Meet one of the most dangerous creatures in the wild… and, guess what, it’s a bird!

Meet the cassowary and it sure can kick ass!

They are capable of dealing fatal blows to humans and other animals with their sharp and mighty claws.

They have put people in hospitals on numerous occasions and there have been many reports of people getting killed by a cassowary attack.

The Guinness Book of Records say that the cassowaries are the world’s most dangerous birds, very unpredictable, very aggressive, especially if wounded or cornered.

The cassowary, an exotic-looking, territorial bird,  lives in the rain forests of Australia and New Guinea and are actually pretty shy animals if undisturbed, unless they think you are a threat to them.

You’ll see one of them – alive and kicking – inside the Davao Crocodile Farm Roadshow right in Metro-Manila, located inside the Boom-na-Boom complex behind Star City in Pasay City. Also called, “Crocodile Park Manila”, the zoo-like park features bird shows and other animal interactions – a highly-recommended activity for the entire family to enjoy and experience.

And not to worry, the cassowary’s cage is securely built and keeps it from attacking park visitors.

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Even before the official announcement of the place being open to the public, we managed to visit for the first time recently the new official residence and office of the Vice President of the Philippines.

The new home of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) is the luxurious Coconut Palace, a government-owned guesthouse which stands on a 2.7 hectare property located at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex right by the Manila Bay in Pasay City.

Renovation work was still ongoing when we visited the Palace last November 09, 2011. Still, one can feel the elegance of the place.

Estimated to be worth PhP1.2-billion, not counting the artwork and antique fixtures and furniture, the Coconut Palace has plush guestrooms where the Marcoses, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and showbiz stars like Brooke Shields and George Hamilton once slept.

The Coconut Palace was designed and built by architect Francisco Mañoza in 1978 upon being commissioned by then first lady Imelda Marcos for the Manila visit of the late Pope John Paul II in 1981. The Pope, however, declined the offer to stay in it which he found too ostentatious. Among others, it has a swimming pool with a panoramic view of the spectacular Manila Bay sunset.

Shaped like an octagon, the Palace prides itself in showcasing the creative use of coconut and its various by-products, as well as artwork that includes works by noted Filipino artists Araceli Dans and Napoleon Abueva, among others. Its bedrooms emulate traditional art and aesthetics of Filipino regions, with antique decor on the walls, tables and cabinets.

It was President Aquino himself who offered the Coconut Palace to Vice President Jejomar Binay to make it as the official and permanent residence and office of the Vice President of the Philippines. The OVP used to hold office at the PNB Financial Center building in Pasay City.

Today, this where the VP holds office, meets guests, conducts meetings and media conferences.

Just last week, VP Binay announced that the Coconut Palace is now open to local and foreign tourists, with pre-arranged daily tours like the one being held in the US White House.

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I’ve always wanted to do a long, slow shutter speed, aerial, evening shot of the Roxas Boulevard stretch of Metro-Manila.

Our band, The Assembly, played for months in the late 70′s at El Camarote at  Holiday Inn, now Traders’ Hotel, right across the Cultural Center of the Philippines. And even if I was not into photography then, the early evening lights of the whole stretch of the boulevard viewed from the top floors of Holiday Inn had always fascinated me.

The opportunity came recently while I was doing a shoot for Pasay City and among the sought-after shots I wanted done was one to be taken early evening, atop Traders Hotel.

Alas, the weather wasn’t too kind! It had rained for a couple of days until that fateful day when we finally got the hotel clearance to climb right up to the roof deck of the hotel. I was barely starting to warm up after getting a proper orientation and a general feel of the stronger-than-usual winds when you’re on top of a tall building (we climbed a couple more levels from the 18th floor) when suddenly it started to drizzle!

Gosh! There wasn’t much time to go around the hotel’s roof deck to get all the possible angles!

So here’s what I just managed to shoot…

Better luck next time. :(

Photos taken 14 November 2011.

 

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Most Manileños would know where Pasay City is exactly located in Metro-Manila.

But am pretty sure many are also unaware, and one would still hear arguments whether this or that is still Pasay territory or not.

Let’s set aside the technicalities on the exact boundaries of the city.

Suffice it to say that Pasay City is where most of Metro-Manila’s major tourist attractions are located.

And more!

Without further ado, let’s get on and have a mini rolling tour featuring some of Pasay City’s building landmarks – some old, some new…

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© 2013 gerryruiz photoblog mark II Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha