Happy Easter!

I am not particularly fond of flowers but I do like taking photos of them. Flowers are probably one of the most beautiful things to photograph in the world. Even a simple roadside flower can be so beautiful and captivating.

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Life and Death. (No filter)

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All photos taken in Baguio via Samsung S5.

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Love, Baguio

I loved Baguio even before I saw the place. I’ve been there on various times and I still want to keep going back. Here are some photos taken the last time I was there.

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Session Road. For the many times I visited this place, this was the first time I actually took a photo of it. I love this part of Baguio. The busy street, the beautiful facades and the people walking to and fro with their boots and thick jackets.

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Mines View Park. One of Baguio's most famous attractions. The place is quite crowded so I really prefer going there in the early morning when there are still few tourists milling around. The cold, soft breeze and this awesome view is enough to calm me down.

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Philippine Military Academy.

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Wright Park and The Mansion.

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Camp John Hay

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Baguio City as seen from Dominican Hill

[All these were taken using Samsung S5, no filters added.]

I Don’t Have A Heart.

I’ve lost my heart a long time ago. I don’t have most of it anymore. I broke it into pieces and gave it away.

Funny but I noticed that the more I give away the pieces, the bigger it seemed to get. I mean, I’ve given away so much but I still have some pieces left. I always have pieces left. It makes me wonder how many million pieces it broke into.

Five years ago I left a part of my heart somewhere in Region XI. I lived for years with only part of my heart until two years ago when I “accidentally” left a huge chunk somewhere in the cold mountains of northern Luzon. Now I’m not sure where most of it are but I think I left it somewhere around here…

Looks familiar?

Looks familiar?

It’s a place known for this…

Via Blackberry.

Via Blackberry.

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Over the years, as I slowly give pieces of my heart away I realized something. When you give out pieces of your heart, it doesn’t make it broken or less of a heart. In fact, the more pieces you give away the bigger it seemed to get. I’m not sure how this works but I don’t think this follows any scientific principles. It’s probably math right? I don’t understand math that much and only math gives me this queasy, nauseous feeling and this feels like math to me.

So now my heart is everywhere. Blown by the very same wind that brought me to the places I have loved without reserve and to the people who got some of the pieces although I distinctly remember not giving them any.

PMA Silent Drill 02.2014. *nope, this is not the one we’re talking about.*

PMA Silent Drill 02.2014.
*nope, this is not the one we’re talking about.*

My heart is gone. It now belongs to the world. It belong to the places I’ve been to and the people I met along the way. Or at least most of it. I still have some pieces left, would you like one?

Do you believe in ghosts?

A disembodied voice whispering in your ears, cries of agony, laughter so cold it brings chills down to your spine. Or perhaps, a sudden apparition? A child or a lady suddenly appearing and then vanishing into thin air. We all have these stories. Did we imagine them? Perhaps. Who knows? There are things in this world our mind can’t simply process or understand.

The Philippines has a lot of ghost stories. Wherever you go and whoever you ask, there is always a tale of horror waiting to be told. This is particularly true for Baguio City. In my opinion, this place is teeming with haunted places and horror stories owing no doubt to its rich history.

Of all these haunted places, one particularly stands out. The Diplomat Hotel. Located in Dominican Hill, the abandoned hotel sits at the very end of the road like a forbidden prize at the end of the maze.

02/26/14. Known as the most haunted building in Baguio City...The Diplomat is as creepy as haunted buildings go. *photo taken using blackberry*

02/26/14. Known as the most haunted building in Baguio City…The Diplomat is as creepy as haunted buildings go.
*photo taken using blackberry*

Like most decrepit and abandoned buildings, Diplomat has an eerie, creepy vibe to it. Entering its grounds is like crossing an invisible threshold that divides the past and the present, reality and legends. The air inside feels heavy perhaps it’s the supernatural or, i’d like to think, that it is heavy with the stories of its past (i prefer the latter, i’m a scaredy cat).

Before it became a famous haunted and abandoned building, Diplomat was first known as a famous haunted hotel. The place was initially built in 1913 to 1915 as a vacation house for the Dominicans, hence the cross.

Because a hotel with a cross is not creepy enough, it has to be abandoned too.

Because a hotel with a cross is not creepy enough, it has to be abandoned too.

According to all online articles I can find of the place, it became a refuge for japanese forces during the war and later it was bought by a businessman and converted into a hotel. Of course, as any building in this country with a history that includes “it was used by the japanese during the war”, Diplomat lived up to expectations by scaring staff and guests alike with supernatural visitors and the anguished cries of the lost souls.

I refuse to loom at this photo for more than a minute.

I refuse to look at this photo for more than a minute.

Even before the hotel was abandoned, ghost stories already thrive in this place. It doesn’t help of course that Baguio as a whole seemed to have more ghost stories than any other place that I know of in this country. The hotel was later abandoned after the owner died.

The Diplomat is a creepy place. Perhaps because when you go there your mind is already conditioned to fear. I don’t know. The place feels different. It doesn’t have the feel of an old abandoned place. The place feels full, suffocating even. At times, it feels like someone is dropping cold water on your spine.

It is a building full of stories. Tales of people who have lived and died not so long ago. The walls, a mute witness to whatever happened in the past. I think of the Diplomat, as I think of other old buildings, as more than just a structure. I think of it as a piece of history. People lived there, each with their own tales of love, hope, fear, and perhaps even tales of horror. They lived during the war afterall. They have seen horrors we can only imagine.

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If ghosts are real, then perhaps they just want to tell their stories.

Bell church according to ST51i

yep, i went back to Baguio and i happened to visit the Bell Church. It’s located near the boundary of Baguio City and La Trinidad.

i took photos from both phone and camera and here are some of those. These were all taken via phone. I have yet to sort the photos from my camera.

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The place has a really nice view of Baguio City and I wonder how beautiful to be there at night and see all the lights of the city. 

The Thing I Love about GE X500

I love the GEX500. true, it is not the best camera there is and there are a lot better. But for a beginner and a real amateur like me, the X500 has features that I greatly appreciate.

Foremost is the 15x optical zoom. [although I did see a Kodak bridge camera with 21x and i did found myself wishing I found it sooner–still].

Here are some zoomed in shots taken with GE X500.

This plane photo was taken from the Ruins and commercial planes fly low in that area in preparation for landing.


and here’s another one:

This one was taken at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City last January. That photo was [i don’t know what that is called really–decorative probably!] taken from the pond at the left side of the Melchor hall. That’s on top of the building and really far from where we were standing.

One disadvantage though, the photo of course looks a bit grainy because it’s zoomed in. I just hope you can still see it clearly.