The “Palengke”

image

In the Philippines, the “palengke” (dry and wet neighborhood market) is synonymous to inexpensive goods and cheaper produce as compared to grocery stores or supermarkets. Almost anything can be found in a local neighborhood palengke. Palengkes are usually found at the corner of the most busiest street in a neighborhood.

One of the things that makes a palengke popular is that… You can always make a counter-bargain on the price tag which we call “tawad”. In palengkes, the price tag is not always the last price. Most often than not,  tawad on the prices starts at 50% of the tag price… And if you’re lucky, you can have it at such a price!

But beware of pickpockets as palengkes usually have plenty of them… Like vultures waiting to attack unknowing victims. Palengkes sometimes sell knockoff (“fake”) products like Rolex watches, Gucci bags and accessories, and what-have-yous. These knockoffs can pass for a real one and no one will know the difference… Except that their prices are way off the charts! Only a tenth or even lesser from the original!

What’s the Past Behind You…?

image

Have you completely left the past behind you… Or your present is still haunted by your past scaring you to move to the future?

Was your past worthwhile that your future should be like your past… And your past should be your future?

Whatever your past was, leave it behind but learn from it… Use the present according to the lessons from the past to mold your future.

Just my thoughts as I glance on my side mirror to see the traffic behind me…

The “Bokeh” Magic… What is “Bokeh”?

image

In photography, bokeh (Originally /ˈboʊkɛ/, /ˈboʊkeɪ/ boh-kay — also sometimes pronounced as /ˈboʊkə/ boh-kə, Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”.  Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—”good” and “bad” bokeh, respectively. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions.

The term comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji (ボケ味), the “blur quality”. The Japanese term boke is also used in the sense of a mental haze or senility. The term bokashi (暈かし) is related, meaning intentional blurring or gradation.

image

The English spelling bokeh was popularized in 1997 in Photo Techniques magazine, when Mike Johnston, the editor at the time, commissioned three papers on the topic for the March/April 1997 issue; he altered the spelling to suggest the correct pronunciation to English speakers, saying “it is properly pronounced with bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth, with equal stress on either syllable”. The spellings bokeh and boke have both been in use since at least 1996, when Merklinger had suggested “or Bokeh if you prefer.” The term bokeh has appeared in photography books as early as 1998. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈboʊkə/ (boke-uh).

*** Definition and origin of bokeh courtesy of http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh ***

Makati Financial District in the Philippines

image

Many dream of working in the financial and business district of the Philippines called the Makati Central Business District (MCBD).

MCBD is formerly known for its “skycrapers”, though there are now taller buildings that have been erected outside of the district.  Most of the corporate offices of multi-national companies are located in MCBD. As the population of professionals, expats, and office workers continue to climb year-after-year, MCBD is now cramped with people and vehicles that it will normally take about half an hour’s travel just to get out of the district onto the major thoroughfares which is less than a kilometer away, specially during rush hours.

image

MCBD continues to attract professionals and office workers as well as foreign investors as a prime location to do business and expand their career.

Nature Versus Man

image

If you’re a nature lover like me and is also confined in a jungle of cement, it is quite difficult to appreciate the flora and fauna with all the man-made structures around that seem to cover the beauty of the natural environment.

Though some see man-made structures as feats of art and marvel with awe at man’s engineering, I see most of them as an obstacle, a hollow block, or as a cemented wall that serve as a blanket hiding the elements of the universe itself.

While others take photos of these structures with nature only as a secondary focus, I take photos priming my lens to capture the trees and the colors of the sky instead, making man-made structures as just ordinary, supporting aesthetic elements of my main subject… Which is nature herself! The diva of my attention!

The Urban Sunset… A Luxury in the City!

image

The sun is now setting a little bit later compared to the past weeks here in the Pearl of the Orient Seas (Philippines) signaling the start of summer. At past 6PM, while I’m passing through the Guadalupe bridge in the Makati area, I had a chance to see the reddish hue of the setting sun, left of my side while driving northbound.

Fortunately, the traffic was quite heavy… Which gave me an opportunity to take a shot! And it really amazes me every time I see such a reddish hue of the setting sun even with all the buildings and architectures all around the city!

The “Wonder Flight” (Sky Ranch, Tagaytay, Philippines)

image

The Wonder Flight or “hot air balloon” is definitely for the kids. Unlike the Fiesta ride in Enchanted Kingdom that goes higher and faster, the Wonder Flight offers a thrill for kids between 5 to 8 years old because it’s lower and slower. Older than these, they may find this ride quite “boring”, if I may say.

Wonder Flight is definitely not for the “thrill-seeking” adults… But on the other hand, the ride may be appropriate for those who are scared of heights and break-necking speed, regardless of age.

Sky Eye (Sky Ranch, Tagaytay, Philippines)

image

Sky Eye, which is currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the Philippines (as of this post date) at 63 m (207 ft) with 32 gondolas, beats the MOA Eye (SM Mall of Asia) at 55 m (180 ft), but with 36 gondolas, and the Enchanted Kingdom’s Wheel of Fate (Enchanted Kingdom, Sta. Rosa, Laguna) at 130 ft.
However, the Sky Eye is still far from beating taller Ferris wheels, such as the London Eye, Star of Nanchang, and Singapore Flyer. Sky Fun, the Taal Vista Hotel (which is beside Sky Fun) and the MOA Eye, are all owned by SM.

Description Courtesy of Wikipedia (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_Fun)