Done it + Seen it

Help send me to Photography Class!

I am doing something I don’t think I’ve ever done anything before. I am asking for donations.

But it isn’t for any cause or charity. It is something that will benefit me, and well, you too. Wouldn’t you like to see me post even better photos?

Well the gang at JessicaSprague.Com is celebrating their second anniversary in DigiLand.  And one of the surprises announced today is a special summer offering of one of their online classes that I’d been anticipating:Candice Stringham’s Oh Shoot! Beginning Digital SLR Photography class.  I’ve wanted to sign up for this class since I saw it on their store, but I just couldn’t justify the costs. But now… I really really want this.  There are other classes available here that I can physically attend, and would cost a little less (though with transpo and food expense, maybe it will cost more after all). But if you read her class description, you’d understand why I want to sign up.

The thing is, the registration will open in a few days and I only have about 70 USD in my Paypal account, and the class costs 126 USD. So what I’m asking is — could you help me make up the difference? Please? I don’t know if anyone will actually donate, but it wouldn’t hurt me to try would it? Click on the button to donate! 🙂 And don’t forget to leave a note so I can thank you properly 🙂

*The Paypal website seems to be having problems. If so and the button above doesn’t work, please try to send your donations to verabear (at) Thanks again!

Ohhh… I almost forgot about posting pictures! I decided to join in for a picture meme called You Capture:


This week’s theme is SUMMER.

It’s my favorite time of year.

First off – our beach side photo from Baler. My niece Hannah snapped this for us at around 8 in the morning.


Later that morning, we hopped on a tricycle, just the boyfriend and I and we were taken to this wonderful place. The water was so cold! A welcome respite to the heat of summer.  This is about 45 minutes away from the beach.


This boy was with us in the trip. He’s the son of one of my childhood friends! Isn’t he cute? He loved swimming in the kiddie pool at the resort!

BALER MAY09 - 24

Summers are the perfect reason for team outings. And what are summers if not for goofing around?

GRID boys 4

The boyfriend and my nephew Esban are perfect companions for outings like this!


Every summer we realize how fearless E becomes when in the water. Because he knows how to swim now, he wasn’t afraid of tackling the slide! Alfred was waiting to catch him of course. Hehe


And here’s one more photo from Summer of 2009:


Happy birthday Ma! (today’s her birthday!)

Go visit the other participants to You Capture:  Summer 🙂

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center – Part 2

(Read the first part of this series on our Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife experience here)

Apart from being a park where families can go to relax, unwind, have a picnic and enjoy nature in the middle of a bustling city, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife is also a Nature Center.  What this means is that rescued animals are nursed here until they can be set free again.  For those who can no longer be brought back to their natural habitat, they stay in the center and those are the animals that people like us can visit.

I have memories of entering an aviary as a young girl.  A big one where you can see the birds flying around you.  I still can’t be quite sure if this is a memory from a trip to the Wildlife or to Nayong Pilipino ( is there an aviary there?).  I don’t know how many species of birds can be found at the Wildlife, I can’t even name the birds that we were able to see.  The cages are not properly labeled you see.  

I was quite frustrated though that the cages completely ruin your chances of a good shot.  The animals are in cages, then there are railings that keep you more than an arm’s length away from the cage itself.  For a frustrated photographer like me, there’s just too many challenges to think of. Haha 🙂 Nevertheless, blogging about our day at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife will not be complete without showing photos of the animals we were there to see.


Sheesh please do not ask me what these birds are called. I’d just tell you that they look like African lovebirds to me. You don’t agree? Well here they are kissing!


There you go, kissing scandal at Cage 27.  See, no labels at all to tell you what you’re looking at!  So even if I wanted to educate Esban on what birds these are, I couldn’t!

According to the boyfriend (who wanted to become a veterinarian, if not for his fear of blood), the birds on this next set are sea hawks.  The last one I’m sure is a hornbill. Or something. 🙂

[svgallery name=”sea hawk”]


Now this majestic peacock was kind enough to hold his pose for me.  But what caught our attention more than his magnificent stance and the beauty of his feathers, was the fact that he shares his cage with turtles.  Ya don’t believe me? Well see for yourself! We even photographed one turtle struggling to get out of his water bath 🙂


[svgallery name=”turtles”]

Didja see it? 😉

Stay tuned for Part 3 🙂

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wild Life

Now, this post is two weeks late because the event happened two Sundays ago on Mother’s Day.  We didn’t spend it with our moms though – Alfred and I took Esban to the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife for a photo shoot.
Believe it or not, Alfred has never been to Wild Life before. I can’t believe that they didn’t go there on a field trip when he was in grade school?  I’ve been there so many times, but that was long ago.  I realized then though that I confused some of my Wild Life memories with days spent at the old Nayong Pilipino.  

It was a fun day, but I would have been a happier trooper had it not been soooo hot! Even with the dense trees protecting us from the direct heat of the sun, I was still sweating like a pig!  I was frustrated by many of my photos too, I just couldn’t make it work.  Alfred says it’s because I lacked sleep (I came straight from work, and with only two hours of sleep from the night before because that was the day after the BDP class) and was already irritable.  I think he was just trying not to make me feel bad.

We started later than we had planned so we decided to have Liempo Boy for lunch first, before finally heading to our final destination for the afternoon.


Waiting for lunch to be served@Liempo Boy

Upon entering the park grounds, we were welcomed by this rubber tree.  We told Esban what it was, and encouraged him to go ahead and pose in front of it.  Little did I know that this tree’s brothers and sisters were going to have an even bigger role for the day!


Can you see him? Right there in the middle… Here’s a closer look at his wacky face:


Still can't see his face? Click on the image for a larger view

Okay, I’m testing the WP-SV Gallery Plugin that I just installed. The previews are smaller than what I want them to be, but please go ahead and click on the link at the bottom of the box to see a larger view of the pictures in each gallery. 

[svgallery name=”Rubber tree very pretty”]

I’ve always been fascinated by root systems, so these did not escape me:


Now, Alfred told E that Lastikman got his powers from a rubber tree .  Now, I preferred the alien version myself, but Esban’s imagination was definitely stirred by what he was hearing.  Here he was looking for a cozy nook to simulate how Lastikman must have been trapped inside a rubber tree!

[svgallery name=”Esbantree”]

Fine, he doesn’t look trapped, he’s really just enjoying himself.  But you know what he really wanted to try?  Swing from tree to tree a la Tarzan!  We were laughing so hard the whole time. We were sweating, not because it was hot, but because we were having so much fun already!

[svgallery name=”Like Tarzan”]

He enjoyed swinging so much that he refused to go home without stopping by another tree and have another go at it. Problem was, we couldn’t find the one that had vines that would suit his purpose!  In the end, he agreed to leave because he was tired, and he had somewhere else that he needed to be at. 

We took photos of the birds and monkeys too. I’ll share those at a later post, this took way loooonger than I had anticipated. Thanks for sticking it out till the end 🙂


It’s day 1 of our 15 day trial with Sky Broadband. It’s hi-speed Internet cable. I was subscribed to this maybe two years ago but we decided to switch to PLDT DSL because of the savings we’d get for it (since it’s bundled with the phone service).  But their service has been so disappointing, so in two weeks or less we’ll make a decision to finally get rid of it or else just endure the inconsistent service we’ve received.

So far – I love it! My downloads are done in two or three minutes at a time. Sweet! 🙂


I thought I’d be at the mall today, shopping for slippers and some supplies for our Baler trip.  I guess it’s a blessing too that we didn’t go, or else I would have had to practice a lot of self restraint while passing through the section for women’s shoes.  I certainly do not need a new pair, but when I see beautiful comfy footwear, I just can’t help it sometimes 🙂


Visiting Baclayon Church

Be sure you’ve read my previous Bohol posts before continuing with this one 🙂 Read Parts one, two, and three.

From the Loboc River Cruise, there was only stop left for us in the tour – the oldest church in the island and the second oldest in the country: Baclayon Church.

I didn’t get a very good picture of the church because it started to drizzle when we got there. But the Church faces the sea and the view from the museum’s windows were so picturesque. The breeze was refreshing too. I understand that the Parish school is right beside the church. It must be difficult to concentrate on school work when you’ve got such a lovely view just outside. 🙂

For lack of a beautiful picture by yours truly, I turned to my trusty search engine and found these lovely photos:

Don’t you just love those colors? Here’s another photo, too bad the uploaded photo is quite small. 

It would have been nice to explore the interior of the Church, but they had a seminar ongoing at the time, so we didn’t get to walk around that much. I remember having gone there the first time I was in town in 1999 or 2000. But I didn’t get any photos. Old Catholic churches are interesting even just for all the history you can find in its furnishings. The fact that it was already raining outside, and the sun was hiding, added to my frustration at only having my camera phone for pictures. 

They have a museum here that charges a 20 peso entrance fee. I could have skipped that, but Alfred was interested so we walked up. There’s a souvenir shop in the vicinity too. 

The Jesuit-built church at Baclayon is also known as the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. You can read about it here.

By the time we were ready to go out, the rain was pouring. They weren’t allowing vehicles to enter the parking area so our car was outside by the road. Like a boy scout, an umbrella’d Janny came to us toting two additional umbrellas – one for each of us.

The next time I visit Baclayon, I hope there’ll be more sun and we better be equipped with a better camera too. I am sure there was much to see inside the Church itself. 

On the way back to the city, we had one more stop – a souvenir shop that allegedly gave discounts. It was a bit more pricey and even with the discounts, you’re better off buying elsewhere. We did buy some of their bead bracelets and necklaces. Those were reasonably priced and they had some good designs too.

This concludes our countryside tour of Bohol. Next post will finally be on our Panglao Island experience – the beach! 🙂

Loboc River Cruise

Be sure to read parts one and two of our Bohol vacation before proceeding to read this post  😉

Seventh Stop: The Loboc River Cruise

I have been on this cruise twice before but there were some new things on this visit.

1 – The Tourism Complex is new and was constructed, if I remember hearing from Janny correctly, two years ago. The rafts dock on the opposite side of the river and it looks better now too. There are also souvenir shops in the complex, and a children’s center. I didn’t get to see what was in the children’s center/hall though.

2 – We noticed flood lights and lampposts lining the length of the river. Those were definitely not there four years ago. Apparently, there are cruises at night too. Next time I’d love to check that out. It must be beautiful.

3 – There are at least two rafts along the river where locals sing and dance for tourists. They don’t ask for a fee but they do welcome donations. There are a lot of women there, ranging from highschool girls to mothers and even gradmothers. There are some men too. One of the rafts I think showcase the women playing banduria. Those seem to be fundraising projects by their barangays (local government unit).

The river cruise and all-you-can-eat lunch costs 300 pesos per person. I particularly liked the steamed fish that they served. A musician goes on board too, his repertoire includes folk songs, oldies and pop. Towards the end of the cruise, on the way back, a hat would be passed around for the singer.

The water, the color of chocolate during our visit, is normally of a lovely blue green color. It rained hard the night before and it stirred the mud at the bottom of the river, turning it to this color. It was still lovely nonetheless.

The wind blew ever so lightly that day and it was soothing, and calming too.

The photo above is a view of the Loboc Church, the second oldest in the island, from across the dock. The photo next to it is of the same church. Notice the bridge this time? This unfinished bridge has been a fixture in Loboc for some time already. It was a government project foolishly executed because the bridge was constructed where it would hit the church itself. The people refused to have this part of the church taken down to make way for this bridge. It is said that it was constructed as a ruse to have the front of the church excavated to look for the hidden treasure said to be there.

Today there is a much smaller bridge a few meters away that serves the purpose that this big one was supposedly intended for.

There’s a museum in the church but we didn’t visit anymore. We did go inside the church to pray a bit though. Since this is the hometown of the famed Loboc Children’s Choir, I wanted to check if I could get their CD here, but I didn’t get to do that. The Choir performed for us during the conference we had in Tagbilaran four years ago. They were very good.

Here are other shots of the cruise:

The last two photos were of the rafts I mentioned earlier. There’s two of them but we only stopped for this one. There was a boy from our cruise who went down and happily danced with the performers. My camera phone wasn’t powerful enough to capture his happy dance though. Here’s another boy who was generous with his donation, he actually came back to give more:

Oops, I am going to be late for work. Sorry to cut this short. I hope you enjoyed the cruise with us!

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