Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

A tropical country has only two seasons; wet and dry or the summer and rainy days.  We don’t get to see a dramatic transition of these two seasons unlike in places where there are four.  Unless, these seasons bring forth more than what they should deliver.  Like when rains pour than normal, we experience flood and landslides which makes this gloomy season gloomier.  Or when the summer months scourge more than it should, we see drought and devastation of crops. Well, that’s a different kind of drama. Can you picture it? Maybe not at this time where I’m having a grand time enjoying this ‘season’.

So, in this week’s photo challenge I would like to focus on the season that we’ve deliberately added to our lives and everyone hopes it lasts year round.  It’s the season where everybody is joyful and hopeful of the great memories it could bring. It’s the season where families reunite, enemies reconcile and everyone sings a happy tune of lullabies.  The seasons which like tides makes people nicer and kind.  It’s the season that sends people to the malls to buy gifts not for themselves but for people everywhere. It’s the season that makes houses, trees and roads turns colorful and bright.  It’s the season that turns regular breads to fruit cakes and ordinary meals to feasts.   It’s the season of hope, camaraderie and friendship.  The season that brings good cheer to everyone who anticipates it.  It’s the season that we look forward from the moment it ends and rush to it the moment September starts.  The season that we celebrate the grandest and perhaps the longest.  It’s the season that commemorate the birth of the one who saves the people of the earth.  It’s the season that does not only change our surroundings but our hearts as well. It’s the Yuletide Season, our favorite season of all.

Giant Christmas trees lights city centers, town halls, parks, malls and homes all over the country every Christmas Season
Regular trees turned colorful and bright.  This Giant Christmas Tree was lit amidst fanfare and fireworks which signals the start of the Merry Yuletide Season.

From the tropical paradise of the Philippines – I wish all of you to enjoy this wonderful season.

Travel Theme: Liquid

This week’s travel theme is relevant, refreshing and wet. It makes me want to wash my dirty car, take a bath, have a drink or probably sip a hot soup as it is quite cold tonight.

The liquid, which is one of the three states of matter is also one of the most important elements on earth that we tend to take for granted.  Water, which is the most common form of liquid covers much of the world’s surface but there would not be enough for human consumption unless we conserve it.

Coming from a country surrounded with water and from a city ranked as one of the wettest inhabited places on earth, we experience the magical phenomenon a liquid can only do so well year round.  We are more than grateful.

This theme will not only remind us of a travel where we captured a photo about liquid but also tell us that water should be conserved and cherished. Its significance in our lives encompasses our existence.

I salute Where’s my backpack? for the initiative to use it as this week’s travel theme.  So, here’s my contribution to this week’s amazing theme: liquid.

Soft waves in the golden sand beach of Pagudpud, north of the Philippines.
The Ditumabo Waterfalls in Aurora, west of Luzon in the Philippines.  The falls is a source of geothermal energy for the province.
Rain showers during my recent visit to the island of Boracay.
Freezing water in one of the natural pools made of stalagmites inside the deep caves of Sumaguing in Sagada in the Cordillera Mountains.  The cave supports the livelihood of the local community through tourism.
The releasing of water in Ambuklao Dam.  The dam is one of the sources of our drinking water.
This is a stream in the tranquil town of Baler in Aurora Province where the people leisurely hang out. The fresh water that cascades from the Sierra Madre mountains irrigate the farms.
The small falls in Sagada, Mountain Province
Water as a decorative centerpiece in one of the hotels in Baguio City.
A waterfall in the Bicol Region, south-west of the Philippines
A shellfish soup in Zamboanga Peninsula, the Philippines’ southern tip.

The Life-Giving Greens

This week’s photo challenge made me appreciate life more through the color green.  As I scramble my album and took some photos over the weekend to capture the greens around me, I saw and realized more.

Nature shows the most extravagant spectrum of the color green. It’s outstanding hues is relaxing and its shades refreshing.  It is so vivid that it invoked my soul to thanksgiving for it is the color of life that sustains me, my family and the country.   The Philippines with its 7,107 islands is an archipelago of greens with ample sunlight throughout the year and just enough rain to sustain its fields, the country is blessed with all the life-sustaining greens.

The green rice fields signify that soon our staple food will be ready for harvest.  The rice fields abound from the lowlands to the mountain ranges.  It is the food that sustain millions of Filipinos from generations to generations, from one island to the other.

Rice grains taken from the country’s rice granary, the Province of Nueva Ecija
This rice field carved from a mountain slope in Sagada. The entire province sits atop the Philippines’ most mountainous, the Mountain Province.
The lack of plain flat fields in the Cordillera mountain region of the country was not a hindrance for the indigenous people to grow their rice. They carved these terraces for rice planting. These terraces are known are more than 2,000 years old.

The volcanic soil of the Philippines gives the people bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables.  The nourishment keeps the people of the islands happy, exuberant and thankful for nature has bestowed upon it the greens of life.

Mango fruit from the country is one of the sweetest in the world. Though out of season, this mango tree shows promising mango fruits in the next few weeks.
These jack fruits of yellow-green color from the province of Davao in the island of Mindanao are almost ripe for the picking.
Green eggplants from a friend’s farm in La Union province.  Eggplant is an ingredient of one of the country’s all-time favorite vegetable medley, the “Pinakbet”.
This farm on top of Mount Cabuyao grows broccoli, lettuce and cabbage among others is one of the major sources of fresh vegetable in the country. The farm’s altitude of more than 7,000 feet above sea-level provides an excellent condition for these greens to grow.

The color green also makes for a great scenery in the country’s favorite top tourist destinations.  The color represents cleanliness, freshness and vigor which is exactly what people need in search for a refreshing place to sooth the aches caused by the stresses of the city life. In return, a great source of income for the local community.

The hedge rows in Batanes made the already spectacular scenery of the island more stunning. The farmers use hedge rows as dividers for their farms.
The Chocolate Hills in the island of Bohol turn green during the rainy seasons and brown (chocolate) every summer. The stunning views of the hills scattered as far as the eye can see invites tourists from all over the world, an income generating source for the people.
The Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio, my home is a mountain resort town situated 5,000 feet above sea-level is green all throughout.

The color green is important, it is the color of life.  The main source of oxygen, the air that we breathe are from the greens that surround us.  Though they are natural and does not need human intervention for them to grow.  Our responsibility is to make sure that these greens stay for us to live another day with beautiful grins on our faces.

My house with red roof amidst all the greens.  A splash of other colors is not that bad after all.

Travel Theme: Soft

For this week’s travel theme, I chose to feature  these photos that I took while the sun is setting over the paradise island of Boracay in the Philippines.

The moment that I learned about this week’s travel theme I was into it that I really wanted to portray the sun setting.  I wanted to capture that soft hues of yellow and orange, Oh such amazing colors I can’t even describe. While we all know that the sun being the center of the solar system represents power, strength and energy; I wanted to look at it directly behind the lens and get a glimpse of the softer side of the sun.  It just took my breath away.

The ‘softer’ side of the sun.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

I find the word ‘renewal’ so strong.  So strong that it took me days just to come up with photos that I feel would best symbolize this word.  Personally, I find the word so poignant especially in this hard and pressing time.  Renewal is important to combat the stresses of our daily lives.

As such, I came up with these photos from a weekend of revitalization, refreshment and restoration in a place where doing such is perfect, in the paradise island of Boracay.

The waves that hit the shorelines of Boracay symbolizes restoration. People leave footprints, create castles and dig holes in the sand but when these waves come, it flattens the surface and leaves it as smooth as it can ever be.
In this pond in one of Boracay’s most amazing resorts, I find this soon to bloom lotus. It symbolizes new beginnings, a brand new cycle.
Rainbows; it symbolizes a new covenant, a promise. After an overnight rain and thunderstorms I saw this rainbow, it means no less than a promise of a better day.
After three days of calm rejuvenation in the tiny island of Boracay, I was on-board a local flight back to my city and in the best of my luck I was by the window where this beautiful sunset remind me that all things may come to an end but soon a new and brighter day will come. This sun is about to set on the majestic Luzon island below.