Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

michelingrandeza © photography

I have always been fascinated with photography. It preserves a perfect moment in time called the present -- a glimpsed forever etched in an image. I'm an amateur photographer armed with a 5MP Canon A610 PowerShot digicam I got on January of 2006, and it's still alive. It has travelled with me in different parts of the world, and has snapped thousand of pictures that some of them I haven't posted yet. From Philippines to the different parts of the US, to China, Japan, Hongkong, and Singapore. I always think that there's an artist within me (and that's being optimistic! Ü). When I see a scene, I can almost always instantly imagine a good angle for a great capture. Being an avid fan of expert photographers from the likes of National Geographic explorers that has captured really amazing shots leaving you with this awesome feeling and you're left imagining to be in the same place at that perfect time, I wanted to share my photos to the rest of the world so others may be inspired as well with the beauty of photography as I have experienced it. So snap and share! :)


These photos were untouched by editing software, but I'll soon learn to do so. I would encourage you to leave comments so I can improve my photography skills, and for readers of this blog to learn as well from you.

So welcome and enjoy photography! :)

Click on the thumbnail below to see more of my photos...
Travel pics...
Pulau Ubin, Singapore...

The Ruins

Last month my wife and I, together with her parents and sisters, drove to Bacolod. Her sisters are going to med school in Ilo-ilo. Before heading back to Dumaguete, we decided to visit a historical landmark of Silay called, The Ruins -- a mansion acclaimed as one of the 12 most fascinating ruins of the world. And what's more fascinating than how it looks is it's history. The information below was taken from their brochure. You may want to checkout their gallery as well from their website.


Born to Lucio Lacson and Clara Ledesma in 1865, Mariano Lacson was the youngest of eight. One of his brothers was the revolutionary general, Aniceto.

The bachelor Mariano was an avid traveler even then. In one of his visits to Hong Kong, he met and fell in love with a Portuguese lady from Macau. Her name was Maria braga. The fairy tale romance culminated in marriage.

Mariano and Maria had 10 children. In 1911, while nearing the full term of her 11th pregnancy, Maria had an accident. Both mother and child were lost.
Heartbroken and inconsolable, Mariano decided to build a mansion in remembrance of Maria, right in the middle of his 440-hectare sugar plantation in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. It was in fact, designed to be a monument to their enduring love affair.

Maria's father, a ship captain, introduced European architectural influences into the design of the mansion, from the over-all Italianate inspiration to the shell details of the roof. The structure of the house was of solid concrete. Interior floors were dressed either in tiles imported from Spain or 20-meter-long hard wood planks that were cut a meter wide.

Until the eve of World War II, the mansion served as residence of Mariano and all of his unmarried children.

Mariano set the rule that as soon as his children married, they should leave the mansion. Mariano himself would abide by it, moving to a cottage nearby when he decided to remarry years later.

The bombs of the world war eventually fell. As dictated by the exigencies of the time, the United States Armed Forces in the Far East, or USAFFE, recruited guerilla soldiers and instructed them to burn down structures that might be used as headquarters by the Japanese.

Eyewitnesses recount, the mansion of Mariano Lacson smoldered continuously for three days, but the fire would not consume all of it, leaving behind reminders of a glorious past, and the lovers' two initials, this time as if seared and branded on every post of the house.

In 1948, Mariano Lacson died, his monument to love in irreparable ruins.

The RUINS was opened to the public in January 2008 by Mariano Lacson's great grandson, Raymund Javellana. The mansion has been acclaimed as one of the 12 most fascinating Ruins of the world.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Every Singaporean Cat...

I have always been close to cats. Well, actually, my mom is. She would usually have 5-10 cats as pets at a time. So I guess my siblings and I were somehow influenced. And that's why I usually use the screen name "meow" in some online games. Well, one thing I like about cats are their being survivors, especially in places like the Philippines. Cats are known to be domestic animals, but seeing stray cats along the streets is a common sight. And sometimes tragically becomes road kills. Inspite of being homeless, they survive the urban jungle, thriving into every corner where they can possibly find food. They scour through the trash, brave the weather elements, and still survive through the day. Talk about nine lives! Bottom line is, I guess I can find that character in my mom who I look up to.

Today, I was just relaxing under a big tree when I saw this Singaporean cat staring at something above that tree. It was staring at a wood pecker. I grabbed my 5 year old digicam and snapped some shots of him. As I called him, it turned out that that cat was so cuddly, wagging its tail, stretching its legs as it approaches me. They're like our cats too. I remember back in the days we had a white cat with blue eyes that would climb up and slowly knead my belly. I read that cats knead with their paws when they're happy.

I looked around and saw some other cats. One at the doorstep in a neighborhood, while the other just relaxing in a corner of a pavement. I thought, I guess every Singaporean cat, or any cat, is just similar to us. Trying to survive, curious about things, and just relaxing under the shade of the tree.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tell The World of His Love

Today, May 1, 2011, I attended my first Sunday mass in the Queen of Peace church in Singapore. It also happens to be the day when Pope John Paul II was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI. So this Sunday was special.

Pope Benedict XVI said, "The date chosen is very significant because it will, in fact, be the second Sunday of Easter which he himself dedicated to Divine Mercy, and on the eve of which his earthly life came to an end."

One way or another, Pope John Paul II has touched our lives. I remember during the 1995 World Youth Day held in Manila, Philippines, the anthem, "Tell The World of His Love" was very popular. I was in grade school then. Two years after, I used that song as an audition piece for our high school choir.

I'm glad to have experienced the pope of our generation being beatified, and hopefully soon canonized. Pope John Paul II, who initiated the World Youth Day, remains an inspiration to the world especially the youth.