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Showing posts from March, 2013

Yosemite National Park

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”  Ansel Adams The photographs of Ansel Adams have always been my guide to Yosemite National Park. We recently visited Yosemite and took many images of it in color but I'm posting black and white photos here for that singular Ansel Adams effect. I still have that frog in my throat whenever I behold the wonders of Yosemite Valley.
Bridal Veil Falls
“Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter.” A. Adams
North Dome and Royal Arches
“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.” A. Adams
Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View
“Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature can be revealed in the expressive photograph. Both can stir enduring affirmations and discoveries, and can surely help the spectator in his search for identification with the vast world of natural be…

Roxas City

Roxas City, with a population of approximately 157,000 (2010 projection), is a small town with a big attraction, its seafood. Dubbed as the seafood capital of the Philippines, much of its seafood is shipped to other parts of the country but there's plenty of fresh pickings left to savor at beachside restaurants.


The Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral sits in the center of the city, sandwiched between City Hall and a Catholic university. It is one of the oldest churches on Panay Island. It was recently renovated and a dome was added to it. During the feast of the Immaculate Conception (She is the patroness of the city) in December, the city comes alive with the colorful Sinadya sa Halaran parade and a fluvial parade down the Panay river which is right across from the church.


On the other side of the river is the public market which is especially busy on Sundays when it spills out onto surrounding streets. It's amazing what you can buy here. Fruit, fresh produce (most…

California Central Coast

Sunrise on Pismo Beach
California's Central Coast has some of the most breathtaking views in the world. Driving south on 101 from the San Francisco Bay Area, I passed rich farmlands and vineyards crawling up the hillsides. And halfway down to Santa Barbara, the beach towns of San Luis Obispo County are the hottest spots for sun worshippers.

The outdoor tables at the Marisol at the Cliffs Resort on Pismo Beach offer premium seats for watching the fiery descent of the sun into the Pacific Ocean. Yes, it calls for a toast!

It's always a treat to eat breakfast at Stearn's Wharf in Santa Barbara. Seacraft of all sizes ply the Channel in the early morning hours. A walk on the pier is a must with a full stomach. Camera at the ready, I spied a sailboat coming into the harbor. Ahhh, beautiful mornings are made of these.

Santa Barbara Channel from Stearn's Wharf
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Images by Charie

Guimaras Island

A short 15 minute hop in a motorized outrigger from OrtizPort in IloiloCity and we were on GuimarasIsland. (The fare is P14.00 each way.) We could see the island from the dock in Iloilo. It was a fun ride with water splashing into the outrigger when the waves were particularly high. I got slightly wet as I was sitting right by the porthole. When we arrived at the Jordan pier, we made arrangements for a jeepney to take us to our hotel through the tourism desk which is a few steps from the waterfront. It costs P400.00 for the ride to Nueva Valencia with a stop at the Trappist Monastery along the way. We visited the church inside the monastery grounds before we approached a monk to pray over us. It was a calming experience and so glad we did this. Then we shopped at the in-house gift shop where they sold everything with mango in it: mango tart, mango polvoron, mango jam, mango flavored biscotti, mango piaya, and dried mangoes. Mango is of course the prime commodity of Guimaras Island. I…

Ponsyon Restaurant

Sautéed Eggplant and partial menu I was impressed with the food at Ponsyon from my very first dinner with cousins a year ago. I specifically remember the native chicken inasal and how tasty it was. I can also picture in my mind the big plate of oysters on our table. And so many other savory dishes. So before cruising off to Guimaras, my friends and I paid a visit to my new favorite restaurant in Iloilo.

My first order was the ginisa nga talong or sautéed eggplant. I'm enamored with eggplants and love to try different ways of preparing it. This particular dish is served without meat so the flavor of the eggplant has no competition in the palate.

Ensalada nga Puso ng Saging My friends went for the ensalada nga puso ng saging (salad with banana heart or banana blossoms) which is a little exotic for me. But they loved it as much as they enjoyed the eggplant.

Sizzling crab The sizzling crab meat was totally good. Every bite, a delight. But the sizzling tangigue was unfortunately too …

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, A Nation Imagined

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, FILIPINO STRUGGLES THROUGH HISTORY Oil on canvas, 1964, (located at ManilaCity Hall) A National Cultural Treasure owned by the City of Manila
Carlos Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is the latest art installation at the AyalaMuseum in Makati to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969), a Philippine National Artist. Forty paintings and lithographs were culled from various private collections to form this exhibition. Of the large scale paintings on display, Maria Makiling and Fiesta, both oil on canvas, are representative of the indigenous genre which Botong loved to portray. In Maria Makiling, Botong reveals a relaxed and recumbent woman with her legs dangling in the cool waters of the stream and playing with an exotic deer by her side. Fiesta is about how the Filipino people gather to celebrate an important occasion, be that a religious feast or a wedding. The central figures are dancing the tinikling, a po…