Angkor Wat Adventure

5:49 PM
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..

Marejada 2013

3:55 PM
Marejada, the official literary and arts folio of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, will always have a space in my heart. During my college days in Ateneo, it's a project that i'm looking forward to be part of every year. It's a collection of artworks, both written and visual arts, such as poetry, prose, traditional and new medium. I did the cover and layouts for 2007 to 2009 and was featured also in 2010 cover and for 2013 I was asked to do the layout by my college colleague who is now their moderator. Of course, I was very excited to do the project again so I accepted it.

Every year, they have a certain theme, and for 2013 they chose "Tesoro" or "Treasure" of Zamboanga. They wanted it to be minimalist but with a taste of Zamboanga's culture and identity. I came up with a lot of cover proposals and luckily I came up with something they really liked. From there, I also created the dividers. They have to be cohesive but also unique. Here's the final cover design with my signature in it (by request).

About the Cover:

"The play on geometric lines blur the distinction between mountain range and ocean waves --the land and the sea, the coastal and the interior, the past and the present, the bold and the fading, the inspiration and the caution. Here is Zamboanga, a land of contrast."

Thank you Marion Guerrero for trusting me with this project and for writing the cover description so beautifully and perfectly. The colors were inspired by Vinta but more aged and nature-toned to give that earthy nostalgic feel. The geometric shapes are influenced by my love of the mountain ranges because of my recent affinity with running at Zamboanga's high terrains. If you can spot them, you can see a lake/river which is the natural water reservoir in Pasonanca Natural Park, one of Philippine's remaining natural virgin forests.

Here are the dividers which serves as section covers for the different contents. Click for gallery view!

The first divider is the on the first leaf before the Introduction page. It's inspired by basic brush strokes, lines and dots or splatters which are the foundation of artworks. The rest of the pages also have these painterly look. The second divider is for "Poetry". I was inspired by the night sky over the mountain ranges of Zamboanga filled with stars and indigo clouds. The sky is one of the great inspirations of poets and artists because of its great expanse and ever-changing textures, colors and metaphors.

For Traditional art divider, I chose a flowing texture with the beautiful cascading falls of Merloquet peeking through the painterly wash. Its curtain-like grandeur attracted the eyes of international media, truly one of Zamboanga's natural treasures. The falls symbolize an artists flow of creativity, his process of pouring out his heart and soul in an art piece. For Digital art divider, I still chose water as the symbol. The geometric lines which is also seen in the cover now represents the waves of the sea. Marejada means 'wave's in Chabacano, by the way. The colorful sails are called Vinta of the Badjaos which is seen in the annual race called Regatta in RT Lim Boulevard. It's a symbol of Zamboanga and her diverse culture.

Photography has now it's own section since its a very accessible medium and shows us the reality which other forms of art lack. The circular brush strokes represents the lens or the eye of a camera which captures light. I superimposed a reflection of the inside a well situated at the center of Fort Pilar. It has the beautiful texture of old age bricks which symbolize our Spanish heritage. It is also a symbol of hope because it's also a wishing well where people toss coins for a wish. As ZamboangueƱos, we always hope for a better Zamboanga and peaceful Mindanao. Photography can be medium to show us the realities around us.

And lastly, for Prose or Short Fiction divider, I used the natural beauty of Zamboanga. It features the Tree House and butterflies of Pasonanca Park. If you can see it, there is cocoon of a butterfly which symbolizes metamorphosis or transformation. Writers tell stories so that its readers will have a change of purge of emotions or catharsis. Sometimes stories can also change a nation like the literary prowess of Jose Rizal. The tree symbolize growth, it branches up to the sky like our dreams and aspirations but what we don't see are the roots growing downwards, holding on to the ground. Like trees we should not let go our roots, our origins, our identity, which is Zamboanga.


Thanks again to Beacon Magazine for this opportunity and congratulations for this awesome body of work! Looking forward for this year's Marejada!

Zamboang Hermosa 2014 Events

8:40 AM
Here are the event highlights of Zamboanga Hermosa 2014. Post and share your memories of this year's fiesta and don't forget to use the official hashtag #ZamboHermosaFest2012! See you around!

See the official poster and watch the official motion graphics here.
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