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30 December 2011

On Leaving for Philippines

If you had visited this site earlier, you would have noticed that I kept changing and changing my blog layout. Sorry for that. I had been trying various layouts just so I can update the look of my blog.

And then I settled for a premade skin by blogger. LOL at that.

I will be leaving to fly to Philippines tomorrow. Unlike my previous trips to PI, this time, I am not feeling the excitement. And I wish I know why.

I guess the lack of excitement was brought on by my exhaustion from the previous semester.

Or is it because I am starting to love Guam?

Or maybe it is because I go to the Philippines very often and now I just want to explore some other countries?

Ahh! I don't know.

I will be spending the New Year's Eve in the country where I was born and raised. Shouldn't it be exciting?

Sorry for the random rant. Just had to get that one off my chest.

P.S.

I will still blog while I am on my vacation in Philippines. Good night. Hope I'll have a safe flight tomorrow morning.

xoxo

Wanted: New Lenses

I am no photographer. Feelingera lang ako mashado. What I mean is I know that owning a dSLR (yes, it is kind of a big deal... for now) for amateurs such as the canon T3 does not make me a pro with photography. Although, as I am using (and abusing) my T3 on this super awesome Christmas vacation, I am getting the hang of it... And I am getting very, VERY addicted to it.

In short, I am loving taking photographs with a dSLR.

I remember some years ago when I first heard about, and saw a dSLR, I swore to myself that I will never get one. I thought it was too bulky and it was such a hassle to carry such a big camera around. Especially when people can just have the small and easy-to-carry-around digital cameras. Yes, I was a bit of a lazy person when it comes to carrying stuff around. Ughhh.

I am not so sure when it happened but I somehow... saw the light. A bit too cheesy, I know. Please forgive me.

Somewhere along the road (hihi), I realized that the compact digital cameras are not enough to satisfy my craving for creativity. Digicams are easy to use, yes. Point and shoot. Point and shoot. Bam, bam, bam! Then viola! By the end of the day, you are surprised by the hundreds of photos you took that *ahem* lack creativity and art. No offense to digicam users. I am just telling you how I felt back then.

Point is, now that I learned most of the things that I have to learn with using my basic dSLR, I feel like I want to move to the next level. Kumbaga sa video games, gusto ko na ma-level up. Taking photographs with my T3 with the basic lens that came with it is fun and all that, but now... I want to explore that magic of my T3 more.

To do that, I need more accessories. And by accessories, I mean LENSES!

Seriously, what is the point of owning a dSLR without a special oh-so-awesome lens?

So for now, I will look for deals and canvas for new lenses, which meant saving for them as well.

Here are the lenses that will be added to my wish list:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM - USD 1,279


Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-6 IS USM - USD 649.99

Lens prices are based on CanonUSA.com website.

I need some moneh! Yes, I am good with spellign. LOL.

These lenses are... are... expensive, yes? Hopefully they will be worth it. Now how do I fit in my dream Newtonian reflector telescope in my budget? Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!! So many things to buy, so little money I have! Hahaha!

By the way guys, I will be packing tomorrow (or later technically because it is already 12:55 AM Guam time). Yours truly will be flying to the Philippines for a two weeks vacay. Excited much? Ahhhrrrmmmm... No comment. :)

This ends here!

xoxo,

Tintin

28 December 2011

To Do: See Guam Hilton's Train Display

According to Pacific Daily News, this is one of the things to do today. 


Upon clicking the link on Hilton train display, the GuamPDN site explained what the display was all about:

Hilton train display Nov. 23 through early January. Christmas magic will again come alive at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa's main lobby in Tumon, with the return of the hotel's Holiday Express Train. It will be launched at 6 p.m. Nov. 23, and will be in display through early January from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. This year's local sponsored charity will be Erica's House, a local, nonprofit organization that provides family services, parenting classes and counseling services to those in need.


The display has exhibited in the past railroad settings of Germany, Austria and the Swiss Alps. The majority of exhibit items were special-ordered from Lehmann Gross Bahn, or LGB, a company in Nuremburg, Germany. This year, the hotel has taken a more modern approach when the train will be suspended from the ceiling, and tracks will be palced on clear acrylic platforms, the base for the display.


Struck with curiosity, I decided to go to the Guam Hilton Hotel and Spa (while tugging my poor brother along, whom I had forced to come with me by the way) to check out the train display.


And here's what the train looked like:




The train was mounted on the hotel lobby's ceiling. The display added color and.. well... stuff... to the rather bland ceiling of the lobby.


Guam Hilton's train display was cute, although not very impressive to say the least. If I were an infant, this display would probably lull me to sleep. Just as how the little baby crib mobiles exert their effect, whatever effect that may be.


Although, amusing or not, this train display is going to sponsor a local charity - Erica's House. According to its Website, this charity is a support service for parents and children in need of visitation and exchange services. Services provided by Erica's House are:
    - A safe place to pick-up and drop-off children for exchange between parents/guardians.
    - On-site visitation for families, for no more than 2 hours, with periodic checks by staff.
    - On-site visitation for families, for no more than 2 hours, with staff present.
    - Parenting Classes are offered.
    - Informational Reports upon request.
    - All services are at no costs for partcipants.
I'm not sure how the Guam Hilton Train Display will sponsor Erica's House. However, it does not matter how they do it as long as they do it, yes?

Because we were already inside the Guam Hilton, I decided to look around and take some more photographs (as always). Mind you, this was actually a first for me. Hotels here in Guam allow people to come in and out freely. But then, being my stubborn self, I have never actually done any hotel hopping of any sort... I only go to hotels when I actually have to.

Oh well...

You can probably tell by now, I love Christmas decors. I wish it's Christmas every day! LOL. :)



And I love taking GREEN photos. By green, I mean nature, trees and mountains, and.. and.. You know what I mean. :)

Fishy!

Fake mini-waterfall. But this will do. :)

See that cliff? That's the Two Lovers' Point (I think)

Two other hotels in Tumon: Guam Marriott and
Pacific Islands Club (PIC)

That's the beach right there. The stairs make it too fancy.
In my opinion, that is.

Nothin. Just a bench. And GREEEEEEEEEN!!!
Just a quick reminder: The train display will not be running on Hilton's ceiling forever. It will be running until early January (according to PDN), so if you wish to see it, you have to visit Hilton, NOW! It is almost January!

xoxo,
Tin

26 December 2011

Copyright

I was not exactly planning to put a copyright on this humble blog of mine. However, due to an unfortunate occurrence, which I kind of brought to myself by the way, I have decided to copyright this blog and all texts, images, and videos associated with it.

I am not selfish with my work. But please, PLEASE, if you want to use a photograph from this blog, inform me. Most likely, I will allow the use of the photograph, granted that you ask for permission and inform me how you are planning to use it.


 See that encircled photo? Here's a more close-up look:

"From a Google User." Seriously? That's all the credit I get? This is honestly making me mad.

Just so you know, this photo is from one of my blog posts: Canon T3 Practice Shots. Here's a screen shot of my blog post with the photo:


See that picture of the same huge Christmas tree, with the same lighting, with the same background, and the same everything? It is a photo I took a couple of nights ago at Micronesia Mall.

I have contacted Google regarding this. Let's all hope for the best, shall we?

Anyhow...

Bittersweet and Strange by Kristine Verzosa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at kristineisobelle.blogspot.com.

Down South on Christmas Day (cont.)

This is a continuation of the previous post. :)

Because we were already in the south of Guam (which we do not usually go to), we decided to explore more. So we spent most of the day down south. We drove through the roads that I have never drove on. Hard to believe, isn't it? I have been living in this small island for years now, yet there are still roads that I have not driven on.

Perhaps the road that we took that I liked most was Windward Hills. We got to see mountain tops and beaches. It really was a breath taking view. So sorry I was not able to take decent photos because we did not stop in the road for me to take pics. :(

This is probably the only photo I was able to take.. And I took it while my uncle was driving.


It was very peaceful up there. Not very many houses or people. Kinda like the "countryside" living, yeah?

Finally, after a few miles of nonstop driving, my uncle granted my request to stop so I can take shots of this really cool view. I think this was in Talofofo. Gosh. The lush greens, water and waves were so beautiful. This part of Guam is very blessed by mother nature.





After this short stop, we went back to the car. Then, in less than half an hour of driving, I asked my uncle to stop once more because there was a nice beach with great waves. Too bad my request was declined this time.

Here's the shot of the beach (took this while my uncle was driving, again):


I kinda envy the swimmers. The water was crystal clear, and they had the place all to themselves! Oh well, maybe next time I can swim and play in that beach too. Maybe.

After this trip, we took the road that would lead us home. I think it was around five when we got home. Then we left the house at around six thirty-ish to go to church. Christmas is Jesus' birthday after all. No better way to celebrate the occasion than to spend it with the birthday celebrant, yes?

What about you? How did you spend your Christmas?

Down South on Christmas Day

The fattening holiday continues…

BURP!

After literally overstuffing ourselves last night for Noche Buena, my family and I got to eat A LOT once again. BURRRRP!

Today, we headed down south at Agat because we were invited to a Christmas slash birthday party. The place was a little too far from our home but we decided to go. After all, masama tumanggi sa grasya. Besides, it is the holiday and all the shops are closed and we had nothing to do. On top of that, it is not every day that we get to go to the south.

Here are a few photographs that I took while on the road. It is not every day either that I get to sit at the passenger’s seat, you know. Most of the time, I am the one driving. And it feels good to be on the other side of the car sometimes.


Governor's House

Beach along the road

Beach along the road


War in the Pacific - Asan Beach Park

Fish Eye

Cemetery (they call them apartments if I'm not mistaken)

Submarine from the war

Christmas decors at Agat
I apologize for the poor quality of photos. Took them while my uncle was driving at fifty miles per hour. So sorry.

When we got to the house where the party was held at, I got the feeling that I am in one of the provinces in Philippines. Not that it’s a bad thing. I actually miss the province where I grew up and the province my family visits very often.

The place shaded by mango trees and the neighboring houses really look like houses from Philippines. Oh gosh, I really miss Philippines. Local Christmas music was also playing at one of the nearby houses and the sound of it did not seem digital… I think the sound was coming from old speakers. I think lang naman.

The party was kind of a typical Filipino party mixed with a hint of Chamorro feel. It was not held at a beach. It was a house party with people coming in to serve themselves with the feast prepared at the long table.

The dishes prepared by the host were pancit molo, lumpiang sariwa, chicken relyeno, puto, cupcakes, donuts, green mangoes, crabs ginataan,  chicken kelaguen, plain and red rice, and many others.



The infamous red rice. I must have looked silly taking
a photo of a very common dish on Chamorro fiestas

Chicken kelaguen... Another common dish to find in
fiestas.
After eating for what seemed like an endless amount of food, we left the house and drove more to explore the south of Guam. This will be on a separate blog post because this is getting a little too long for one post.

Once again, merry christmas everyone!

25 December 2011

Reality Bites: Sex Video Scandal

Yet another video scandal of a known Filipino TV personality has surfaced the Internet. What’s new?

Every so often, TV personalities have their supposed to be private moments exposed in the World Wide Web. Most of us get concerned and buzzed whenever this happens, right? It is unfortunate that most people do not see the lesson they can learn from the experiences of these celebrities. Most people only see the scandal itself. What saddens me even more is that some people find pleasure in watching scandals. To add insult to injury, most people laugh at and judge the celebrities involved in the scandal.

I’m not saying I do not judge and point fingers at these celebrities. I do that sometimes. I am human, after all.

So as to not waste your time, I’ll make this short.

The point I am trying to make here is that keep your intimate moments private. If you are planning to record your private moment with your partner, think a hundred times if commemorating the experience through a recorded video is worth the scandal it could cause you. And if your partner insists on recording your intimate moment, please, please, PLEASE SAY NO. Laptops and flash drives could get stolen, and information from our laptops can be hacked. Because most recorded things such as videos and photos are now electronic, they can easily be shared in the Internet. And these videos and photos could go viral.

Seriously. Look at what happened to Hayden Kho and Katrina Halili. And now, look at what is happening to Mo Twister and Rhian Ramos. All of the images of these TV personalities are badly damaged by video recorded sex scandals. They all made the same mistake – they all videotaped their intimate moments. Little did they know that these moments are going to be published on the Internet.

Trust me, you do not want your intimate moment published on the Internet; because once it has been put on the Web, everyone can have access to it and watch you do whatever you’re doing.

In conclusion, keep your private moments to yourself. Do not record anything that you do not want anyone else to watch or see. You can always commemorate the moment without watching it in video, you know? You do have enough space in your brain to store your intimate moments in.

Disclaimer: I do not own this photo


Noche Buena Bunch

Merry Christmas everyone!

How was your Noche Buena?

Well...

For my family and I, the tradition of preparing foods for Noche Buena is long gone. It had been replaced with eating at a hotel buffet. Please do not get me wrong. I miss grocery shopping for queso de bola, ham, pasta, and my favorite buco salad. I must say, nothing beats spending Christmas in Philippines.

I miss the persistent carolers. Kahit makulit sila at paulit ulit ang kinakanta, nakakamiss pa rin.

I also miss waiting for the twelfth hour to open my gifts.

Like I said, I miss preparing the meals for Noche Buena... And waiting for twelve midnight to eat and celebrate with the entire family.

Aaaand I also miss waiting for Santa. It was in fourth grade when I kind of realized Santa is never coming even though we put a chimney in our house.

Anyway, my family and I had dinner at Guam Reef Hotel's Alize - a buffet restaurant and bar. I must admit, I was not exactly satisfied with Alize's service and food tonight. Guam Reef's buffet used to be really, REALLY good. I am not saying it was bad. All I'm saying is it was not as good as it used to be.

Guam Reef Hotel's Alize - Restaurant and Bar
I brought my Canon T3 (again!) to practice (again!) with my new baby. Heehee. Forgive me. There is a reason I have to practice taking shots with this dSLR. You will soon find out. I'm guessing there is no need for me to say that I was kinda the photographer of the night.

Here are more photographs that I took:

John who just loves his chocolate dipped marshmallows

Round one... Fight!

I just loooove desserts. Ooh Lah Lah!
Tiramisu, coffee cake, apple pie. Yumyumyummeh!
Some photographs of Alize and Guam Reef Hotel:

Pool side

Some pretty lights

The beach at night

Had to take a photo of the unlimited alcoholic drinks
for people who are 21 years and older... like me. haha!

Nothing. Just a little fountain. :)
Some more photos of ze cute little bro...


Uncle and Auntie... Uncle does not look very happy.
Hmmmmmmmm...
Because no one wants to take my pic, I'll take it myself! Hahaha!

Me and T3
A family picture! Hehehe. This one's taken by a nice waitress, by the way.

How's this for a family pic? Uncle still does not look very
happy...
And what's a holiday slash a celebration without an ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery? Haha! Christmas truly is a fattening holiday, eh?


I guess that's about it. Have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy!