State of Mind…New York City

It was raining the whole time that we were in New York…from the time we arrived until we rode the bus going back to Boston, the shower was non-stop. The excitement was somehow reduced as it was very inconvenient to move from one place to the other. But the experience still remains memorable.

Not everyone felt the same but I think New York is worth revisiting. Yes, the subway was quite disappointing…reminded me of our own Quiapo underpass but in way it added character to the already colorful city of New York.


A heart left in SAN FRANCISCO

Our US vacation ended almost three months ago, but memories are fresh as though it was just yesterday.

San Francisco is one of the places in my mind…the experience of being in this place really made me want to leave a piece of my heart.

Every place we were fortunate enough to have visited had its own charm…and San Francisco has a character of its own…

US trip – first day

It was in a way a dream come true for me and wife. We were able to have a vacation in the US despite work and financial considerations and not to mention, a medical emergency.

There was so much anticipation for this trip. Some family members are in the US and a chance to meet them would indeed be memorable. Never in my wildest dream did I see myself with my mother and two of my sisters in another country, considering our simple living in the province decades ago. I guess, one can really never tell.

By the way, here are some of the photos I took on our first morning in the US. This was in Onset, Massachusetts, where we stayed to celebrate my sister-in-law’s wedding.

Seeing Siem Reap

It would not come as a surprise if this made it to most people’s bucket list of places to visit.

It was one of those moments when I’m totally lost for words…when grand, magnificent, great and other superlatives would not be enough to describe the satisfaction of being in this place. Surely, the long bus ride was worth it. It was perfect…the most trustworthy tuktuk driver…a nice hotel accommodation with the friendliest staff…a picture-perfect destination…good weather, etc. etc….. Indeed, this kind of experience is something that can make you be thankful for the life that was given to you…for the eyes that make you see, for the skin that feels the air as it touches you, for the heart that makes you feel…

People and Motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

There are things that make a country distinct from the rest of the universe.

For Vietnam, I think of People and Motorcycles…There’s a certain mystery in the people here that even a reflective mind cannot dig into. One moment we were with a super friendly tour guide … the next, we were with some scheming tuktuk (not sure if that’s how it’s called) drivers…then a very disappointed travelbook street vendor who tapped (well, tap is an understatement but it could not qualify as a slap, i suppose) my arm when I refused to buy her merchandise …then a brawl right outside the hotel…huh!!! Still the whole Vietnam experience was worth it.

Motorcycles are everywhere in Ho Chi Minh. It would indeed take a brave soul to cross a street. Everyone seems to drive a motorcycle, men, women, young, old, students, office employees, street workers…. Motorcycles are indeed kings of the road in this side of the planet.

One Night and One Day in Bangkok

It has always been a pleasure to be in another country.

There is always this feeling of being mystified from discovering things for the first time. When even the differences in culture and language cannot create a barrier for interaction. One day is indeed not enough to enjoy what Bangkok has to offer…but we’re satisfied. Great food – check, beautiful sceneries – check, grand temples – check, nice hotel – check, friendly people – check!

What more can I ask for???

another day perhaps!

Going to Cambodia

Some journeys are worth taking.

Last December we headed to Siem Reap coming from Ho Chi Minh and it was the longest travel by bus I have experienced. Physically, it was exhausting but beyond full bladder, revolutionary tummy and thickened butt, the ride was all worth it. It was not only the fulfillment of getting to the destination but the trip itself that completed the whole experience. A view from the shuttle’s window was enough to realize that there’s something in Cambodia…like being transported into another time-frame – into a scenery of a period film.

I took some photos from my seat and indeed I saw simplicity of the people’s way of life and the no-fancy vibe of the place itself… reminiscent of our childhood days in the province when everything was less complicated…

Thinking of Boracay

Yesterday, my wife and I went to the Travel Expo at the SMX Convention Center – SM Mall of Asia. We were able to book airline tickets for our December travel…this time it’s not Boracay…

It has become a regular thing for us to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Boracay, this year will be an exception but no…not because we got tired of Boracay…it will remain my favorite place…the finest sands and the friendly hotel staff…the walking on the beach…not to mention, the food! Boracay will always be Boracay!

A few of our pictures from last December’s Boracay visit…..

Intramuros, Manila

The perks of having too much time to spare!

For just a few days  I’ve been transformed to a turista of Manila. Not bad, this place has a lot to offer.. and isn’t it  just right to discover corners of your own before hovering other countries. “Huwag maging dayahun sa sariling bayan,” is my battle cry now…

Philippine history is not a favorite subject of mine (centuries back to my school days!) but after Paco Park, I realized it’s never too late to catch up on some basic Philippine History lessons…I just wonder how much information my brain digested yesterday when I stopped by Intramuros to take some photos. Well…photographs are reminders of things of the past…the distant and the not so distant past!

First lesson : Koreans discovered that Intramuros (particularly this spot in front of Manila Cathedral) is a nice place for shooting, I don’t know if it’s a film or a commercial they’re doing.

Imagine how excited I was when I saw a crew shooting at exactly the same time I went to Intramuros… Come on, it’s probably my chance to have a glimpse of Nora Aunor…grrrr!!!!  Wait a minute is Nora Aunor still existing??? I mean in the celebrity kind of existence… Owww, I remember now… she has sealed her demise in the entertainment business by marrying a lesbian ( by all means, marrying a lesbian is not a bad thing after all, don’t get me wrong) a lesbian who looks exactly like her (that’s the thing!)…peace!!!

Where am I??? So imagine how disappointed I was when I discovered that it’s the Koreans…nothing against Koreans…but what else have they not discovered in this country…they’re everywhere…I mean… Boracay…spas…fitness centers…They are the new Magellans…aha!!!

Second Lesson: The next President of the Republic is just around the corner of Intramuros

An EQ/IQ level a step higher than Noynoy’s… he has better sense of humor than Gordon…more endearing than Erap…more handsome than Gibo and mind you..he is tunay na mahirap (unlike Villar). This coming elections…I’ll vote for him for President…

I got a problem, though… I did not ask for his name… and I did not register to vote.!!!!

Enough of the lessons… just share these pictures instead.

Paco Park and Cemetery

Yesterday was another photoshoot day…Feeling pro again!!!! naks.

This time it was at Paco Park – Manila, the place where the remains of our National Hero Jose Rizal may be found.

I can’t remember exactly how many times I’ve been to this place.  Nice place, nothing spectacular though… just a few bits of lessons in history and some spots for taking photos: