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Cebu City

This was my second time to visit Cebu. You probably can finish doing a day-tour in a day but we skipped going to Taoist Temple, Prince Cafe and Tops Lookout because it was raining the whole day due to the typhoon.

Basilica del Santo Nino.jpg

Basilica del Santo Niño

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Magellan’s Cross

Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro

The city has not changed a lot the last time I visited. But it was worth revisiting the city with you.

Extreme Walk

Masking acrophobia

Baguio Revisited

I didn’t many pictures when I visited Baguio again because I have been to the popular places. It is just that I was carrying my camera with me and along the way, I wanted to test what would it look like in HDR. After seeing such beautiful scenery, I thought of coming back to take more vibrant photos.

On the other hand, I took some shots from the street procession during the Panagbenga Festival.

Penang

Cultural Overload At Penang

As my leaves pile up every month of service and to replace the legal holidays whenever I come to work, it was the time to burn some of these last month. The first time I was in Penang was when I was in transit from Thailand way back May. I didn’t have the time to enjoy its scenery because I just slept the whole night after I arrived at the main city and prepped myself to the airport the following morning. Choosing wasn’t that hard because I have heard a lot about this lively island from food, cultural events and landscapes.

I have a number of pictures I would like to share but this would be a very lengthy post if I compile it in a blog post, maybe I can add them later when I get home; i’d rather choose the relevant shots. If you want to see more, they are available on my Picasa or Facebook profile.

Let us start from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a good timing because they were celebrating their month celebration of World Heritage from June 15 to July 15. The moment we arrived there, with newly found friends, the people were astounding – there were a lot of tourists and also the locals themselves are preserving the pristine culture of Penang.

Penang

World Heritage Temple

The music players, draw, pastel and charcoal artists, singers and dancers were scattered throughout the narrow streets.

Penang

Arts By The Road

Now, let us go to the Kek Lok Si Temple. You would never miss this spot because it is one of those mostly visited places especially during Chinese New Year. Practically hiking up through an indoor staircase would give you a feel that has been developed for tourists. It was this time that I was feeling that I was being presented with too much oriental culture. I have never seen such beautiful carvings in Mandarin and Buddhist statues.

Penang

Kek Lok Si Temple

Heading up to the highest peak of Penang, the Penang Hill: For tourists, you have to pay 30 Ringgits especially for foreigners. Such good differential pricing that they can maintain an eight-Ringgits fare for the locals.

At the peak of the hill, you will see one side of Penang facing the island that goes back to Butterworth. We were not able to stay long because there’s really nothing there except for the exquisite Penang skyline.

Penang

Penang Skyline

Would you imagined that I performed all of these trips within a day? And yes, there is one more! We went up to the northern part of the island where the beach is located. Batu Ferringhi is not really that good when you talk about clear turquoise water compared to Redang or Perhentian. The beaches accommodate mostly the foreigners and the hotel fares are pretty hefty if you would consider it for a normal local tourist. Nevertheless, I am always astounded by the beauty of the of beach sunset setting, so I stayed for quite some time to experience its golden setting.

Penang

Golden Sunset

All of these pictures I posted were taken in high dynamic range. Sorting, combining three photos, mixing to the most vibrant tonal range without oversaturating everything and converting them to a computer and human readable pictures are very time-consuming, but seeing these pictures especially in print brought a big smile to my face.

I am set to return this November to attend the annual running marathon hoping for another chance to take more photos and focus on what the island has to offer in terms of its food specialty.

Bukit Tabur

Bukit Tabur West

Hello all! It has been a while – like ages! I apologize for not updating because I have been very going out almost every weekend and work is as stressful as ever, it is even worse! I have like a backlog of posts since I came back from Phuket, Thailand last April up to my few recent trips – beaches, hikes, theme parks and all that jazz!

Anyway, I would like to start off with something I never thought I would do in my life.

When, I was younger, I was a home kid because I did not want sticky-sweat-under-the-sun feeling and I blame this attitude for having a slower metabolism. Up to now, I am trying to have a faster metabolism for better physique. Until Bryan invited me to hike to Bukit Tabur, in which, I think, I would be able to do because I have been doing outdoors recently.

We started around 5:20 AM. It was so dark and we were the first hikers to arrive at the foot of the hill. As a good practice, all hikers must register themselves at the nearby police station, so in case something bad happens, they are notified and yet, we did not. Although there was an ample mobile data signal even at the top of the hill, so it should not be a problem.

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Celfone Light

I did not have any torch so I used my handy mobile phone which I use for my roaming number. I was astounded with the amount of light it can project despite its size.

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Runkeeper at Bukit Tabur

By the time we reached one of the peaks, I turned off my tracker because I thought it was already the end of the trail. I was so wrong! We just stopped by because it was the perfect spot to take picture of the skyline and we were a bit early for the sunrise. At least, it was my first time to take sunrise/twilight landscape shot.

Bukit Tabur

Bukit Tabur Panorama

To my surprise, half of the view is the Kuala Lumpur city and at the left of the picture is the other side of KL – the dam or the lake. It was plain superb! This is one of the reason I have been going outdoors to take landscape photos as Mother Nature never fails to amaze me of its beauty.

Bukit Tabur

Bukit Tabur Lake

By the time the sun rose up, it was the perfect time to take HDR shots and I was not disappointed.

Bukit Tabur

10th Peak at Bukit Tabur

And yes! I have conquered Bukit Tabur West! Next time, I will find time to hike up to Bukit Tabur East.

Bukit Tabur

Descending

Descending and ascending the rocks was not that hard except for one of those where I almost fell because I was holding on to the metal bar affixed to the wall. I was having a hard time finding another slot to put hold my hand onto and my lens was hitting the wall rock.

Bukit Tabur

Climbing Up

It actually made a small scratch on the UV lens. Glad that it did not make any terrible marks on the photos – hopefully! It was then, I realized after a minute holding onto the rail that I needed to hold towards my left.

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Which way?

Next time, I will bring a bigger backpack. And guess what? After that experience, we chose the harder path. Haha! Where the bees reside!

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We Conquered Bukit Tabur

We made some good friends at the top of the hill. Another good place to socialize not just in bars or malls 😀

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Peak Overview

Bukit Tabur

Rock Climbing

While looking for a good spot, you can clearly see how picturesque the view is!

On our way down the hill, we chose the orchard path. We could have gone back to the rocks but I was so tired because I did not have not enough sleep due to my work schedule.