Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wacky's Story

“It’s a dog’s life!’ Mine was really a dog’s life – was born with my siblings and shared resources with more than 5 dogs in the house. After more than a month, I was given to a family who lost their beloved dog named Charcoal. I didn’t have enough time to know Charcoal before he passed away but I was told he was my uncle (I guess to some degree). Please click here to read Charcoal’s tear jerking story.

Anyway, I was warmly welcomed by my new family and they call me Wacky. I don’t do somersaults, make funny faces, nor wag my tongue every time Bess (the daughter) takes pictures of me, but I was labeled Wacky by Mommy (I can call her that now) for no reason whatsoever. First choice is Bruno, to jokingly create an impression of a huge dog (which is in fact the opposite), but thank goodness Wacky is what I was fondly called now.

I hear them saying I am well-behaved and not craving for much attention as their old dog. I just want to be cradled in my master’s arms and given food. They had lots of dog food and I love it! Then the big change came.

I was brought to another house, heard I was to meet Mommy’s son and his family. Whew! The first time I saw their 2-year old baby Mishi, I felt home. She became a playmate and a good friend. We watched cartoons together and playfully ran around the house. When the time to leave came, she cried so hard that I had to stay in their house for a couple of days. I don’t know how, but there suddenly sparked an emotional attachment between a little girl and a dog. Every time she wakes up in the middle of a long sleep, she’ll ask, “Where’s Wacky?” and when they assured her I’m nearby, she’ll fall asleep satisfied. And so, this goes on and I now live in their house. That 2-year old girl became my master and good friend.

That was the beginning of a brilliant career as an entertainer and playmate. And thanks to that, I am better fed and cared for than ever. Looking forward to years of being with this family. Anybody for a dog’s life?

This is the beginning of my story.

With lots of love,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Travel inspires us all. An we return from our journeys with a better sense of who we are. We’re all a company of travelers beefing up ways to make travel a richer experience for others.

Sometimes, we have to let our memory be our travel bag. It's not about wearing the most beautiful footwear or checking in the most luxurious hotel. It's about learning to remove your shoes and letting your feet explore freely, unmindful of the sand on your toes nor the heat of the sun; but laughing your heart out and exploring the beauty of life.

"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles." - Tim Cahill

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

HongKong - Thru My Eyes

Minutes before we landed in HK, roughly before 10AM, last 10th of September 2011, I breathed out a silent prayer of thanks for having a safe flight. Though we’ve talked about all sorts of enjoyable and near-death experiences we’ve encountered, my comic seatmate resisted my gratitude and mentioned “Too early to be thankful”.

Agree. I cannot blame anyone part of this trip to have second thoughts of visiting HK. After a year of the scandalous HK tourists-hostage-taking in Manila, there have been various talks searching for justice and peace. But while I’m writing and posting these photos now, I feel earnestly sorry the victims and their families. However, we don’t have to generalize – time and unforeseen occurrences befall us all. True enough, these issues were forgotten and a new story began as the plane touched HK’s airport.

HongKong - from a Cantonese name meaning "fragrant harhour"

We arrived at L’Hotel Nina, a 5-star hotel situated in Kowloon and checked-in.

Being nested on the 51st floor gave us a view of the harbor
and the breathtaking skyscrapers outside.

A little fast forward. Since the trip was settled thru a corporate agency, we didn’t have any problem going to our destination. However, being a bit adventurous during our free time, we ventured throughout the bustling streets of the city and that’s when we were exposed to HK’s real world.

A tourist has an option to ride the MTR (HK’s version of a railway transit) and independently express bravery in a Cantonese-speaking world, or simply ride a cab. Oops, not “simply”. Every ride is a challenge since most of the drivers cannot understand English. The strategy is to show the Chinese characters (request from tour guide/hotel) of your destination. And remember, don’t block driver’s view of the side mirror unless you want him knocking on your head and getting your out of the way.

Avenue of Stars - honors celebrities of HK film industry

Jackie Chan's handprints

HK's version of the Statue of Liberty :P

Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Victoria Peak view

Shopping is one of the most-loved activities by tourists in HK. I am not a fan of their MongKok night market, but admittedly the shops in the malls offer less expensive branded products than in my hometown. If you want to go shopping for branded items, explore the shops! :D

Overall, I admire HK for being an independent city-state of China. It truly is an "East-meets-West" place reflecting perfect mix of Chinese and British cultures.

Mh-goi HK!

Loving a Flower

"We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them. We say we love trees, yet we cut them down. And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved." - Anonymous

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

When Photoshop Fails

I am avid fan of Photoshop and other photo-editing software tools. However, when integrity is at stake, that’s the time we have to acknowledge boundaries of digital manipulation.

Though for the past years Photoshop has became popular and has evolved into a “verb” (edit and enhance) and a “skill and talent” applauded by many, today we are faced with a brouhaha of how Photoshop can damage integrity.

This is the controversial photo of DPWH officials on their Facebook page.

It may look ordinary at first sight, but controversy has shown us that this is not the real scenario. A “proactive” DPWH employee ‘photoshopped’ and posted this on DPWH’s Facebook page (at his own risk). People reacted at these manipulated photos and even tried to spread more enhanced photos of the officials in different scenarios. (Courtesy of Yahoo News)

The “artist’s” wishy-washy job teaches us some lessons:

  1. Be careful of things you post, especially when it involves other prominent individuals.

  2. Do not underestimate the power of proofreading/checking.

  3. Never ever publish a lame creation.