All posts tagged: Siem Reap

The paths we take

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

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Light and shadow

“There are no shadows in darkness. Shadows are created by light, and only exist in the presence of light. Refusing to acknowledge our shadow leads us to deny the presence of light in us.” ― Franco Santoro

Journey of life

“It’s funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.”
― Steve Maraboli,

Believe in yourself

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.” ~ Mary Kay Ash Just little old me last year posing in one of the fascinating mythical ruins in Ta Phrom, Siem Reap, Cambodia where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed years ago.  The guides will always incorporate it in their script with pride, showing the paths where Angelina Jolie ran across to fight the bad guys. This Hollywood exposure has catapulted the country to fame, and brought in heavy tourist influx in the years since then.  Today,  it has since tripled immensely that you can’t take a shot without having several tourists in your pictures. I’ve always wanted to be Lara Croft, with the camera as my weapon.  Years ago, I’ve only  aspired to be able to reach historical sites and share my photos to the world.  Since then, I’ve been to a few more world heritage sites that opened my mind to other …

Climb the ladder of life

If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone. ~ Donny Osmond Cambodia was in my bucket list and a dream destination come true when I first visited it in 2011 (I traveled from Saigon, Vietnam to Phnom Penh to Siem Reap).  I stayed overnight in Siem Reap, the gateway of the ancient wonders of the Angkor temple complex and barely skimmed the explorations of these ancient wonders. The next year (2011), when the maiden flight of Cebu Pacific’s Manila to Siem Reap was launched, I was able to cover more of the temple ruins, enjoy its breathtaking vistas, experience the culture and marvel at its sunrise and sunset in my 4-day stay. In the biggest and highly elaborate temple complex called Angkor Wat, I laboriously climbed the top floor (the stairs had narrow, …

Waiting for chances

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything. You can sit around and wait for the good things to happen to you, or you can go out and make them happen.” Entrance to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia  © Jojie F. Alcantara

Batman rode in style here

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ― Henry Miller Exploring Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the American influence popping up along the way. Clearly, this winged crusader seems to be a favorite because I’ve encountered many Tuktukmobiles from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. 🙂 © Jojie Alcantara

Life is an amazing journey

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses.  No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” ~ Bob Moawad Me in Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 2012 Taken by Ian Garcia

Walk in peace

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows.  With each step, a flower blooms.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh This was another of my “shooting from the hip” episodes.  I was going back to my transportation when I looked back and saw this monk walking towards the sunlit temples of Angkor Wat, from where I just had my sunrise shoot.  As the sun rose and cast a golden glow on its path, this monk became all the more visible and translucent, making his dignified stance a joy to behold in a backdrop of archaeological significance. What made me took a shot instinctively, though, were the silhouette of his ears.  It fused with the patterns of the temples.

Monk inside Angkor by Jojie Alcantara

Chance encounter

“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” ― Albert Schweitzer He stepped into my frame by chance.  It was a wonderful moment, because he completed my picture. Inside Angkor Wat, passing through ancient walls and corridors…and catching a monk by surprise

Aloneness

“We too are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God, together as a community as well as personally; to be alone with Him — not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything — to dwell lovingly in His presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless. We cannot find God in noise or agitation.” ~ Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers Deep inside the elaborate temple ruins of majestic Angkor Wat, I found people in zen-like composure, individuals who opted to stay away from the crowd, find their own quiet corners to meditate, and suck in all the spiritual energy these ancient walls have accumulated through time. Whatever it is, it must be a positive force, because we each end up going out of the archaeological wonders in a state of serenity, submission, and mystic calm– somewhat like a recharging of life. Okay, okay, she did remind me of that morbid character from “Drag Me to Hell”, so I was a …

Monks at Angkor Wat © Jojie Alcantara

Achieving serenity

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” ~ Swami Satchidananda, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Another serene moment revisiting the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 2012  © Jojie Alcantara

Mother and child in Tonle Sap Lake by Jojie Alcantara

Teach the hard lessons

“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”― Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm

Tonle Sap Floating Village © Jojie Alcantara

River People

The great river-courses which have shaped the lives of men have hardly changed; and those other streams, the life-currents that ebb and flow in human hearts, pulsate to the same great needs, the same great loves and terrors. As our thought follows close in the slow wake of the dawn, we are impressed with the broad sameness of the human lot, which never alters in the main headings of its history–hunger and labour, seed-time and harvest, love and death. ~George Eliot, Romola

Lost in time (Ta Phrom)

“We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love.”~ Stephen Jay Gould I fell in love with the ruins of the Angkor complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I rode the bus for 7 hours to cross the border from Saigon to Phnom Penh, and another 6 hours from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.  I endured three movies of Angelina Jolie on the bus (obviously, they adore her). 

A labyrinth called Life

“Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness. ” ― M. Scott Peck Shot in Temple of Bayon, Angkor Complex, Siem Reap, Cambodia (January 2011) Read more of my adventures here