took this video using my phone only ūüôā

Video  —  Posted: June 21, 2013 in My PHILIPPINES
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After¬†what it feels like a forever grueling climb, we finally made it to the playground of the Gods. I can’t fully explain the feeling of being able to see the world below while on top of the summit. It was so surreal enjoying nature at its rawest form even if the physical pain is slowly migrating to the different parts of my body.¬†

Started the trail early morning then descended the summit reaching back the ranger station past nine in the evening. Anyone with a good level of fitness and the willpower to push through the tiring, discomfort and extreme cold can climb to the summit of Pulag. This mountain offers a wide variety of flora and fauna (my favorite are the dwarf bamboos) plus a spectacular show of colors- orange, crimson red and yellows, velvet blue then ink black sky with glittering stars at night. The wondrous spectacle of clouds cascading like falls was purely breathtaking. I just watched in awe the views every moving minute. After 6 hours bus ride then another 6 hours jeepney ride (literally sitting on the roof of the jeepney then slept on¬†the floor inside after) then 2 hours to DENR for briefing another 2 hours to the Ranger station added the ten hours climb up to the 2,922 meters above sea level of 2 degrees summit, I can definitely say climbing Pulag was no piece of cake but the views are stunning like paintings. Seems like the rendering powers of Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau and Paul Cezzane have joined forces in the horizon. ¬†I felt the presence of God strongly while watching the unbelievable scenery unfolding before my eyes. It was a good avenue for indulging in introspection. I jubilantly cheered on my inner faith that my body could do things beyond the regular limits. ¬†I have developed an insatiable appetite for climbing more mountains now. After all, it’s not bad to seek a higher playground right? ūüôā

2

312412_10151254167357939_855803280_n

Image

150940_10151255592057939_110335383_n

aaaaaa

2

3

11

Image

24449_10151254167412939_1195985263_n

Image

421612_10151254168222939_1583491999_n (1)

553057_10151255075152939_379116675_n

1

Image

Image

Image

Image

149309_10151254168702939_1073460980_n

154123_10151254168662939_776113982_n

45557_10151255986552939_1423801886_n

558309_10151256873657939_1757618762_n

BeFunky_Untitled1

424493_10151255075447939_888729181_n

DSC_1727_2

BeFunky_530851_10151702417403677_998304330_n

Kicker: Roaming the world with just a backpack is not for the faint of heart. This blogger ticks off Mongolia from her bucket list, but not without a scratch such as losing her Ipad in the hustle. Still, she brings home in photos, the smell and taste of her latest discovery.

 Image

The stories about Genghis Khan, leader of the great Empire of the Mongols which is the largest conterminous in the history occupying some parts of China and Central Asia,ignited my dream of visiting Mongolia.

 

Image

The dehydrating overnight trip from Beijing to Hohhot will give you the time to really absorb the signature hospitality of the Mongolians inside the train, and in the morning,the mountainous terrain will greet you with its disarming views of beautiful landscapes where the grassland seems to kiss the sky.

 

Image

Upon arrival in Hohhot, another 3-hour exhausting bus ride took us to the grasslands. Hohhot is developing rapidly; the mushrooming establishments and top of the line cars on the streets are living proof to that.

 

Image

Spending a day with a nomadic family in a single room yurt or ‚Äúger‚ÄĚ, with neither a bathroom nor running water,was memorable. We watched theirsheep and horses appear like migrants from the horizon and we ate the Mongolian staple food from the fermented milk. Horses are a big help to their daily livelihood and are known as a cheap thrill for frugal travelers.

 

Image

Image

Even with the language barrier, the Mongols’ universal gestures, especially theirgenuine smiles hit me in rigid points I never knew existed. I sought a profound love for animals, living outside of my comfort zone and serenity.  I strongly admire the visibility of their allegiance to their spiritual creed both the Shamanistic and Buddhism elements even in the prairies, which is not so often visible in this modern world.

 

Image

I ate the legendary Mongolian Barbecue before catching my flight back to Beijing.  The barbecue was extremely good and tasty, and the sumptuous flavorful meat was perfect to cap off this trip. I was smiling throughout the long trip back home.

 

 

Image

New Talking Dictionaries

The Enduring Voices team is pleased to announce the launch of Talking Dictionaries, giving listeners around the world a chance to hear some of the most little-known sounds of human speech. 

Several communities are now offering the online record of their language to be shared by any interested person around the world. While you probably won’t walk away from these Talking Dictionaries knowing how to speak a new language, you will encounter fascinating and beautiful sounds–forms of human speech you’ve never heard before–and through them, get a further glimpse into the rich diversity of culture and experience that humans have created in every part of the globe.¬†

Losing Our World’s Languages

Every 14 days a language dies. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth‚ÄĒmany of them not yet recorded‚ÄĒmay disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and the human brain.¬†

National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project (conducted in collaboration with the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages) strives to preserve endangered languages by identifying language hotspots‚ÄĒthe places on our planet with the most unique, poorly understood, or threatened indigenous languages‚ÄĒand documenting the languages and cultures within them.¬†

Why Is It Important?

Language defines a culture, through the people who speak it and what it allows speakers to say. Words that describe a particular cultural practice or idea may not translate precisely into another language. Many endangered languages have rich oral cultures with stories, songs, and histories passed on to younger generations, but no written forms. With the extinction of a language, an entire culture is lost. 

Much of what humans know about nature is encoded only in oral languages. Indigenous groups that have interacted closely with the natural world for thousands of years often have profound insights into local lands, plants, animals, and ecosystems‚ÄĒmany still undocumented by science. Studying indigenous languages therefore benefits environmental understanding and conservation efforts.¬†

Studying various languages also increases our understanding of how humans communicate and store knowledge. Every time a language dies, we lose part of the picture of what our brains can do. 

Why Do Languages Die Out?

Throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct. This occurs through official language policies or through the allure that the high prestige of speaking an imperial language can bring. These trends explain, for instance, why more language diversity exists in Bolivia than on the entire European continent, which has a long history of large states and imperial powers. 

As big languages spread, children whose parents speak a small language often grow up learning the dominant language. Depending on attitudes toward the ancestral language, those children or their children may never learn the smaller language, or they may forget it as it falls out of use. This has occurred throughout human history, but the rate of language disappearance has accelerated dramatically in recent years.

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/enduring-voices/

Boasting the largest mangrove forest reserves in Mindanao, Siargao is more than your surfing destination. A tear-drop shaped island, it has perfect reefs for picking up any swell creating clean fast waves. What is more alluring to this paradise are the virgin beaches and the Bucas Grande Island featuring some mystical coves, clear lagoons,  lakes, limestone mountain and of course a haven of harmless jelly fishes.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

In definition, Photography immortalize¬†and capture any memorable place, person and a particular moment in our lives. However, the most powerful images comes from those who travel since it carries a strong visual communication in motion, colors and composition. ¬†Since the advent of ¬†emerging camera brands and the convenience of travel, it’s quite difficult to pick favorites in travel category.¬†¬†Here’s my top three favorites as of press time.

1. PORAS CHAUDRY (http://poraschaudhary.photoshelter.com/)

His photos are visually striking, extremely rich in colors and composition.  He is also taking pictures for a particular advocacy and is currently doing the effects of global warming in Africa. I like the fact that this self taught photographer take pictures for greater purpose.

poras.chaudhary@gmail.com

2. STEVE MCCURRY (www.stevemccurry.com)

Hands down to his breathtaking photographs.  On a skill level rate, I must say this guy is incomparable.  His most recognized portrait was the Afghan Girl.  I will never get tired visiting his site everyday, my appropriate itching to travel treatment.

“Most of my photos are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person.”

3.  JAMES NACHTWEY  (www.jamesnachtwey.com)

The images you see in Nachtwey’s photography conveys a profound and precise story. ¬†From a mourning family member killed by a Taliban¬†rocket to a tuberculosis ward in Zimbabwe¬†, this leica user perfectly showcased a humanistic approach to photography. ¬†He received so many honorable awards for his works including Martin Luther King¬†award.

“Every situation is different than the next. A lot of it was instinct, a lot of it is knowledge and absorbing information and coming to some sort of innate understanding of events. “

** What is the best journey you‚Äôve ever had? And who are your favorite travel photographers? Make me happy and share it. ūüôā

This is my country and if you are not happy and satisfied with one island, worry not because there’s still 7,106 remaining islands to choose for an endless venture. ¬†Of course I sound bias if I go on selling my country like pancakes here so let my photos speak for my belief that ¬†we truly have more than the usual here. ¬†

I love my country and honestly, I would gladly and honorably die defending this land. ¬†But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to give my last breath in the name.. say Africa, Argentina, Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, Peru, Japan or Morocco in conjunction with my desire to see some more of the usual in this world. ¬†So if ever you have posts about those countries I mentioned, let me devour my time reading it. ¬†Share.

(Shot from Leica and Canon, these are from my 2011 travels around the Philippines)

 

MORE THAN THE USUAL SMILE (Bacolod City, Negros)

MORE THAN THE USUAL POSTCARD VIEW (Mayon Volcano in Bicol Province)

MORE THAN THE USUAL SPA (Hamilo Coast, Pico Del Loro)

 

MORE THAN THE USUAL BEDROOM  (Misibis Bay, Albay)

 

MORE THAN USUAL LIVING ROOM (Zulueta’s Residence, Tagaytay City)

 

MORE THAN THE USUAL NIGHT LIFE ¬†(Keisha’s Ballet Recital at Resort’s World Manila)

 

MORE THAN THE USUAL BALCONY VIEW (Elizabeth Condo, Makati City)

 

MORE THAN THE USUAL MORNINGS (Surfing in Siargao Island, Surigao Province)

MORE THAN THE USUAL BARKADA SHOT (River Rafting in Cagayan De Oro City with my friends)

MORE THAN THE USUAL “I DO” SPOT (Lake Casecnan, Nueva Ecija)

MORE THAN THE USUAL WORK BREAKS ( Surfing Buddies in Siargao Island)

 

In Thailand, life is not black and white.  Everything is boosting contrast and colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am forever in awe with the concrete and abstract art form of The Taj Mahal.  A structure rich in visual elements of size and proportion, flawlessly made of  marble,  visible calligraphy made from gems,  design of flowers in the area as it is glowing across the Jamuna river,  Taj Mahal is the kind of beauty that will never be surpassed.

(In the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, IndiaTaj Mahal was built by  Muslim Emperor Shah Jahan over a period of 22 years and employing 20,000 workers.)

My compulsory souvenir shot at the entrance of the Taj. ¬† ūüôā

From Jaipur City, Taj Mahal is approximately 7 hours by train. If you are coming from New Delhi, it is 3 hours away by fast train. Currently the airport in Agra where the Taj Mahal is located is still under renovation.  Entrance fee is around 700 Rupees for foreigners, 30 Rupees for the locals. If you are in Agra, do not miss the visiting the Agra fort too just few minutes from the Taj Mahal.

“This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.”

          Rudyard Kipling, Letters from the East (1898)

‚ÄúIt is not power that corrupts but fear.‚ÄĚ ¬†(Aung San Suu Kyi)