Wednesday, November 27, 2013

GLIMPSE | Estrellas De Mendoza Playa Resort in Laiya Ibabao, San Juan, Batangas

Rome's next destination revealed on this teaser post. Estrellas De Mendoza Playa Resort's bluer-than-blue-sky infinity swimming pool is its key attraction. The resort is located in Laiya Ibabao, San Juan, Batangas. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wild World | Into the Eagle's Eye

To go to a journey is not just about seeing stunning places, meeting new people, learning new ideas or fascinated about other people cultures. Moving to places, sometimes, are moments we come face to face with the wildlife of outdoors.

A domesticated White-bellied Sea Eagle, also known as the White-breasted Sea Eagle staring straight at Rome while he was taking photos of the Pagoda shocked him.  He instinctively raised his camera as self-preservation and took pictures after the initial shock. He gazed at the bird and tried to read the bird's thoughts through its eyes. Its fierce look was fearsome, there's an intellectually sharp vision hidden and an alert watchfulness. The huge bird can't take Rome's gaze,  it looked away. It was such an incredible and beautiful moment.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

When People are the Tourist Attraction | Balance

This photo was taken when Rome went back to his hometown in Palawan.

Aling Inday is still an expert in balancing her bilao (circular basket) on her head, selling different kakanins all throughout Barangay New Guinlo from early in the morning until late afternoon. Nothing has changed over the years apart from her face that noticebly aged, the familiar taste of the kakanins brought back childhood memories to him.

Applause to this hard-working woman!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pagoda | Nuestra Señora del Pillar's Malampaya Sound Fluvial Procession

New Guinlo, Taytay, Palawan - Rome was here on the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar and he can attest to everything on this blog post. Although it was a gloomy day and the Malampaya Sound's brackish water was angry, citizens of Barangay New Guinlo held on to their tradition. Popularly known in the Philippines as Pagoda, it is a fluvial parade bearing the image of Our Lady of the Pillar onto the waters of Malampaya Sound to commemorate their patron saint's day.

Our Lady of the Pillar or Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Spanish is the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her miraculous appearance in Zaragoza, Spain at the time of the emergence of Christianity.

In contrast to their tradition in the past fluvial parades, in which there's decorated barge and colorful small boats, only one fishing boat and few devout people joined the parade. 

"Maybe because of the strong weather condition and not because of the declining faith", Rome lied and convinced himself. 

Although the sky was dark and the majestic Mount Capoas didn't appear, the silhouette of the nearby mountains add further beauty to Our Lady of the Pillar's fluvial procession.  

As Rome watched the boat slowly float away, he remembered the parades he witnessed years ago, when hundreds of his kababaryos gathered in glee, when everything stops with no shops open and the whole community turns out with band and choir to celebrate and commemmorate the day of Our lady of the Pillar, grateful for abundant harvest from the rich fishing ground. 

Ahh, those years were long gone simultaneous to the drastic decline of livelihood opportunities to the once dubbed, "Fishbowl of the Philippines", Rome said to himself. 

He cant help but feel emotional. He blamed the government and the current situation of graft and corruption involving the empty Malampaya Fund which coincidently named after the fishing ground. He silently prayed for its quick resolution.

Malampaya Sound embraced by picturesque mountains play a huge role in New Guinlonians life. More than any other, the people's faith in his community plays a strong role in its deeply-ingrained religious tradition. He was positively surprised by his kababaryos. They are a little bit rough, straightforward but are nice, ready to help and cheerful.

"How utterly lovely to see the faithful keeping such a beautiful tradition alive", Rome exclaimed when the boat was slowly vanishing from his sight.