Subscribe

RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Marikina City Comes Back To Life With Marikina Christmas Festival 2009

Well, this post might be too late but still I thought of sharing this with you.

Marikina Christmas Festival is an annual event in Marikina Cty during Christmas Season. The entire stretch of the Marikina River is lined up with stalls selling toys, bags, shoes, clothes, home accessories and a lot more at affordable prices.
.

I thought Marikina Christmas Festival will not push through because of the onslaught of “Typhoon Ondoy” last September but I was wrong, instead it's bigger than ever. In fact the main attraction on this year's festival is the Mechanical Display at Marikina City Hall, the same mechanical display we watched decades ago in COD (a popular Mall in Cubao during the 70's). The show features animated dolls that move in sync with the music or with the voice over. Though I haven't watch it yet, I know it would be enjoyable for me and others who knew this popular show and will likewise be enjoyed by today's children as well. The Mechanical display will last until January 15, 2009, see you there (I will watch it this weekend)

.

As usual, Marikina City ended 2009 with a big concert which is being held yearly at the Marikina Amphitheater. The concert ended with a 30 minute fireworks display. This year's concert featured Ms. Pop's Fernandez and some popular bands and was hosted by Vice Ganda (of the famous show, “Showtime”).

More photos and stories to follow, Have a blessed Year 2010.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Glad, I Found This Photo

If there is one thing that I really regret of not saving during Typhoon Ondoy is our photographs, it was destroyed by the flood. There's no way to restore it, more so to reprint it. (Thank God, now it's digital). I was sad knowing that I won't be seeing my dad's photographs (he died 14 years ago).

.

Photographs reminds us of significant events in our life and losing it is like losing a portion of our being (you could tell stories about it but it is better if there is a photo of that particular event to support your story).

.

Last week as I was browsing on my multiply site, I found this particular photo, I am glad I was able to scanned and uploaded it on my site a few years back. It made my feel better. We lost all but three (this one, my parent's wedding and the company ID which I still have on my wallet) of my dad's photographs (I hope there's still more, I am still digging on my files).

Me and My Dad after I graduated from high school

.

Dad will aways be in my heart and mind. No super typhoon could ever take it away from me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Thoughts on My Baby's Birth

I am here once again waiting outside the operating room. My wife is scheduled to give birth to our first born child via Cesarean Operation. Unlike the first one this is different, this is going to be a happy one. Just the thought of seeing my child for the first time is like heaven, it feels so wonderful.
.
This time the tears in my eyes is not because of grief and sadness but because of joy and gladness. Before, I received text messages of sympathy but today I am receiving text messages congratulating us for our first child. Our friends cried with us during the sad days of our life and today they are rejoicing with us.
.
Today marks the beginning of a happier days for us. In a few hours I'll be meeting my little princess. Thanks to our friends who always pray for my wife's pregnancy. It was indeed an enjoyable pregnancy.
..
I thank and praise God for allowing us to have Gabby in our life, for protecting her each day and each moment. I'll be seeing my wife in a couple of hours and I know this time her eyes will have sparks on it and her lips, with a smile. I cannot matched the pain she is enduring right now. If only I could bare the pain for her, I will. I am so proud of my wife
.
This is the day that the Lord has made for us and we rejoice in the Lord.
.
Friends, join us in welcoming Gabby in our life.



Saturday, August 1, 2009

President Cory Aquino,...A Woman of Courage and Dignity

Tomorrow, we will say goodbye to our beloved Former President Corazon Aquino, an Icon of Democracy. Surely, hundred of thousands of people will flock and give the final respect due her. She may not be the best or greatest President our country has ever had but she is the only President who was not tainted with any corruption, a great leader, a prayerful president and a courageous woman.

Even in her last days, she showed us that God is in control of everything. I am in awe with her devotion to our Mother and most specially her faith in God. She was equipped with this faith during her presidency. She was the symbol of our hope, unity and love.

I know we can't have such a person and a leader like President Cory in our lifetime and I am sure many politicians envy her. (I wonder if they dreamed to have the same attention when they die.). Our nation will surely missed her. We may not be seeing her wearing her signature yellow cloths and we may not hear her soft voice anymore but one thing is for sure her legacy will live on from generation to generation. A loving mother, a wife and a strong woman. Like Ninoy, I admire her unconditional love to our nation.

I hope that the hard earned democracy did not die with her and I hope she will not just be part of our history but rather a part of life. I will surely teach my children her contribution, devotion, faith and dignity. So that they will imitate her love to our country and to our God.

She is the reason why I am proud to be a Filipino.

"My responsibility as a Filipino to my country goes beyond it to my grave." -Pres. Corazon Aquino, SONA-July 22, 1991


Photo Credit: http://fjsanchez.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/cory_aquino1.jpg

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reflection On My 34th Birthday

Yesterday is my 34th Birthday (hmm, I am that old?).

.

My wife treated me to my first ever (maybe the last) facial treatment in my entire life. I loved the massage and scrubbing part but the pricking is really like hell, ouch!!!. I guess that's the price of wanting to be clean or the price of being vain, I guess?. The treatment lasted for an hour, an hour of squeezing and pricking. Whew that was close, another 10 minutes of it, I might end up dead (LOL).

.

It feels good after the treatment. Those elusive blackheads are gone. I've learned that the reasons behind these blackheads are the clogging of pores because of over activity of the sebaceous (the what?) glands and dead skin cells. This could be because of hormonal imbalance, poor sanitary, dietary habits, use of excessive or harmful cosmetic products, lack of apt water content in the body and many more.

.

Whatever...

.

What's the connection?

.

Well, I can't ask for anything more since the Lord supplies all my needs and granting all my prayers according to his will. In short, I'm satisfied with what is happening to me except recently, I am struggling in my ministry. It made me think if what I did in serving the Lord is enough but I guess it's not enough and it wont be enough even if I serve Him in my lifetime. I won't go into details anymore, painful as it is but I know after this I'll be a better person, I'll be more loving, I'll be more understanding and I'll be more obedient.

.

Yesterday is the Feast day of St. Martha and the Gospel is in Luke Chapter 10.

.

"You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her. - Luke 10:42

.

I got this reflection from http://www.wordgodspells.com/ by Eduardo “MomongRobillo,

.

"Every once in a while, we need to “sit at the feet of Jesus”, and allow His words in Scriptures to invigorate our soul. When we are “worried and upset about many things”, the soothing words of our Lord can lift our burdens (Mt.11:28-30), and lead us to green pastures (Ps. 23). It is our intimate relationship with Jesus that can put all our activities in proper perspective. Abiding by His Word is more important than any other responsibility. "

.

...And this is what I'm doing at this very moment, sit at the feet of Jesus...

.

Prayer:

.

In all the things we say and do Lead us to ‘choose the better part’,Grant us Lord the grace to serve You with Martha’s hands and Mary’s heart.

.

.

P.S.1: For those who greeted me yesterday, Thanks a lot, I appreciate it very much and for those who will still greet me after reading this blog, thank you also.

.

P.S. 2: To my wife, thank you for making my day special, you never fail to make me feel happy and loved.

.

.

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Psalm 47

This song was my entry in the Kerygma Songwriting Contest 2007 and the 3rd song I recorded in a studio (it cost me a lot). Inspired by Psalm 47, one of the many songs I wrote with lyrics based on the Book of Psalm. I was struggling to composed a song for this contest, and God gave me a song which I finished in just 10 minutes. God is amazing indeed.
.
The song didn't make it to the finals more so in the album but it's nothing compare with the joy of accomplishing what God want me to do.
.
Enjoy listening.
.
To God be the Glory
.
"I sing to you Lord a hymn of Love for Your faithfulness to me.."
.
.
Come everyone let's clap our hands for joy,
Shout to God with joyful song of praise.
For the Lord is an awesome God,
He is great, King of all Kings.
For the Lord is an awesome God,
He is great, King of all Kings.


CHORUS: .

Alleluia, God of Israel,
We exalt Your Name above all,
Alleluia, God of Abraham,
We give praise forevermore.
(Repeat)
(Repeat Stanza)
(Repeat Chorus)

.BRIDGE:
.
Alleluia (8x)

(Repeat CHORUS except last line)

.CODA:
.
We give praise forevermore. (3x)
.

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image and song/lyrics may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer/composer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

When God Seems Distant

This is my Reflection on Chapter 14 of the "Purpose Driven Life" by Ricky Warren"

"The Lord has hidden himself from his people, but I trust him and place my hope in him" - Isaiah 8:17, TEV

.

Rick Warren said "It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life - when he has provided food, friends, family, health and happy situation". Yes, It is so easy because we have all the good reasons to worship God but can we still do the same when we feel that the Lord seems distant?. There are many instances in my life that I felt that God seems so distant, I felt that I am alone.

.

Two years ago my wife had a miscarriage (see "We Lost Our Baby"), that was the loneliest time of my life. Literally, I was alone and it seems any flee from God is useless. I may be ruined, I may be in grief, but I never ask "Why?". I just surrender everything to God.

.

The Lord said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you", it is always true even if we don't feel his presence. The Lord has done many good things for me, and he is doing more.

.

Tragedies and trials is just part of growing in faith. At this time of my life, whenever I feel God's absence, I feel more His love, His embrace and His comfort. I'll be forever grateful for everything He has done for me... and I know God is watching over me every seconds of my life... I just have faith and trust that He will never leave me specially in times of need.

.

In less than 3 months my first child will be born.

.

It is still more difficult to be crucified than to undergo such tragedies and trials. -Anonymous

Monday, July 6, 2009

Me and My New Guitar

It's been more than a month since my wife bought this guitar (left photo) for me. Actually, this is not the one I was looking when we were in a music store. I intended to buy a cheaper classical guitar but my wife told me to choose the guitar I really like.
.
More than three (3) years ago, I wanted to buy this guitar after I retire my thirteen(13) year old guitar. It cost P27,000 then. It's quite expensive so I decided to delay buying it. I told to my self, "Someday, I will buy you".
.
Thanks to my wife, I now own this wonderful guitar, Applause (by Ovation) AE227-1. It cost P19,000 a year ago but we bought it at a discounted price of P7,900, whoa!, that's a blowout. It may not be the top of the line guitar but I really love my new guitar.
.
Why?, because its a gift from my wife. If its from my wife it must be good.
.
My wife knows how to make me feel loved in so many ways and this is just one of it. To date I already wrote 5 songs using this guitar, songs of praise and thanksgiving.
.
I wonder when and where I could play my guitar in one of my ministry services. I was serving in the music ministry as a guitarist for 3 years before I became one of the singers. Singing may not be my core gift but I just follow the Lord. If and when will he allow me to play again, it's up to Him. Everything is temporary just like my new guitar. It will soon lost its nice paint and beautiful sounds but the love of God will remain.
.
I am still praying if its time for me to move on and accept another challenge. Honestly?, I missed church celebration and it's sacred and beautiful music. I missed the solemnity of the celebration of the Holy Mass. In the meantime, while I am still waiting for my next assignment (or maybe same assignment) I will just composed more songs for the Lord (Liturgical and Praise Songs). Wherever He may lead me I will go.
.
To God Be The Glory
.
P.S.
.
This month I am celebrating my 5th year in serving in the music ministry and 14th year since I joined a parish choir in 1995..
.
.
.© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Skywalk Extreme Adventure

The country's first Skywalk Extreme Adventure is now gaining popularity since its opening last December 11, 2008 December 11, 2008. The hottest attraction in Cebu City is located on the 37th floor of Crown Regency Hotel & Towers. It will provide you the thrill and excitement as you walk around the edge of the building on a narrow platform. A harness is attached to keep you safe. The adventure will treat you with a 360 degrees view of the city.
.
It is more fun if you will try this with friends even if you have a fear of height (just like me). The walk will last for about 20 minutes and as you walk around the platform, your fear will turn into a smile.
.
For only P600 you will enjoy the walk with sumptuous buffet dinner awaiting you after the adventure. A photographer will take photo for you, so pose as much as you want since the price of the compilation CD is defending on the number of guest and not on the number of photos taken.
.
This adventure is not recommended for the fainted heart. Pregnant are also prohibited to try this activity(hmm, I wonder how my wife was able to try this activity, shhhh!)
.
Personally, I don't like the way they took the photo (see above photo) aside from the fact that it's too expensive (P230/person) but we don't have any choice but to take the CD and pay P2,070.
.
We all had fun at the Skywalk Extreme. It is good for a one time experience only (or maybe two if you want to try it in the afternoon and in the evening). I'll be back here and try it once more together with the edge coaster, a more thrilling and heart stopping ride.
.
Tips:
.
1. Wear sneakers or rubber shoes (with socks) since they won't accept closed leather shoes or slippers though they will provide shoes for you.
2. A locker is provided to store your things and valuable items like jewelry, watch, and others.
3. Do the Skywalk Adventure before your buffet dinner, I'm sure you know why.
4. Prepare an extra money for souvenirs.
5. Try this in the afternoon, they said it is more exciting than in the evening.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Burned Out?

As I was reflecting during lunchtime,...a song was written. I picked-up my boss' guitar and strummed it while my co-employees were sleeping and resting. In less that an hour the song was finished.

Sometimes I wonder if I really serve the Lord with all my heart. I've been serving Him for more than two decades, and half of it was spent in the music ministry. I've learned many things like reading music notations and learned to play the guitar. Today, I am still serving in the music ministry but I know I don't give my 100% to God.

Am I getting burned-out? I hope not...

May I give more glory to God each day through the songs I compose and to the ministry he gave me.

Prayer: Lord keep the fire burning in me, may I glorify You more each day through the gifts you gave me.


ALL I WANT IS YOU
Words and Music By: Ricardo Pascual 062609


God of mercy, God of glory
Take me, mold me
God unfailing, God all-knowing
Guide me, lead me

CHORUS:

I give You all that I am,
Take full control,
Use me, Oh Lord
I seek your love and Your grace
Draw me, Oh Lord
Closer to you
All I want is to love You, Lord
All I want it to serve you more.

(Repeat all)

Interlude:

BRIDGE:

All I want is you
All I need is your love.
(Repeat 8x)

(Repeat Chorus 2x)

CODA:

All I want is to love you Lord
All I want is to serve you more
All I want is to love you Lord
All I want is to serve you more.


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's Father's Day Today

A friend sent me a Father's Day message. I know why she greeted me that way but I still asked her why.
.
Friend: Advanced Happy Father's Day
Me: Why "advanced", Today is Father's Day?
Friend: Hindi pa lumalabas baby n'yo (Your baby is not born yet.)

She's right,my wife will give birth to our first child late October 2009 but frankly, It feels good to be greeted "Happy Father's Day" for the first time.

Here's another one:

"Bro, day-off natin ngayon ha?, It's our special day, wala munang laba at plantsa (don't do the laundry and ironing of cloths)... he he he, Happy Father's Day"
.
Here's one more which really made me laugh:

Happy Father's day sa pinaka-mabait, pinaka-pogi, pinaka-loyal at walang kabisyo-bisyong tatay- pagbati mula sa napakasinungaling ding tatay (Happy Father's Day to the kindest, handsomest, most loyal and without vices father - a greetings from the most liar father)

But the most touching and inspiring message I got is from my child (since my child is not yet born, my wife wrote the message in Gabby's behalf) and my wife gave me a gift (yahoo!!)
.
Dear Daddy Ricky...
.
Happy Happy Father's Day!, thank you for taking good care of me while I'm on mommy's tummy (womb). I know you will be a good Dad coz I see how you love my mommy and how you pamper her. Looking forward of feeling your embrace and kiss. By the way, thanks for praying for me every night. Hope to hear you sing for me.
.
Love You!!!
.
Gabby
.
...And it made my day complete.
.
Here's a prayer for all the Fathers in the world:
.
May our labor bring not only favor, success and prosperity but great fulfillment. May God continue to bless us with an encouraging family which makes us more valuable with each passing day.
.
Happy Father's Day to us all.
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sagbayan Peak

Sagbayan Peak Resort is a mountain-top resort and recreation center located in Sagbayan, Bohol about 10 kilometers away fr0m Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, Bohol.

The resort is nestled on a five hectare mountain-top and is more spacious and less crowded compared with the Chocolate Hills Complex. Though it is not the Chocolate Hills' main area, you can still view similar hill formations.

Its main attraction is the observation platform which offers a 360-degree view of the famous Chocolate Hills plus the sea which separates Cebu and Bohol. One can view the Cebu City skyline across the sea with a high-powered telescope found on the pavilion’s deck. (insert P10 coin and enjoy viewing for 2 minutes)

There are other attractions and facilities which equally gives enjoyment and excitement to the visitors. They have restaurant, picnic grounds, playground, a butterfly dome with numerous butterflies species, chapel, cafe and Tarsier sanctuary.

There are also numerous cartoon characters scattered around the resort such as Duffy Duck, Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, Bugs Bunny, Lola, Marilyn Monroe, Donald Duck, Lion King and other dinosaurs which will surely excites not just the young ones but also the young at heart. Don't forget to have a post with the 19-foot T-rex found inside the resort, relax it wont bite.

There is a market near the playground which offers native products and delicacies for your pasalubong.

After the tiring but enjoyable exploration of Sagbayan Peak, one can take a short dip in the swimming pool of the Water Park: The new addition to the many facilities of the resort. For only P80, visitors can enjoy the water in the pool.
.
Sagbayan peak is obviously a one stop resort where you can meditate, enjoy nature, burn calories, eat, play with your kids, take a snap shot and take a dip in the water in just one day.
.
One last note: I'm note sure if the "Tarsier Sanctuary" is still there since an ordinance was passed which limits tarsier viewing within Corella, Bohol: the only place in Bohol declared as a sanctuary by the DENR.

For Bookings and Reservation:
Bohol Office:
Sagbayan Peak, Sagbayan, Bohol, 6331
Tel./Fax: +63 (38) 511-9167
Cellphone: 0921-3230866


Manila Office:
Unit 501 Park Trade Centre Building
1716 Investment Drive, Madrigal Bussiness Par,
Alabang, Muntinlupa City, 1780
Telephone: +63 (2) 842-7812
Fax: +63 (2) 807-6111
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Dad...My Idol...My Hero

I thank my dad (and mom too) for raising me up to be a good person and to be a person of good values. I thank him for the memories and good times we've shared. I missed those days...

Let me share with you how dad filled my life with love and how he taught me lessons which I will never learn from the four corners of the classroom:

My dad had a bike, a traditional bike with a basket in front of it. When I was young, I always look forward in riding on his bike and go to Loyola. We just roamed around the memorial park. What else could we do? Beside there was nothing but tombs and trees, but the experienced was great and fun. Usually, during holy week, we followed all the processions in our town, just to watched the procession again and again. There were many good memories made because of my dad's B-tek... B-tekleta, that was the reason why it's so difficult for me to gave it away, I even wanted to fixed and restore it.

Dad used to make scaled model vehicles, with scrap woods as his medium, trucks, jeep etc. Dad didn't even finished elementary but his skills and knowledge is so admirable. He knew how to fix almost everything, he was a carpenter, a shoe maker, etc. and etc. His secret?,..He had passion in everything he did. He had passion in learning new things.

Dad is not perfect. He had his shares of shortcomings, kept secrets from my mom, nagged us all his children, but honestly, he was always right. We were just too stubborn to do what we were told, clean the house, study hard, don't fight with each other, respect one another, etc. And the secrets he kept from us? A bunch of loans for our studies, we don't even knew then that the money we used for our tuition came from loans, (5-6). The 6 figure dept was paid with the money we got from his retirement after he suffered from stroke.

The sickness he had never stopped him from loving us. In fact, he always waited for me to arrive home, then we will watched movie together even in the wee hours of the morning. It was our routine for a long time until he died when I was 3rd year in college.

I missed those days, maybe if he was still alive we were serving the Lord together along with my mom and my siblings, see me graduated from college, celebrated milestones in my life: like passing the board exams (Jr. G.E. And C.E. Board), winning a songwriting contest and marrying the love of my life.

He served God with all his heart, mind and soul. He was always ready to serve without asking anything. He had the initiative to do things even if it was not his job. He was a man of action, a faithful and loving husband, a good example, a good father and a true servant of God.

When he suffered from stroke, his ability to speak was affected but no words could matched everything he had taught me through his actions.

It was hard for me to accept that dad is gone. I still remember those good memories, I smiled whenever I do. It took me 6 long years before I accepted that "Tatay" is gone. That I would never ever feel his warm embrace. But one thing is for sure, his memories and lessons he gave me will always be in my heart and mind.
.
In 4 months time I will become a father too and those values I've learned from him I will surely imitate. I will surely passed it on to my children.

Thank you Dad for all the memories we've shared, for all the love and values you gave, for being faithful to mom and for loving us all your children. You will always be my idol...my hero...
.
.
Happy Father's Day to us all!!
.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Loboc Church

The San Pedro Church or Loboc Church as it is popularly known today is found in the town of Loboc in Bohol. It is the second oldest church in Bohol (2nd only to Baclayon Chruch. It was originally built in 1602. During that time, Loboc became well known as a pilgrimage site because the saintly priest Alonso de Humanes was buried in the church. The church was destroyed by fire and a newer and bigger church was built and completed in 1734. Because of its proximity to the river, the church was hit by several floods.
.
Loboc became the center of the Jesuit missions but were expelled from the Philippines. The Recollects succeeded Jesuits in their ministry to Loboc in 1768.
.
Inside you will admire numerous painting on the ceiling. A pipe organ is still found inside the church which was installed by the Recollects in 1820.
.
A hexagonal bell tower is located about a 100 meters away from the church besides an unfinished bridge. The construction were stopped since it will directly hit the 400 year-old church. I wonder why the project was started in the first place. This project is just a waste of taxpayers' money.
.
At the back of of the church is a three-storey structure which served as the convent of the church and is now converted into a small museum were you can find old musical instruments and other memorabilia which show the history of Loboc. The church and whole town of Loboc become more popular when Loboc Children's Choir keep on winning international competitions around the globe. The group sings during the Sunday Masses.
.
.
Other interest in Loboc:
.
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.

Blood Compact

The Blood Compact Shrine was built in honor of the treaty of friendship between Spanish Commander Gen. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Boholano warrior Datu Sikatuna. The sculpture is a creation of no other than our National Artist, Napoleon Abueva, a Boholano himself.

There is confusion whether the blood compact took place in March 16 1565 or March 25, 1565 due to the Gregorian calendar reform in 1584. A few years back, another confusion arises when Loaynons had been clamoring for the correct historical site and exact date of the 1st International treaty of Friendship.

After thorough investigation and gathering of historical facts, it was concluded by the National Historical Institute (NHI) that the “Blood Compact” took place on board the flagship San Pedro which was anchored off the waters of Laoy, Bohol on March 25, 1565 making the Shrine in Bool, Bohol an approximate site of the treaty. In July 21 , 2005 thru NHI Resolution No. 04, series of 2005 , officially declared the exact location & date of the Bohol Blood Compact.

Anyway, whether the Shrine found in Bool is the exact location or not it is still worth your visit, besides the fact that it was created by a national artist, the view of the sea is very much relaxing after a very tiring tour around Bohol. Usually the shrine is the last stop before travellers retire. There are stores besides the shrine were you could buy native products and pasalubong.

Note: Photo of the shrine was taken using P/S Canon A540 when we visited Bohol in 2006
.
.
How to Get There

The shrine is just a short tricycle ride from Tagbilaran City. Buses or vans are available from the Dao Terminal. It is located along Carlos P. Garcia circumferential road where many transportation are available.
.

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Loboc Children's Choir

The main reason why we went to the little town of Loboc is to see and hear the Loboc Children's Choir (LCC) singing. I am a big fan of choral groups especially of those with spiritual foundation and Loboc Children's Choir is one of them. I first heard about the group when they bagged the Gold Medal (First Prize) of the Youth Category in the 6th International Folk Songs Festival "Europe and Its Songs" held in Barcelona, Spain. Aside from this, they also bested the other 12 choirs from all over the world and was awarded the Festival Cup or the Grand Prize for garnering the highest point average of 97.5.
.
They were given the heroes welcome but sadly many (media and ordinary people) didn't bother to give time in welcoming them. It was really frustrating to see that my fellow Filipino neglected the honor these children gave to our country but rather they wasted their time to a singer who joined in a talent search in America, she didn't even win the contest more so she doesn't have an exceptionally beautiful voice, not even at par with our local singers.
.
Anyway, my wife and I attended the 8 o'clock Mass (local dialect) in Loboc Church. After the Mass, we were looking for the LCC and have a photo opportunities and maybe hear them singing. I was surprise that the choir who sung in the Mass was actually the LCC (if we already knew it). They were all grown up so we didn't recognize them. We missed the opportunity to see them face to face.
.
We bought their 1st album "And A Child’s Heart Sings". The album includes famous songs like "Leron, Leron Sinta" and "Sa Ugoy ng Duyan". It has a total of 19 tracks which includes liturgical songs, famous Filipino folk songs and other popular contemporary songs. They recently launch another album entitled "River of Songs".
.
The Loboc Music Tradition started way back in 16th century. Everything is preserved in Loboc Museum. So I am not surprise that the LCC has a beautiful and angelic voice. LCC's Conductor and Musical Director is Ms. Alma Fernando-Taldo
.
.
For your orders of their albums, you may email at lobocchildrenschoir@yahoo.com
.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Loboc's Floating Restaurant

Loboc is known for its floating restaurant where you can eat buffet lunch while enjoying cruising the scenic jade-green (mud-brown when raining) river and the lush green landscape. A live band will entertain cruisers performing any type of music, from jazz to blues, pop to rock, name it and they have it. Ask the staff if what type of music will be played in a particular boat if you have a preferred type of music.
.
These floating restaurants consists of two large outriggered banka-hulls, over which a large wooden platform is placed and cruises along the Loboc River, it can accommodate up to 50 persons. The cruise is somehow slow since it moves against the current. In certain points of the cruise, there are some kids and adult alike doing their daring stunts like swinging in a rope or jump in the river from a large coconut tree. These kids will ask for money for their brief show.
.
When the floating restaurant approaches Busay falls, it will stop briefly before turning back (the boat cannot go beyond Busay Falls) to let the cruisers watch and listen to some local rondalla group playing native songs. The falls is about one and a half meters. Locals usually take a dip and enjoy bathing under the falls. Guests are welcome to take a dip too. The return trip is little faster.

.
One setback though is the food being serve. My wife and I were not impressed with the food since it is quite ordinary. They serve grilled seafood, grilled chicken and lumpiang shanghai among others. We were hoping to taste some of Bohol's delicacies. Well, that was 3 years ago but I had no chance of finding out if the food choices improves since we did not take the cruise when we get there last month. Anyway the floating restaurant is still worth trying for first timers.
.
Here's a short clip of Loboc River taken in October 2006 :

.

video

.

Loboc River Cruise: P300, includes buffet lunch and 45 minutes cruise along Loboc River


More in Loboc:

Loboc Children's Choir
Loboc Church and Museum
Unfinished Bridge

.

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image/video may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos/video were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer/videographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tagbilaran Seaport

The port of Tagbilaran is the city’s main seaport and is located on the northern edge of the city. The port attends up to 5,000 passengers daily coming from Cebu City and other regular ferries coming from Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Dumaguete among others.
.
Tagbilaran Seaport is very clean and spacious and is well-maintained. Not to mention the clean sea waters along of the port.
.
I've never seen such a clear water in other piers in the the country, well at least for now. I was appalled that even if there are vessels coming in and out everyday, they still maintain its cleanliness and beauty.
.
I've seen small boats looming around the port's water, waiting for passengers to throw lose coins for them. They will dive for it even if it falls under the water.
.
Try this alternative route going to Bohol. It's safe and fast and you will see with your own eyes the clear and clean sea in the port.
.
Fast craft is the best mode of transportation from Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol and vise versa. There are three shipping companies who provides the services namely Supercat, Ocean Jet and Weesam Express. For booking and reservation just click the links found below.
.
.
For Booking and Details:
Tel. Nos: +63 2 528-7000, +63 2 404-3411
ATSC Tagbilaran, Pooc Pantalan,Poblacion 1, Tagbilaran City
+63 38 501-8380
Tel. Nos:(032) 232-5361 to 80

Trans-Asia Shipping Lines
Tel. Nos: +63 32 2546491 to 95
Fax No. : +63 32 255-7899
Tagbilaran Shipping Agency51 Palma Street, Tagbilaran City
Tel. Nos: +63 32 23272111
Tagbilaran Tel. No. : +63 38 4113874 / 4115242
Cebu Address: 46 D. Jakosalem Street, Cebu City
Tel.No.: +63 32 71220 / 75941 / 2532262
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Baclayon Church

The Our Lady of Immaculate Conception which is more popularly called Baclayon Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
.
Baclayon became a parish in 1717 and construction of a new church commenced. The present structure was completed in 1727.
.
The church obtained a large bell in 1835. There is a dungeon which was used during the Spanish era to punish natives who violated the rules of the Roman Catholic church.
.
The interiors and exterior of the church have preserved several relics and artifacts which can be traced to the early 16th century. Fr. Juan de Torres and Fr. Gabriel Sanchez were the first missionaries in the region and founder of the Baclayon Church.
.
Beside the church is a small museum where you can find old relics and artifacts of the church, including books and hymnals, gold and silver church furnishings and trinkets as well as the paintings of Liberato Gatchalian. Picture taking is not allowed inside the museum due to the many incidents of theft.
.
The church is about is about 6 km east of Tagbilaran. There are several options to get there: You can ride a bus or jeepney in Tagbilaran, going into the direction of Baclayon or you may also hire a tricycle willing to bring you there and wait or better yet, hire a van to bring you to the different tourist destination aside from Baclayon Church.
.
.
More of Bohol here:
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tigbao Hanging Bridge

Another tourist destination in Bohol is the Tigbao Hanging Bridge (Sipatan Hanging Bridge) which crosses the Sipatan River and connects the village on the other sides. The bridge is made from the combination of steel cable and bamboo materials. It is approximately 40 meters long and 20 meters above sea level.
.
Its main purpose is actually for the use of the locals of the municipality but it becomes an attraction to tourist because of its characteristics . It sways and bounces as you crosses the bridge going to the other end.
.
I remember when I was in the middle of the bridge, my wife suddenly runs towards me and the bridge really swayed,.. a lot and it was really very scary.
.
As of February 2009, a P10.00 fee is collected before you can cross the bridge and discover what awaits on the other side of the bridge. The fee will be use for the development of the bridge's entrance. Three (3) years ago, a man who who is called Buko King was stationed besides the hanging bridge but he was not there when we went there a couple of weeks ago. Since we did not cross the street I just found out that Buko King is now stationed at the other end of the bridge.
.

.

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Man-Made Forest in Bohol

In the 1960's, during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal, a nationwide reforestation program was launched by the government. In Bohol it was spearheaded by then governor Lino Chatto. Thousands of Mahogany seedlings were planted on a cleared area of 857.4 hectares in Bilar and Loboc towns.
.
The forest can be seen as you take the road going to Carmen, Bohol (site of the famous Chocolate Hills). When you approaches the forest, one will feel the change in temperature, especially during summer or hot season. It is hot outside the forested area, but refreshing (you can feel the cool breeze) inside the forest area.
.
The Loboc-Bilar man-made forest plays host to many visitors, locals and foreigners alike who take time to view it from the road and take pictures. The Metro Manila filmmakers often use the forest as a backdrop for some of their action films. In fact, our girl friends even imagined the scene in the "Twilight" film as we were doing our respective post, hmmm.
.
A side-trip to the forest is refreshing aside from being a perfect backdrop for your photo opportunity.
.

Here's a video of the "Man-made Forest" when we visited Bohol three (3) years ago:

.

video

.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Chocolate Hills in Bohol

The Chocolate Hills is one of the famous tourist attraction in Bohol. The hills are estimated around 1,268 hills. The hills are covered with grass that turns chocolate brown during dry season, hence the name was derived from this color.
.
There are a number of legends regarding the formation of the hills, one legend tells us that the hills came into existence when two feuding giants threw stones, boulders and sand at each other that lasted for days. When they finally became exhausted, they became friends and left the island but forgot to clean the mess they made.
.
However, up to this day, geologists have not yet reached consensus on how they where really formed. The most widely accepted theory is that it was formed ages ago by the uplift of coral deposits and the action of rain water and erosion. The same statement is written in a bronze plaque found in the observation deck of Chocolate Hills Complex.
.
Chocolate Hills Complex is located in Carmen Bohol, about 34 miles from Tagbilaran City. The complex is a government-owned complex and the original viewing station of the Chocolate Hills. It has a restaurant and hostels and the observation or viewing deck which is about 210 feet above the ground. There are 210 steps leading to the viewing deck were you can view the landscape which is covered by a thousand of hills.
.
The other viewing station is at Sagbayan Peak in the town of Sagbayan . It is only 11 miles away from Chocolate Hills Complex. Sagbayan Peak is a mountain-top resort and recreational center.
.
.
Entrance Fee:
.
Chocolate Hills Complex - P50 per person (as of 2008)
Sagbayan Peak - P20 per person (as of 2006)
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bohol Beach Resorts, a Paradise

Bohol Beach Resorts is nestled in the paradise of Panglao Island in Bohol. It has a long stretch of fine and white sandy beach, a perfect haven for beach lovers and diving enthusiast.
.
My wife and I went here in 2006 and stayed in Dumaluan resort, one of the resort which offers cheaper accommodation rates. The resort is too crowdy unlike the first time we went here, were we felt that we own the island (tip: you will enjoy more during weekdays or off-peek season).
.
Thanks to the nearby resort, the Bohol Beach Club we were able to enjoy the beach even more. Actually, you can stroll and swim in front of Bohol Beach Club without even spending a single centavo but If you wish to see and enjoy the facilities of this resort, you need to pay P250 which includes entrance fee and P150 consumable.
.
We stayed at Amihan Wing were we eat our lunch at Taclobo restaurant. We haven't got a chance to really explore the place though the resort boast of 3 swimming pools and other facilities such as function rooms, accommodations and sports facilities.
.
Bohol Beach Club is surrounded with palm trees which added to the already beautiful and adorable place. A picture perfect place indeed.
.
There are still a lot of resorts to explore in Panglao, a good reason for me to return here in the near future.
.
Believe me its better than Boracay even without the night life.
.
.
.
For Reservation and Inquiry:
.
.
.
See Also:
.
Virgin Island
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Philippine Tarsier in Bohol

The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), is one of the smallest known primates (the classification of tarsier as to what family it really belong somewhat problematic), no larger than the hands of an adult man. The Philippine tarsier is mostly active at night (nocturnal) and eats insects such as crickets. Aside from Bohol, it can also be found in the islands of Samar, Leyte and in Mindanao. It is endemic in the Philippines.
.
Although it is a protected species and the practice of catching and selling them to tourists has stopped, the species is still threatened by the destruction of its natural forest habitat. They are becoming endangered because they are being kept in captivity and died earlier than their original death date. Tarsiers are “very fragile and suicidal once stressed out” from excessive noise and being repeatedly touched by people. If no action is taken, these species will soon be added to the list of extinct species. To date the Philippine Tarsier is critically endangered (means that its numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations)
.
The Philippine Tarsier Foundation Inc. was mandated by the Department of Natural Resources(DENR) in their 1997 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to implement the Philippine Tarsier Conservation Program. The foundation is successful in breeding the tarsier in captivity but the effort is far from over in one way or another we could help in conserving and saving the tarsier population into extinction.
.
Recently, in the effort to protect Bohol's tarsier, The Provincial Council of Bohol passed an ordinance which limits tarsier viewing within Corella, Bohol: the only place in Bohol declared as a sanctuary by the DENR (see related article).
.
As of this date the moved to closed down the Tarsier Sanctuary in Loboc and Loay is not yet implemented. We were there last weekend and the situation is still the same, the tourists who flock here doesn't care much, even if they were told not to touch and use flash photography, many people are still not following the simplest instructions. Yes, they are really adorable but this practice shouldn't be continued. It is high time to implement the ordinance even if it will mean hurting the tourism in Loboc and Loay.
.
I am glad to see the tarsier in the flesh for the 2nd time (the last time was in 2006, and I made a terrible mistake, I forgot to turn off my camera's flash) and I hope to see them again in the near future and I hope that the future generations will still see these adorable creatures alive and not just in photographs and websites.
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.
.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Balicasag Marine Sanctuary

Aside from dolphin watching, snorkeling is one of the main attraction in Bohol specially in Balicasag Island.
.
Balicasag Marine Sanctuary is a 45 minutes to an hour of boat ride from Bohol Beach Club n Panglao Island. It is a government run sanctuary.
.
Here, you will find a 400 meter Marine Sanctuary of corals with different kinds of fishes, characterized by a vertical walls over deep waters. The fishes sometimes bites but friendly, it seems that they are attune to the visitors who flock here regularly. Even in the shallow waters, school of fish (jack fish) can be seen here and other popular fishes such as Nemo and Dori ("Finding Nemo").
.
If you really want to enjoy the marine life in Balicasag, try SCUBA diving, there are a lot of diving spots in Balicasag such as the Black Forrest, Rudy's Rock, Rico's Wall, Cathedral and Diver's Heaven (I don't know where the names were originated). I was able to ask for the rate of diving lesson for beginner, it's around P2,800 for 30 minutes of lesson which includes diving gear. If I already gained all the confidence underwater I will definitely try diving, hopefully in 2 years time
.
Some of the corals were destroyed by the rampant and destructive fishing such as dynamite fishing in the early 80's. In response to this, the whole island had been designated as a marine sanctuary to ensure protection of the corals and marine life around the island.
.
Snorkeling in Balicasag will cost you P1,800 for boat rental and P150 per person as fee to the Sanctuary. There are also snorkels, mask and wet shoes for rent which cost you P250-P300 per set. Better invest on these things because in the long run it will saved you more money. Buying snorkeling gear will cost you around P2,000 and wet shoes is around P250 (local brand).
.
Don't forget to bring your underwater camera (mine is Olympus MJU 1030) or buy a waterproof camera casing for a more enjoyable trip and snorkeling to Balicasag Marine Sanctuary.
.
.
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
.
 

Lilypie First Birthday tickers