Mikee’s Photo blog
what i see in my viewfinder - pixel voice

Archive for May, 2008

National Geographic photo of the day - Tiny Orange Crab, Panay Island, Philippines

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

tiny orange crab

March 13, 2008 Photo of the day of National Geographic was taken by Mr. Tim Laman on assignment for NG last 2002. The photo of the tiny orange crab on a leaf was taken in Panay Island, Philippines.

Panay Island is located in the Visayas region. Panay comprises of 4 provinces: Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo (including neighboring Guimaras). The area is quite popular for tourists and adventurers because of its natural beauty inland. The island in itself is also surrounded by the different seas on all sides. Sadly, there was an oil spill from an oil tanker last of October of 2006 which polluted the Guimaras area, affecting the wildlife there severely.

“In August 2006, M/V Solar 1, an oil tanker chartered by Petron, sank off Guimaras’ shores, spilling 2.4 million liters of oil and contaminating 1,000 hectares of mangrove areas. The massive oil spill threatened species such as dugong and rare sea turtles. At that time, environmentalists called the accident the worst oil spill in the country’s history and estimated the cleanup to take at least a year.”

Alexander R. Bautista
Manila Standard Today
May 8, 2008

Liliw town houses

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Here are some more snapshots of the traditional houses in Liliw.

The basement of this house was converted to a store. I bought a couple of shoes here. :)

That’s bigfoot’s slipper there :)

Little stalls selling local delicacies

Arabela lunch experience at Liliw

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

We arrived at Liliw, Laguna around lunch time already and just had to eat something yummy. So we walked over to Arabela to try their salads, pasta and dessert since we’ve heard so much about it. Their pasta cost around P200, their salads less than P100 and dessert… I can’t remember. haha! We wanted to have coffee but they ran out (??)

The place has a nice feel. It’s quiant, lots of flowers, natural wooden tables and chairs.  Oh, one more thing. Remember to duck! The place has very low ceiling. Now i know how hobbits must’ve felt like.

This is their house salad, quite good. I got the vinegarette dressing. You can also have it with some beef strips.

Arabela Tiramisu - sad to say, I was rather disappointed with this. It just seemed like a cake with lots of cream. Xp The other option was the blueberry cheesecake. My friend said it tastes better.

Liliw church

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The Liliw Church was established back in 1605 and still looks really well preserved. My camera batteries ran out, but I was still able to take some photos with my sony camera phone.


I feel disrespectful taking pictures inside the church, especially with people praying inside, but managed to get these shots from beside the main area.

Tsinelas decorations

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Here are some more pictures of Liliw; the slippers capital of Laguna. In my last entry, I mentioned that it was the annual Tsinelas festival so I’m not sure if the place is really this festive during regular days. Nonetheless, we had much fun walking around and SHOPPING!! I got 4 slippers (2 for myself, 1 for mom and 1 for sis.) Each slipper was just around P250 (approx. USD 4.00)

 Hope you enjoy the photos!

tsinelas shop

I thought it was interesting to have that man in the traditional farmer’s hat in the picture. See the huge slippers on the side?

Waiting for the parade to start.

Slippers everywhere!

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Last Labor day holiday, I accompanied my friend for a day trip to Liliw, Laguna for her “slippers fix”. Liliw is the slipper capital of Laguna province. My friend went there last year and apparently, she plans to go there every year for her stock of slippers. She liked the slippers because they are a lot cheaper to buy from there and made of natural “cogon” materials. Cogon is dried up leaves of a certain tree I think. Anyway, the material is very breathable and durable. It’s perfect for the summer months. Anyway, locals here wear slippers to go anywhere! So I tagged along for the trip.

We took SLEX all the way to the end exit at Calamba, headed towards Sta. Cruz on the main road. We turned right when we saw a Jollibee before Pagsanjan. You can also take the other route, instead of Sta. Cruz, take San Juan. You can ask the friendly people there for directions “yung may mga tsinelas” (literal translation is “where the slippers are”) hehe… the whole trip took about 3.5 hrs. They’re still doing road expansion on SLEX which caused much of the delay.

Finally we arrived! It was drizzling so we hopped from one shop to another. I was surprised to see the place so festive, to think that the place isn’t a tourist spot. Only when we walked around a bit did I learn that it’s still their Tsinelas Festival! I’ve heard of the festival but didn’t realize that it lasted a week or so. What a treat! The place was really decked up with Tsinelas big and small!

 We had the chance to see the huge Tsinelas float as well as the band with the local kids with tsinelas outfits (from their headgear to their feet!)

tsinelas float

1 of the 2 tsinelas float

liliw city hall

Newly painted Liliw city hall

dancing tsinelas kids

My camera battery died so I had to take this picture with my cam phone. :) See the kids with golden tsinelas on their heads too? Towards the back you can see the 2nd giant tsinelas float.

I’ll share more of my pictures of the place in the coming days.

I’m sanriotown’s blog of the week!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Woohoo! I got chosen as Sanriotown blog of the week!  Many thanks to the people of sanriotown and thanks too for the great write up!

im blog of the week

 Stay tuned to read up about my shopping trip to Liliw, Laguna which also happened to be on the weekend of the Tsinelas (Slippers) Festival. Yup yup! There is such a festival!

Chile volcano eruption

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

The news of the latest volcano eruption in Chile reminded me of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption about 10 years ago. I recall that I was at home and wondered why our floor was so dirty. Only when I switched on the TV did I find out that Mt. Pinatubo had erupted.

Although I just recently enjoyed a leisurely trip to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo, I do recall the pain and anguish of those people who had to evacuate their homes at the foot and nearby areas of the volcano… especially those who had their homes and loved ones, washed away or buried by the ash (lahar).
Although we can only help and empathize with them now, it helps to remember that this too shall pass…

Chile volcano eruption

chile volcano

The strong winds had blown ash from the volcano to the nearby city

Photos were taken from BBC and guardian.co.uk

Makati founding anniversary street art

Monday, May 5th, 2008

I found this cool picture of the street art by local artist Edgar Talusan-Fernandez and Neil Doloricon on Ayala Avenue in Makati for the 338th founding anniversary of the city.

Photo and news from inquirer.net

Mt. Pinatubo climb

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Last Holy week weekend, I also had the opportunity to finally climb Mt. Pinatubo. Mt. Pinatubo is located at the intersection of the borders of Tarlac, Zambales and Pampanga. You may know it because of the disastrous effects of it’s last eruption June of 1991, which caused several towns to be buried under lahar. The areas around the mountain have recently been re-utilized and re-developed for tourism purposes with hopes of bringing more jobs and awareness to the area.

mt. pinatubo june 1991

Picture taken from NASA website.

Leaving manila at 4AM and arriving at Sta. Ines was more pleasant than I initially thought.

Sta. Ines at dawn

Daybreak crossing a bridge with lahar across Sta. Ines

The 4×4 ride was FUUUNNN!! Kuya Alex (our kind and skillful 4×4 driver) maneuvered through the rough roads and dips and climbs of the small rivers with our guide seated on the front hood.

4x4 with tour guide

The hike to the crater proved longer than i initially thought (3-4 hrs each way!), but it was well worth it! There were some trees and greens along the way and the streams provided cooling for our warm feet. I love the clouds over the crest (?) of the crater though I was not able to fully capture it with my pictures. The dip on the lake in the crater made my skin and white shirt little yellow but it was interesting to dip in that sulfuric lake. (I hope it helps eliminate pimples too! hehe!) Hope you enjoy the pics!

Lahar mountain - reminds me of Lord of the Ring’s Mordor

At the start of the hike

pinatubo crater lake

The peaceful lake in the crater or Mt. Pinatubo. Do you see those people on the beach below? I liked that the clouds were covering some portions of the peak.

The sky was clearing up a bit and I was able to get this cheerier picture above. You can also take a paddle boat tour of the lake (P500 to rent I think.)