from the commuter

The photos which I took myself are random images of commuting and life. Enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Overseas Post

I have no idea how Manila looks like by now; it's December, and Christmas is just around the corner. I would suppose Manila's streets had already been adorned with Christmas decors and lights to usher the festive season. The news I got of Manila from international news channels had been about the typhoon that ravaged Mindanao and Visayas and Pacquiao's loss. However, there seems to be a good news in the passing of the Reproductive Bill into law! 

I have been away from the Philippines for several weeks now. Why? I am in India, again. This time I am in the capital, New Delhi, for a training. I have been here for close to a month now, and will be going home very soon, before Christmas, in fact.

I will go home with much anticipation because I have loads of memories and stuff to share from this memorable trip. 

Arrival in India: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Familiar scenes of the Indian capital

A popular mode of transport: Autorickshaw, an Indian version of the Philippine tricycle

Philippine Embassy in New Delhi

This is a common sight in Delhi

Delhi traffic

More autorickshaws

They have an underground metro

Men holding hands

Not Taj Mahal, obviously. Taj Mahal in a future post, maybe!

Cuddly Indian school kids

One of Delhi's more famous tourist attractions: Qutub Minar

I shall be writing more during the Christmas break, or not. The next posts on India will be written in the Philippines.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Commuter/Travel Post: Dumaguete and Siquijor

 I lament the state of my blog. I really think it has become a showcase of what I do instead of what I think. Nonetheless, I will continue writing what I write. 

Allow me to digress for a bit. My friend has been telling me to get a nice camera and try to be 'in' photos to document all the travels and experiences I am having. I don't know how to explain this, but I am probably one of the few people who don't get too excited at the sound of a clicking camera. If it can be avoided, I stay away in front of the camera. My answer to his argument is that I have memories of everything. This blog also documents the things I do and the places go to.

I recently visited  Dumaguete and Siquijor with my officemates/travel buddies, and the trip became the most relaxing vacation yet.

Let me tell you more about it. Four of us, having a long weekend, decided to go to a place none of us have gone to. Armed only with the knowledge of the  Visayan language and online information on our destination, we set forth to Dumaguete during the All Soul's Day Weekend. To add to the excitement, we added Siquijor in our itinerary to invoke some eerie experience during what the Visayans call "kalag kalag" or 'ghost' or the All Soul's Day celebration.

Our port of entry was Dumaguete. 'Teddy,' our travel companion, expressed his amazement in the tricycle we were to take, as seen in the picture below. Traveling to various towns in the Philippines makes you see the different designs of the tricycles.

 I did not have expectations of my visit to Dumaguete. I was glad I did not make any as I was surprised by the many things I saw and experienced. Rizal Boulevard was a foodie haven, and the scenery in the area was superb.
Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City

Silliman University, a beautiful campus
 The next day we went to Siquijor...

... and the beautiful beach welcomed us, signalling good times ahead.

The trusty tricycle was to be take us literally around the province of Siquijor. We saw old churches, greens, more greens, and beaches, all in one day!

 I did not take many pictures apparently. I was enjoying myself too much that I forgot to take out my mobile phone to snap images that were of interest to me. To be honest, there were many. The number of foreign tourists in Siquijor was an indicator that the province was more than the mystical place that Noli de Castro popularized in his November 1 Magandang Gabi Bayan Specials.

I had to go back to Dumaguete alone and cut my trip short to catch my flight back to Manila.

 I was smiling the whole time. The Siquijor leg of the tour was a well-deserved trip and a break from the busy city life. Dumaguete, on the other hand, provided my palate with various international cuisine that made me smile more. Indeed I was a happy tourist. My friends back in Manila would be likewise smiling because I bought Dumaguete's famous sansrival and other goodies.

I did not do my research as to the distance of the airport to the Dumaguete downtown area. Let's us just say that it was peak season and I had no plans of missing my flight, so I went to the airport three hours before my departure, thinking that the drive to the airport would take long. Well, I was wrong. During my arrival in Dumaguete from Manila days before I did not take notice the length because the four of us were all excited about the trip.

What to do with plenty of time at the airport? I had a relaxing foot message by blind masseurs at the airport. Happiness!
I may have added additional fine lines around my mouth for smiling the whole time.

You deserve some break, too. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Amazing (South) India Part 2

I was not supposed to write a part 2, but I owe myself a digital memory of this first official trip, doing not-so-official things.

As we head back to the hotel after a productive meeting, I transformed to the curious person that I should be. I had to take the window seat and observe India from the shuttle ride back to the hotel. I can't help but take a photo of the train tracks. The train system is important to India, which I will learn later on helped so much in the spread of economic progress and even democratic ideals. I am not quite sure if Gandhi made it to Kerala via the railroad upon his return from South Africa; I am sure, however, that he's had a lasting mark even in this south Indian state.

 The next day, our host government took us to the Backwaters of Kerala; it's supposed to be the Venice of the South. We took this cruise boat.

Kerala's famous boathouse

 On my last day, I did some shopping. I really wanted to take an auto rickshaw to the city center...
 but took this instead:

An Ambassador, the driver said.
 Taking the cab was a good idea because the driver instantly became my tourist guide. He told me that people sitting on the tracks (picture above) were waiting for a Political Party meeting to commence. I found this interesting.
Another view from the car

 The driver also told me that most places in India have an MG Road, which is short for Mahatma Gandhi Road. The same is for Filipinos for we have a Rizal Street or Rizal Avenue in most of the Philippine provinces I have come to visit.

I took a photo of the hotel before we head to the airport. I wonder when I will return to a place like this again.
 This was the car that took us to the airport. See the flag? We had police escorts on our way also.

In familiar territory. Back in the Philippines!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Amazing (South) India Part 1

I can't believe my luck when I was asked to go to India for my first ever official trip. The trip necessitated a blue passport or a diplomatic passport. I used to have a red passport , but I never got to use it. It was a thrill to be passing through the immigration carrying a diplo passport, without the hassle. It was a breeze! 

And since I was excited, I was early at the airport  (NAIA 1) and got to see much of it. I got to admire the ceiling, which is dated but still pretty, methinks. The blonde hair in the photo below is on a very-Filipina-looking woman.
 I was fascinated with the flight information board. I enjoyed listening to sound it made as it rapidly changed details. In the airport's heyday, it must have been state-of-the art.

 Since there was no direct flight to our destination in India, we passed through Singapore. The travelator made everything accessible.

I finally reached my destination in Cochin, India. I did not take photos at the airport. I did not want to look very excited, so I was composed, saying my thank you's politely, smiling nicely and nodding my head when necessary.
 We arrived at midnight, but the hotel room seemed to have removed all the weariness of the travel and the late night as I plunged onto the soft bed that was to provide me comfort for two more nights in the southern Indian city of Cochin.

When morning came, I almost forgot that I was there for an official work. I was welcomed by a drizzling morning, and to top that, I was given a corner room. I had little rest the night before, but I was not complaining. How could I when I was greeted by a magnificent view. 

 I walked outside the grounds of the hotel, Vivanta it was called, to notice the large number of crows. I got to see them up close and admire their black sheen that would instantly dispel my negative notions of crows.

 It was nearing nine o'clock in the morning, and I went back to the room. The sight I saw from my fifth floor suite was not to be missed. It was foretelling of a good day ahead.
 On board our bus to the meeting venue, I took the picture of people outside and told myself that I really was in India... work. I was the assistant of the Philippine Eminent Person to the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group. Their objective was to come up with a report that will be submitted to the Leaders of ASEAN and India so the Leaders could move their relations forward. Yes, my work entails doing these kinds of things, and it has been nothing but exciting.

 But other than the place I was in, what made this trip memorable for me was that I sat behind this woman whose brilliance, I know for sure, was admired by her colleagues. It made me proud as a Filipino because the person I was assisting showed what a first-class Filipino diplomat can do.

The small flag in front of her seemed so big all of sudden.