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Missing Boracay, Missing Summer June 27, 2008

Filed under: personal,philippines,travel — hannaherika @ 10:20 am
I wasn’t able to enjoy my summer much. I had surgery and I had to recover from it. Sometimes I feel that a summer without Boracay is no summer at all.


Island party every night

Sigh… see you next year Boracay


Random Pictures from my TZ5 June 26, 2008

Filed under: philippines,Photography — hannaherika @ 1:54 pm
I just love my compact camera and I’m obsessed with it. I thought at first I should buy a DSLR. But then I thought I needed a compact first! I’ll buy the new 1000D hopefully within the year. But for now… I love my Leica Lens Panasonic Lumix TZ5.
Walking along the busy ave

I love my job. I love where I work.

random stuff in my desk

night time before I sleep view outside my place

view outside my office – Fort Bonifacioand Makati Skyline


Typhoon Frank June 22, 2008

Filed under: news,philippines — hannaherika @ 2:19 pm

taken from Inquirer.net

I didn’t know this typhoon was comming until I woke up last night. It was dark, cold and noisy. I couldn’t sleep in complete darkness and every time there’s a power outage while I’m sleeping, I instantly wake up. I don’t know why but it freaks me out. I wish I could just continue sleeping.

It was 3am (my most unfavorite time of the day) and the winds were howling outside our window. The angry rain poured persistently into the whole of the Philipines. Metro Manila is flagged signal #3. Yes, this is so far the biggest typhoon I have seen that really hit Philippines. As I watch the news, I was surprised to see that it almost engulfed every island of the Philippines and almost every town has had tragedies.

Typhoon Frank had at least 299 dead and almost 700 missing – for now. Adding to this, a passenger boat “Princes of the Stars” sinked on the seas near Romblon. Four injured survivors were found in a remote village in Romblon. More of this news here. This report is tragic. The survivor talked about many children trapped in the sinking ship. The pictures taken by a rescuer showed the ship was turned completely up-side down. It was reported that there were no signs of life so far. But some bodies were found dead in nearby shores.

“An elderly man and woman, believed to be a couple, were found dead
with their hands tied to each other at the waters off San Fernando, Cuasito

I just can’t help but feel touched about that statement. There is room for love even in tragedies.

There were landslides in Cotabato and flash floods in Ilo-ilo city. Many were injured and missing here too.

For one thing, this tragedy wasn’t predicted by the guy in my previous post. Even with the typhoons’s path predicted by PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration) using scientific methods, still the tragedies involved couldn’t be predicted.


Gas / Oil’s rapid price increase June 17, 2008

Filed under: career,economy,finance,philippines — hannaherika @ 3:48 pm
It’s been a while since I have driven a car. I gave up my car to live in a condominium which is nearer my workplace. Having said that, I really don’t stop by at the gas stations to check the prices that often. When the shuttle I was riding in stopped by at the gas station, I was surprised to see how expensive the oil is now!

The last time I paid attention to the gas prices was about 3 months ago. This was the time when I was driving my things from my house to the rented condo. By then the gas prices were about the price of PHP43. But the gas station now says gas per litter is PHP58! And to make matters worst, this rate will go higher and higher every friday night. It will increase PHP 1 every week. So to all you drivers and car owners out there you better Fuel up and have a Full tank before friday night. Do this especially if you’re planning a trip on a weekend.

I recently attended a training held by my generous company. It’s all about “Understanding Financial Markets and Services.” The training’s timing is just right because I could link my lesson into the World economy now.

We talked about the sub-prime woes in the training. If you don’t know about this then you may view my previous post.

Sup-prime really had a multiplier effect working on things. One of them is the price of gas. Why so? How is it related? You see in this complex world of business and finance, people trade money, currencies, commodities (e.g. coal, oil), stocks and bonds. These are just the common ones. If you really go hard-core investment banking and finance, you would hear about trades in interest rates, futures and forwards, accounts and loans receivables, pledges, hedges, derivatives, exotic options and swaps, repos and many other more. The craziest ones I’ve heard are exchanges involving environmental derivatives (i.e., environmental licenses). I will research more about this.

Before the sub-prime, the trading market is blooming. Trades are being made here and there to almost anything you could imagine. Exotic derivatives and new products are appealing as these are new concepts in finance. Now after the sub-prime, investors have gotten afraid to put their money in these exotic derivatives. So, where does the investor’s money go now?

Investors go back to the basics. They put their money in old-school, well-founded, almost-safe, not-so-risky investments like stocks, bonds, and more importantly into commodities. And as I have mentioned earlier commodities include petroleum and oil. So these rich folks put their money to invest in oil companies.

Now, still unclear about the connection between the sub-prime and oil price increase? It’s just a matter of applying the basics of what you have learned in economics – the demand and supply. I’m no good economist really, but I also took 6 units of micro and macro economics in college. But thanks also to my training I found an explanation to this.

Imagine if all investors would want to invest in oil, and the oil company doesn’t have that much to offer to all, what does the oil company do? They increase their prices.

This is just one explanation about other reasons why the gas prices are high. For some other obvious reason, natural resources are really getting expensive and you don’t need a brain of an economist. You just need common sense on this.

That is why, from what I see and hear every day about the problems of the world, I do feel responsible for this crisis. I hope I could reach many and let people realize that we need to be more responsible for our natural resources.


Day 4: Dumaguete City June 7, 2008

Filed under: philippines,Photography,travel — hannaherika @ 1:02 am
June 3, 2008

We all felt that our time was cut short. This is the day we’re going back to Manila. Sadly, we packed our things so that we could leave by 12 noon. Despite the harsh sun, I managed to walk outside and get some last-minute shots.

I saw these kids playing around and swinging from the tree to have a freefall by the sea. It took me a while to capture the kid on air. It took patience…

A slant coconut tree nearby.

Zoe’s garden.

I thought I might have a heatstroke because the heat is intense so I went inside and ate this Fried Ice Cream. It’s really delicious! I wonder where I could buy something like this in Manila.

Then, we had lunch here. Their sylvannas and sans rival are really delicious, plus, it’s cheap!

This is the view outside the restaurant. It’s like Manila’s Baywalk.

I captured the sunset while the plane is preparing for its landing in NAIA Airport.

More Day 4 pictures and my Multiply album.


Day 3: Balanan Lake June 5, 2008

Filed under: philippines,Photography,travel — hannaherika @ 3:09 pm
June 2, 2008

We had to endure waking up early in the morning to enjoy the rest of the day. After we had breakfast at 6:30 am, we had to get ready for the 1.5 hour drive to Balanan Lake.

We were greeted by this beautiful road bridge after we entered the resort’s premises.

It had beautiful man-made step falls linking the river so that it would continuously fall from this mountainous terrain to the plains.

We rented “bankas” (small boat) so that we could go to the other side of the lake.

We were told that the depth of this lake is about 70ft -100ft.

After 30 minuits of boat riding, we arrived at the other side of the lake. We hiked for about 15 minuites to arrive at the waterfalls. I took a picture of some wildlife animals I found interesting while we hiked:

This is a “wild boar.” I don’t know if you should still call it “wild” though because it’s already in captive. If you don’t know what it is it’s kind of sort of like a crazy, black-colored pig which is much more aggressive than the normal pig and can even aggressively bite human beings if provoked.

The water spider and it’s shadow.

I don’t know if this is a worm or a snake. But, if anyone of you recognizes what it is, please let me know.

I failed to ask our local tour guides what this waterfall is called. Its top-flat rock formation is a beauty.

And of course, I have more creative shots. This lake also has the lots and lots of flowers.

Beauty below

The baby preying mantis

Queen bee
I had a hard time capturing this because I’m afraid that the bee might sting me.

Scent of yellow

Pink Rosy Cloud

I have more day 3 pictures at my multiply album.


Day 2: Apo Island

Filed under: philippines,Photography,travel — hannaherika @ 1:12 am
June 1, 2008

This was the most tiring day of the trip. From Private Residence Resort, we rode a “banka” going to Apo Island. I have motion sickness so I just stood still during the one-hour boat trip.
The weather was sweet during our trip and the waters are calm.
We were greeted by this very nice rock formation when we parked along the shores of Apo Island. It is said that this rock is cursed though. If you scream by its presence, something bad will happen to you, like an accident perhaps.
Apo Island has a marine sanctuary and we went snorkelling. I wished I had an underwater camera because the reef is really a beauty. I wish I could have capture it. It was full of corals, fishes and many more.
After diving the reef we went up to the viewing deck. We didn’t regret the 15-minuite hiking with the harsh sun above our heads. The view is breathtaking enough and worthy of the walk.
Of course, my trip to this Island wouldn’t be complete without my creative nature shots.

With bare hands

Jelly dish (fish’s dinner)

itch much

little orange poison

red seduction

no sands in my beach

rock on

I have more day 2 pictures at my multiply album.