30 August 2004

inside baguio cathedral

inside baguio cathedral
inside baguio cathedral, originally uploaded by watson.
You can count the number of times I've been in other churches, but the Baguio Cathedral is the place I have visited most since Grade School. This is where I had my first communion and my first Passion of the Cross (I can remember vividly those times because in my first communion, I did not like the taste of the host, but we were treated to burgers and juice afterwards. As for the Passion of the Cross, the entire class marched from cross to cross in the Church grounds and I remembered how my feet ached. Hey, I was a kid then.) In Grade School, we were also required to hear mass every Sunday, and the Baguio Cathedral was nearest our home.

I think I only saw the Christmas star glide across the length of the cathedral once, because I loved staying at home with the other kids and left Misa de Gallo to the elders. (Ahem) Even when I became part of the tax-paying community, I preferred staying at home, sneaking out food, and having fun with preparations with my brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, parents.

But for the other early morning masses, we would excitedly wake up, keep ourselves warm with jackets, bonnets, and mufflers, and march up Session Road with our breaths creating mist in the cold December air. The Cathedral beckons with blaring Christmas songs and tolling bells.

When the mass is done, the sun would already be rising from the horizon. Then we buy hot pan de sal from the local bakeshop. You can see the heat escaping from the bread as you tear it open and slide in Dari Creme Butter, which melts into the bread. M-mmmm!

I like seeing the two angels protecting the Heart of the Covenant. In fact, I like visiting the Baguio Cathedral and see its simple magnificence. Aside from quiet commune, the place also brings back a lot of fond memories.


baguio_panorama, originally uploaded by watson.
Here's a panoramic view of some of the more popular parts of Baguio City as seen from atop the SM mall. At the extreme right you can see the Cathedral. At the middle portion is the football field of the Burnham Park (you can also catch a glimpse of the man-made lake where you can rent a boat and idly spend the day rowing around), and at the extreme left is the Athletic Bowl.

The places seem to be quite far from each other, but in Baguio we walk from place to place. It's nice to take strolls around town, especially when the weather is cool, like this time of the year. Heck, you can take a stroll from Baguio Cathedral to the Althletic Bowl within an hour. But I'm sure it'll take more time than that, what with the multitude of sale items and food shops that you will be passing through.

Alas, progress (if I can call it that), has introduced vehicular traffic and its pollution woes, and this mall which everyone protested against so strongly before now stands prominently in the Baguio landscape where the Pines Hotel once stood (it burned down in the late 70's I think), and has had such an impact on the local businesses that many of the standalone cinemas have closed down. We visited one of the local groceries and we only saw a couple of people doing their shopping there! So if you want to see even just a glimpse of the old Baguio charm, go there when there are no fiestas or long weekends, because sharing your photo time in Mines View park with a bunch of strangers standing right beside you is no fun at all.

The photo is acutally a combination of 4 shots and were hastily combined, but I hope you get the picture [pun intended :-)].


Bata, originally uploaded by watson.
Were were in Coronado Lanes Makati (a billiards and bowling place) one Saturday evening, when one of our companions who just arrived said that Efren 'Bata' Reyes was in the adjacent billiards room. We quickly made a beeline to the place and there was indeed quite a crowd in one of the center tables. We craned our necks and sure enough, there he was.

I don't really play billiards; I'm in it for the beer. But seeing 'Bata' in action was a real treat.


pusa2, originally uploaded by watson.
Now here's something you don'€™t see everyday. My wife and I were on our way to the Thrift Shops at nearby Evangelista St. in Makati City. So there we were, walking along the narrow road going to the main thoroughfare where we were to get our short jeepney ride, when we chanced upon this white cat. It was not so much as the immaculate white coat the cat sported (which contrasted strongly against its quite filthy surroundings) that caught our attention, but its rather funky eye coloration. One's blue, and the other brown!

Seeing the cat brought back childhood memories. Or rather stories my mother told us when I was a kid, for I only have vague memories of a white Persian cat we had when we were staying in Bokawkan in Baguio City. May parents were designated caretakers of this haunted house (I kid you not), which was owned by the Acebedo family (the owners of the then-popular Optical Shop).

There was this neighbor who owned a white Persian cat with the unique eye coloration as the one we saw last Saturday. One day the cat went to our place and decided to stay. The owner, of course, looked for the cat and had brought it home a number of times. But the cat kept coming back to us, so the owner decided to let it go. Yup, it was a well-off neighborhood.

Then the time came when we had to leave the place and rent an apartment in Aurora Hill. That night, our things were being packed in the truck and Muning (the cat's name) jumped into the front seat and stayed there. So she went along with us. Amazing, isn't it?

Her life ended rather tragically. She was crossing the street to the park nearby and did not see a car speeding by.

As far as I know, she was the first cat we ever had. My parents loved having pets around. There was a time when we were living very close to Session Road (the main business district), but we had a couple of ducks, some chicken, more than 5 cats, a couple of dogs, a full cage of white mice, and some fish in an aquarium. It was quite a zoo. And we loved it.

If only for the no-pet policy in our apartment here in Manila, , I'™d have taken cared of some cats. But it wasn'€™t possible as it is, so we had to content ourselves with seeing our Stuart Little dangle and run through our overhead wiring and coax him to step into the humongous fly trap.

26 August 2004


TTI_homepage, originally uploaded by watson.
I'm posting a screenshot of the Trends & Technologies, Inc. (www.trends.com.ph) homepage for posterity's sake here. I did this site for around 4 months at night in 2000. I even asked a special permission to report to work late in the morning because sometimes I'd work on it til the wee hours of the morning. I had to do everything from scratch, and at that time HTML was a familiar term to only 2 people in our office: me and Sir Benjie, a technical guy. So I did not exactly get any help from anybody else.

Anyways, it's 2004, and I guess it's about time for an overhaul. Only this time somebody else is going to do it. He will be using scripts to dynamically update the site, with lots of cool features like its own search engine, mailing list management, management tool for updating the site, etc etc.

It will be great to see a fresh layout for a change, and I'm all excited for the internal site that's being made too, but I will surely miss this old look. *sniff*. It'll pass.

25 August 2004


greenbelt_chapel, originally uploaded by watson.
Last Sunday, my wife and I decided to attend the 6PM mass at the Greenbelt chapel since we were already in that area. The area surrounding the chapel has been extensively renovated, and now everything looks so comfy. And posh. The chapel, however, was left untouched, save for the lights that now adorn its dome.

The Chapel itself is small, and Sunday masses usually attract crowds that fill the Chapel to capacity, so many people stay in the outskirts like we did. But it was such a cool late afternoon that we did not mind. This photo was taken when we were sitting on the pavement with the sloping lawn fronting us.

07 August 2004


harry_mess2, originally uploaded by watson.
A visitor to my blogsite remarked that my entries are all about messes. I seem to attract a lot of them, don't I?

Well, here's another classic example. Lo and behold! A Saturday 'spring cleaning' break for my good friend Harry in the office.

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