Monday, January 24, 2011

Photo Log: Yellow Gerberas at Seventy-seven

Yellow gerberas for my grandmother on her 77th birthday all handed to her a la eighteen roses by each of her grandsons: Priceless.

Yellow Gerbera


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Friday, January 21, 2011

Benguet: Taking the High Road

There is something about the Cordillera Mountains, located in the inland regions of Luzon in the Philippines, that attracts me during the holidays, specifically, the days leading to the day of my birth. I seem to find myself heading up to the Cordillera Mountains during that time of the year. Three consecutive years now I've gone up. And at every single time, I found myself getting all "travel high" throughout the experience.

View of the Ambuklao Dam, Benguet

Maybe it's the climate of the Cordillera Mountains. Temperatures in the more populated areas of Benguet, one of the provinces in the Cordilleras, ranges from 14 to 27°C. That is cold for a tropical country like the Philippines. I am guessing it gets colder in the more remote areas of the Cordilleras. I guessed right.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Territories to Conquer

I have been putting this off for a while now. Since I already used up all excuses I could come up with, and since a new year just began, I am guessing it was about damn time I did this. So here we go.

A New Look

I was hesitant at first leaving the comforts and familiarity of Blogger Classic. Four years ago, if you were familiar with HTML and CSS, you would be able to customize your blog like it's nobody's business. I remember even designing and creating the graphics and layout of these pages.

It's a different world now, however. I can no longer keep up with all these new codes, languages and scripts. It was time that I made the switch and let the professionals take over. So far, I'm finding new Blogger quite easy to navigate through. So far.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2010: A Year of Travels in Review

To say that I traveled a lot in the year that just passed is clearly an understatement. I think it has to do with the fact that I made it my top priority. This time last year, I remember making it a goal to travel at least once a month. For the most part, especially during the summer months, I was able to fulfill on that promise. Thankfully so.

Northern Mindanao

Bahay Bakasyunan Sunrise

The year started with a reunion of sorts with my gang from high school. We were celebrating 12 years of friendship with an adventure-filled weekend. White-water rafting in Cagayan and zip-lining in Bukidnon as well as island-touring Camiguin. Those three days were jam-packed full of activities so much so that we arrived at the airport 5 minutes before the flight taking us back to Manila took off. Crazy weekend.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Traveling and Tolerance

Traveling is a happy experience. You get to see places and landscapes you wouldn't normally see in your day-to-day life. You get to experience new things, both relaxing and challenging. You get to meet new people, whether they be locals or fellow travelers.

Traveling expands your world view. You are exposed to a million things different from what you are exposed to in your confined living spaces. You realize that there are people different from you, with capabilities and beliefs different from yours.

In this experience clearly setup for tolerance and understanding, I found it difficult to believe that there are people who would choose to be irritated by this diversity rather than appreciate it.

If you travel in a group, it is basic human decency to tolerate the people inside the group. If you want your own itinerary, if you want to do away with other people "holding you back," then by all means, plan your own travels and travel alone.

I admire the physically unfit for deciding to go through a two-hour trek in a rocky and unpaved valley. I admire the acrophobe for deciding to bind their feet and bungee jump off a cliff. I admire the person who decides to travel far from his or her comfort zone and actually enjoy the experience.

Appreciate the diversity. Tolerate everyone. Be open to new things, new ideas, and new people. You might just find traveling a more rewarding experience.


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