Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trekking Up Mt. Pinatubo

Over a year after the trek, and months of promise that I'll be posting about that trek to the summit of Mt. Pinatubo, I finally found the motivation to edit photos and write about it. Actually, it took that long before my friend decided to post the photos of the trek that I'm now using for this entry...because we're very up-to-date and strive for ATM feed updates like that. 😒 For a lack of proper excuse, I didn't bring a camera that day─and they did─so I was at their mercy to use their photos for this...which they gladly complied with one-and-a-half years after.

For this trek we joined in the Travel Factor group to make the arrangements for us. We decided to go because friend offered to pay the trip as a Christmas we needed a new environment to celebrate our annual Christmas party. We did the hike December 19, 2015. As for the entirety of the trip, I remember like it was just yesterday─not!─I've forgotten certain details save for the immense bad luck I had that day. To begin with, we left Manila a little late because of some misunderstanding with the Travel Factor group and the bus they had reserved. We left Ortigas dark and arrived in Porac Pampanga at around 7am. After a short brief, we signed the waivers, and off we went to our respective 4x4's. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Coffee Project in Taguig

It has come to my attention that it's been a while since I last posted an entry about a coffee shop...oops. And so what a relief it was to see this cafe pop up close to home after months of being away from the metro. I have been meaning to go to Alabang just to try the place...because again of the interior, but one scorching hot summer day─yesterday─I saw the name COFFEE PROJECT embossing out the wall of what used to be an appliance area of All Home, just above CBTL. Apparently, it's a Villar-owned coffee chain that aims to grab a niche from Starbucks and CBTL as evidence shows. Now I'm not into the coffee-shop-cliche-looking logo, but the warm ambiance plus the strong-enough coffee base of the drink that I ordered got me. Plus, it's hipsterrr-ish. I like it.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday in Baliuag, Bulacan

A couple of years back─about twenty years exact─I never imagined that I will be spending the Holy Week somewhere far from Valladolid, as three generations of family tradition dictate our responsibility to manage the Santo Entierro for procession every Good Friday. For as long as I could remember, it was a solemn time to be with family, wherein select members would devoutly pitch in, from the preparations of the bathing the wooden statue of the dead Christ, to stitching his garments, to selecting the perfume that will be used to wipe his feet after every kiss of the faithful, to buying the flowers that will be used for the carroza, down to preparing the meals for those who will be taking part the tradition throughout the night. It's our family's "panata" or sacred promise started by my great grandfather, to take part in the town's Good Friday procession every year and be the one responsible in taking care of the Santo Entierro. We are only one family of so many throughout the country doing this year after year.

And every Black Saturday back then, I would see in the news featuring the procession of Baliuag, and it was only last year when I saw the scale of their carrozas that made me realize how minute ours was in comparison. The town seemed both quiet and festive at the same time with the arrays of grandiose carrozas lining in the streets, each beautifully prepared for the processional rites. For the first time, I was there to witness what was being showed on TV for the longest time. Some larger-than-life-sized statues don intricately designed clothing, and it overwhelmed me to know that there were over a hundred carrozas that will be paraded for the procession, with numbers going up every year. 

I took a lot of photos, but I'll only be showing a quarter of the lot because some were blurred...and I wouldn't want to upload a hundred photos for this post.