Today’s theme is shadow(s)
El Kabayo Riding Stables, Subic, Zambales, Philippines
Two weeks ago, my family went to Subic for some much needed rest and relaxation. El Kabayo is one of my favorite places in Subic because of the lush sceneries, beautiful wide-open spaces and because my family loves to ride horses. I love this photo. I love how those big acacia trees created some sort of a tunnel of shadows where horses and tired riders alike can retreat from the heat.
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See more photos of our Subic weekend here and here.
This week’s theme is steps.
This was taken in 2004 at the foot of the loooong steps that lead to Sakyamuni Buddha of the Po Lin Monastery on Ngong Ping Plateau, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.Â It was Buddha’s birthday when we went there, hence the many saffron and yellow flags.Â The trip up the 268 steps is a pilgrimage in itself. Once you get to the top, though, you will feel very blessed and all the tiredness will seem to disappear.
My daughter Patchy with cousin Soapy Bubbles and a friend’s daughter at the foot of one of the old steps in Fort San Pedro, Cebu City in December 2005.
Fort San Pedro is the oldest fort in the Philippines built by the Spaniards in 1738. Construction actually began much earlier – 173 years earlier to be exact – in 1565. The first Spaniards came to the Philippine islands in 1521, and it was on Cebu that they first set foot. The Fort came handy in keeping away the natives and Muslims who resisted the colonizers. Learn more about Fort San Pedro here.
Cebu City is the Philippines’ Queen City of the South. It is the second biggest metropolitan center outside of Metro Manila. Next to Baguio, Cebu is my second choice for retirement (or residence if it were only possible at the moment).
Cebu City has got everything Manila has, and more! It’s got an international airport, good schools and residential areas, shopping malls, a busy business district, traffic jams too (though not as horrific as Manila’s). It’s a throbbing, lively city and yet people seem to be more laid-back. The people are friendly (based on my experiences so far!), and the sights definitely beautiful. Both beaches and mountains are within driving distance, so take your pick!
When you come visit the Philippines, see Baguio first, then catch a flight to Cebu second. 😉
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Taipei 101 is the world’s tallest building so far. There are others that surpass its height but they are still under construction. So until those are finished, Taipei 101 reigns the skies.
I took these photos when hubby and I went to Taiwan in June 2005.
Taipei 101 is an amazing piece of architecture because of several superlatives:
- The world’s tallest building, measuring 509 meters from ground to top (not including the antenna).
- It’s got the world’s fastest passenger elevators, with a speed of up to 1,010 meters/minute. It only takes an ear-splitting 38 seconds to get to the 89th floor, where the Observatory is.
- From the Observatory, one will see the world’s largest wind damper, which weighs about 660 tons. This is supposed to help the tower resist strong winds and quakes, which are quite common in Taiwan.
- The Observatory also has Taipei’s most breathtaking view! (Too bad no photos to brag along!)
- The first 5 floors house the most upscale couture boutiques and finest restaurants in Taipei.
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Last Saturday, Hubby and I went on a road trip to Northern Luzon to visit one of his clients. Any road trip with H is always rush-rush, as he is not one who wastes precious precious time. So I had to make do with taking photos from the dashboard.
I love how the huge acacia trees lining the North Manila Road bow towards the center to create this beautiful arch of brown and green.
Cornfields and mango orchards
Our clients were really nice and very accommodating. This in spite of being one of the wealthiest families in the city. From what I saw, they lived simple lives. No bodyguards, no private drivers, no flashy jewelry. They smiled and greeted everyone who recognized them (and boy, were there lots who did!). I’ve been around some filthy-rich folks before, and they often exuded that feeling of superiority that make others uncomfortable. But not these filthy-rich folks. They were so pleasant that I, having met them for the first time, felt so at home with them. The wife and I were soon swapping stories about children, food, and weight woes! 😉