All posts by Adelle P. Agustin

The National Museum of the Philippines

The National Museum of the Philippines

City of Manila, PHILIPPINES

The facade of the National Museum of the Philippines.

The month of May is the National Heritage Month Celebration.  The National Museum of the Philippines opened its doors to the public for free.
Been seeing posts of the museum for days and it got me interested. Thus, I went there on a Friday afternoon not expecting too much but just the usual artworks and stuff that we see in museums.

Hallways filled with masterpieces hanging on the wall.

Little did I expect that the building itself and how they laid out the galleries, corridors and lobbies were like artworks in itself. And that winding stairs, OH!!! The old Senate Hall, WOW!

Every visitor of this museum will definitely have a shot of this beautiful staircase.

The visit was a visual feast for me. I enjoyed the tour. Find time to visit it. I heard the free entrance is extended this June. And please don’t content yourself with just selfies. It’s a great experience to marvel at these works of art.

Corridors such as this, such a visual feast.
There is certain vibe of nobility in this lobby. This is the floor where the old Senate Hall is located.

Will post the shots of the galleries and the Senate Hall in a separate album. It deserves a separate album.

Check out the museum premises in this gallery.

(You may click on the thumbnail to have a bigger view of the image).

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One More Time Boracay

The Boracay Beach in Malay, Aklan PHILIPPINES.

We are going back to Boracay this coming September.  I think it is the best month to go there.  It’s the rainy season.  Hahaha!

The place won’t be teeming with tourists as in the peak months which is from November to July.  For someone who puts a premium in big spaces,  that simply means I have a lot of space to move around.  A bigger space to cover and capture.  I’ll be having a great time.

Can’t wait to go back there.  I am posting these photos of my last visit in Boracay in anticipation of our next vacation.

I love capturing the early morning beach vibe.
The early morning beach vibe.
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The fiery horizon.
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Those sailboats that looked like toys.
And of course the beautiful sunset like no other.
And of course the beautiful sunset like no other.
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And everything in between.

Click on the thumbnail to view the bigger version of the photo.

A Short Trip to the Banaue Rice Terraces

The BANAUE RICE TERRACES

LOCATION:  Bontoc, Ifugao PHILIPPINES

It was one spontaneous trip to the Banaue Rice Terraces.  Our event in Nueva Vizcaya was still at 6pm and we had nothing to do the whole day.  Thus, when it was suggested that we go to the Banaue Rice Terraces which was in the neighboring province of Ifugao, we all said YES!

But the trip would be short and the farthest that we could go was in the view deck.  Well, Banaue is Banaue, so off we went to see the world famous rice terraces.

I only see the Banaue Rice Terraces in movies and photos.  I know it is breathtaking and majestic as I see it in the movies.  But to be there and see it right before my eyes?

Oh, it was graaaand. . .

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I couldn’t believe that I was actually there.  It was breathtaking.  I wasn’t able to get much photos as I would normally do.  I spent our limited time in the view deck (which was 30 minutes) just gazing and marveling in awe at the sight.

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The weather wasn’t that great.  On our way there we encountered rains and thick fog, but we weren’t complaining.  We didn’t allow the weather to dampen our excitement.  Even the way to the view deck was beautiful.  We encountered some views and sights that were also breathtaking.  And we really had to ask our driver to stop and have a few minutes to enjoy this particular view.

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When we reached the view deck, the fog was thick and the clouds were low, thus, we didn’t have a clear view of the entire vista of the legendary rice terraces.  But it was enough.  There were some elderly wearing native costumes, some pretty flowers here and there, and some souvenirs too.

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But even without these, the view of the rice terraces alone was enough.  The whole trip to get there just to spend 30 minutes of gazing at this beautiful man made masterpiece of nature was worth it.  I dunno if I will ever go back to that place again, but those 30 minutes … that was precious.  It was worth it.

I can now say that I have seen with my very eyes what was once considered as the “8th Wonder of the World”.  I am satisfied.

Check out the gallery… (click on a thumbnail for a better appreciation of the image).

Flowers at Farmville

LOCATION: Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines

Back in 2011, I was so into this Facebook game called Farmville.  Never did I imagine that I will get to see an actual “farmville” at that time.

With some friends, we headed north of Luzon to attend an event.  We left Manila at around 10 P.M.  It was a 5 hour drive from the city, thus when we arrived at our friend’s farm in Nueva Vizcaya, it was still a bit dark.  And we headed straight to our beds and slept for another 4 hours.

When I woke up, I went to the veranda and I was amazed at what I saw.  What came out of my mouth was, “Wow, farmville!”

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That was how I pictured my farm in Farmville to be.  Trees and flowers with a tiny stream on the side of the property.  It was right before my eyes that morning.  I got my camera and fired away.

I singled out the flowers which were so colorful and so alive.  I loved what I saw.

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Check out the gallery… (click on a thumbnail for a better appreciation of the image).

Artworks at the Pinto Gallery

The Pinto Art Gallery

LOCATION:  Antipolo City, Rizal Province, PHILIPPINES

Here are some of the vast collection of artworks and art pieces at the Pinto Art Gallery.  I really recommend that you visit this place.  It is not just an art tour, but it is an uplifting experience of the spirit.

Check out the gallery… (click on a thumbnail for a better appreciation of the image).

Set 1:  Installations

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Set 2: Paintings

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3.  Set 3:  Sculpture, Multi-Media, Other Installations

You may also want to check out the over-all vibe of Pinto in this link:

https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/doors-at-the-pinto-gallery/

Doors at the Pinto Art Gallery

The PINTO ART GALLERY

LOCATION: Antipolo City, Rizal, Philippines

A few months ago, an inspiring travel photographer posted a photo of a door in his Facebook account.  It is the entrance to the Pinto Art Gallery.  It wasn’t much about the door itself, but the feel of accomplishment for this young man for having discovered it and enjoyed the visit that made me want to visit that place.

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Pinto Gallery is a gallery owned by a retired and accomplished doctor.  It is perched in a sprawling property in a modest subdivision at the heart of Antipolo City.  It was initially intended to be a personal gallery of the vast art collection of the good doctor until he decided to support other artists by opening his doors for them. He built a gallery to house and display these artworks which is now called the Pinto Art Gallery.

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This is what welcomed me as I entered the main door.

“Pinto” is the Filipino word for “door”.  And that is exactly what I noticed in this place.  Its got so many doors that lead to rooms with awesome exhibits and to gardens that are either amusing, relaxing or breathtaking.

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I enjoyed the vibe of this place.  I have experienced some museums and galleries that are intimidating and forceful to the point of being superficial and conceited, but here in Pinto, my experience was, it is open, sincere and easy to connect with.

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It was so easy to connect. It felt like you are part of the story.
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It gets you engaged. You wouldn’t even notice the other visitors there.
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It felt like you are in your own personal space.
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You feel at home, and with your own horse.

And the gardens …

Oh! the G A R D E N S!  I can stay here for days. 🙂

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My dream garden.

And they are all over the place!  🙂

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Thanks to that inspiring young travel photographer.  His name is Brian Kevin Felix.

This is the Pinto Art Gallery as I saw and experienced it.  Take a tour of this beautiful place through this photo gallery. (click the thumbnail for better appreciation of the image)

You may also get a glimpse of some of the artworks of Pinto in this link:

https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/some-of-the-artworks-at-the-pinto-gallery/

A Friendly Waterfall

THE KABIGAN WATERFALLS

LOCATION:  Burgos, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

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Time Stood Still

We arrived at around noon.  We were told that it will take around 30 minutes to get to the spot.  However it seemed like the trek to the waterfalls was long.  I think it was almost an hour.  And as we started to get deeper into the path,  time stood still  (I think).

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I felt the welcome vibe as we got deeper into the valley.   The sound of the nearby stream accompanied us as we trekked the path leading to the spot where the waterfalls was.

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And We Felt Welcome

It wasn’t a clear and straight path though. There were some blind turns and small makeshift bridges along the way.  But what was great about it was, the blind turns would open to beautiful clearings.  I had to stop and gaze at the vista and surroundings and inhale the experience.  It was as if it was welcoming us each time we come from a blind turn.

We met some travelers that came from the waterfalls.  All wet and  seemed happy with their experience of the waterfall.  When asked if the falls was nice, they gave the thumbs up sign.  That got us more excited.  When we arrived at the spot, we were surprised to see not much people there.

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It was an Enchanting and Mystifying Experience

The spot where the waterfalls was was serene.  The sound of the water falling from about 40-50 meters above was surprisingly calming.  The cold mist coming from it was enough for me to feel that I was welcome.  It was enchanting and mystifying.

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The place wasn’t much of a “tourist spot” kind of place.  It wasn’t grand visually.  But the vibe and experience was a traveller’s find.  It leaves a mark in your spirit.

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HERE’S THE REST OF THE EXPERIENCE …

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Inside the Manila Cathedral Now

LOCATION: Intramuros, Manila City Philippines

Inside the MANILA CATHEDRAL Now.

Renovated. Retrofitted. Beautiful.

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After 2 years, the Manila Cathedral opened its doors again to the faithful.  It was worth the wait.  A work of art and a labor of faith.  It is awesome.  I encourage everyone to come visit (even hear a mass).  Bring your cameras, if you don’t, you will regret not having one when you are there.  It is really BEAUTIFUL . . . 

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View the new Manila Cathedral in this photo gallery.  (click on the thumbnail to better appreciate the image)

You may also want to check out the photos of the actual event (mass) of the Re-opening in this link.

https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/inside-the-manila-cathedral/

The Jeepneys of Manila

The KING OF THE ROAD (The Jeepneys of Manila)

Beautiful. Colorful. Fun. Amazing.

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The talent and creativity of the Filipinos as painters creating masterpieces using the body of the jeepney (a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines), as their canvass.

 

Enjoy the Philippine Jeepney!

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The Manila Cathedral Reopens

THE REOPENING OF THE MANILA CATHEDRAL

LOCATION: Intramuros, Manila City Philippines

After more than 2 years, the Manila Cathedral re-opens its doors to the faithful.  Retrofitted. Renovated.  BEAUTIFUL!

The Manila Cathedral underwent major renovation, repairs and retrofitting the past two years.  And finally on April 9, 2014, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Manila, His Eminence LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLE, held a special mass to commemorate the event.

I love taking pictures of churches.  I have great respect for the craftsmanship, artistry and creativity of the artisans and artists that contribute to the grandiose beauty of these structures.  However, in all these years that I have been doing it, the Manila Cathedral is one major church, a basilica at that, that I haven’t had the opportunity to take its photos.  I only have taken pictures of its facade and its outside walls, but never the interiors.  Not once.  I posted a set of black and white photos of the cathedral before.

Here is the link: https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/its-iconic-its-historical-its-a-cathedral/

Prior to its re-opening, I only had one chance to see its interiors, it was during the wedding of my sister.  Thus, it was one of my photography goals to shoot the interiors of this minor basilica.  However, when I went there two years ago, it was closed.  I had no choice but to wait for two years. When I saw it in the news that it will be finally opened this week, I made sure that I will be there.  I went there with the intention to just take pictures and feast my eyes with its beauty and also to document the historic event as an ordinary churchgoer. I left home early to make sure I have a good spot and will take my time going around and take pictures.  However, when I arrived the people were already lining up to enter the church.

I realized I was already late.  I was guessing, there were already a lot of people inside.  But that did not dampen my spirit.  As I was looking at the people lining up, I could feel their enthusiasm.  I could sense the joy tingling in my body.  That got me more excited.  I took some shots first on the ground before I fell in line.  As I was getting near the door, one of the security people waved at me and asked me to go to a separate line.  It was the line for the media.  They put a tag on my camera and let me in.  Just like that … 🙂  And I whispered, “Thank you Lord.”

Finally, I was inside, and WHOA!  My jaw dropped and for a while my eyes ogled at the beauty of the church.  The altar, the columns, the arches, the lights, the stained glass (even the flatscreen TV sets that were all over) … oh, the sight was beautiful!  When I got back to my senses, I remembered I had a camera, hence I didn’t waste one more second, and fired away.

I still had about an hour to shoot.  But the church was already teeming with people, plus with the security that was in place, I knew it will be hard to move around, much less get to the altar.  I heard that the President and his family will be there.  Also, the Vice President, the Senate President, and some important people in government, business community and church community are also present. Thus, the security was kinda tight.  But that did not hamper me to go around and shoot.   I squeezed my way among the crowd, I saw some familiar faces (celebrities, business people, politicians, church people) as I was inching my way towards the altar.  Surprisingly, I never thought of taking some photos of them.  I was enjoying my experience.  I was mesmerized by the interiors of the cathedral. And the lights added to the magnificence of this work of art and of faith.

Finally, I was in front near the altar.  I was surprised that I got there with no hitch at all.  I was so happy that I got there, I wasted no time in taking more photos.  I knew, not everyone has got that chance.  At this time, the church is now getting filled to the brim.  Since I was expecting that the security people will eventually ask me to leave my spot anytime, I might as well make the most of my opportunity.  Thus, I kept on firing my camera.  Taking every shot that I could get.

But to my surprise, I wasn’t asked to leave.  There were people who were asked to leave that spot reserved for media, but not me.  I was just reminded by the usher not to cross the line that was marked for security purposes.  I whispered again, “Thank you Lord.”  🙂  It was at that point that I knew I was meant to be there.  I knew it was meant that I am there.  And it is not only for the photos to document this event.  But more importantly, to hear the word of God.

As I was taking these shots from my sweet spot, I noticed that the warning light in my camera was blinking.  (Oh gosh, I forgot to charge the battery!)  Thus, I decided to turn it off and save it for later shots.  When I turned it on again, the battery was already empty.

The empty battery left me with no choice but to hear mass and fully participate in it.  And it turned out to be my biggest blessing that day.  I came for some shots of the beautiful interiors of the cathedral.  And I went home with more than that.  My mind was cleansed, and my soul was nourished.  I was at peace.  The readings boiled down to faith and staying true to our faith.  In the end it is the TRUTH that only matters.  And that, “The truth shall set you free.”  I needed to be reminded of that.  It felt good. I was blessed.

To God be the glory!

(Click on the thumbnail for a better appreciation of the images)

You may also check out some of the details of the cathedral’s interior in this link:

https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/manila-cathedral-now/