Search This Blog

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Creatures in the Flower Park

I first saw the fallen angels ... resting beneath the tall trees that seemed to fence the large flower farm. I asked permission to take their picture, but before I could even make a few decent clicks, the other tourists rudely took my frame. I was not in the mood to serve as their official photographer so I decided to wander afar.

Luckily I met other interesting creatures, mostly on their way to wherever home must be. Why they were there (halloween is a goods two weeks ahead), I really had no idea. But since they were good photo subjects, I really didn't care about the why. I just decided to harass some of them.

These amiable characters indulged me ...


The Little Red Prince
Hansel & Gretel's Lost Sisters
Cinderella's Cute Stepsisters
The Kitchen Samurai Guard
Las Tres Musketeras
... finally..

The Green Sisa

He he. My apologies for the corny names. I honestly just don't know who they were mimicking.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tsukuba: Just Another Bus Tour Post

For the nth time, I joined a Filipino organization in a bus tour - this time in Japan's science showcase, the city of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Our first stop was the Tsukuba Expo Center which greets visitors with an impressive 50-meter high full-scale model of the Japanese-made H-2 rocket. Once inside, we were exposed to many Japanese inventions, like the ocean floor investigative submersible and the modern nuclear reactor model.

And of course, could one talk of Japanese science without mentioning robots? Meet two of them - my new friends whose names I forgot, hehehe.

The Expo Center also boasts of the world's largest hemispherical dome for a planetarium. There we were re-introduced to the stars and other heavenly bodies, reminding me of the days in the province when we would scour the skies to form the constellations.

Our next stop was an orchard for the requisite fruit picking - this time pears. On the way to the farm, I spotted this cemetery by the mountain.

Third stop - a large flower farm. The vibrant colors charmed me but somehow, there were other creatures there that grabbed my attention. But I am reserving the pics for my next post. :-)

And finally, we went to the peak of Tsukuba Mountain via cable car. We were tired, but the beautiful sunset was enough to soothe our nerves. Twas a great way to cap a day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Camera Failed Me!

I was in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost part, the past few days. And there I got exposed to the Japanese "inaka" or countryside - a scene so unlike the image that comes to mind when people talk about the high-tech, populous land of the rising sun.

From above, one could see vast plains all over the area, with greens that look like golf courses. It turned out that most of the land was planted to cultured grass, stuff used as feeds to dairy cows.

True to our being universal migrants, Filipinos were there, toiling in almost desolate working conditions. They tend to hundreds of gigantic cows (normally 300 to 500 per farm), and one worker would milk more than a hundred cows per day! And that's year-round, even during the harshest of winter when temperatures would drop to minus 26. And their daily grind? It starts from 4:30 in the morning and ends at 11:00 in the evening - with a few hour breaks in between.

My visit exposed me to a new and fascinating scenery and experience which I documented with gusto with my otherwise trusty camera.

But all those images will now just remain in my mind - as my DLSR choose to play a cruel prank on me. The only pic left of the three-day visit was the single photo (above) I took with my point & shoot, which died soon after (and I forgot to bring the charger).

What happened? Tired from travel, I opted to just keep my pics in my memory card until after the Filipino community activity I attended yesterday. But when I opened the camera, it displayed CF error so I decided to just turn it off. The next time I opened it, it displayed the same message and asked if I want to make a reformat. I turned the camera off again.

On my third try, the camera worked. After I took some test shots, I checked the images and discovered, to my utter dismay, that my Hokkaido pics were gone!

I have checked the memory card thru my computer and its indeed empty. I really feel so bad. There's no way I could recapture those moments.

To the professional fotogs out there, has this ever happened to you? Is there really no way to recover my precious files?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Missing You ...

He he. Ala lang. Napagaya ke Abaniko.

(This song is one the most popular Waray ballads of all time.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Never Enough

I just had a conversation with a friend who was one of those who were badly hit by Ondoy's fury. Having had no communication since that fateful Saturday, I was simply too eager to know how things were going for him.

But in reply to my "kumusta?", he chided me for not giving him any form of assistance - and further noting that I did send little "somethings" only to my relatives. Taken aback, I meekly replied that I really am not in a position to give to every one, as their place is veritably an extension of our town. That means a lot of people that I have close connections with, many of whom in fact have sent me feelers for help.

Not that I haven't lifted a finger to help. Truth is, I have initiated a fund drive that has by far mobilized quite a respectable sum that was eventually distributed to as many kababayans we could reach.

But I do understand where my friend was coming from. He and the other victims have every right to harbor resentments. For indeed, in times of deep misery, we count on our friends for help and it is frustrating to realize that it's not coming in the form we expect. In a time when everyone is down, it is undeniably painful to see some people getting more support than the others who were similarly devastated.

Those of us who were spared the deluge will never fathom the workings of the psyche of those who went through the ordeal of barely surviving and then realizing that all their possessions were lost. All we could do now is try to understand and help in whatever way our capacities would allow. It's just too sad that in incidents of catastrophic proportions like Ondoy's, what we can extend in our own little way will never be enough.


It is in times like these when I pray I'd win the lottery (unfortunately though, I'm not really into betting).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Digging Gibo

I just finished watching ANC's Face to Face where Sec. Gilbert Teodoro had an open forum with local government leaders (three more are supposed to follow).

Admittedly, I was impressed with his eloquence and his firm hold on issues - he does have the big brains that's a plus for any presidential aspirant. I even think that if he gets pitted with Chiz Escudero, Gibo will level with him content-wise. I particularly follow him in his views on reproductive health, local government autonomy and peace in Mindanao.

It's just too bad that the 2010 elections will not be a platform for intelligence alone - a lot of it stands on the morality of leadership. And there is where Gibo will be weighed. And there he apparently fails.

Having been in the forefront of current governance, he knows the moral issues plaguing the Arroyo administration. But like any other lapdog, he toes his master's line, and turns a blind eye to the obvious shenanigans. The big question therefore is: how would he see and do right when he becomes president when he cannot distinguish and acknowledge wrong now?