i had an interesting weekend that was spent solely on developing my photography blog, cluttered photos. this photoblog will contain photos i've taken and the exif data accompanying that photograph.
i initially wanted to create it in blogspot because of my familiarity with the application however template issues prevented me from continuing for now. i experimented and somehow succeeeded in creating it in wordpress but there were still limitations in the modifications i could do. for now, i'll continue on using wordpress for cluttered photos and blogspot for cluttered thoughts.
v1.0 is out and the link for my photoblog is: http://clutteredphotos.wordpress.com
so many things to learn with so little time. i have yet to fully understand how to work with rss feeds, meta tags, etc. to fully utilize what wordpress has to offer. another issue i have yet to resolve is on tweaking the html code so that i can post bigger images. as of now, page layout customizations are not implemented in wordpress but i'm hoping it to be included soon.
it was the first and last time i went to this japanese specialty coffee store, kohikan. a few months after this picture was taken on january 28, 2006, the store closed down less than a year from the day they opened.
another one bites the dust.
on last thursday's episode of the probe team, the program featured the plight of the don pablo lorenzo memorial high school, the largest school in mindanao, in the philippines. the school sits on a 6.5-hectare land with 14 school buildings totaling to 108 classrooms, has an indoor gym, tennis and volleyball courts and a large field. the school accomomdates over 7,000 students but with all this, it can only sit about 2,000.
the story proved to be alarming and inspiring at the same time. alarming because this is not happening in mindanao alone. all over the country, especially in the remote barangays, the challenges facing the public school system are very much evident-- from the shortage of school buildings, books and other educational aids, well-educated teachers and now, school chairs! going back to the don pablo lorenzo memorial high school, only students belonging to the top of the class are privileged enough to sit comfortably on a chair [note to self: only now did i realize that having a chair to sit on in school is a privilege taken for granted by many]. and for the rest of the population, they have to follow the first come, first served policy employed by the teachers. otherwise, if the student comes to class late, it will be the window sill or the floor. while some fight over the chairs, others are more contented with a chair with no arm rest and using their laps instead as they take notes. there is even one student who brought her own chair made by her dad (who's a carpenter) just for her not to sit on the floor.
on the other hand, the story also proved to be inspiring because amidst the little resources that they have, not expecting much from the government, they took it upon themselves to take action and have a work around to help alleviate their condition. and this is something truly admirable about them. for one, they ingeniously developed the 'shoe cloth' to prevent dirt from outside the classroom from entering since most has to sit on the floor. this piece of fabric is bound by rubber with a hole in the middle that hugs the whole shoe. this thereby prevents their skirts and pants from getting soiled since majority of the students are poor and only own one or two sets of uniforms. not only that, this maintains the cleanliness of the floors as well.
this is very saddening and disappointing for me. for someone who in all of his life attended a public school from kinder to one semester of graduate school in the university, upon learning that there are students who are subjected to conditions far worse that what i experienced during my school days is plainly cruel. it's stupid that they have to carry this burden going to school instead of learning. it's stupid that no one can provide a viable solution to all these at this time. i could not bear and imagine sitting on the floor all day for the rest of the school year making do with the situation just to get the education that all are entitled to. i went to a special public school all throughout and we are privileged enough to be one of the top priority schools when it comes to allocation of school funds but i still feel for them who are not as fortunate.
these all boil to one of many things, lack of money appropriately allocated to the education sector. insufficient policies in place to be implemented and regulated to safeguard the educational needs of the people. and yadda-yadda-yadda...blah-blah-blah. the truth of the matter is that one way of looking at it is that they (the school) have managed the situation on what they saw fit, no argument about that. shouldn't there be something that can be done (long-term) to address this coming from people other than the government? i don't expect anything much from the government nowadays since this and so many things had been dragging on for so long and for sure there isn't any bit of care left for these kids.
*photo taken from the mindano blog.
easter sunday was not as i hoped or expected it to be. while preparing to go to the hospital to give blood, i received a message that my dear friend's dad decided that he had too much going on and and went on. she was holding him on her arms when he passed away that morning.
it was very sudden for the family, myself included where they made me feel i'm a part off. i am very saddened by what happened.
afternoon was spent alone reading a book over a venti sized iced latte and a free venti iced tea-- an easter sunday promo (buy one and get another one free). people were still on their way back to the city and i couldn't find anyone within range to invite over. it wasn't that bad as i expected it to be. i had quality time with myself which what i needed afterall to reflect on so many things. it's was good thing.
traffic on a monday was pretty bad going to work. thoroughfares were packed and it was irritatingly hot at 8 o'clock in the morning. there was a long queue of people hurrying to get a shuttle ride to the business districts of manila. if not all, most people are in "work mode" starting today. am i still in "vacation mode" or back into "work mode"?
i received this sms this morning from a friend who recently got thrown to bangalore, india for a 2-week training.
It's 809am in the land of curry, bangalore! Dis bustling city, with massive infrastructure constructions left n ryt, has lots of obnoxious men (attitude n smell).
From: xxxxxxx xx
this friend of mine was the least likely person we know who would go to india for anything but he still got sent there for an business. choosing between bangalore or manila, i'm still better off here to bear the hustle and bustle of city life more than anything else. if i ever get to go there, i will go though. why not?
have a great week ahead of us all!
so today marks the end of the long weekend slash holiday in the country. being easter sunday and all, tomorrow means that
all most people go back to work, myself included. i hope everyone was able to make use of these days for whatever it deemed relevant to them.
for me and the family, it was family togetherness and it was spent at home. other than christmas and other national holidays, it's the time that we've got to all converge and spend quality time together amidst the hot scorching heat of summer with day temperatures estimated to have reached 36 degrees. is it just me or is it hot in here?
so it was, the nieces were running all over the house breaking whatever they nudge or topple over. they entered all the rooms getting anything that they can get hold of from cellphones, ipods to biscuit canisters. this reminds us to me ever mindful that we have to keep the house toddler-safe. they run all over our small home and scream like hell enjoying each other's company. what better way to vent off the summer heat but to take a dip into the pool. well, it was just for the kids anyway, it was a kiddie pool. the brothers were all over the house tinkering with their laptops (were they working?) configuring something that i had no idea of. with the sisters, they were either with mom in the kitchen or watching k-drama on tv or logged on to http://www.youtube.com. dad was occasionally playing with the grandkids and busily cleaning the car and keeping it in tip-top shape. where was chuckie all this time? he was nicely tucked away in his own space under mom and dad's bed, enjoying an air-conditioned doggie life, oblivious to the things happening around him.
what do i have in store this easter sunday? i'll be visiting the dad of a very dear friend in the hospital and having my blood screened for donation *yikes*. in the afternoon, look for friends to have coffee with since i have two free starbucks drink coupons for easter.
how did your long weekend go?
i have a new toy. it's sleek, it's stylish, it's lightweight. it's a true eye-candy. it's part aluminum metal, part chrome and a bit of plastic. i give it four out of five stars for ease of use.
i have a new toy, it's a motorola razr v3i mobile. i like.
how it was acquired is irrelevant on what i realized about myself. like always, with any new acquisition or mere materialistic possesions i have, it brought much joy and happiness getting it. it was something that i really wanted for sometime now. being a visual person that i am, the overall steel appeal gave it all away. the moment i started tinkering with its cold metal keys, it made an impression that this would be my next phone. it made me smile in delight that no one took notice of. after much inspection of the contraption and decided to have it for myself, there were questions that lingered in my head long after i've gotten over the short-lived ecstasy of finally having a new phone. one question was if it was really necessary to get one when i still have one that is working absolutely fine. my life wouldn't be any different if i got this. moreover, it didn't make my life any better by having it. so i just concluded that i'm getting it for all the wrong reasons that i could think of.
then again after realizing these, another question popped out of my head, am i truly happy with it?
what to do when in pandan?
1) scuba dive to busuanga and apo reef.
2) snorkel around the island and appreciate its flora and fauna in the water and out--pure unspoiled beauty.
3) worship the sun and get a good tan.
4) party with the guests and locals--pandan style and enjoy great food.
i got to do almost all of that when we were in pandan except to dive. the island resort is popular for its relative close proximity to few of the greatest dive spots in the philippines. bummer that i didn't get to do that for obvious reasons. during our stay, we explored the island and found ourselves to what they referred to as the "wild lagoon". wild would entail that it's a secluded part of the island wherein you can go literally wild depending on your definition of the word. a 25-minute walk and we found ourselves admiring the place for its sheer beauty and "virgin" look. we loved the place!
took some shots of the place. applied sunscreen all over the body. swam a bit and snorkeled. chatted with hazel the whole morning. had a hefty buffet lunch back at the resort. relaxed at the beachfront chairs with a good book. dozed off all afternoon. it was the life!
i was off to pandan island last week with two of my very good friends. we left on sunday, the second of april and got back on wednesday, the fifth. with that, i went back to work the following day. during the rest of that week, i was in vacation mode with my mind wandering off half the time. i enjoyed pandan so much that i couldn't get it out of my mind. it was indeed a long travel from manila but the place was breathtakingly spectacular and the people i met along the way and made friends were truly great.
pandan island is located off the coast of sablayan, occidental mindoro. there are several ways to get there--land, air and water. due to budget constraints, we opted for the hardest and "funnest" way, combined land and water mode. this was how much hours we burned getting there: approximately 2 hours to get to the batangas pier by bus from manila, 3 hours from the port to abra de ilog in mindoro, another 3 hours by land to sablayan and a 20 minute water taxi to pandan island. and then again going back to manila. it was truly an adventure worth keeping!
information about pandan can be found at their website, http://www.pandan.com.
work proves to be more and more challenging with development tasks keep pouring in as the team is in the middle of the software build phase. with all deliverables laid out and delegated-- tables, stored procedures, data transmission services (dts) and audit scripts assigned to me had been coded, reviewed and signed-off. woo-hoo!
sometimes i feel like i'm working in a software development assembly line, busy coding all day and keeping up with the demand. more important to be noted is that i'm liking it more and more as i delve deeper. aside from that, there's diversity in the things i do like continuing with product testing later on down the assembly line up until the product goes live. and so the cycles begins again.
my body and mind is begging off for a much needed r&r (again). not even a cold front will spoil our vacation plans. this had been planned for months and had been approved by management weeks prior. with all things going well at work, meeting and exceeding work expectations, it's but proper for a short and quick vacation. so, where is it this time? more info when i come back but for now, take a plunge with me and make a wild guess.
clue: an island destination named after a palm tree.
Tu viens avec nous demain?