WPC: Windows

Whenever I travel, I always try to get a window seat. I’m on a plane at least 4 times a month, and still I don’t get tired of looking out the window to see the clouds or the land or the ocean.  There’s just something about these three viewed from above that makes them mesmerizing.

So here are some of the many photos I’ve taken from a window seat of a plane. Hope you like them.

T.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

WPC: Windows — Outside Looking In

I’m interpreting the challenge in another way.

Not everyone will find this lamp attractive, but I like the way the light comes through the U-shaped holes. I imagine a small house in a dark forest with a light shining from the inside through the windows. 

Have a beautiful Friday!

 

T.

img_2315-1img_2316-1img_2313-3Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Daily Prompt: Focused 


“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” — David Hume

There is so much beauty and goodness in our world, but some people are more focused on what’s ugly and bad. 

Even the most ordinary flower by the side of the road has its beauty. If you just learn how to stop and have a closer look, you will see. 

May you find beauty in your world today. 💕
T. 
Daily Prompt: Focused 

Of flowers and funny mothers 


I bought these flowers yesterday with my mother in mind. She would’ve turned 83 today. She loved flowers and liked to have fresh flowers on the altar, so I always bought some on Sundays when I was home.

I miss my mother. I miss hearing her voice, especially her laughter. She was a funny woman who could not tell a story without standing up and making gestures and lots of facial expression. But she only did that in front of her 4th grade pupils and us, her family. She always seemed different when with other people.

At her funeral, my sisters unanimously voted for me to give the eulogy. The youngest always gets the least easy task. I was unprepared (funeral was held three days after she passed on) — sleep-deprived, a restless 5-year-old to look after, and a flight to catch –and I was unable to deliver a eulogy my dramatic yet funny mother would have liked. Sorry, Ming.

These days what it feels like is wanting so much to speak with somebody but the person can never be there anymore. Not even a video call or even a text message. Just silence. And a big part of you just wants to break that silence even just for a minute, even if what she says is the same thing over and over again.
T.

Daily Prompt: Sympathy 


Where were you …

When a baby was crying in hunger, 

A mother was grieving over her dying child, 

A beggar was looking for shelter in the cold? 

You weren’t there, 

And you refused to see

Or to even think of them. 

And now you weep, 

Alone, outside your once happy home, 

Certain that nobody will come

To comfort you in your grief. 

But don’t worry…

Somebody always does, 

And most likely they’re the ones,

You once despised 

For their silly faith 

In love, sacrifice, generosity, forgiveness and sympathy. 

Daily Prompt: Sympathy 

Daily Prompt: Overcome

I took this photo this afternoon during a walk with hubby.


On a 12-hour flight to Vancouver and another 12-hour flight back to Manila, I watched 4 movies altogether. I liked three out of 4: Logan, The Accountant and Collateral Beauty. The fourth one was Passengers, which ironically, my friend really thought I would like because I like the idea of a life beyond this planet. But no. 
The three movies all have the theme of overcoming something. I plan to write a review of each one, so I won’t write much about them in this post. 

There is no grief, obstacle or  challenge in life that we cannot overcome, if we only persist in overcoming them and not let them overcome us instead. 

I’ve had my share of challenges, and I’m facing really tough ones these past couple of years, but I haven’t given up yet, and I don’t see myself giving up. 

I hope you won’t give up either. 🙏🏻

Have a lovely weekend! 💕

T. 

Daily Prompt: Overcome

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

I took these photos of the campus of the University of Saskatchewan while waiting for my friend who was in class.

It’s a beautiful campus, and I didn’t mind waiting at all.

Hope you like the photos.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

Daily Prompt: Symphony 

A symphony of natural beauty

Here’s a collection of photos I took from the day my plane landed in  Vancouver to the week I spent in Alberta, and to the last day I spent in Saskatchewan. 

Canada is a beautiful country, and the Canadians I’ve met are such wonderful people. 💕

Daily Prompt: Symphony 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures 

I took these photos in Saskatchewan, Canada. The birch bark photo was taken at the Berry Barn in Saskatoon, and the rest at the Boundary Bog Trail at the Prince Albert National Park. 

Enjoy! 💕
T. 



Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures

 

Morning Walk around Kinsmen Park, Saskatoon 

I arrived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan yesterday afternoon. And this morning I walked around Kinsmen Park which is quite close to where my friends live. 

I’m really liking Canada (in the summer). I love the big old trees, and wide, open spaces. As I walked, I imagined how my son would love lying on the lawn and looking up at the sky. 

Enjoy the photos! 

I took a picture of this tree because I think it’s climbable, and I miss climbing trees!

E. would surely love running around or lying down on the grass and looking up at the sky.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction 

Walking around a park or any place where I can appreciate the beauty of nature gives me satisfaction. These past couple of days I’ve seen so much beauty in Canada. So much beauty gives one so much satisfaction. 😊

I hope you enjoy the photos. 💕
T. 




Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction 

Beautiful Weather in Vancouver 

Beautiful weather welcomed me today in Vancouver. So even if I had no sleep for over 24 hours, I was eager to see the city during a 17-hour layover. My first impression is there are so many Asians. I only got to walk around the University of British Columbia where I met with a former student (Chinese) who is doing a summer program there. I met her classmates who are also Chinese, and everywhere I went I heard Mandarin. It really felt like I was just in China, except that everyone can speak English. 

I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I wanted to as I wasn’t feeling well. But I’ll definitely do that when I come back to Vancouver next week. For now, I’ll sing with Neil Young…”Think I’ll go out to Alberta…🎶🎵.”

I hope you enjoy the photos. 

Have a lovely week! 💕
T. 


Daily Post: Disastrous 


This is the trunk of one of the many mango tress that line the roads of our campus. It seems this mango tree is dying even though its leaves are still very green.  I don’t know if this has anything to do with the disastrous super typhoon that struck the city last year, or that this tree is very old. 


I took this photo a week before I left Xiamen. Perhaps by the time I get back weeks from now, this tree shall have been replaced by a healthier-looking one. Like everything in China, old stuff can easily be replaced. Even trees. 
Daily Prompt: Disastrous 

Daily Prompt: Roxy’s Moxie


Roxy lived

Hiding in her shell,

Afraid of showing

Her true, bright  self.

Then she met him

Who showed her the world

And how to survive in it.

Though now he’s gone,

She still remembers

How she finally got the moxie

From him whose name is Rocky.😜

WPC: Purple Collage

 

 

For this week’s  photo challenge, I made a collage of all the purple/purplish flowers I used on this blog. Why flowers? Because I love flowers. Why purple? Because…why not purple? Lol. I realized I have several purple flowers in my folder.

Have a lovely day!

 

T.💕

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

Daily Prompt: Savage 


Your roots savagely grow down 

From you, growing faster and stronger 

As they reach the ground 

And later strangle you. 

You from whom they came from. 

If you could stop them, 

Would you? 


(Banyan trees are also known as “strangler figs” for their “strangling” growth  habit. The roots descend from the branches and grow a pseudotrunk that makes it look like it’s strangling the main trunk. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of a pseudotrunk although I’ve seen so many here in Xiamen. I chose these two photos for the way the roots seem to grow savagely from the branches.) 

May you have a CALM week, not a savage one. 💕😁
T. 

Images of a Jimei Evening

This year Xiamen hosts the 9th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit from September 3 to 5. The city has been preparing for the summit for some time, and this is the reason the whole city, not only Xiamen island, but its district on the mainland as well, has seen so many changes — all to make Xiamen more attractive. 

Right after super typhoon Meranti struck Xiamen last year, Jimei looked so dark at night viewed from the plane. It was such a sad sight 

But these days, Jimei is all lit up, and I enjoy walking around the campus in the early evening when the lights are on. 


Have a lovely weekend!💕
T. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge 


This new bridge  over Yinjiang Road is an overpass for pedestrians. It’s not as yet operational as the workers have not finished painting. It’s just one of the many things to see in China. Here, there’s construction going on everywhere you go. 


Jimei Bridge, completed in  2008, has a total length of 10 km. It connects Xiamen Island to the mainland at Jimei District. 

This is one of my favorite photos and also the one that received the most likes in this blog so far. I took this photo as the plane from the Philippines was about to land. I left home to come to my second home. And this bridge will get me there. 
T. 💕
Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge

Daily Prompt: Sail

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Northern Mindanao, Philippines

The last time I traveled by boat was in 2002 from Bohol, Philippines to my hometown. I was with a new friend then. We were just getting to know each other, and he was really nice. So even if it was very dark, star-less night at midnight as we hung out on the stern of the ship, and all I could see was the white foam on the big waves, I didn’t want the evening to end. (I always find it interesting looking back how when I was younger, I was not easily scared by dangerous situations — bombings, typhoons, big waves — for as long as I was with a guy I liked! How silly was that?!)

These days I would rather travel by plane than be on a ship, especially if I have to travel in the evening. I don’t care if Bradley Cooper is on the same ship, I would never travel by boat at night.

sail

Northern Mindanao, Philippines

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Don’t get me wrong. I love the sea, the ocean. See, I made this watercolor because I really like this view of a boat sailing on the sea. When I made this, I was imagining myself being on that boat watching the horizon. But now several months have passed, and I look at this again, I’m thinking that can’t be me. I’d never get on a boat alone.

 

Daily Prompt: Sail 

Daily Prompt:Cringe


As a child, I always either cringed or ran away at the sight of insects (especially flying ones like moths and cockroaches) and bats! Now I’m married to a man who grew up in a farm and finds insects fascinating.

We noticed this moulting cicada one afternoon while we were walking, and my first question was, “Is it going to fly?” He assured me it wasn’t going to fly. Yet. So I got my phone camera  ready and started snapping pictures of this creature that would normally make me cringe, but which my husband looked at with…a meaningful smile.


I got to see this cicada shedding off its skin and growing its wings just a couple of days after my husband and I watched Alien:Covenant (not my kind of movie, but when you’re married you sometimes have to watch movies that you don’t like!) This cicada reminded me of the creatures that the android character, David, created. The word “beautiful” never came to mind. But after seeing this photo on my iPad with my reading glasses on … I thought it looks quite interesting.

Perhaps those things that usually make us cringe just need a closer inspection. Perhaps we’ll change our minds.

But nah, I’m not interested in taking a closer look at cockroaches.

Have a lovely Monday! 💕
T.

Daily Prompt: Cringe 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transient 

Jimei Bridge, Xiamen


This photo was taken last month as our plane was landing at Gaoqi Airport, Xiamen. 

For the  last two years, I’ve been flying home every month, which means at least four flights a month. So I feel something like a transient in the two cities I call home. They are both home, yet when I am in either place, it seems I’m only there as a guest. 

I am hopeful that this year, I will cease feeling like a transient and have more stability in my life. I hope my whole family can be together in one safe place. 🙏🏻
T. 💕

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transient 

Daily Prompt: Meddle 

There are people who can’t seem to stop meddling in others’ personal lives. They will say they care about us, so they feel they have to say something. Sometimes we may appreciate being told, other times we may think it’s annoying. 
As now I have only a few people with whom I talk about myself freely, I don’t have this problem anymore. I don’t have to be rude and tell anyone, “Get off my back!” 

Have a stress-free day! 💕
T. 
Daily Prompt: Meddle 

Daily Prompt: Create 


Create. I pondered on this word and realized this should make any creative, thinking human feel humble. We try to “create” beautiful things, useful things, amazing things, but what we create can never surpass nature. 

Nature’s beauty and design are beyond amazing. 


Have an amazing Saturday!
T. 💕
Daily Prompt: Create

Focus on the Ephemeral 


Just like I don’t have the confidence to call myself a writer, I cannot ever call myself a photographer. But I enjoy writing and taking pictures among other things that introverts like myself enjoy doing.

When I take photos, I try to make them look the same way I see them with my own eyes. And to me it can be very difficult sometimes because first, my hands aren’t very steady; second, I do not know much about lighting and that kind of stuff; and third, I just use either my iPhone or my iPad to take pictures.

One time while I was walking with a friend, I stopped to take pictures of flowers, and he shook his head and asked, “Why do you take pictures?”

Good question. That time I only said because I like doing so. But having thought about it, I think I now know the answer.

Perhaps subconsciously it is an attempt on my part to capture moments that are simply that — moments, ephemeral, temporary. There may be flowers and leaves and trees everywhere, but as Robert Burns said, “And this same flower that smiles today, / Tomorrow will be dying.”

They may look the same, but it’s not the same flower, not the same moment, not the same minute.

Every photograph is a record not only of the subject (flower, leaf, sunset, or ocean) but also of a certain ME, at a certain time, at a certain place with a certain person. Everything we do leads us somewhere. We are always changing. Everything around us changes. As Heraclitus famously said, “No man can ever step in the same river twice.”

You can’t record every minute of your life. But you can keep photographs of certain moments of it.

Have a lovely week!
T.💕

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting 

Sunrise over Visayas, Philippines. I took this photo early this month on a trip back to Mindanao. 

It may sound cheesy but … the beauty of the sun reflected on the the ocean made me reflect on the beauty of nature. And I’m grateful for this beauty and for being able to witness and experience it. 

T. 
Weekly  Photo Challenge: Reflecting 

Daily Prompt: Better


Blue, blue sky

White cottony clouds,

Cool breeze blowing the hair from my face,

Warm water touching our feet,

And your soft little hand in mine

Holding tightly, afraid of being let go,

Days like this are few and far between

And make moments like these

More precious than anything money can buy.

Until next time, my dear son,

When things will be better
.

Weekly Photo Challenge: DANGER!

The sign says: Boardwalk is broken-down and needs to be repaired. Do not use.

But in the evening, young people (call them adventurous or foolish) still walk or sit on this decrepit boarded path.


When you’re young, you tend to think you’re invincible. You  tend to ignore danger.

But when you’re no longer young, you can’t afford to ignore it.

Have a lovely week!
T.

Hidden Beauty in Nature’s Design 


I saw this flower yesterday for the very first time. I haven’t gotten around to finding out what it’s called. The colors and their arrangement really attracted me. 

Today’s Prompt is “spike.” From this angle, one cannot see the spike (stalk) that holds the flower together, yet, though not as conspicuous as the petals,  it  is part of this flower’s beauty.  

Have a beautiful weekend!
T. 

Daily Prompt: Spike 

Daily Prompt: Jolt 

A KIND OF ODE TO THE DURIAN 

They say you are 

Thorny 

Heavy 

And stinky. 

But when I see you 

When I smell you 

This tired and sleepy body 

Jolts into wakefulness…


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the smell of durian as much as my sisters HATE, HATE, HATE it. Like they say, “its strong, pungent smell either delights or repels. ” 

Durian: does it jolt your appetite? Or does it jolt you into running as far away from it and as fast as you can? 

Have a lovely week! 
T. 

Daily Prompt: Jolt 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise 


This is the second time I’m posting a photo of the sky looking like this. And this is from the second time I saw it like this. The Chinese call it 火烧云 (huo shao yun) literally translated “fire burning sky.” 

Each time, the sight surprised, amazed me. 

Nature surprises. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Security 

A rainy Friday afternoon
Couples huddled under one umbrella
Bodies touching
Feeling secure
In each other’s arms.

A lone egret
On a quiet boardwalk
Soaking wet, yet
Looking secure
Even as it flew
Alone in the rain.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Security

Daily Prompt: Purple

One of my sisters is crazy about things purple. So far she hasn’t thought of dyeing her hair purple, or maybe she has but can’t bring herself to do it, which is good.

So whenever I buy her something, I make sure it’s purple. One good thing (for her, (but not so much for me) about her obsession is whenever I see something of this color I immediately think of her, and even if I’m not interested in the thing itself, part of me is tempted to buy it for her.  Grrrr.


When I saw these flowers on campus, of course I remembered my sister. Luckily for me, she’s not crazy about flowers.

Have a lovely a week!

T.

The Daily Prompt: Purple

WPC: The Road Taken (The Caves of Guilin, China)

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When I went to Guilin in 2009,  it was the first time I ever got inside a high-tech,  beautifully lit cave. I say high-tech because it had an elevator inside. The only cave I’d been to in my country was extremely dark and had thousands of bats inside!

So when I was told we were going inside a cave, I was expecting bats.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see it was wonderfully lit for people to see the beauty of the stalagmites (I don’t know why I don’t have pictures of those) and stalactites.

These photos are almost ten years old, but hey, I can still use them. 🙂

Have a lovely weekend!

T.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Anticipation 

Jimei Sunrise

This week’s theme  for the weekly photo challenge is anticipation. 
Part of my ritual upon waking up in the morning is to go to the balcony and look at the sky. Since we moved to our new apartment in September, I haven’t stopped looking forward to having my son come and see what I liked about this new apartment.  I know he doesn’t like change, but I also know he would enjoy looking up at the sky as much as I do, and watching the sunrise and in the evening, looking at the moon and the planes flying to and from and the airport at a distance. He will enjoy walking and running and riding his bike around wide, open spaces. 

I look forward to having him join me and his father again, being together as a family again. 

Anticipation. 

Have a lovely weekend! 
T. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

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This week’s WPC theme is “Shine.”

I took this photo a few months ago when I was in the Philippines. I have taken several photos of this place and posted some of them here on my blog.

Beautiful sunsets almost always make me wistful, and this one truly did as I was on my way home from a neighboring city working on one of the many, many things that needed my attention during the first quarter of this year. I was exhausted and looked out the car window. I just had to ask the driver to stop so I could get out of the car and snap photos of this sunset.

And for a few minutes, I forgot how tired I was as I looked at the photos I took.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

T.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge : Local

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I have been living away from the small city I was born and raised in, Iligan, for about 14 years now. But it will always be home for me, even though my parents are no longer around and so many friends have left for other countries.

It is a coastal city of about 300,000 people, which is a much bigger number from 30 or 40 years ago. Back then, on Sundays, when we walked to church my parents would be saying “Hi!” or “Good morning” to people we met on the road. Now, I can walk around the city for an hour and not see anybody I recognize.

But it’s a different feeling when I look out to the sea. Watching the sea in Iligan gives me  the feeling of being home.

Then I feel I am truly a local.

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

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Dalipuga, Iligan, Philippines 

I love watching the sea. And this photo is of one of my favorite spots at home. As I prepare to go home again for a few days, I look forward to looking down from the plane again and seeing the beautiful waters north of Mindanao.

There is something about seeing the blueness of the sea and scattered white clouds above it, and the feel of the cool breeze on your skin, and the sound of the waves, and  the briny scent of the sea. When I sit  alone on a beach witnessing all this, I just wish for time to stand still.

What comes into your mind when you hear the word “water”?

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror


Like I’ve mentioned many times in my previous posts, I like morning walks when it’s quiet and there’s a cool breeze blowing. It was on such a morning that I took this picture of the campus lake. I like how the old administration building and the trees in its foreground are mirrored on the lake.  

I look forward to starting my early morning walks again. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

T. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame


This photo was taken the same time as the one I took of the bird in flight between the Petronas  Towers (WPC: Fun)

There were so many birds flying about, and a few perched on spear leaves. Trying to frame this beautiful and graceful bird perched like a proud queen/king on her/his throne was a little challenging because it didn’t stay on one leaf for long. But finally being able to snap this picture was worth the wait. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare Visits 


(The theme for The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge is RARE.)

Photographs of sunsets aren’t rare, but I love this photo I took of the sunset in my hometown — Iligan, Philippines. I don’t get to see this kind of view often because first, I only get to spend a maximum of three months a year in my country, and second, I have a very busy schedule whenever I’m home.

Seeing this kind of sunset in my hometown, then, is a rarity. And its rarity makes the scene truly special to me.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

(This is my first time to participate in The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, and it’s just because I saw the theme and remembered this photo I took two mornings ago.) 

I took a very early morning trip two days ago –at 4:30 A.M. to be exact, and it was an hour and a half hour drive to a resort on top of a hill. 

Though I wasn’t happy about waking up at 3 in the morning,  the sight that welcomed me at 6 A.M.  truly woke me up and made me feel ready to face the day better than a goood cup of coffee could (hmm, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. I need to have my coffee first thing in rhe morning!) 

It was a littte cloudy, and there was a soft breeze blowimg and birds making morning music,  when I saw these bungalows and the green lawn in  the foreground of cloudy skies. It was such a quiet scene that Wordsworth’s words came to mind :”the very houses seem asleep.”

I am a morning person, and I love bathing in  the beauty of early morning — clean, cool.air, a quiet place save for the birds’ simging or the rustling of the leaves as a gentle breeze blows. 

That’s better than coffee (but I’d still need my cofee. ♥)