Apparently even third visits to a place aren’t even enough to take in everything it has to offer, especially when we’re talking about Cebu, a place so big you’d need roughly three days to circle the mainland by car, at least that’s what a local told me during one of my earlier visits.
That wasn’t about to happen yet though, since this time I came with my mom and sister Erika, who was resolute on doing only two things during our trip: have buffet and buy a guitar.
She got more than that, of course, including all the Carcar chicharon she could eat, and an impromptu sidetrip to Bohol just because her big sister didn’t really have anything planned out. And oh, it was her first time on a plane as well–something we’d all love to spoil our little siblings with, if only to convince them we want that last slice of pizza too.
Just what we needed: an umbrella to welcome us under the sun.
The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and two minutes away are the Sto. Nino Basilica and Magellan’s Cross.
Carcar chicharon being sold beside the Sto Nino Basilica. We bought loads of these since our youngest companion couldn’t get enough of them.
Mama and Erika buying candles from two elderly ladies in front of the basilica.
A sidestreet we passed by while in the cab.
Lunch buffet at Marco Polo Cebu. Kiddo went gaga over the food. And good riddance she ate at half off.
Tarts I can’t remember I ate.
Souvenir necklaces for P10 each at the Lapu-Lapu shrine
Mangroves opposite the shrine.
Guitars for sale are everywhere in Lapu Lapu.
Little girl having fun under the unbearable sun.
This is me, duh.
Erika, her P500-ukelele, and the beanbag she wanted to take home
Zubuchon’s Grape (above) and Kamias (below) shake. Surprisingly refreshing, especially the Kamias–something the chain is rather well known for. This branch is at the lobby of the hotel where we stayed.
Zubuchon’s biko: sweet & hot, it goes extremely well with kamias shake.
Zubuchon lechon. I’ve read somewhere online that Zubuchon lechon isn’t ‘really’ Cebu lechon. That aside, this one tasted really good–far better than our first encounter during Sinulog. Definitely worth a second try, and maybe even a third one.
For now kiddo says goodbye
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I’ve always wanted to go to Calaguas in the Bicol Region, but the distance has always been an issue—21 hours by land, from Baguio where I’m based, all the way to Paracale in Camarines Norte, plus another 2 hours by boat, all one way.
Interestingly, it has all come together in April this year with a group of friends I haven’t seen since college graduation.
We spent two nights under the stars, three days swimming in its crystal clear waters, and all our waking hours catching up on the past three years.
I’m still trying hard to process everything as I had just come from more than 24 hours of land travel, but I hope these photos will give justice to the place’s beauty for now.
Hands down—Calaguas is one of the best beaches I’ve been to.
All photos taken with Instagram. Follow me: @nikkacorsino
Calaguas Island is an unspoilt beach free of hotels, electricity, and all the usual comforts of commercialized island destinations. Let us keep Calaguas that way.
I and some friends just got back from a lengthy 3-day-2-night Holy Week camping in Zambales, along the Western coast of Luzon–lengthy because, with the absence of electricity and cellphone signal, we found ourselves going back to the very basics–cooking and eating, walking and swimming, and taking photos in between.
Photo shows our third and last stop, the fabled Capones Lighthouse in Capones Island. It’s a rather rough 35-minute boat ride from Barangay Pundakit, the drop-off point for boat rides to Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove, and other popular beach hangouts in Zambales.
A favorite spot among landscapists, Capones is like a long-forgotten fortress that has nothing of the camping areas that other islands nearby have. This mystique is overshadowed, however, by the sheer postcard perfection of the whitewashed lighthouse and the view of the South China Sea beyond.
Photo taken with Instagram (follow me: @nikkacorsino)
I love Instagram as much as the next guy, or girl for that matter. It’s one of the best reasons for getting (and keeping) an Apple device, though I have yet to get my hands on an iPhone, in which this app works best. I don’t mind the miniscule display, nor the syncing of photos from the computer (which is a tedious, tedious process, if I may say so). Instagram’s newest filters are to-die-for, and I have found no other app yet to even come close to what it’s offering its users for free. Not even Nik Software’s Snapseed, which I got free about a week ago during a limited promo, can outdo how intuitive, simple, and just perfect photos turn out to be in Instagram. Although I must say, Pixlr-o-matic, which comes both for the iPhone and iPad, does have Instagram-like filters. There, but not quite. Now if only Instagram releases an iPad app soon, I’m even willing to pay for it.
So here are some photos I took over the past few weeks. They’re not excellente, having used camera phones with less than a megapixel to offer, but hey, what difference Instagram filters make. Now only if they released an “Instagram for every phone” app akin to what Facebook did, then everyone’s gonna be a photonerd in no time.
L-R from top row: Homemade Durian Pie from Sagay Restaurant, Davao City; a pasta dish whose name I forgot, from Vizco’s; Pasta Alfredo from Gecko; Wheatgrass Tea from Gecko; maki from Kitaro; Avocado Icecream with Mexican Jalapeno from Hill Station; Lemongrass Tea from Volante; and Creamed Beef Pizza from Rumours.
Instagram is free for download on the Apple AppStore. They’re on Twitter as well.
Note: This is not a paid post. Er, just in case you even wondered the tiniest bit.
In a world of curves, levels, and layers, no photograph remains invincible to the strokes of digital tweaks.
Adobe Photoshop, and countless similar photo editing software, up-to-par with it or not, has changed the way we create and consume what started out as a complex science of creating and presenting.
Digital photography, the precursor of the world’s most popular – and therefore most pirated – photo editing software, is now as much your call as it is Ansel Adams’ in his time. With tools getting cheaper and more advanced by the quarter, more and more people who started out as consumers like everybody else are becoming creators, using the term loosely, of course.
Whether the cheap consumer or the increasingly cheaper prosumer, cameras are becoming as ubiquitous as cellular phones. Taking photographs of previously mundane things – of your goo-lined early-morning face, your al-fresco breakfast on a Sunday, your newly painted nails – now occupy as much space in the diminutive SD card as annual reunions, graduations, and anniversaries.
Blame it on Facebook, or its predecessor, Friendster, who have both turned us into social-media-attention-grabbers.
But then again there are also those who go the extra mile with what they create and let consume on their virtual territories.
And this is where software such as Photoscape comes to the scene. Downloadable over the web for free, Photoscape will surely capture the interest of the average Joe and Jane who snaps a lot and wants some punch in his/her photos but who care not about learning Photoshop. To put it simply, it’s like an idiot’s guide to the basics of photo editing. It does in one click pretty much what Photoshop users will do using a string of five commands. Take, for instance, the removal of the color cast. Photoscape has a dedicated ‘Remove color cast’ button for this purpose, whereas in Photoshop, you would need to either tweak the red and blue channels or overlay a photo filter, whatever suits your purpose best.
Besides, I must admit, Photoshop gets too complicated sometimes. When you process photos by the hundreds, you’d know what I mean. Sometimes, presets would make your life way easier.
And when you thought you already had the easy life with Photoscape, you discover Instagram – currently available as an app for iPod Touch and iPhone (not sure if there’s one for the iPad) for people who love the vintage lomo feel. This photo technique, after all, strikes you as more personal, not to mention out-of-the-ordinary. It converts otherwise badly focused, grainy, or plain crappy photos into something else – which leaves, I believe, more room for creativity for anyone who wants to add more into his or her everyday goo-lined early-morning-face photo. After using any of its 12 presets, your refurbished piece of artwork will be presented in a square-frame format similar to medium-format cameras the likes of million-peso cameras like Hasselblad currently produce. How’s that for, er, oomph factor?
I’ve tried Instagram yesterday and it’s so far working well for my ends. Except that you can’t seem to download any more presets – you’re stuck at 12, and after perhaps 10 or 20 photos, you’d wonder how your next photo will look with a little more darkness, grain, or green tinge. This is because its presets – keeping true to their name – can’t be tweaked, unlike those in Photoscape or in Lightroom. Just them twelve.
And because I’m using it with my second generation iPod Touch, I couldn’t take photos of my newly painted nails and goo-lined early-morning-face and have it on Instagram in seconds. I’ve tried syncing photos taken with my camera into it – a hassle, if I may say, no thanks to Apple’s ‘conservative’ system.
And Instagram is not like Flickr whose online presence thrives on a website. It does not. All a registered Instagram user can do from a desktop is to change personal settings, such as username, password, and gender.
Which gives me enough reason to want to sell my iPod Touch for the new fourth generation unit, unable as I am to shell out for an iPhone.