Related Posts with Thumbnails

Shooting cascades in Papa-a

As soon as I saw small cascades running down the stream, I immediately thought it would be good to do long exposures. It was just disappointing that I did not bring my tripod [again!]. But then I felt I had to shoot.

Awesome sunset in Butuan City

It is not very often you get to witness a stunning sunset that gives you goosebumps. For a photography junkie like me, you should never, never, never let it pass just like that.

Winning a photo contest

Winning a photo contest for the first time (well, officially and with a prize for that matter) gives a different high!

Missing Cordi

From afar, I could already see the clouds rolling over the mountaintops. It was a sight to behold. So I asked the driver of our vehicle going to Buguias, Benguet to stop so I can capture this once-in-lifetime scene.

Cory Aquino: An inexhaustible gift to democracy

She further stressed the belief that the Filipino people, as a nation, can be great again. During her last State of the Nation Address (SONA), she said: I believe in the inexhaustible giftedness of the Filipino people.

Conversation with a cab driver on climate change

Ironically, this cab driver who would like to contribute something help curb climate change and global warming, by planting his narra tree becomes discouraged and disappointed...

At home [and at peace] with HDR Photography

HDR is not bad per se. HDR is nice to learn. In fact it is a must for non-pro like me to learn HDR to learn more about shadow and light and exposure, which is the crux of photography.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Are ORBS ghosts?

MY FORMER INTERNS borrowed my digital camera and had a photo session in the Speakers’ Guest House in Baguio City. It was in July 2006, and their last day in Baguio during their LGU exposure trip so they took turns on shooting each other’s photos for posterity. When they were done, I reviewed what they got, and was surprised to see an orb or two in some of the photos. These are indoor shots and apparently, these are the only indoor shots that have “orbs” in them.

These are some of the photos.

Orbs, according to Wikipedia,

The term orb is the popular name given to typically circular anomalies appearing in photographs. In photography and video, orbs appear to be balls, diamonds, or smears of light with an apparent size in the image ranging from a golfball to a basketball. Orbs sometimes appear to be in motion, leaving a trail behind them. further describes orbs as:

Orbs are believed (by many) to be ghosts in the form of balls of light. They are life forms that travel in groups and are believed to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth. Psychics claim to talk to them on a regular basis, and ghost hunters encounter them quite frequently. It is said that they are those spirits that have willingly stayed behind because they feel bound to their previous life or previous location for whatever reason. Because of this obsession they tend to become similar to a psychotic human beings. It should be said that the majority of us when we die proceed gladly and willingly to the next level of existence after saying our quiet good-byes, which means we're off to the spirit world. Then again, as stated, a select few elect to stay behind because of a refusal to move on. Apparently the longer they stay behind, the harder it is to find their way to the next level, which again, is the spirit world.

However, there are two conflicting ideas on orbs. First, is the fact that it is mechanical in nature. Second, these are really ghosts.

Troy Taylor would like to believe that most of the orb photos are caused by refraction of light from the flash hitting an object or dust on the lens, especially if one is using digital camera.

In the first photo, it is possible that there is a reflection of light from the crystal vase on the right side. The second photo might be caused by the reflection of light from the digital camera suspended on the neck of the guy on the left. On the third, it is possible that light was reflected on the chandelier above or somewhere else. But in general, the place was dark, because the walls have wooden panels, so the rarity that light can be reflected. It could be dust. There is a fireplace on the left (now shown), and there is a rug in the middle.

This explains why the seemingly orbs captured by my digital camera, may be caused by the ashes and dust from fireworks lit up by my nephew last December 31, 2005 during our new year revelry on the street. (See this photo below).

However, Taylor does not fully discount the fact that there are, indeed, ghostly apparitions. Gleaning from this, there is a possibility that my orb photos are those of spirits. If the "orbs" in the guest house were caused by dust, how come there is only one, which occupies almost the same space on the right, which is near the sofa and near the ceiling? Could it be that the "spirit" wanted to join the photo session?

Having known this, my “theory” that the orbs in the guest house are ghosts or spirits. Why?

Continue reading….

The Guest House

On their last night in the guest house, the ladies were scared to death. One of them went inside the comfort room to relieve herself, when there was a harried knocking on the door, signaling she should finish fast. So, she said, “Sandali lang.” (Wait a minute.), and hurriedly finished her business. She was surprised to know that no one was behind the door, and definitely no one was knocking, because all her room mates were downstairs already chatting and eating.

In another occasion, one of the ladies wanted to use the comfort room, but she found out it was locked, so she waited. One of the roommates arrived and asked what she was waiting for. She said she was waiting for one of their roommates to come out of the CR. Since the other lady would also use the CR, they knocked but no one answered. When they turned the knob, the door was already unlocked.

In the middle of the night, the room went so cold that they could not sleep well. Instead, they all lumped on the sofas outside the room. They were puzzled that it was warmer outside.

Because of that, some of them stayed up chatting until dawn. Then in the middle of their girl talk, they smelled an aroma of soy sauce. They thought that perhaps, one of the boys was cooking instant pancit canton so they waited for him to come up and share the meal with them. They were turning impatient until they decided to check if it was already cooked. So, they went down to the kitchen, only to find out that the boys were already snoring on the sofas.

In the morning, one of the ladies was complaining because her one and only biscuit was missing. She was reserving it in case the food is not yet ready. She was already hungry and there was no food yet. So she asked around if somebody got it. Nobody did.

Where was I? I was lucky I was billeted in a nearby hotel, so I never exprienced these things.

The Priest

My brother bought a property across the street. It is located on the right of the photo of my nephew (the one he is facing). When I was younger, Uncle Bening, the second husband of the second cousin of my mother, who was the last occupant of the lot, told me (I could not remember if I was in elementary or high school) that there is a ghost of a priest roaming around the property. I did not know if it was true or not.

However, I know for a fact that there are ghosts in our place in Nueva Ecija. My youngest nephew, when she was 5 years old (he is now 7), told his dad that he saw a lady near their veranda looking at him. The lady, according to him was wearing white and had long hair. Thinking that she was one of the patients of my brother, he even asked what she wanted. She was just a few feet away from my nephew. She never replied and went away. According to my nephew, he still sees things.

One of the "urban legends" in our family was about Lakay Intong, who died with an open mouth. So his relatives had to put a handkerchief bandage to keep his mouth closed. (Much like Mang Kepweng, and other comedy movies of Chiquito and Palito). My late father asked my two elder brothers (they were still elementary then) to buy a cigarette from Aling Felisa's store, which is one block away. It was dark and drizzling, and worse, they had to pass by the house of Lakay Intong. Afraid that they would get the ire of our father, they bought the cigarette, and hurriedly went home because it was starting to rain hard. Midway, they passed by the house of Lakay Intong which is on their left. By chance, they glanced towards the house and was so surprised to see the ghost of the old man standing by the gate--oggling them. They ran as fast as they could. The cigarettes were strewn all over and went home with nothing in their hands. At that time, our father did not know how to react--whether to get mad for the lost cigarettes, laugh at them, or comfort them.

I didn't know if the story about the priest was just made-up to scare us so we would go home early after school and after playing at night. If I remember it right, Uncle Bening had a penchant for making up stories, a la "story-telling-a-lie" just to entertain people. Nonetheless, being young and hearing these kinds of stories was a scary thing for me. That story was long forgotten, until I scrutinized the photo taken on New Year’s Eve in 2005 (above photo).

The fact that my eldest nephew is “lapitin ng multo” and can see ghostly apparitions, (and I too feel them), I could not believe what I saw.

Scroll up and look at the figure pointed by the two arrows on the left. (Click the photo for bigger view). What do you see? Is this just a figment of my imagination?



I fully attest that the photos posted in this article are not, in a way, manipulated, except using Photoshop for cropping, covering the faces of the subjects, and drawing arrows on the photo (not even changing the contrast and brightness). The photos were set/ maximized for internet browsing at 72 pixels and cropped at 7x5 inches.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An Offering for the Glorietta 2 victims and their families

Photos in this blog entry are courtesy of Prof. Lalaine H. Siruno of UP Dept. of Philosophy
which she sent through email as her show of support and sympathy to the families.

This blog entry is dedicated to the victims of Glorietta 2 Blast.
It has been a harrowing experience for the entire country,
especially for those who have lost their loved ones and those wounded but survived.

Many have offered their prayers and condolences in various ways--
and this would be one of them.
Pinoy photographers and bloggers,
who in their virtual existence,
have shown the world that virtuality does not become an obstacle
for one not to offer one's prayer, condolences, and good wishes for the afflicted.
In this fast-paced existence,
these same virtual people have become a virtual community,
living up to the Filipino tradition of damayan, or the Filipino value of pakikiramay.

To the families of the Glorietta victims,
we offer these prayers,
we are giving you these virtual flowers,
as our way of sharing with you the pain that you feel right now.
We hope that through this humble offering from your fellow kababayans,
here in the Philippines and abroad,
we would help heal your wounded body and spirit.

Together we join in praying the prayer posted by Rhodora in her blog:

Loving Father,
we pray for the families of the victims
of the Glorietta bombing at this sad and difficult time.
We pray that You will bring comfort to them,
and give them the peace which encompasses all understanding.
We pray that in all of their grief and sadness,
they will not feel alone,
but will always be conscious of the reality of Your presence with them.
And lastly, Lord, we pray for love in every hardened heart;
peace in every troubled soul and enlightenment in every confused mind.


We Care:

Pinoy Kodakero (38 photo enthusiasts, pro photographers
and still counting--as of 3:57 PM 10/26/07)
Semana Santa Filipinas (sorry no link since it is exclusive to group members,
so I am posting the links of the members): 15 photographers/enthusiasts
rouel-tofe, geto, bekbeklozada, eric celudo, celso capili (private photo), pauloruiz, bleak 1, bleak 2, kabuki, phlenareh, lulot ruiz, Never sleep, never die (no link), jemuel paulino (no link), marc (no link), virgen del caracol (no link)

By Pinoy Bloggers:
Virtual flowers for the mall blast victims by Cyberbaguioboy
A call for peace by Señor Enrique and his friends
Let peace reign by Rhodora and her friends
Let there be peace by ScroochChronicles and her firends
May you find peace by Nerdluck
In Memoriam by Beachbabe
Requiem by Deeper Shade of Soul
E-flower for Glorietta Victims by ApplesH
Wildflower by Merman
Crater by George
Virtual Flower Offering by Legally Inclined

Rosa Paz-Ang said...
I've just read the article from and so your blog site is already featured :) Very nice & thoughtful idea.Btw, anybody there who has a nice picture of white carnations? One of our former officemates in WeServ/Fujitsu believes this is Leslie Domingo-Cruz's(+) fave flower. It will be much appreciated.

Anonymous said...
well prayers to the victims and the families they left behind.

Anonymous said...
i will make a link on this my friendster.not to promote friendster but i think it has the most members worldwidekudos to you ding for this earnest move...

Datch said...
i am with you sir! we may have different ways of expressing condolence to the bereaved families of the deads in the recent glorietta bombing but count me in with those who categorically and unequivocally condemn this unprecedented mischief!no people of religions approve of it other than those godless villains who are unfettered by their conscience to do the same just to fulfill their selfish political interests. be these scoundrels from the "rebels," oppositions, third party or from the government, GOD DAMN THEM ALL!

Glecy Cuenco through Email:
On behalf of fellow bloggers, thank you so much for the glorietta blogsite you created to generate collective prayers and action - for peace in our land and to pray for the gloriettea blast victims. Initially, may I contribute the "I AM" prayer in the Attachment, which if prayed slowly and meditatively, connects us to our Higher Soul - the Divinity in each one of us, ("ATMA NAMASTE" in the Hindu tradition) but which is also taught by the Lord JESUS in the Gospel when he uttered "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." Ding, pls. post the I AM as my contribution to our collective thoughts and prayers. Please recite the prayer in silent meditation and feel the outpouring of spiritual energies as you read it. You may bless our country and those injured right after the I AM meditation.

"I AM not the Body.
I AM not the Emotion,
I AM not the Thought,
I AM not the Mind,
The mind is only a subtle instrument of the Soul.
I AM the Soul.
I am a Spiritual Being of
Divine Intelligence,
Divine Love,
Divine Power,
I AM one with my Higher Soul;
I AM one with the
Divine Spark within me,
I AM connected with God.
I AM one with God.
I AM one with All."
- Grand Master Choa Kok Sui

eam said...
I feel for everyone especially to the bereaved families and those who were wounded. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
diwAta said...
nakikiramay ako sa mga naging biktima ng Glorieta Blast. mahirap pero kailangang tangapin at magtiwala na there is a reason and a greater plan

Joyce Sosoban Said:
"Dear Lord, I pray for all the blast victims — those who died and those who've been hurt. May You give them comfort during this time of pain and trial. May they see Your hand in this incident. May a greater good come out from this event."

Many Thanks to
the Pinoy Bloggers who have responded to this call,
the Pinoy photographers who have unselfishly shared their work,
those who posted comments and inspiring words to the bloggers,
Inquirer.Net and Mr. Erwin Oliva who have informed the world,
to PinoyBlogoSphere for supporting this cause

For those who wish to express their messages, you are still welcome!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

At home with Joomla

REMEMBER THAT WEBHOSTING PACKAGE that I won at PBS Wika 2007 blog tilt? It has come to life with the help of Joomla. It is an Open Source Content Management System. Honestly, I do not know anything about web development or content management system. So I asked Jared, one of my previous officemates who is now working as Systems Administrator for the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Norte and is currently based in Dipolog City, and he recommended Joomla.

Using Fantastico in the C-panel, I installed Joomla. Being too familiar and accustomed with blog formats, I had some difficulty using it at first. I did not like the template installed, and it seems more complicated than blog formats! I wondered how I could customize my website. After some futile attempts, I decided to just delete the installation. Instead I educated myself by reading more articles about Joomla, browsed through the different free Joomla templates available, and have to learn how to use it. Luckily, I also found one template that suits my taste--clean, simple and free from clutter (which is exactly how I wanted it to be.)

In every step or in every feature that you do, there is help for administrator which provides the guidelines in detail. Unlike blogging templates, web-content management is more complicated because you have to create a section, then category, then you can post your article. The user interface though is quite easy to learn, and one has to have some patience tweaking everything until you get the look exactly how you wanted it to be. I still have to learn how to tweak its HTML though (although I am already contented with it for now). The CSS is easy to tweak. You must have a ready list of the hexadecimal color codes and names.

And so, after 2 nights of grueling with my personal website, Joomla template, and web-hosting courtesy of PBS, this is how it looks now:

My personal website serves as an aggregator of all my blogs and my photography site. This compelled me to buy a one-year Flickr Pro account which costs me $24.95. Good thing, dollar is cheaper now. Although I am still wary if my credit card purchase was safe.

Feel free to visit my site at VIEWPOINTS.

Wanted Niche Blogs on: Politics and Governance; and Photography

I AM IN THE PROCESS of organizing my blogroll. Since I already have 2 niche blogs on the following topics:

  1. Photography
  2. Public policy and governance, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development,

I would like you to be part of my world. In this way we could easily exchange ideas.

For my existing links, do not worry. You will not be forgotten. Your links will be transferred to the appropriate blogs that I have. Those who will not fit in to the above topics will be retained here.

So if you have a niche blog purely on either of the two, or discuss these topics in your blog, you are invited to link. Just leave a comment together with your URL.

What's the catch? Can I ask that you link me too....(smile!) I hope that's not too much to ask, right?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Full, free and unconditional pardon

AS A FOLLOW THROUGH of my previous blog about this issue, I always make it a point to watch the news regarding the conviction of Former President Joseph Estrada for the crime of plunder. While watching him on the news yesterday, I realize once again that he did not only make himself lesser credible, but made him rather pathetic as he has, again, brazenly demonstrated his rude audacity.

Continue Reading

First Mindanao Blogging Summit (MBS)

The first Mindanao Bloggers Summit is one event that a Mindanao Blogger should not miss. Its theme: Spotlight Mindanao: Blogging for Culture, Identity and Understanding, seems a tall order for many bloggers. But with this event, the organizers hope to achieve something--one step at a time and this summit would be the first.

I would have wanted to join them in their first activity, but some circumstances prevent me from doing so. All I could do for now is to send Blogie Robillo and the rest of the "usual suspects" my advanced congratulations for organizing this big blogging event.

Spotlight Mindanao:Blogging for Culture, Identity & Understanding
Date: 27 October 2007 (Saturday)
Time: 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

4th Floor, NCCC Mall, Ma-a, Davao City

Registration Fee:
FREE!(Instead, you’re required to post on your blog that you intend to join the Summit. Instructions are emailed after registration.)

Organized by:

Monday, October 22, 2007

E-flowers for Glorietta victims' families

IN AN earlier post, I called for prayer and sobriety. At least there is one who positively responded to this call--that is Señor Eric who posted the prayer of St. Francis in his blog, then followed by Rhodora who posted a very beautiful prayer.

Waiting for a few hours, and when no one heeded my call to show sympathy to the bereaved, I asked 3 of my Flickr groups (Semana Santa Filipinas, Pinoycentric, and Pinoy Kodakero) to post their flower photos as a sign of sympathy to the bereaved. I was surprised with the response. I believe these people are very busy, yet they found the time to post something for the Glorietta victims' families. Many have already responded, and I hope there would be more in the coming hours/days. I never thought it is possible. We usually/ normally send real flowers. But this time, we realize e-flowers will make it possible!

Here are the links to the groups:

Pinoy Kodakero
Pinoycentric (no posters yet)
Semana Santa Filipinas (sorry no link since it is exclusive to group members, so I am posting the links of the members):

eric celudo
celso capili (private photo)
bleak 1
bleak 2
kabuki ph
lulot ruiz
Never sleep, never die (no link)
jemuel paulino (no link)

By Pinoy Bloggers:
Requiem by Deeper Shade of Blue
E-flower for Glorietta Victims by ApplesH
Flowers for Requiem by Echo
E-flowers for innocent victims of Glorietta Blast by Tom
E-flowers for Nadine

We may not be able to send real flowers to the families. But through the internet, we, photograhy enthusiasts, have shown sympathy in our own little way. The message is clear--we are one with them.

UPDATE AS OF 10-24-07, 8:30pm

This just came in!

Earlier I have called for prayer and sobriety, which was followed up by my call for photographers to post a flower for Glorietta victims and their families.

It was not expected, but fellow blogger Erwin Oliva, who happens to be a PDI writer, too, noticed my blog. Honestly I did not know how I could show these photos of flowers (read: show of sympathy) to the family of the victims. Rhodora, who posted a really nice prayer suggested television. But I guess, that would be self-promoting. Erwin Oliva is a blessing in disguise.

Below is the link to the article he wrote, entitled:
Virtual flowers offered to Glorietta mall blast victims

This is already a great leap from this lowly blogger to get the message accross the country and the entire globe. You are still welcome to share your prayers and keep on posting your flower photos (even if it was taken only with a celfone camera).

God Bless!

Related Post:
A call to Pinoy bloggers for prayer and sobriety
Summary of supporters

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Romblon Chronicles Part 2: Facing fear

IT TOOK ME ONE HOUR to reach the town of Calatrava via a big version of jeepney. The road was in good condition except for some unpaved parts. It was fortunate that the rain the previous night spared me from heat and dust. Actually, it was a fine day, when you could smell the sweet morning breeze, the scent of freshly mowed grass, appreciate the newly plowed rice fields waiting for new seeds to be planted, the people were nice, and most of all, seeing the sun rays peeking through the mountains and trees along the road.

Continue reading

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A call to Pinoy Bloggers for prayer and sobriety

We have all witnessed the Glorietta 2 Tragedy. I wanted to discuss this in my blog and share a piece of my thought and inject my analysis.

However, something prevents me from doing so. It is not just right banking on this issue just so I could write something on my blog. Moreover, I would only be adding confusion to the issue which is still baffling, after all.

What is important for me right now is that rooting for the victims of this inhumane act.

So this blog calls for all Filipinos to blog for prayer and sobriety. Never mind the link. You can cut and paste this one.

Another blogger typing (or cutting and pasting) the Prayer of St Francis will somehow ease the pain and the sorrow for the families of the bereaved and those who were hurt and are still recuperating in their hospital beds.

Let this be a call for national prayer and an action for Pinoy bloggers. Let us forget first pinpointing as to who the culprit is. Let us join the families of those [9] persons who perished, and more than a hundred to help them heal their wounded body and spirit.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Master, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love with all my own.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

God Bless!

Note: Pease signify your joining this simple blog action by leaving a message under this post. and ask your readers to do the same when you repost your own blog. Thanks

Please see related posts:

e-flowers for Glorietta victims' families by Inkblots
A call for peace by Señor Enrique
Let peace reign by Rhodora
Let there be peace by ScroochChronicles
May you find peace by Nerdluck
Peace on earth by Aura
In Memoriam by Beachbabe

Please see Summary for the Complete roster of supporters to this cause.

UPDATE AS OF 10-24-07, 8:30pm

This just came in!

Earlier I have called for prayer and sobriety, which was followed up by my call for photographers to post a flower for Glorietta victims and their families.

It was not expected, but fellow blogger Erwin Oliva, who happens to be a PDI writer, too, noticed my blog. Honestly I did not know how I could show these photos of flowers (read: show of sympathy) to the family of the victims. Rhodora, who posted a really nice prayer suggested television. But I guess, that would be self-promoting. Erwin Oliva is a blessing in disguise.

Below is the link to the article he wrote, entitled:
Virtual flowers offered to Glorietta mall blast victims

This is already a great leap from this lowly blogger to get the message accross the country and the entire globe. You are still welcome to share your prayers and keep on posting your flower photos (even if it was taken only with a celfone camera).

God Bless!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Romblon Chronicles - Part 1: A bitter-sweet rendezvous with RO-RO

Finally, I am able to sit down and write what I have gone through almost two weeks ago. A week after I went to Batanes for a work-related trip which I blogged here, here, here, and here, I went to Romblon last October 4 for a consulting work with the Peace and Equity Foundation.

I was both excited and anxious about my trip to Romblon. Had it not for the consulting fee (lolz!) and the important social mission I have to accomplish (I will blog about it later.), I would not go to Romblon.

First, I was full of apprehension, because it was my first time to take a RO-RO cruise for more than 7 hours, and at the same time I felt excited to see for myself what a RO-RO (Roll On-Roll Off) is all about and why PGMA is boasting and taking pride of the nautical highway. The longest boat ride I had to take was the trip to Lebak, Sultan Kudarat where we had to pass by the Celebes Sea (another fearsome adventure!) from Cotabato City.

Second, I fear the sea. Yes, I love the beach, but not crossing the sea especially at this time of the year when the Southwest monsoon (habagat) is at its peak. More importantly, I have not gotten rid of my fear after I almost drowned in Illana Bay in Pagadian City during one of my official trips 2 years ago--and this boat below almost killed me! The propeller was detached from the boat which caused it to sink. Had it not been for a woman who went out of their house located near the shore, and who saw us waving in distress, I would not have been blogging now. (And good thing we were only at least 1,500 meters away from the shore.)

Cruising for more than 7 hours from Batangas pier to Odiongan, Romblon was just a part of service and commitment ro poverty alleviation. Certainly, it gave me the creeps because we had to sail at night! Then in Pagadian, we only sailed for less than 5 minutes and our boat sank! It was a relief, however, that I had to ride a huge ferry that can carry at most 20 fully-loaded ten-wheeler trucks!

Wow! I thought it was cool, but not until I boarded the ship. Although I trust the crew not to overload, I was still paranoid because these ferries have the tendency to overload. We have witnessed disasters in the past! As the first instinct, immediately after boarding, I had to look for the exits and find out where the life vests are stored. I was just being cautious and preparing for any eventuality. Who knows?

I got a ticket for an "air con" accomodation, which I learned later that it was the section with double-decker beds. However, I did not use it except for one hour at around 1AM when my body could no longer stand the physical strain. Why? The room was emitting odor of human sweat and human heat because apparently, the air conditioning is not enough to cool the entire room. Rather, I stayed on the deck where it is colder. Because there are no seats on the deck, I had to endure more than 7 hours of walking, standing, sitting on railings and on any available flat surface so that I could rest my wobbly and cramped legs. The trip would have been a complete disaster, save for the people I chatted with, and bland instant coffee to keep me awake.

Reflecting on this, the government should look into this matter. The management should ensure the comfort of the passengers, as well. I would not mind cruising for long hours to go places like Romblon--if I were comfortable. Perhaps the ferry management is not aware of the plight of the common people who only rely on this kind of transportation, or perhaps, they simply have become insensitive and callous of the travelling conditions. Because PGMA is lauding their contribution to the transport of produce to and from the provinces, they may have the notion that they are doing perfectly well. Also, no one is complaining.

So here I am ranting that:

  1. The customer service is bad; some crew members are even impolite (that I had to force myself to lower my expectations--after all, it is not a plane);
  2. The service crew members are nowhere to be found near the passenger area, especially during the wee hours. (What if? Just what if....? There would be no one to guide us all.).
  3. The passenger areas are humid and hot.
  4. The "bed area" is too cramped, which would be aggravating emergency situations
  5. Exit passageways are blocked by passengers' luggage; One exit is even closed, and
  6. The comfort rooms are dirty and stinky (This I could not tolerate!)

There may be more but these are the only major observations I noted.

When I arrived in Odiongan at 4:00 AM, I felt so wasted that I immediately checked in the small hotel near the pier and dozed off until 7AM. At 8AM I was again on my way to Calatrava, where another boat ride going to Simara Island was waiting for me!

Not again!

(Watch out for the sequel!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Filipino youth, creativity and poverty alleviation

The Peace and Equity Foundation is enjoining the Filipino Youth to be part of its effort on poverty alleviation through a creative writing and photo essay contest with the theme dubbed as "Mga kulay ng kahirapan, hamon ng kinabukasan."

This is in conjunction with the 2007 Social Development Week celebrations in December this year to be held at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City.

As the primer on the contest says:
"The contest aims to create awareness and educate the youth on the country's poverty situation. Through creative writing and photography, the youth are given
the opportunity to express their learning and appreciation of the prevalence of poverty in the country, as described in the National Poverty Map. Their works will then be used to generate more interest in PEF's poverty reduction programs."

Contest Theme:

Poverty in the Philippines comes in many faces: faces of sadness, despair, fear, anxiety and perhaps anger for the pain and suffering that people go through. But through the cooperation of community members and with the active involvement of stakeholders, these dull images could be filled with color and life. As the poverty situation in our country is a story filled with the stark contrasts of colors, we face the challenge of creating new faces of hope, excitement, optimism and determination to fulfill the promise of a better and brighter tomorrow. Hence the theme, "Mga Kulay ng Kahirapan, Hamon ng Kinabukasan"

I would have wanted to join this contest but I am not qualified to participate. The contest is open only to students. If you are, bring out your creative juices and participate.
Please click this LINK for the contest rules.

Note: The publication of the theme and some details of the contest were lifted from the PEF Website, and with express permission from the PEF.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Niche Blog--My new baby

I have always wanted to have a niche blog on politics and governance in the Philippines. However, there are some things that I have to take into consideration in blogging about politics and governance.

First, I have to be very careful with what I say, unless I want to be embroiled in an uncompromising legal situation. The topics in my new blog may be very ticklish, that is why I have to be more aware of the legal implications of my ideas written in my blog. You know--legal stuff like libel.

Second, I have to be very conversant with what I will blog about politics and governance. So I decided not to limit myself with just politics and governance. I have to be "developmental" so that I could cover topics such as ecology, sustainable development, poverty alleviation, public policy, etc.

Third, I must really devote time and effort for research so that I would be able to speak my mind and be relevant and with a POINT.

Fourth, I must be able to create a separate blog about this. Finally, I have the time, and I was able to make another niche blog. So I am happy to introduce my new niche blog:

This is still at its infancy, so please bear with the few and republished (cross-posted) articles in the meantime. So click this icon banner that will direct you to my new blog:


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