Along with the puto bumbong, bibingka, and the traditional Simbang Gabi, the Parol (Christmas Lantern) is one of the Filipino symbols of Christmas. I remember having seen parols in Cambodia which they also display during their new year but I think the Christmas Lanterns are more associated with Filipinos. The tradition of Parol making has evolved through the years from simple bamboo and paper to a more complicated use of materials and circuitry. And every year, we see the height of Christmas Lantern reach gigantic levels in the province of Pampanga as they celebrate the Annual Ligligan Parol or Giant Lantern Festival.
More often than not, when development invades a place, it is the natural resources that are left to suffer when people started building structures. It’s a good thing that community developers now know the importance between the balance of nature and community. Anvaya Cove at Morong, Bataan is one such community concerned with environmental sustainability. They created the AEFI (Anvaya Environmental Foundation, Inc) and I got a chance to be part of their maiden project last December 5, 2009, which is the Clam Seeding for Reeforestation.
So how is everything in Manila Ocean Park after more than 1 year and a half since it opened? I remember being proud that we finally have a world class oceanarium here in Manila. I got a chance to visit the Park again just to be updated on the development of the place. Well, as I have seen so far, things have been going rather slow.
They are heavier than 25 adult elephants. They have a heart the size of a car. They are larger than the biggest dinosaurs. They can move at the speed of 32km/h. They are the largest and considered one of the most intelligent mammals on earth. And they have existed for 18 million years. They are the Big Blue Whales and they are endangered.
When at sea, jelly fishes creeps me out. When beach waters are populated by these I’m hesitant to swim through. Imagine getting scars, itchiness and even fatal wounds from them. Last thing I want is getting myself pee-ed on just to neutralize the poison, or so I heard. I know I try to avoid them when I see them but I also can’t help but be fascinated by them as well. These semi-transparent sea creatures are very graceful dancers of the sea. And I find them even more fascinating when I saw a lot of them in Manila Ocean Park’s separate exhibit, Jellies, Dancing Sea Faeries.
So last weekend, we were strolling around the streets of Manila headed to Roxas Boulevard when we chanced upon a calesa parked by the road and the full moon looking down upon us above the skyscrapers. The scene was just too inviting we took out our cameras to shoot this night scene. None of us brought tripods so this was a challenge. I took out my sleek grey Sony Cybershot TX1, slid open the lid, punched in some buttons to set to Handheld Twilight Mode and composed this shot above. Pretty impressive low-light performance for a point-and-shoot camera. And here’s your chance to win your own Sony Cybershot TX1.