Year: 2014

Head of the Sandstone Buddha

One particular sandstone head fell into the roots of a banyan tree they call a Bodhi Tree, considered sacred and symbolic to Buddhism. Over the years, this head became miraculously embedded in the tangled overgrowth, which created a stunning and powerful imagery to what the historic war represented.

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Ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya, Thailand © Jojie Alcantara

Wat Mahathat

The historic City of Ayutthaya (1351-1767), was the second capital of a flourishing Siamese Kingdom (Thailand’s old name). For 417 years from the 14th to the 18th centuries, it grew to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a most important center of global diplomacy and commerce during its time. It was said to be beautiful, luxurious and fabulous… think wild Paris of ancient history.

No Te Vayas de Zamboanga

I visited Zamboanga before and after a rebel siege in the city a year ago that left a portion of the central town bruised and battered, and kept many wary visitors away and in fear. Foreign travel advisories stay adamant. I expected to focus on remnants of a combat zone, but there were other things that captivated me more.

Finding Vivian Maier in me

When it comes to street and documentary photography, I am a huge fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry, and the enigmatic Vivian Maier. Watching her documentary Finding Vivian Maier was overwhelming for artists like me, inspiring yet saddening to be discovered posthumously. We are so moved by the stunning photography that this quiet, reclusive nanny has sprung upon us unsuspectingly. And yet, where now is the privacy she so wished until her end?

Vivian Maier’s works are gaining recognition worldwide, yet the artist isn’t there anymore to accept or decline her fame. This very private person who grew old alone and died alone suddenly has her life exposed to the world, a past she so mysteriously guarded when she was still alive.

Nature brings solace

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” – Anne Frank

The Best of the Best Philippines Book

Launched on April 10 of this year at the Tapas Bar of the Makati Shangri-La Manila hotel, the first travel coffee table book of its kind with a quirky and confident title of The Best of the Best of the Philippines was recently unveiled to the public.

Sea of emotions

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Heart-shaped lake

There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those. Fly free. Don’t let fear of what may happen hold you back from following your heart.

Kingdom of Ayutthaya (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

The historic City of Ayutthaya (1351-1767), was the second capital of a flourishing Siamese Kingdom (Thailand’s old name). For 417 years from the 14th to the 18th centuries, it grew to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a most important center of global diplomacy and commerce during its time. It was said to be beautiful, luxurious and fabulous… think wild Paris of ancient history.

Hagonoy, Britania Islands Surigao del Sur © Jojie Alcantara

Return to paradise

“Your life plays out as a reflection of your genetic makeup and potentiality as expressed through your environment and choices. Love yourself enough to create an environment in your life that is conducive to the nourishment of your personal growth. Allow yourself to let go of the people, thoughts, and situations that poison your well-being. Cultivate a vibrant surrounding and commit yourself to making choices that will help you release the greatest expression of your unique beauty and purpose.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Advice from a sea turtle

In Kembali Coast of Island Garden City of Samal, it has been observed by Project Development Consultant Hitoshi Onozawa and his staff for a few years that several green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) bury their eggs beneath the warm sands at night.