#Zamboanga (Jan 19)

While it was raining up north, here in Zamboanga the sun shines like it's summer! Here are some tweets and instagrams about #Zamboanga this week!

1. DOT Promotes Sta. Cruz Island

A photo posted by Philippine Tourism Department (@tourismphl) on

2. Paseo del Mar

A photo posted by ed (@ed_pal) on

A photo posted by jay-r gimpao (ezzydangerous) (@jayrezzydangerous) on

A video posted by Kevin Anthony Mendoza (@kozkeeev) on

3. More sunsets

4. Chikalang!

A photo posted by @rashey on

5. Spicy Satti

A photo posted by Lanie Faustino (@laniefaustino) on

6. A Juan of a Kind Story

7. Pink Pride

8. Knicker Bocker

9. Curacha with Alavar Sauce

A photo posted by Julia Collado (@batang_walay) on

10. Boat Houses at Ecozone

A photo posted by the frustrated travelogger (@johnqueben) on

11. Danmar Beach Resort

A photo posted by Guess ��✌ (@darlynn_30) on

12. Pasonanca River

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12 January 2015

#Zamboanga (Jan12)

What's hot in Zamboanga? Here are some tweets and instagrams about #Zamboanga this week!

1. Sta Cruz Island

2. Merloquet Falls

3. La Vista del Monte

After a long hike, naakyat rin namin tong resort na ito! #Hike #LaPaz #Zamboanga

A photo posted by Kim Carlo Dumular (@heykimcarlo) on

4. Fort Pilar on Sundays

5. Breath-taking Sunsets

A photo posted by AMiR BiN AGGa (@3mir18) on

6. Barter goods

A photo posted by ąɱąʑıŋɠ ƈɧąʑɛყ ⚓���� (@maamyesmaam) on

7. Stunningly colorful vintas race during #Regatta de #Zamboanga

8. Plaza Pershing during Christmas season

9. Fort Pilar

10. Seafood!

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04 January 2015

My 2014: A Year of Change

Change is constant and in 2014, I had a handful. It has been a great year, for career, for my family and for myself! At the start of the year I bought a new brand of planner, a doodle planner and it was really cool. It had a lot of cool features like planning your activities for the year, the movies to watch, the book to read and generally what the year will be. It was my buddy all year round and it was my guide to keep myself on track. I realize how important it is to have a vision for your life, do the best in each day and change for the better. But, I can also say I'm a spontaneous type of person and most of the time i don't really have a plan on what to do in my life. Therefore I must say that i was really blessed because despite of my recklessness I still managed to have a good year. Like the previous years, I dug through my folders and looked for the highlights of each month. Take a peak of my crazy 2014.

JAN - I started my year with a lot of jogging. It was my new year's resolution to run farther and be consistent. I ran with my friends which made it more fun! I can say that I influenced them to run at Murok. I also had my first travel to Manila and Tagaytay for a wedding coverage with the Trebor Z team. I would love to go back to Tagaytay and just relax there. At the end of the month, I went to Manila with Tennyl and Wella for Graphika Manila.

FEB - We started the month in Manila for the Graphika Manila. Wella, unfortunately had dengue and wasn't feeling well so she stayed at the condo for the rest of the trip. Meanwhile, me and Tennyl enjoyed the conference. I was really inspired especially with Jessica Hische on her hand-lettering. Back in Zamboanga, Wella was confined in the hospital and she even had her birthday there. For the rest of the month, it was all about school, events and running. I had a new milestone together with my jogging buddy. We tried a new trail in Dulian which had a picturesque mountain view. We call it the New Zealand of Zamboanga.

MAR - It was the end of the school year and start of summer! I had an early summer vacation and it was awesome! Me, my sister and her friends joined our parents in their annual Rotary District Conference in Boracay! It was my first time there and it was beautiful! Truly its beaches is one of the world's finest! I enjoyed our activities there like zorbing, atv, snorkeling, eating, and, of course, swimming. There is no direct flight to Caticlan, so we also passed by Cebu.

APR - One of the highlights of this month is an event for Videographers which we organized here in Zamboanga. We called it Sweet Shots, and it's the first of its kind here and i was asked to be one of the speakers. I talked about Basic Cinematography (which was embarassing). Two speakers from Manila were invited, film-maker Mr Christian Andaya and Manila's finest glider Michael Jamandre. They were both fun speakers and we also learned a lot from them. Sweet Shots also united Zamboanga's videographers. We also had our family vacation to Cebu for our Grand Family Reunion. The Morales-Beron clan is composed of the families of my grandmother (mother's side) and her siblings. I also continued my habit of reading books! I did it better with audiobooks.

MAY - I had my first fun run which is called Color Run. It was indeed fun and colorful! My weekly running really paid off when I finished 11kilometers in 1hr and 13mins, a personal record of mine. I didn't have teaching units but it was a blessing in disguise because i had more time for myself. In weekends, I met my friends for running and just hanging out. Sometimes we declared fridays in the middle of the week. It was a lot of fun!

JUN - It's the start of the school year and I had 2 teaching units. This month i rekindled my artistic skills when my bosses at Vista de Lente asked my to create hand made boards as decors for their new office. I used scrap woods from the undergoing renovation of our house. Doing hand made crafts was awesome! Thanks Pinterest! We also celebrated Tennyl's Birthday and for Fathers day, i bought Papa this cool fondant cake! I met interesting people in this month.

JUL - I was asked by my Beacon's moderator and my college friend to do the layout for Marejada. It was like going back to college days doing the thing that i'm good at. Talking about art, I created three handmade pieces for an exhibit for Ateneo Faculty and Staff dubbed as Time Out. I gave a speech during the opening and I, as usual, had the nerves and was terrified. But the organize said she loved my speech, so i guess i didn't really fucked up. The exhibit made me realize how much people appreciate my talent and work of art. I felt blessed especially because my friends we're there to support me. Aside from my ADZU stuff, it was also confirmed that I got my job at the City Hall. I was busy processing my requirements for 2 weeks and finally i started my first day of work as PIO of City Mayor's Office on July 21. My friend Joanne also tied the knot with Ronald, and as they say "Love can't Wait!"hehehe

AUG - This is the month that I look forward every year, coz it's my birthmonth! I spent my birthday at work. I brought food at the office and in the afternoon I gave the midterm exam for my comm students. I also treated them with donuts. At home, I had a my birthday party with my family and friends at home. I simply felt loved. :') A week after, i had the greatest adventure of my life! Me and my friends decided to have a travel abroad together! It the first time for most of us to go outside the country. We went to Vietnam and Cambodia for 10 days! We went to Angkor Wat at Siem Reap, then to Phnom Penh, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Words are not enough to explain that experience but you can watch this video to see our crazy adventures. We went back home with renewed spirits and extreme separation anxiety. The hangover is still with me up to this day.

SEP - It's an awesome month at work. I was assigned to facilitate an Art Healing Workshop for kids affected by the seige. It was initiated by Zamboangueno Artist, Rameer Tawasil, who was my oil painting teacher, and his friend from Macau, Franco Joaquim. We spent a week with kids creating paintings, drawings and crafts. It culminated with an exhibit at the City Hall lobby where we sold the artworks to raise money for the kids. I'm really blessed to be part of this. In September 9, the city observed the anniversary of the Zamboanga Siege. We honored the heroes and the brave. I also had a mini reunion with college friends. And at the end of the month, it was Mama's birthday! I surprised her with a bouquet of flowers while she was at work.

OCT - It's Fiesta Hermosa month! Weeks before,  I was really busy creating the poster and obb which was shown at the opening program. I had my best Fiesta Hermosa so far! I was inducted as the Representative for Digital Arts in the City Council for History, Arts and Culture. I enjoyed the Mascota / Balikbayan night with my students and the Wow Sardinas with my sister and my office mates. We also had the first ever street party "Danza La Vida" featuring Manila-based dj's and hosts. I had a blast! After the fiesta, I was also a part of the first Mindanao Visual Arts Festival called Mindanao Artbest. It was organized by the Adzu Center for Culture and Arts and the Gallery. The ArtBest Art exhibit featured amazing artworks of artists all over Mindanao and i was just blessed to my work featured side by side with theirs. Then finally, me, Christian and architects and urban planners of the city govt went to Manila with Mayor Beng for the Livable Cities Design Challenge. Our entry was selected for final presentation in the contest and luckily we placed third out of 12 participating entries all over the country. It was a humbling moment going back to our city with this achievement. October was really awesome!

NOV - During the fiesta, I joined a Photography contest and, fortunately, one of my photos was selected as one of the 25 photos which will exhibited. The photo exhibit was held at the Cafe Briza of Lantaka hotel and Maam Beng opened the exhibit herself. It was great rubbing elbows with these great Photographers. Back at City Hall, we had the commemoration for Zamboanga's iconic mayor, Cesar C Climaco's 30th death anniversary. I created vector portraits depicting his values as a leader. At school, it was the start of the 2nd sem and i had one teaching load. We also celebrated Joed's birthday with the Vietnam-Cambodia friends. Joed is my adventure buddy but he already transferred to Iloilo now. At the end of the month, the Christmas Spirit is already around. We had our office decorated with blue and silver ornaments.

DEC - We opened Pascua na Zamboanga with the grand lighting of the City hall. I, together with my Vista de Lente team, created a beautiful SDE which received great responses especially to Zamboanguenos who was away from home. During the Mayor's Christmas party, our division together with the computer division, won the Dance Presentation with our Grease musical performance. It was so much fun! Ateneo Fiesta also had its colorful comeback. I designed the shirt for the faculty and staff. Once again I experienced the fiesta spirit which i really look forward every year. December is also about homecomings. My brother came back home with my requests, cinnabon, books and socks. We had our Christmas eve's party with the family at home and exchanged gifts and laughs. I really love them! I attended our highschool homecoming, too, and we won the shirt design contest. I also received a recongition for outstanding alumnus in the field of Culture and Arts. And to cap off the year, we had another family reunion at Safety with our color of the year outfits. We had games which was super fun!

--- End of Year End Throwback ---

Time for serious shit. Disclaimer: some shocking revelations ahead. Brace thyself.

As i was writing down all of these moments of my life this year, I realize how much blessings i had. I can't help but be thankful especially to God for always reminding me of the wonderful life that He gave me. I am not the most religious person, and I may consider that i don't have a religion since college. But what I have is FAITH. I am still a Christian and i don't have to attend mass religiously. It's a way of life. I must be a Christian everyday, to please God according to my actions, decisions and what I do with my life. It's my goal in life to seize every day and actually live a happy life. I may not be the richest guy now but my wealth is in my heart. My family, my friends and all the people who is part of my little infinity (TFIOS much), all of them i lift up to God and will be forever thankful for. On the other hand, I want to say sorry to the people who i may have disappointed or wronged. This coming year, I am hoping for a better life. A life of constant change. Change for the better. Cheers for the New Year! and see you in my next adventure!
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08 December 2014

Zamboanga City Hall Lights Up for Peace!

To open the Christmas Festival in Zamboanga City, the City Hall is once again adorned with bright lights and Christmas lanterns to promote Peace and Love this season. Dubbed as Pascua na Zamboanga, Christmas is opened with a grand lighting of the Ciy Hall, Plaza Rizal and Plaza Pershing led by the beloved Mayor Beng Climaco herself. The opening program started with the "family picture" of all local government offices with the grand "belen" or nativity scene in the background. Real lambs were at the centerpiece of the belen. More than 2,000 employees and their families enjoyed the Christmas carols performed by a grand chorale. They also had fun taking pictures with mascots while waiting for the 6PM cue time for the switching of lights.

Few minutes before the lighting, the program started with an intimate prayer. Then Ma'am Beng appeared at the tower of City hall and gave her message in her pink gown with matching halo. She started the countdown as she waved a wand like a fairy godmother. In the last second, the lights switched on and revealed the dominant blue and white lights of the city hall as the word PAZ glowed at the central tower. Plaza Rizal and Pershing also turned into wonderland as the lights cascaded among the lamp posts and lush gardens. A confetti storm also showered the facade of the city hall which was really magical. Above all, the happiness of the people was infectious and everyone was in awe with the great Christmas light display. With this simple spark of joy, every Zamboangueno were rekindled with the Christmas spirit. Watch the same-day edit video of the momentous occasion produced by the magical lenses of Vista de Lente and SkyFrames aerial videography.

After the grand lighting, the employees of the different offices marched towards Paseo del Mar with their colorful props and cheerful smiles. As they graced the streets, the lamp posts lit one by one, bringing the light of Christmas around the city. Upon entering Paseo del Mar, the colorful lights lit up, followed by the heritage lamps, then the gyrating musical fountain and finally the grand Christmas tree. The fun didn't end there! A Christmas party of the Local Government Unit of Zamboanga also happened at Paseo. Fun musical numbers were rendered by the different clusters and door prizes were given away. Among all the happenings that night, the camaraderie, happiness and peace among one other is the real highlight of this Celebration. So from the City of Zamboanga to you, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! Vaya Con Dios!

Here are the official photos by Vista de Lente Photography.

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28 November 2014

Pascua Na Zamboanga 2014

It's Christmas time again! To share the spirit of the holidays, the City Government of Zamboanga prepared a lineup of activities and contests for the Zamboangueños. To open the Christmas Festival "Pascua na Zamboanga" on December 1, there will be a parade and light switching ceremony of the iconic City Hall. Every year, the landmark is transformed into a huge Christmas sight where lights adorn every corner depicting the Nativity. During the program, the nativity scene will be played by selected employees, and with real live animals, too. Aside from the city hall, all the major street and landmarks will also be decorated with Angels and Christmas symbols. Check out the poster for the full schedule of activities. Merry Christmas and have a Prosperous 2015!

Pascua na Zamboanga 2014

 Organizer / Contact Person
December 1, 2014
Frontage of City Hall

City Hall to Paseo del Mar

Paseo del Mar
Lighting of City Hall

Christmas Parade
(City Government of Zamboanga)

Program and Opening of the Pascua na Zamboanga
December 3, 2014
WMSU (Normal Road) to Paseo del Mar
Torch Parade
Peace Advocates Zamboanga
December 10-12, 2014
6:00PM onward
Best Barangay Christmas Landmark Competition 2014
(Evaluation of Entries)
City Mayor’s Office-Tourism
December 12-13-14
Vista del Mar
Noche Navidades
(1st week-end)
Rosa Ramirez
3:00 pm to 12 midnight
December 12 - 13, 2014       - ECOZONE
December 15-21, 2014         - Jardin Maria Clara Lobregat Complex
December 20-21, 2014         - Mercedes Church premises
Doce Dias de Hechos de Zamboanga
City Mayor's Office - Investments and Promotions Division
December 15, 2014
Paseo del Mar
Open-Lantern Competition
City Mayor’s Office-Tourism
December 16, 2014
Paseo del Mar

Paseo del Mar
Canciones de Pascua
(Inter-Elementary Competition)

Awarding Ceremony
Open-Lantern Competition
Best Barangay Christmas Landmark Competition 2014
City Mayor’s Office-Tourism
December 19-20-21
Vista del Mar

December 19
Noche Navidades
(2nd Week-end)

“Noche de Alcaldeza”
Rosa Ramirez
December 22, 2014
Crystal Ballroom
Grand Astoria Hotel
2014 Christmas Holiday Fashion Extravaganza
Boynap Garcia-Directo
CP No.
December 30, 2014
Plaza Rizal
118th Death Anniversary of
Dr. Jose P. Rizal
Knights of Rizal-WM c/o Mr. Domingo Falcasantos

City Mayor’s Office-Tourism

 For Inquiries please contact the City Mayor’s Office – Tourism Division at telephone number 992.3007
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10 November 2014

Dia De Cesar: Carisma, Coraje, Compasión

Thirty years ago, Zamboanga's iconic Mayor Cesar Cortez Climaco was killed at the streets of Camino Nuevo, leaving the city in sorrow. Mayor Cesar left a legacy of Courage and Honor as he battled during the Marcos regime and fought for the nation's democracy. This week the City Government, headed by Mayor Beng Climaco, the niece of Cesar Climaco, prepare a lineup of events to commemorate his life and legacy.

Carisma. Coraje. Compasión. These are the trademarks of Cesar Climaco which every Zamboangueños should emulate. Let's take part on this wonderful history and help make Zamboanga a better city by following the footsteps of our heroes who risked their lives for our city and country. Here are the lineup of activities for Dia de Cesar.

30th Dia de Cesar 2014 Calendar of Activities

Here are the three commemorative graphic portraits that I designed which was unveiled during the flag-raising ceremony on November 10 at Plaza Rizal fronting the City Hall.

Carisma. Cesar Climaco is know for his eccentricity. A very energetic and humorous person, he charmed every person in front of him. Children would call him Lolo Cesar with a bag of candies in his arms. He will let the kids sing "Ay si Cesear" in the tune of "Oh my darling, Clementine" before he gives away his candy. Cesar's iconic vintage motorcycle is his favorite mode of transportation. If you notice, i placed some candies in the design.

Coraje. A very brave man Cesar is. He is very hands on in everything he do. He is a real life super hero as he is also a volunteer fireman. He also showed courage when he opposed the Marcos dictatorship and vowed not to cut his hair until democracy is achieved. Unfortunately, his long white hair remained until his last day, when he was assasinated on November 14, 1984. Aside from the crimson palette which symbolize his courage, I also placed some lions which reminded me of his intense presence especially when he express his strong views and opinions in public.

Compasión. Cesar is a person with a pure heart. His love to his constituents know no age, gender or religion.  In this final portrait, we see him in his candid moments, assisting to his grandson and an elderly who is emotional in his presence. I also placed a hand carrying a seedling which symbolize his compassion towards nature and humankind. Truly, Cesar Climaco is a man of Charisma, Courage and Compassion.


 Thanks to Sir Jojo Yap-Aizon and Mark Saavedra for helping me gather the images for the portraits.
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28 October 2014

Angkor Wat Adventure

Day 3 (August 21) - It took us almost 16 hours of bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam before we reached Siem Reap, Cambodia. Good thing is that we were still able to catch our bus as early as 7:00 am after last night’s hang out and street party with Bao. Though, most of us had hangover from eating frogs for the first time.

We booked our bus tickets with Mekong Express Bus Limousine as this company consistently receive good reviews for its service. We had our passports stamped for our exit in Vietnamese territory and another one for our entrance in Kingdom of Cambodia. Maybe we can try to fill our passports with more immigration stamps in the next five years by travelling to more countries? Too right!

Ho Chi Minh to Pnom Penh (7 hours) + 1 hour lay-over and bus transfer
Pnom Penh to Siem Reap (7 hours) + 30 minutes dinner break
Bus Station to Hotel (30 minutes)

We had our accommodation at Angkor Wat Guesthouse for 2 nights which is centrally located at Siem Reap’s city center. Since everyone was tired from the bus ride, we just decided to rest so we can wake up early and witness the majestic sunrise at Angkot Wat. This is the summary of our day (personal details, travel experience and reflection will only be posted on my personal blog):

1. Woke up at 5:00 am and took a Tuktuk ride to Angkor Wat to see the sunrise
2. Went back to hotel to have breakfast and freshened up for a long day tour around Angkor Archaeological Complex
3. Met our tour guide Mr. Pissa and officially started our tour: Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Ta Phrom
4. Had a taste of authentic Cambodian dishes at Palmboo Restaurant for lunch. Just yummy!
5. Visited a Cambodian Jewellery Shop where we can’t afford anything.
6. Visited a store where they sell authentic Cambodian Silk.
7. Visited Painting Galleries on the road where Jelan and Cedrick first used their haggling skills and were able to finally get some paintings on their desired price.
8. Went back to hotel to freshen up.
9. Had buffet dinner at Koulen Restaurant with all sorts of Cambodian dishes served while watching traditional Cambodian Dance and the highlight of which is the Apsara Dance (they say witnessing Apsara Dance is like getting a glimpse of heaven here on earth)
10. Went to Angkor Night Market to buy souvenirs and test our haggling skills to the limits.
11. Had our YOLO (You Only Live Once Moment) at the Angkor What?? Bar. Just epic!

Time for photo story :)

Had lunch somewhere between Vietnam and Cambodia, it took us the whole day to travel to Siem Reap from Ho Chi Mihn City with a stop at Phnom Penh.

The bus hopped on a barge and crossed this river :)

Finally, were at the hotel in Siem Reap.. which sucks.. but, good thing, these guys were my roommates :)

Glimpse of sunrise. That body of water is the man-made moat surrounding Angkor Wat

We went at Angkor Wat first thing in the morning. We paid 20 bucks for the whole day pass in the Angkor Complex. Never lose this when you're touring here.

Beauty :)

Tourist waiting for the sunrise

My first glimpse of the towers inside the complex. Stunning!

The entrance of the complex with lit by the first sunshine of the morning.


The majestic sunrise shot of Angkor Wat with the pond as a nice foreground, fit for a post card worthy photo.

Fun groupie :)

Time to go back! Almost all buildings or temples in Cambodia have these statues of lion and five-headed snake (naga). Pey can't help it.

Going back at the hotel in this cab called Tuktuk! #boobsieride

Facade of our hotel, view from our window, and me with my game face. :|

Mr. Pizza, our tour guide.

Surreal walking through these walls. I used to watch docu's in NatGeo when i was younger.

Group shot with a view of the towers at the north side.

Apsara dancers or Celestial dancers

Grand staircase

Korean tourist catching shade.

Stunning bas relief that looks as if they were engraved yesterday. This is the scene in Hinduism called "The Churning of the Sea of Milk"

I wish i had a wider lens to accomodate the beautiful rocks in the foreground.

The wooden staircase was created for tourist. The original stairs underneath were very steep.

They say when you gather rocks around Angkor and balance them like this, you can ask for a wish. This is my rock tower and i hope my wish will really come true :")

Going downstairs is not for the faint-hearted. Jorjes <3 p="">

And finally, the jump shot of a lifetime! :')


To be continued..
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