City Sunset on EDSA

Yup, it is really difficult or quite impossible to photograph a decent picture of sunsets if you’re living in the city like me.  The Philippine​ metropolis like Manila, Makati, Quezon City, and Caloocan, to name a few, are cities heavily saturated with high rise buildings, malls , hanging power lines and cables like spaghettis on your dinner plate, and of course, those large billboards and left-over campaign posters with faces of our politicians as if Filipinos don’t know them enough… most of these politicians have been in politics and in the government for the past couple of decades as far as I can remember.

The sunset in the photographs below can only be seen during summer months (April through July) with the setting sun almost right in the middle of EDSA (a circumferential highway passing through several cities in the heart of Metro Manila).

I took this picture along EDSA just between SM CyberMall and Munoz in Quezon City. During non-summer months, the setting sun is located somewhere right of EDSA where it is covered by the high-rise buildings on the right side of the road. Unless you’re on the higher floors of a building or on top of a parking building of a mall, it is really quite difficult or near to impossible to capture a decent image of the sun setting on the horizon in the Metro of Manila.

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The Inundation of Central Luzon

During and after every typhoon in the Philippines that hits Central Luzon, which we call the rice granary of the country, a province called Pampanga usually become a “swamp” like Florida’s Everglades. The water inundation of Pampanga’s farmlands had become a perennial problem of the Kapampangans (people of Pampanga).

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This is what a farmland in Pampanga looks like during dry season...

Considering that typhoons nowadays are getting stronger and stronger pouring heavier rains than before, the flat plains of Central Luzon, where most of our rice farms are located, are the places where floods occur. It gets a lot more worse if the flood gates of the dams near the region are opened due to overflowing. On the average, millions of pesos worth of crops are destroyed almost every time a typhoon hits the region. This is one of the reasons why the Philippines is importing rice and yet, the International Rice Research Institute is located in the country!

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This is what it looks like everytime a typhoon hits the region...

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Sadly, the Philippine government is not doing anything to minimize the effect of floods in the region. It is kind of ironic that during the dry season, the farmers are having problems in irrigating their farms, though millions of pesos were allotted by the government to improve farm irrigation. I guess these funds are diverted in a fashion I don’t want to elaborate in this post.

I think Central Luzon will soon be known as the “Inundation Capital of the Philippines”!

Hometown Visitation…

During the weekend, I visited my hometown, the place where I was born 50 years ago… Manaoag, Pangasinan. The church of Manaoag has changed over the years and the garden at the back of the church where I use to play has been turned into a huge parking lot. I believe the Manaoag church is now a “minor basilica”… And sorry, I don’t know what that means.

The sidewalks along the church where I can walk undisturbed when I was young is now a hall of vendors selling “religious” items and delicacies. Hundreds of people visit the town because of the church resulting to humongous traffic on weekends. The town has turned into an outdoor mall full of beggars, vendors, and barkers hoping to get a few hundred pesos as parking commissions!

I miss the days when our town is all by ourselves… And don’t mind the photo of myself which my son took this weekend during our trip up north of the country. It is also a relic figure as old as the church itself… A Jurassic fellow reminiscing the past!

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The Shades of December Sunset…!

Nothing can beat the artistry of nature herself… Her painting using the sky as her canvas is really priceless! Which one is your shade?

(Taken along TPLEX, a Philippine 90 kilometer expressway connecting Tarlac, Pangasinan, and La Union provinces of Northern Luzon)

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