Lake Rosario panorama

Lake Rosario, Kapatagan © Jojie Alcantara

Lake Rosario, Kapatagan © Jojie Alcantara

Best viewed in large image here

“It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values. You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and breathe softly through your nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. ‘I am watching you — are you watching yourself in me?’

Most travelers hurry too much…the great thing is to try and travel with the eyes of the spirit wide open, and not to much factual information. To tune in, without reverence, idly — but with real inward attention. It is to be had for the feeling…you can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle, you’ll be there.” ~ Lawrence Durrell, Spirit Of Place: Letters And Essays On Travel

Lake Rosario is situated halfway up in the Mount Apo Protected Area Park, at a higher elevation blessed with cool climate year round. Continue reading

I Want My MTV

Reload 015: Heejun Han – A Song for You (and a standing ovation)


RELOAD,  REFRESH, RESTART  015 –  It’s what we do in our computers.  So with life, we take a break.  If all else fails, reformat. Sit back, relax and enjoy my favorite video reposts. :-)

He sang a song for me tonight (and the million viewers who was once again stunned at The Voice that came from nowhere).  And I melted again. They gave him a standing ovation.
Continue reading

Together in harmony

Together © Jojie Alcantara

Together © Jojie Alcantara

Signs in a store in Langkawi, Malaysia.

Here’s another interesting bit I found on the net:

Canon + Nikon: The Camera / Lens that Reveals a Japanese Family Secret

In short, they used to be together.  How fun.

Langkawi is a hidden gem in Malaysia that has 99 mystical islands clumped together.  It’s a UNESCO Heritage Site.  Will post more about the place soon.

By the way, Sony has its separate building.

Sony Building © Jojie Alcantara

Sony Building © Jojie Alcantara


Make a meaningful day

Sunrise in Cagwait  © Jojie Alcantara

Sunrise in Cagwait © Jojie Alcantara

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” ~ Dalai Lama

Spending five straight days in the quaint town of Cagwait, Surigao del Sur was a wonderful discovery, back in 2008.  The first time I went there was in 2003 when I marveled at how white their beach was and how blue the coastal waters were.  But the best discovery was the sunrise.  Continue reading

Let your mind start a journey

Sunrise, Agdao Seascape © Jojie Alcantara

Sunrise, Agdao Seascape © Jojie Alcantara

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.”  ~ Erich Fromm

Chasing sunrises are like chasing dreams.  You have to persevere in order to catch them.  So I wake up at 4am hoping today is the best capture of golden colors and hues imaginable.  I have captured many sunrises in all forms, and each one was different from the last. I never say, “this was the same as last time” but instead focus on how I can tackle it from a different angle.  How I can make it distinct from all the sunrise photos we view on the web daily.

Most times, my best sunrise shot is my latest.  But in order to achieve the capture you want, you have to persist and perfect it.  It’s all in the mindset.

It starts with a dream that comes true only when you go for it.

View more of this sunrise photo gallery here

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Passing through

Iloilo adventures by Jojie Alcantara

Iloilo adventures by Jojie Alcantara

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. ~ Earl Nightingale

Captured in 2006, in my journey to Iloilo (with famous photographers Rhonson Ng, Manny and Boboy Librodo)

More images in my gallery of Unseen Iloilo

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Colors of life

Break of dawn in the slums © Jojie Alcantara

Break of dawn in the slums © Jojie Alcantara

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas.  Continue reading

Sunrise therapy

Agdao seascape  © Jojie Alcantara

Agdao seascape © Jojie Alcantara

“Don’t stop yourself from enjoying the now because of an imagined tomorrow or a remembered yesterday. Take a look at how you’re stopping yourself from being happy. It’s all up to you, no buts (or because) about it.” ~ Marie T. Russell

Waking up at 4am to catch the sunrise in a remote coastal barrio within my city is rewarding and most often, my feel good therapy.

View more of my photo gallery here

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Mystical Lakewood

Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur  © Jojie Alcantara

Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur © Jojie Alcantara

“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

This mystical spot called Lakewood (a huge mountain lake with a quiet town in its riverbanks) holds a peculiar belief among the river dwellers, a tribe called Subanen.  The old folklore was that a giant sea serpent lived underneath this huge lake, somewhat of a local Loch Ness monster.  Unfortunately, as everyone was listening to the tribal chieftain tell these significant tales while we were in a banca, I was caught up in taking photos of the lake and absorbing other activities. I couldn’t remember if sightings did happen with this mythical creature but I remembered other mysterious beliefs, though. Will write about that next time.

I featured Pagadian City and neighboring Lakewood in Mabuhay Magazine (2009) and M Magazine (2011).  Zamboanga del Sur is a beautiful province and would love to go back there again. Photo was taken during my visit in 2008.

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Nurturing childhood

Lake Sebu, South Cotabato © Jojie Alcantara

Lake Sebu, South Cotabato © Jojie Alcantara

“Children the world over have a right to a childhood filled with beauty, joy, adventure, and companionship. They will grow toward ecological literacy if the soil they are nurtured in is rich with experience, love, and good examples.” ~ Alan Dyer, “A Sense of Adventure”

Captured in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato one early morning in 2007 with a Canon 350D, my very first dslr camera

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Life’s a beach

Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental © Jojie Alcantara

Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental © Jojie Alcantara

“When we protect the places where the processes of life can flourish, we strengthen not only the future of medicine, agriculture and industry, but also the essential conditions for peace and prosperity.” ~ Harrison Ford

This tropical paradise is where I was born.  View more of its beauty here.

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Reload 014: Heejun Han – All is Fair in Love

RELOAD,  REFRESH, RESTART  014 –  It’s what we do in our computers. So with life, we take a break.  If all else fails, reformat.

Of course, am posting this. What can I do? Am hooked. Plus my site’s search engines dig up results of those looking for him! And when he sang this, I melted.
Continue reading

20 Sure Signs you might be a WordPress Junkie

Jojie Alcantara:

Running Naked with Scissors, or plain Lizzie Cracked (you already have an idea with her blog name) writes down a list of things to assure us we are on the right path.  Visit the Freshly Pressed post and ponder yonder…

Originally posted on Running Naked With Scissors:

Blogging is fun no doubt about it.  And WordPress makes it more fun with all the cool stuff that you can do with your blog.  The possibilities are endless. You can write about whatever you want, be as open or anonymous as you want, change your name, make yourself a super hero, chat with people from countries whose name you can;t pronounce, make friends with amazing people whom you probably never would even have bumped into in a crowded anywhere….endless…

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The Girl I Used to Be

Motherhood: Kristel and newborn Yuseff © Jojie F. Alcantara

Kristel and newborn Yuseff  © Jojie Alcantara

The Girl I Used to Be
Author Unknown

She came tonight as I sat alone,
the girl I used to be,
And she gazed at me with her earnest eyes,
and questioned reproachfully,

Have you forgotten the many plans,
and hopes I had for you?
The great career,
the splendid fame,
all the wonderful things to do? Continue reading

Live curious

Butterfly Sanctuary © Jojie Alcantara

Butterfly Sanctuary © Jojie Alcantara

“Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.” ~ John Muir

The quote “Live curious” is one of National Geographic’s catchy slogans and shirt designs. This particular image was shot with an Olympus micro 4/3 camera, my toy lens and its unique features.

Read more about my magic lens here.

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It used to be the New Philippines

Republic of Palau © Jojie Alcantara 2006

Rock Islands © Jojie Alcantara 2006

Trivia:  It used to be called the New Philippines.

Named by CEDAM International as “One of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World”, this country lies 1000km (600 miles) east of  the Philippines (my country),  about 800 miles (1,280 km) southwest of Guam  and 2000 miles (3200 km) south of Tokyo.  It is the westernmost cluster of the six major island groups that make up the Caroline Islands lying at the end of Micronesia in the Philippine Sea.  It has more than 200 islands, of which only eight are inhabited.

Rock Islands © Jojie Alcantara

Rock Islands © Jojie Alcantara

In history, this area has once been christened Nuevas Filipinas or New Philippines (1700-1800), as part of the Spanish East Indies territories governed from Manila.  It was also named  Los Palaos, Pelew Islands, Caroline Islands —traditionally for locals, it is Belau.

In my visit to this breathtaking island nation in 2006, I got to pose with two beautiful kids aged 9… at these sizes.

Republic of Palau

Posing with 9-year old healthy kids!

Can you guess what country this is?  :-)

My trip to this small republic in the Pacific and more images

Reload 013: Love, Peace and Unity

RELOAD,  REFRESH, RESTART  013 –  It’s what we do in our computers. So with life, we take a break.  If all else fails, REFORMAT.  This clip has been reposted and viewed a million times over on youtube, but it still does wonders to the human heart.  And no, Love, Peace and Unity are not their names, but you can call them ambassadors of humanity.
Continue reading

WordPresser goes on brave mission to overcome agoraphobia

Jojie Alcantara:

A wonderful woman overcomes agoraphobia through blogging and traveling to meet her Facebook friends! What an inspiration worthy of a reblog.

Read her amazing story here

Originally posted on News:

For nearly thirty years, ArLynn Presser avoided leaving her neighborhood in Winnetka, Illinois, as she would experience debilitating anxiety and panic attacks when visiting public places and interacting with people outside her home.

But once she turned fifty, the romance writer decided that she was tired of living in isolation, and ready to face her greatest fear. On December 31, 2010 she started a blog at and wrote in her first post, “My New Year’s resolution is to meet every Facebook friend I have.”

And so she spent 2011 visiting friends all over the world (and meeting some for the very first time). Her son Joseph accompanied her on the journey, recording video clips for ArLynn to share on her blog, which she’s been updating regularly since announcing her resolution on New Year’s Eve 2011. By the end of the year she had been to 13 different countries and…

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Live in a space of thankfulness

Kublai's Art Garden at Kapatagan   © Jojie Alcantara

Kublai’s Art Garden at Kapatagan © Jojie Alcantara

“I live in the space of thankfulness – and I have been rewarded a million times over for it. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because what you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

In my search for suitable inspiring words about gratitude and counting your blessings, it’s Oprah’s quote which struck me the most, because I find it true in my life. Continue reading