Photo Essay: A MORNING AT MOUNT MACULOT

I had the chance to do a mini-hike at Mount Maculot and take photos using a GE X500 Digital Camera. As you can see, the photos produce a film-like effect but usually bulges in the middle, especially if a shot is close-up. The photos were post-processed using the M6 filter of VSCO. Also, don’t forget to check out the rest of my photos at my VSCO portfolio. Enjoy!

Mount Maculot
Mount Maculot
Mount Maculot
Mount Maculot
Mount Maculot
Mount Maculot
Mount Maculot
Mount Maculot

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SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #20: A MORNING AT MOUNT MACULOT (PIN IT! 📌)

Mount Maculot

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mount maculot
mount maculot
mount maculot
mount maculot

Photo Essay: ARRIVING AT PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Everytime I will choose to take a long bus ride instead of flying to hop from one city to another is something I always, always, regret later. In a previous tri-country trip, I entered Phnom Penh, Cambodia from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I was expecting nothing from Phnom Penh since it was just my gateway to Siem Reap to see the Angkor Complex, but this quaint little town has exceeded my expectations. Sure, there are a lot of horror stories from tourists going to this capital, but I always get reminded that I have to be gentle on Cambodia because of the scars that the former communist regime has left the nation.

Anyway, here are some photos from my quick trip to Phnom Penh Cambodia which I edited using the Kodak Porta 100T filter of VSCO. Also, don’t forget to check out my VSCO portfolio. Enjoy!

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh Cambodia

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SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #19: ARRIVING AT PHNOM PENH CAMBODIA (PIN IT! 📌)

Phnom Penh Cambodia

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phnom penh cambodia
phnom penh cambodia
phnom penh cambodia
phnom penh cambodia

PHOTO ESSAY: SPECTATORS AT ART FAIR PHILIPPINES

Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines
Art Fair Philippines

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SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #18: SPECTATORS AT ART FAIR PHILIPPINES (PIN IT! 📌)

art fair philippines

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art fair philippines
art fair philippines
art fair philippines
art fair philippines

SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #17: BERJALAN DATARAN MERDEKA

On our first day in Kuala Lumpur, my friends and I had a chill stroll around the Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) area to observe the local city life, see what the tourists are up to, and visit a couple of museums.

Not so long ago, I had the chance to travel to Malaysia with a group of friends. Having traveled to a Southeast Asian city outside the Philippines is a dream come true for me since I want to visit as many of them as possible. If you’ve been reading articles in this blog from time to time, you might been getting the idea that I love Southeast Asia to death.

Kuala Lumpur did not surprise me so much, but don’t get me wrong, I had the best experience traveling with friends in this city. I love the food scene, I love the Manila-like cityscapes, and I love that it’s a melting pot of different cultures, just ike Singapore.

One afternoon, we decided to walk around Merdeka Square (as our cab driver has described, it’s the place “where tourists usually go”). I was able to appreciate some remnants of the British colonial rule, the differences of its culture with the Philippines, and how Malaysia could be like any other city that responds to the demands of globalization.

Dataran Merdeka
KLCC PARK. From our accommodation at ViPod Residences in KLCC, we took a walk around the vicinity to go sightseeing before hopping on a cab going to Merdeka Square. I was excited to take street shots because I’m more comfortable and more creative if I’m in another city making photographs than when I’m in my own homeland. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that since the Philippines is so familiar to me and I see all the usual sights every single day, I underappreciate their beauty and therefore not really give much attention to them. I’m always obsessed about traveling outside and seeing fresh destination, but I tend to forget that my own ‘backyard’ has its own beauty.
Dataran Merdeka
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT. A detour at a bank for a small errand has led us to observe the vicinity of the corporate area of Kuala Lumpur. Just like any other business district in Asia, you will encounter workers dressed in a typical Western corporate attire because they are working in an airconditioned office in a high-rise building despite having a very hot humid Southeast Asian weather outside. Walking around her feels very much like walking around the Makati Central Business District in Manila.
Dataran Merdeka
THE INTERSECTION. Traffic officers are very well-dressed and controlling the flow of the vehicles at the intersection of the Merdeka Square area. Just like any other Southeast Asian big city, Kuala Lumpur traffic could get crazy with all the vehicles especially during rush hour. I honestly can no longer remember how I ended up taking this photo, but I love how it depicts a busy scene and lots of movements. I don’t know about you, but I’m also hearing the noise of the road in this photograph. The part of Sultan Abdul Samad Building by the background gave the photo an even more interesting texture.
Dataran Merdeka
THE FOUNTAIN IS OFF. Had they turned on this fountain, it could make a perfect shot with the Sultan Abdul Samad Building at the background, but it’s totally fine. Adding an element of people inside the frame can usually add life to a photo. Street photography is known to have lots of people walking inside the frame, but most of the time they are not the subject of the photo.
Dataran Merdeka
THE INTERSECTION, AGAIN, DESATURATED, THIS TIME. As the sun kept on moving the whole afternoon, one corner of the area is expected to look differently at a certain interval. Now that the sun is about to set in this time, I made it a point to go back to the intersection, this time in another corner, to take a shot of the possible new shadows and exposures that the current direction of the sun provides. It’s still a busy and noisy road.
Dataran Merdeka
A NOT-SO-CROWDED SQUARE. There were only a few people at Dataran Merdeka during the time of our visit — mostly locals, a few tourists, including our group. As I saw a lady just sitting quietly at the square, I can’t help but think about how come I find it so hard to slow down at life. I’m living life everyday exhausting myself so much and always figuring out the next big thing. I want to go to lots of places. I want to achieve lots of things. I want to buy whatever I want. I can’t even manage to try doing what this lady is doing. I feel like it’s a waste of time because I only have a limited time in KL, so might as well go to as many places as I can. But, the good news is, fast forward to the time you’re reading it, I already learned how to slow down in life. Thank you, COVID-19.
Dataran Merdeka
THE ICONIC FACADE. Across Dataran Merdeka is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building where you can literally see how the former colonial rule influenced the building’s architecture and how it defines the present-day Kuala Lumpur. The building looks very stunning! While I want to take a perfect shot of the building, my noob photography skills did not allow me to. But hey, I love this shot.
dataran merdeka
BLANK (AND GREEN) SPACES. We all know that the concrete jungle which is Metro Manila was not gifted with an open green space this wide, so having something like this in the city of Kuala Lumpur at the Dataran Merdeka is a huge deal.

Feel free to check out hotels in Kuala Lumpur at agoda.com.

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SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #17: BERJALAN DATARAN MERDEKA (PIN IT! 📌)

Dataran Merdeka

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dataran merdeka
dataran merdeka

Photo Essay: A Beautiful Mess at the Circle Hostel Zambales

I am a lover of beautiful messes. I love the concept of The Circle Hostel Zambales where guests can creatively put vandals everywhere. Aside from the vandals, you have hammocks, conga, ukulele, bread and peanut butter, and the beautiful Liwliwa Beach nearby (the life!).

A quick review of the hostel: They allow early check-ins, they have nice dorm rooms provided with mosquito net and nice shower areas, they have activities like island hopping and bonfire night, and the staff are really, really nice. They do not have a cafeteria or canteen but there are a lot of places to eat nearby. You can book a bed at a very affordable price. Circle Hostel stickers are sold for Php50.

One hot summer, an officemate and I went to the Circle Hostel Zambales to have a quick weekend getaway, and it was one of the shortest ‘short but sweet’ weekends I spent in my traveling life. I will be forever thankful that a lot of beach areas in Luzon Island in the Philippines are very accessible by bus from Manila. Here are some photos from the hipster hostel we stayed at. Enjoy!

The Circle Hostel Zambales
the circle hostel zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
SURFING BOARDS. I am seriously hoping that after the pandemic, I will have the chance to learn surfing, since I heard it’s a very good whole body workout.
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales
The Circle Hostel Zambales

The Circle Hostel Zambales

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the circle hostel zambales
the circle hostel zambales
the circle hostel zambales
the circle hostel zambales

Photo Essay: A Filipino Kind of Christmas in Cebu City

I will always like the fact that my birthday falls in the same month as Christmas, but it also frustrates me that people can have an excuse to give me sort of a ‘2-in-1’ present. Just kidding. But since this is the case, I always travel somewhere for my birthday during the time of the year when all Christmas decorations are out and displayed. For one of my birthdays, I was able to witness a Filipino Christmas spirit in Cebu City, Philippines.

Filipino Christmas in Cebu City, Philippines

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

Mabini St, Cebu City, Cebu
(032) 266 2833
https://www.facebook.com/YapSandiegoAncestralHouse/

Filipino Christmas in Cebu City, Philippines

La Maison Rose – The Pink Restaurant

371 Gorordo Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
(032) 268 5411
https://www.facebook.com/LaMaisonRoseCebu/

Filipino Christmas in Cebu City, Philippines
Filipino Christmas in Cebu City, Philippines
Filipino Christmas in Cebu City, Philippines
Filipino Christmas in Cebu City, Philippines