Friday, July 03, 2015

G-Wiz and the Wizards Run this Year

It was a good run for the Washington Wizards this season. With the help of veteran superstar Paul Pierce, the Wizards made it as far as the Eastern Conference semifinals. However, they fell short against the dominant Atlanta Hawks in six games. Better luck next year boys!

In this photo, G-Wiz pleases the crowd in a playoff game at the Verizon Center


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Birds in Flight

To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Victory in Europe Day, mechanical birds from the second World War paraded the skies of the Washington DC Metro Area on Friday, May 8th. 

Good thing it was a Friday: I was off from work. I really planned to see the planes on that day. I thought I was able to make it to DC in time, not realizing that this event would turn into a Fourth-of-July-like festivity.

At 11am, an hour before the flyover, I decided to take Juancho to our go-to park in McLean, Clemyjontri Park. At 11:45am, I decided to leave the park to get to DC in time for the flyover. Alas, upon reaching GW Parkway, it was already a slow flow. Cars have already pulled over on the side of the highway. After a few miles of slow movement, I decided to follow the car in front of me and pulled over on the side of the highway and just waited there. I didn't risk going to DC anymore.

And there they came... fleet by fleet, they started to swarm the clear blue sky of the District. We were lucky that GW Parkway was in the birds' flight path. We saw each and every one of them. 

Then I was happy. :) 

Thus, my photo of the day: WWII Birds in Flight

WWII Birds in Flight


When you take US 29 south you will see a lot of scenes similar to my next photo of the day. This was taken in Warrenton, Virginia.

It's good to see cows near the place I live. It sort of makes me comfortable and confident that the milk we drink everyday is fresh and new... Even if I don't know if these cows actually do produce milk!


Ted's Bulletin

Finally I was able to dine at one of the famous all-day breakfast places in Washington, DC. Ted's Bulletin boasts its diner-style fare, complete with the delightfully sweet milkshakes and desserts. I loved their chocolate milkshake and fried steak.


Embassy Open House

For the second year in a row, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC participated in the Embassy Open House called "Passport DC." Along with the Philippines, at least 50 more embassies opened their doors on May 2nd, Saturday, to showcase their offices, their talents, their good food and their culture. Visitors from within and outside the DC metro area had the opportunity to go around the world just by walking through the Embassy Row along Massachusetts Avenue.

The Philippine Embassy showcased talent in dancing, music and martial arts, at the same time offered sumptuous Filipino cuisine like lumpiang shanghai, pancit and lechon. At the same time, the Embassy launched its week-long exhibit of proudly pinoy industrial designs of Kenneth Cobonpue.

Photo is of the famous Filipino dance tinikling as it is being tried by visitors.



We went to one of the many Philippine festivals here in Virginia. This time, we traveled 110 miles to be with our Kababayans in Richmond, Virginia to celebrate their own Philippine festival. Filipinos displayed their talents in the main stage, while others were stationed in their respective provincial booths.


Saturday, May 09, 2015

Wizards in Post-season 2015

Washington Sports is alive once again this season! Both the professional hockey and basketball teams of the Nation's Capital have reached the post-season. The Washington Wizards, DC's basketball team, has beefed up its roster during last summer and brought in veteran reinforcements like the future Hall-of-Famer Paul Pierce. Thanks to that and other factors like the maturity and leadership of point guard John Wall, the Wizards spend their second consecutive spring to play for the NBA playoffs. 

I was able to watch the first home game of the Wizards' playoff run vs. the kings of the north, the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards pulled away win a win this night, giving them a 3-0 advantage over the  Raptors. We were at nosebleed section and the arena was packed with fans donning the red, white and blue shirts that were given for free that night.

Wizards in Post-season


I'm still awed by the sight of tulips planted in the streets. From where I came from, we put tulips in refrigerators to maintain their freshness in time for someone to purchase and give them to their loved ones. I have bought these precious tulips from the store before and even when they are refrigerated and well taken-care of, never have I seen those tulips as lovely as what I see now in the streets of DC.

Street Tulips

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Last day of Peak

On its last day of peak, I told Bubbles I needed to take a few more shots of the beautiful Sakura trees. And so we did.

DC was still packed with tourists even if it was a Monday. The road to the Tidal Basin was moving slow and the sun was setting fast. And so we decided to just take pictures of the cherry trees near the Memorial Bridge.

Cherry Sunset

Rawlins' Magnolias

Like the Sakura Cherry Trees, the pink flowers of the Magnolia trees bloom for a limited time. Rawlins Park in 18th Street is lined with Magnolia trees and its bloom signals the peak of the beautiful season of Spring.

Rawlins' Magnolias

WB-IMF Spring Meetings 2015

Spring Meetings 2015

2015 Cherry Blossoms

I have taken hundreds of photos of the Cherry Blossoms but I still wanted to go out this year to take some more. And so I did. 

This year I did not go to the usual spots at the Tidal Basin. I decided to instead take photos of Sakura trees in not too busy areas like the Memorial Bridge and the ones near the Philippine Embassy. The photo below was taken near the Embassy. 

Sakura 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Five Tweets I Decided not to Post about the Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight

As a die-hard fan, the past two days have been difficult for me to recover. After five years of waiting, Manny Pacquiao finally faced a formidable opponent in Floyd Mayweather, Jr. There was enough hype to push ticket prices to sky-high proportions. Pay-per-view rates went up 70%, while networks from the Philippines have decided to set aside professional differences and simultaneously provided delayed coverage (to give way to malls and restaurants who needed to make millions for this fight). I have been waiting for this fight all my (fan) life, and finally, last Saturday, they met. They fought. And of course, I don’t need to tell you again who won the fight. And after that, I couldn’t seem to move on.

They say that it is not good to write or say things at the heat of your anger. It normally blocks some of your thoughts, clouds judgement and unleashes words that are not meant to be said. To be honest I almost did say these things to my -100 followers in Twitter, but then I held off. I did say a few things but none of them were really hate words. Then after a couple of days, when I was back to my sane self, I decided to give my unsolicited, unwanted write-up of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

I know, it’s a bit too late. People have already provided opinions. I have no other new things to add given that I only watched in the comfort of my friend’s home. I do not have any insider information on what actually happened before, during and after the fight. I don’t want to write an uninteresting writeup. But then why stop now after I have endured to watch a rather uninteresting fight?? So here goes.

To give a different flavor to my short essay, I will just share the top five tweets and updates I would have written during the heat of Saturday night’s, but decided not to. This ended up with my justifications, realizations and reflections about that fight. So below are the top five tweets I would have written: 

5. “Mayweather, you’re a cheat!” – To be honest, I wanted to lash out this sentence just because. Remember as a kid when you were playing a game and then you kept losing because you were can’t get better like the other boys, then you just lash out “you bunch of cheats!” In Filipino terms, “ang daya naman.” I may have found them cheats, or maybe then I thought life was cheating on me for losing. That was the same way I felt when Mayweather was dancing around, dodging the punches and hugging Manny while getting the chippy points here and there. He didn’t actually cheat, but he mastered the art of pushing the legalities of the boxing rules to the limits. And I hated him for it.
On the other hand, we can also argue that Mayweather “cheated” into luring Team Pacquiao into a lopsided fight based on TMT’s self-imposed rules. But then again, it was agreed by both parties to be this way. And that is for finally agreeing to the highest offer of the split: 40% of the total earnings, giving Pacman the biggest purse of his boxing career. $120 million in exchange for all the demands? I’d also say “Be my guest!”

4. “What a boring match!!!” – I don’t actually watch Mayweather fights because I was told they are the most boring fights ever. After watching Mayweather in full 12 rounds, that was when I realize what my friends say about him being boring. Like I said in the previous failed tweet, he did play by the rules. But then, the rules are not really meant to make boxing exciting and fun. If we ever need to blame somebody for boring fights and fighters like Mayweather, boxing rules should be changed. Like for example, there could be added point deductions for clinching more than two times per round. People have started changing rules in other sports like baseball and it would make more sense to start doing the same for boxing. We have to save the sport to save those behind them: fighters, promoters, networks, arenas like Las Vegas, those employees, etc.

Barbaric as it may seem, boxing is a rough sport and people would pay more to see more blood. That is the mere reason why Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is already overtaking the boxing box office sales. You want to take out the boring side of boxing, then alter the rules. If not, then you would still produce undefeated snorers like Mayweather and Rigondeaux.

3. “Mayweather you running and clinching a**h*le!” – This tweet would simply be stating the obvious from the first day they agreed to enter into the ring on May 2nd. To violently comment on Mayweather running around the ring and clilnching is like complaining that Michael Jordan is shooting more than blocking shots in any one Chicago Bulls game. Everybody knows how Mayweather plans to fight and plans to win. And as expected, he stuck to his game plan. At the same time, everybody knows how Manny Pacquiao fights like a punching maniac and how his punches go from different angles. They have two unique game plans. The only difference is that last Saturday, one fighter stuck to the game plan and flourished, the other was not very successful.

This is not to put the blame on Manny for not exerting more, but then based on boxing statistics you can see who failed to do his homework. It could be the reported shoulder injury and the said Nevada Commissions ban for Manny to use the painkillers and vitamins. Then again, we go back to tweet number five. 

2. “Mayweather robbed me of my money!” – I wanted to tweet this after watching a (expectedly) boring fight. A hundred bucks for pay-per-view vs. the usual seventy and all I get is this?! But then again I came back to my senses and read back tweet number five.

1. “Pacquiao should have won that fight. Judges are blind!” – Pacquiao felt he won the fight because Mayweather did nothing. Evander Holyfield felt Manny did a pretty good job and should have won the fight. They were both partially correct. Yes, Manny did great and he deserved to be a winner. But then again, this is boxing. Manny Pacquiao is no doubt the better fighter, but Mayweather came out the better boxer.

Mayweather is a boxing Olympian. In the Olympics, the objective is not how strong you punch, but how accurate you connect. In a very short 3-round match, you need to practice not endurance, but jabbing accuracy. With helmets and very soft gloves, the intention is how you really score, and not how you go for the kill. Mayweather is an Olympian. Manny Pacquiao is a warrior. That is why Mayweather won the scorecards, but Manny won and will always win the hearts of fans around the world.

It was a sad, sad day for boxing fans from the Philippines and around the world. We have grown so fond of Floyd Mayweather’s irritating antics that the quest for finding a match has been a worldwide crusade. At some point in time  But then when that time came and the fight of the century happened, Manny fell short of a victory and supposed boxing “villain” still lurks with his devilish grin and now with a unified title around his waist.

But then, life goes on. I will always and forever be a big boxing fan, a big Manny Pacquiao fan. I think it will be difficult to develop a fighter like him and I’m afraid I will never in my lifetime see another Filipino fighter of this magnitude. Manny fought a great fight May 2nd. The result may not be what most wanted, but then the mere fact that Pacman has touched many hearts and minds with his skills, determination, and his story of success and faith, that in itself is a big W for us Filipinos. Maraming Salamat at Mabuhay ka Manny!

What now of the storied rivalry of MayPac? Will we ever see them in the same ring again? Probably not. Will we want to see them both in the same ring again? Probably not.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bonnie Springs

As a big fan of the wild wild west movies and video games, I searched for nearby ghost towns or abandoned villages where we could visit and take pictures. I came across Bonnie Springs ranch, an old western village turned "theme park" where kids and adults can enjoy and make believe living in the old town west.

We had a great time looking at old western structures, riding the mini train, petting the free animals and watching the funny skits from the hometown cowboys.

Bonnie Springs

Red Rock Canyon

Just 15 miles from the Las Vegas strip, one can enjoy the marvels of nature by visiting the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The park, which is officially part of the great Mojave Desert, boasts the beautiful red and orange streaks of sandstone formations.

The park has a visitor center where you can strategically take photos of the panoramic view, and a 20-plus mile scenic drive which gives you different perspectives of the canyon.

This area reminds me of my favorite video game, Red Dead Redemption. Makes me want to play that game again... :)

Red Rock

Vegas Cityscape

It was good to see Las Vegas for the first time. It was unlike any other city we've been in here in the US. First of all, it's strategically situated in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Second, I don't know any other city that thrives in fun... and "sin..."

Vegas was so laid back and relaxed despite the busy sidewalks and the bad traffic. It seems like everyone knows that everyone's here to have fun.

Took this photo while we were strolling along the "Strip."

Busy Vegas

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Frigid Play

The cold's been relatively longer the past two winters. This year I felt the length of the winters especially when trying to fulfill my 365-day photography challenge. That is why I am officially announcing (to my very few followers other than my parents) that I will be able to fulfill the 365-day challenge but will no longer be able to to do daily...

I will continue to shoot as much to build the 365 days of shooting images. Oh well...

This time, I was playing with bokeh and depths of field and I thought of sharing this test shot. It's taken from our nearby playground during one of the snowstorms. I actually thought it was pretty cool to have capture the bolts that connect the ropes together and how the powdery snow clung to them like little kids do during summer.

Frigid Play
Washington DC

Monday, March 02, 2015

Lolo Edo

 He may not be the ideal grandfather. He is not the type who gives you random stories of how he became the man he is now. He is never boastful of his achievements, nor is he a sweet talker to his children and grandchildren. In fact he does talk crass even in front of children. I will always remember how he composes sentences that begin and end with a curse. But then that's sort of a common trait among his contemporaries.

We also did not share extraordinarily memorable stories like us going on a cruise together, or maybe riding the roller coaster. We shared the most mundane, ordinary of moments, but then the simplicity of these times sort of made it magical. 

That's my Lolo (grandfather) Alfredo. I look up to him with much admiration and respect because he taught me, in both direct and indirect ways, some valuable lessons in life that I will definitely share with my children and grandchildren.

Lolo Edo with sons, daughters and in-laws

This is one trait I love about Lolo. He loves and thrives in the simple life. No frills, no deals, just loving life around his family and friends (mostly in the barber shop or billiards hall). 

He is never a traveler. He only loved traveling to Baguio City, where he would reminisce taking his children to the Supreme Court office there for a weekend of cool breeze and quality time. I was lucky to have joined him during the last days of these trips, as he lost the privilege to use and "abuse" the premises when he retired from the service in the 80’s. During our random conversations, he would go back to these days when he and some officemates would sneak into the Chief Justice's office to get a stash of his favorite coffee Taster's Choice. It was the only coffee brand he knew and loved. I remember when I brought him to a modern coffee shop and ordered him a cappuccino as he requested, he lambasted the brand and said it didn't taste as good. He enjoyed the magic of simplicity. Nothing beats a cup of hot coffee, Tempo, Manila Bulletin, sometimes PDI (which he fondly calls peryodiko), and some news or boxing on TV. 
Lolo Edo with Grandsons and granddaughters

No stress or problem could ever bring Lolo Edu down. He has had his share of trials and times of sorrow, but these things just get shrugged off. He is the epitome of Adele Nazeem's epic theme, "Let it Go,” or the inspiration from Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off.” To him, haters gonna hate, hate hate, so he just gives his detractors and enemies the 5-curse sentence technique. ‘Yang batang yan naan o.’ Then it’s all good.

Devotion to family

He loved each and everyone of us, his children and grandchildren. He may not have been affectionate in words, but his actions speak a loud voice of love and devotion, most especially to his wife, my Lola Perping. He would always want to be around her. I remember a time when Lolo decided not to join us for an out of town trip because my Lola couldn't make it due to illness. He loved us and for that, we loved him back. 

To some he is Kaka, to others Freddie: that is how I will best remember dear Lolo Edo. He may have already left us, but his memory, in its simplest most beautiful form, will always be with us forever. I was lucky to have had Lolo Edu as my grandfather. 

We may have lost another dear one on Earth, but we have gained another angel in heaven. May you rest in peace, Lolo. Say hi to Tita Leny and Lola Perping for us. 

Lolo Edo: February 21, 1926 - February 25, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Three Little Birds

Three Little Birds

Music and Lyrics by Bob Marley 
"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be alright.
Singing' "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be alright!"

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Each by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Saying', ("This is my message to you")

Singing' "Don't worry 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be alright."
Singing' "Don't worry (don't worry) 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be alright!"

Rise up this mornin',
Smile to the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Each by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', "This is my message to you"

Singin' "Don't worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
Every little thing gonna be alright. Don't worry!"
Singin' "Don't worry about a thing" I won't worry!
"'Cause every little thing gonna be alright."

Singin' "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be alright" I won't worry!
Singin' "Don't worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be alright."
Singin' "Don't worry about a thing, oh no!
'Cause every little thing gonna be alright!"

Sunset with Birds

Birds being back from migration is a good sign that spring is near!!! Whooopee!

Sunset with Birds

White House Front Lawn

White House Front Lawn
10 February 2015


9 February 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby Shower for Baby DG

Another one, that is. It's the baby boom in Washington DC! Most couples in our circles here in DC have joined the parenthood bandwagon and the most recent in the bunch is Randy and Tin! Baby shower was held on February 7, but I decided to feature it as a February 8 photo of the day. :)

Cheers to the parents-to-be!

Baby Shower for Baby DG


We went to the airport for a traditional sendoff of another colleague of Bubbles who is due to be back at the home office in the Philippines.

This is one interesting scene from the sendoff. Incoming DCM talks to outgoing DCM with the missus looking on. :) It's some sort of a debriefing-briefing-sendoff mini-meeting. As for me, I was just there to take the photos.

Good luck and see you soon DCM Ariel!

7 February 2015


Took this photo of the Consular office building of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC same time last year...

6 February 2015

Arlington Cemetery at Winter

Another throwback photo of the Arlington Cemetery. It's tough to shoot during winter but it's also good as I am able to go back and see what I have shot the past few years. :) 

Arlington Cemetery at Winter
5 February 2015

The Dance

Posting some of my old photos that I just opened and edited. :)

Here's one on movement. Photo was taken in one of the cultural shows here in Washington, DC. I think this was from the George Mason University. the University's Filipino Association holds annual cultural shows. We were lucky to have been invited to one of them.

The Dance


Photo taken from the National Museum of Art Sculpture Garden

3 February 2015

Flock of Seagulls

2 February 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Such Great Heights

"They'll see us wavin' from such great heights, 'come down now!' They'll say." --The Postal Service

Photo was taken from the top of the Washington Monument. This is the view of the tower's East Side, showcasing the Smithsonian museums and the US Capitol.

Such Great Heights


This photo was taken in winter 2014, when scaffoldings have not yet enveloped the Capitol dome. This year until next, the Capitol will have its "braces" for its restoration.

Capitol at Winter Night

National Day of Mourning

Today we honor the 44 fallen members of the PNP Special Action Forces in a simple flag-raising at half-mast at the Philippine Embassy at Washington, DC.

January 30 is also declared as a National Day of Mourning for the fallen 44.

National Day of Mourning, Washington DC
30 January 2015

The DC Airstrip

“The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” 
― J.M. BarrieThe Little White Bird

29 January 2015

Georgetown Strip

Georgetown Strip
28 January 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

What to do on a Snow Day?

Well, make snowballs and throw them at your father!

Snowball Fight
27 January 2015

Birthday girl 2015

Today I dedicate my 365-day challenge post to my bestfriend, tutor, sparring partner, chef, number one critique, my one and only. Happy birthday Bubbles! :)

26 January 2015

Morini @ The Yards

We made an accidental food stop in Morini Osteria in The Yards, SE Washington DC. We initially intended to eat Asian at Kruba for lunch. I always trusted Yelp to yelp me out in deciding a restaurant to try out, but this time, it failed to tell me the right hours for Kruba. Yelp says it is open from noon on Sundays, but then when we arrived it said that they open at 4pm. Even their suppliers of bean sprouts consulted yelp about their store hours as when we came by their door, there was a big bag of bean sprouts waiting at the step. :) So we tried looking for other open restaurants around. We then saw Morini Osteria along the harbor.

What seemed like a frustrating first trip at The Yards turned out to be a happy gastronomic adventure thanks to Morini. They were offering Restaurant Week that day, but we decided to try the regular menu. We tried the appetizer meats and cheeses (they offered 3 for $17 so we tried the Speck, smoked proschiutto, sopresatta and one cheese). The Speck was gee-double-o-dee good!

Appetizer platter

I got the Crab and Sea Urchin Bucatini in marinara sauce. Bubbles got the cheese ravioli. Both were satisfyingly good in taste. The only thing is that their pasta portions are relatively smaller than those of other Italian restaurants. In my amateurishly objective opinion, I would rate Morini a four out of five stars. :) 

25 January 2015

It was good that we ended up in Morini Osteria. :) 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Washington Auto Show 2015

I took Juancho (and mom of course) to the Washington Auto Show 2015. This experience just reinforced his love for cars! As we were entering the Washington Convention Center, There were signs and banners of exhibitors featuring different car brands. From then, he never stopped naming each logo. Then he quickly shouted: "Daming cars!" From that point on, I figured he'll have one hell of a great time.

And as expected, when we reached the second floor exhibit, he never stopped mentioning the car brands. He normally rides the stroller when we go out, but this time, despite the big venue, he didn't mind the long walks. He just cruised through the exhibits, naming each car logo along the way. He did test drive some of them too! And of course the photo ops. :)

To the little one, this could very well substitute for Disney World, at least for now.

The Driver

NASCAR Pacer from Toyota



Between two Audi's

Audi R8's behind

Audi - the first brand he loved


Nissan GT-R

Beetle Convertible


Washington Auto Show 2015
24 January 2015