location of Carabao Island which is very near Boracay Island. Carabao Island is part of Romblon Province while Boracay belongs to Aklan Province. You will also see the location of Caticlan, the jump-off point to Boracay. Further down to the southeast is Kalibo, the capital of Aklan.

Just for your information, there is already an existing international airport in Kalibo. According to newspaper reports, another international airport will start construction this January in Caticlan. My concern is, Why build three (3) international airports near each other? Caticlan is less than an hour drive from Kalibo and Carabao Island is only 30 minutes boatride from Boracay. If a superhighway will be built between Kalibo and Caticlan, travel time will be cut into 30 minutes or less.

If there is so much money to be spent in building 3 international airports, why not construct only one but make sure it will be as great as Changi Airport in Singapore or that of Hongkong?

Anyway, I am sure there are many places in the country with good tourism potential but with no airport yet. Consider Caramoan Peninsula in Camarines Sur, Bicol. Or Calicoan Island in Eastern Samar Province.

What I see here is a mad rush by politicians to have projects built in their home turf without considering the feasibility of these projects and their implication to the over all national development of the country.


Mga Messages sa Nu Yir

Sunday, January 3, 2010

May isang kaibigan na walang humpay na nagpapadala ng mensahe na kanyang nakalap naman mula sa kanyang mga kaibigan. Narito ang ilan sa kanyang pinadala:

1. Mga dapat sundin para di madisgrasya sa paputok:
- Huwag kumuha ng naputukan, baka mapikot ka.
- Alisin agad pag malapit ng pumutok.
- Kung naputukan, dali daling hugasan. Baka madala pa sa hugas.
- Huwag magpaputok sa mataong lugar, nakakahiya.
- Magtanong kung safe bago magpaputok. Pag safe, saka iputok.
- Be safe, Hapi New Year.

2. Ngayong natapos na ang O'NINE, naway labasan ka ng maraming tagumpay at swerte sa pagpasok ng O'TEN. Isang masagana at malaking O'TEN ang hangad ko sayo.

3. Para di malasin sa bagong taon, wag isali ang ice cream, matutunaw ang swerte. Wag isali ang manok, lilipad ang swerte. Wag isali ang isda, malulunod swerte. Wag isali baboy, tatakbo swerte. Wag na lang kayang maghanda?


1. May the spirit of the changing seasons gives us new meaning to realize a relevant paradigm shift towards the quantum leap of faiththat is unfolding.

2. It is the ending of a season and a new beginning. Happy new year!

3. Best wishes for 2010! Success in all levels! So be it in partnership with the Divine Absolute!

4. Abundant graces, Abundant blessings. No calamity is worse than discontentment. Happy New year!

5. Receive seeds from the garden of daily living and follow this instructions:
- 3 rows of peas - peaceof mind, heart, and soul.
- 4 rows of squash - squash gossip, indifference, grumbling, and selfishness.
- 6 rows of lettuce - lettuce be faithful, kind, patient, generous, humble and lettuce really love one another

*** To enhance your garden here is the seed of time: time for God, family, and friends. Water regularly with patience, cultivate with love and there will be much fruit in your garden. Remember, you reap what you sow. Happy planting not only today but always.



Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day dreaming is different from having a dream. Daydreaming is dreaming and doing nothing to achieve the dream. But to have a dream means to have some kind of goal that is achievable in the near term or in the long run.

I wrote in my profile that I am a dreamer. I have many dreams. Or rather I have too many dreams. Is it bad? Please forgive me if I think it is not. After all, buhay ko ito, ika nga. And remember, libre lang ang mangarap!

I was taught in my childhood to have a dream because it is disastrous not to have one. Later, I read in some inspirational books that the first step to success is to have a dream. Then have a plan. Then execute that plan. Then persevere. And so on.

Looking back now, I would say the result is mixed. I achieved some but I have stumbled a lot. Looking forward, I am hopeful that the other goals I have set for myself will soon be realized.

It is in this context that I would say it was Susan Boyle who inspired me a lot in 2009. (Sorry folks if you haven't heard of this lady. Well, she lived to see her dream being realized even in the most unkindly environment at past middle age!) Oh di ba, hindi pa huli ang lahat...Sana nga.


Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Today I give thanks to my creator and to all the spiritual masters for all the blessings I received last year. Whatever happened in the year that has just passed, good or bad, I release them all. I forgive everyone and I ask forgiveness for whatever bad I did and whatever good I did not do.

Today I welcome the new year with gratitude and hope. I am grateful because I am given another year as an opportunity to continue my mission on earth. I am hopeful that this year will be peaceful, prosperous, and "pioneering". The last word refers to new experiences, new places to visit, new people to meet, and new things to try. But above all, since I become older, I hope to learn new lessons - to acquire new habits that would eliminate the bad ones.

Ah new year's resolution? Year in and year out I made one or two. Many times I failed. But I have learned to accept my shortcomings. The best thing is I tried to be become "better". Somebody told me there is no need to become better. Let us just accept who we are or what we are.

Well, acceptance is one thing. Striving to be what you want to be is an option. We are all responsible for our decisions anyway. As for me, life is what I make it. I listen to what others tell me but at the end of the day, I still decide on my own.

To all of you dear friends and visitors, thank you for being there. I wish all of you peace, joy, more blessings this new year.


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