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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

This week’s photo challenge was as a ‘real challenge’ for me.  I never really thought I capture photos that has reflections until I realized I do when I browsed through all my photos.  You see, weekly photo challenges have become a great part of my week.  It increased my point of view about certain ideas, my vocabulary expands, my imagination gets wider sometimes wilder and most importantly I go down memory lane when I look for photos that matches the challenge.  It’s like an assignment in school without being subjected to grades but rewarded with likes.  I like it !

This house  reflects its beauty in the lake.  I took this photo from across the Botanical Garden in Norfolk Virginia.
This house reflects its beauty in the lake. I took this photo from across the Botanical Garden in Norfolk Virginia.
A geese reflects its long slender neck reflects on the murky rain water in Angkor Wat.
A goose reflects its long slender neck reflects on the murky rain water in Angkor Wat.
Standing close to the goose is this one.
Standing close to the goose is this one.
The late afternoon sun reflects its rays in the tide.
The late afternoon sun reflects its rays in the tide.

Special Photo Challenge: Inspiration

What inspires me to blog? I paused and started to think, why I blog in the first place. I started blogging 6 months ago so that I can share all my travel experiences with my students in the university pursuing a degree in hospitality and tourism.  Teaching is my calling while traveling keeps me updated, learned and inspired.  I realized that text books are not enough to supplement the information my students need to compete in the world later on. I believe that experience is the best teacher and storytelling is the greatest way to convey all these to them.  Students love to hear stories, it keeps them interested and the photos I took compliment the stories and helps get the message across. Since majority of my students are always on the internet, I created a blog that they can browse, read, and react to during their spare time or on long vacations to make sure of continuous learning. I endlessly take photos of practically anything to update my blog.

My friend Efren took a photo of me while trying to get the probable best angle of the Pyramid at the Louvre in France.

I urge them to create a blog and share it to the world especially those who are into special talents, skills and hobbies. The internet practically created the world a smaller (better) place and turned it into a global community of people who likes and shares ideas that no other educational institutions can probably give now.

When I first saw the Louvre I yelled, “This is it, this is it” ! After seeing Paris it made me yearn to see the rest of the world.

Thanks to the internet and the bloggers out there, my students get a glimpse of the world that they never knew existed.  It’s a surprise that the things I’ve read and learned all these years is practically just a miniscule of the things I learned from other bloggers in a span of 6 months. Virtually meeting people who live practically on the other side of the world with different cultures, languages and backgrounds who share the same aspirations, ordeals and dreams the same way my students and I do is priceless. The people, places, things and ideas help them set their goals and dreams in life further as there is so much in the world to see.  I hope more than anything else that my blog as one of my teaching materials inspire my students the same way it inspires me to see the world and love my job.

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.