Funny Signs

Pinoy humor at its best. Sometimes we do get "lost in translation." Trying to get the message across can have amusing results.

Funny Signs
Both for the humans and goats to read. All entrances to this cemetery in Argao bear these very large signs.

Funny Signs
Whatever's being grilled here, the male specie should beware. I wonder what happened here in the past. Was there a man castrated and his testicles seared in open flame? Who knows.

Funny Signs
Oh yes we understand it completely... the first two lines but what does it have to do with the elections?

Funny Signs
Okay, sinners can start moving out now.


Get Lost Magazine

Get Lost Issue #22

I have been ecstatic the whole day today learning my photo of Lambug beach finally got published. It is now read at Quantas Club lounges and in many other locations in the land down under.

Get Lost! is an independent quarterly magazine based in Australia and is read far and wide, beyond Aussie borders, even reaching Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States and the Philippines.

Here's the original file I uploaded on flickr last year and made a blog about my adventure in Badian being a top beach destination in Cebu.

Back flip

Here's the accompanying text I submitted for the cover:

Desperate and so bored as I was that day, a beach bum like me does not hesitate. A trip to where the sun, sea and sand is like therapy to the wanting soul.

I left my car, and boarded the earliest bus to the south, some 97 kilometers from the bustling city of Cebu to the town of Badian, a place where the waters of its three-tiered crystal clear waterfalls kiss the warm waters of the sea.

The secluded beach of Lambug greets you with its powdery-white sand, turquoise waters, endless sun, lesser crowds, and friendly locals who would gamely pose to your camera’s delight!

The rugged old tire makes a springboard for this willing and enthusiastic lad as his friends and a few more cheer behind the camera.

As I wait for my copies to arrive by mail I anticipate another beach escapade.



Estero at Binondo

The busy streets of Binondo is such a delight. The sights and sounds are by far the most enticing to the senses. Every corner has a surprise for anyone who's willing that sometimes it is not for the faint of heart.

Food is one thing that's always in my priority list when visiting a place, and for Binondo, it's my never-ending love affair with the ever-so-yummy hopia from Eng Bee Tin. Without much forethought I decided to end my relationship with the bean filled pastry just this one time. I let myself drool at the smorgasbord display of all flavors of hopia as I walked past the store along Ongpin street. I never looked back.


A friend who acted as tour guide is no stranger to Binondo. In fact he almost is a resident to the place, knowing every corner to turn to and every place to be in.


He took us to a string of eateries on the side of a small river. Estero, as it is called, was one place I never imagined going. We all know how polluted Manila's rivers are, I am amazed that eateries here thrive and remains a hit amongst the locals.


Think any Chinese dish and they'll cook it for you carenderia style. Spicy frog legs was on everyones minds. We had it fried in batter.


I felt like I was Anthony Bourdain that day. Consuming exotic and daring ethnic dishes. An unmatched experience that I'm looking forward to do more.

No reservations!


Balaanong Bahandi exhibit until August 3, 2009

50 select images are now on display at the Cathedral Museum. 1,000 images more will appear in the book aptly called "BALAANONG BAHANDI: Sacred Treasures of the Archdiocese of Cebu."

Balaanong Bahandi Photo Exhibit

Balaanong Bahandi Photo Exhibit Balaanong Bahandi Photo Exhibit Balaanong Bahandi Photo Exhibit Balaanong Bahandi Photo Exhibit Balaanong Bahandi Photo Exhibit

Reserve yourself a copy of this much-awaited book at a discounted price of only P1, 500. Discount will be given until August 30, 2009.


Balaanong Bahandi soon to be launched

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Cebu, the Cathedral Museum of Cebu and the Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church will soon launch the book Balaanong Bahandi: Sacred Treasures of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Published in collaboration with University of San Carlos Press, Balaanong Bahandi continues the pioneering work of Fr. Felipe Redondo who first chronicled the history of the Catholic Faith in Cebu through the book entitled “Breve reseña de lo que fue y de lo que es la Diócesis de Cebú en las Islas Filipinas” published in 1886.

With excerpts from a translation of Redondo’s magnum opus, over 1,000 full color photographs interspersed with vintage pictures in 58 chapters bring together the Church’s treasured heritage: houses of faith that have not only withstood the vagaries of time and the elements but spawned new parishes.

Balaanong Bahandi is the ultimate guide to the Archdiocese’s architectural heritage, showcasing all the churches in Cebu from the earliest missions to contemporary parishes, including all of the outstanding artistry they contain: bas reliefs expressed in coral stone, carved images in ivory and wood, ceiling paintings by the famed Canuto Avila and Raymundo Francia, handwritten pages in canonical books, bronze bells, and many other tangible manifestations of over 400 years of Christianity in Cebu.

To help raise funds for the book, a month-long exhibition of 50 of the hundreds of select photographs in the book will be held at the Cathedral Museum of Cebu to be opened on July 3, 2009. The exhibit opening will also coincide with pre-selling of the upcoming book at discounted rates.

By purchasing copies in advance, buyers not only get a 20 percent discount on the 300-page full color book, they will also share in the noble task of promoting and ensuring the protection and preservation of Cebu’s heritage churches as proceeds from sales will go to the Cathedral Museum of Cebu Trust Fund and the heritage conservation programs of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church.

Jojo R. Bersales

Editor/Project Coordinator


A-One tinola ug sinugba

Eating with hands has always been synonymous to the Filipino. Who needs cutlery anyway when grilled food is best eaten with hands? Finger-lickin' good as what KFC slogan says, seafood from the tropical Philippine waters should be enjoyed warm, with a dipping sauce made of vinegar and soy sauce mixture. Sprinkled with a generous amount of chopped onions and red hot chili for that added zest.

A-One tinola ug sinugba

Tucked in one small spot across SM Cebu is one of Cebu's best kept secret. A-One Tinola ug Sinugba offers the simplest dishes from sea. Tinola (a fish broth) or sinugba (grilled seafood or pork) might just be a few of the options here but it's what keeps everyone coming.

A-One tinola ug sinugba

Panga in its most delectable state. At Php250, it's good enough for three people to enjoy. A bowl or two of hot broth is free.

A-One tinola ug sinugba

As always, the aftermath washed down with ice-cold soda. Burp burp.


My early visita iglesia

The visita iglesia or church visit is a tradition in the Philippines usually done on Maundy Thursday. Together with 2 friends we decided to do the pilgrimage 2 weeks early, away from the maddening crowd of Holy Week. The churches down south of Cebu have retained much of what it was in the past. Coral stone blocks, painted ceilings and antique bells have pretty much survived the ravages of time. Learning interesting tidbits of these churches make your pilgrimage a memorable experience.
1. St. Michael the Archangel Church, Argao (the golden retablo is a must-see, the area surrounding the church is a typical Spanish Plaza, it's like walking back in time)
Argao Church
2. Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church, Talaga, Argao (this blue and towering structure couldn't be missed)
Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church
3. Sta. Monica Parish Church, Cawayan, Dalaguete (reminds me of the onion-shaped belfries of Carcar. Four female figures greet you on the stairs, I am not sure though what they represent. Perhaps the 4 virtues.)
Sta. Monica Parish Church
4. San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish Church, Dalaguete (I just love the facade of these church, details are commonly found in Augustinian churches dotting the island)
San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish Church
5. Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish Church (hard to see from the highway, the tall trees around the church make the air so cool)
Sta Rosa de Lima Parish Church
6. Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church, Boljoon (see the Archaeological diggings around the church grounds and chance upon burials with celadon wares, golden jewelry and other traditional implements)
Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church
7. Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa Church, Sibonga (no one will ever miss this imposing structure, the main door of the church reach as high as 3 floors)
Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa Church
These photos have been taken from 2007-2009.


CDO's impressive stained glass windows

Not much is known how these stained glass windows, made by master craftsmen of Birmingham, England, reached the shores of Cagayan de Oro city. One interesting fact though, these priceless works of art were taken from the chapel of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in New York and were installed in 1946 after the present cathedral was rebuilt after the war.

CDO's impressive stained glass windows

CDO's impressive stained glass windows CDO's impressive stained glass windows CDO's impressive stained glass windows CDO's impressive stained glass windows CDO's impressive stained glass windows

St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral
Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines


University of San Carlos Exhibit

These photos were taken between 2008 & February 2009. Part of the History and SoAn Days 2009 carrying the theme Heritage Awareness for the Young Generation. Exhibit runs until the 14th of March 2009.
2 sets I submitted. The Colonial Churches of Cebu and published photos at the Heritage section of Cebu Daily News.

Boljoon Church Pediment

San Fernando Church

Argao Retablo


Dangwa flower market at night

Colors everywhere! It was the first thought that popped inside my mind. Sights, scents and sounds greeted me as I stepped for the first time into the district known as Bulaklakan ng Maynila. Dangwa Flower Market comes alive at the strike of midnight as blooms from flower-growing regions in Baguio, Laguna and Tagaytay arrive.

Dangwa flower market at night

Dangwa flower market at night

The area, located along Dos Castillas and Laong-Laan Streets in Sampaloc, was once a bus terminal. From a bagsakan or drop-off point of flowers from Baguio, it has become what we know of Dangwa today. A central night market where even Manila's most notable florists shop.

Dangwa flower market at night

Dangwa flower market at night

Whatever flower it is that you fancy, liliums, sweetpeas or lisianthuses, everything's all here but save your shopping for the night.


The Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration

Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration

Leandro V. Locsin's last legacy before his death in 1994. A National Artist for Architecture, his other well know works include the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine International Convention Center and the Istana Nurul Iman palace of the Sultan of Brunei.
The pyramidic structure is perched on a hill located just a few kilometers from the city center. This is Malaybalay city's most visited modern landmark. Part of the complex the Benedictines call home because of the cool mountain breeze that constantly drift the several hectares of land dedicated to agriculture.


Scenes at the Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009

Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009

Beautifully decorated carrozas getting ready for dapit, a term derived from pagdapit or invitation. The carroza of the Sto. Niño de Malolos, together with a band, goes around the streets inviting other carrozas along the way. These carrozas in turn follow in a long sequence to the chapel where a translacion mass is held. Dapit is the first of three processions during the fiesta weekend, the other two happens on Sunday, one in the morning and the grand procession in the afternoon.

Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009

The biggest Sto. Niño festival in Luzon, it drew more than 130 carrozas bearing different images of the Holy Child in a grand procession on the last Sunday of January. The number of carrozas "filled to the brim" the grounds of the Malolos Cathedral.

Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009
Devotees flock inside the beautiful chapel. The antique image of the Sto. Niño de Malolos is said to very miraculous.
Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009
One of the images of the Holy Child exhibited at the Ecclesiastical Museum in Barasoain Church. Most of the images displayed in this museum are also used in the procession.
Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009 Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009 Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009 Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009 Malolos Sto. Niño Fiesta 2009