So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
Ans so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

From “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmastime in Tacloban City with its 54-foot tall Christmas Tree all lit up at the Balyuan Complex and promenaders and BMX bike riders all taking it in.

The scene last night, 

December 15, 2010 with local BMX enthusiasts strutting their stuff on a very humid, early evening by the bay of Cancabato.

Standing 53 feet tall at the Balyuan Complex facing the Cancabato Bay is this year’s “European–Moroccan-inspired” huge Christmas tree erected by the Tacloban City government.

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Day 02 in Iloilo City was the main event for the trip – the Visayas Blogging Summit and the Philippine Blog Awards.

Here are other photos I took on my second day in the City of Iloilo – photos other than those of the blogging summit and the Philippine Blog Awards.

The breakfast view from the Promenade Resto at the top of The Atrium showing the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

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I turned another year older last Saturday, October 2, and this time Ludette and I decided to go visit our daughter studying there, my sisters and their families in Cebu and spend the day with them.

It has been some time since I last visited the Queen City, so off we went. A very much needed respite it turned out to be – great time with family,  and a chance to meet old friends, too.

Mactan Island

Cebu City

Metro-Cebu viewed from Mountain View

Metro-Cebu at dusk

The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu

Instant family get-together

Chilling out at The Outpost with long time friends of Habagat.

Cebu Capitol Building

Priceless: laughter is still THE best!

Covered car park: urbanization requisite

Heading back home…

View more photos:

At The Outpost: http://gerryruiz.callezaragosa.com/p720507908

Cebu! Cebu!: http://gerryruiz.callezaragosa.com/p755914159

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While rummaging through my photo library – organizing and updating them and doing back-ups – I ran into a gold mine of several folders containing hundreds of unpublished photos!

I’ll have to say I was not totally unaware of its existence; I further confess it’s a classic case of procrastination on my part.

Also, a series of ensuing events and circumstances further buried these folders back into my baul – among them not-so-pleasant ones the mind automatically chooses to set them aside (to be dealt with later, but when?)

Among the photos I found were those taken during an 8-day inter-regional marathon caravan we took in 2007, conducted by the Department of Tourism of Region 13 (Caraga), Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) and Region 5 (Bicol) that saw us traversing the Maharlika Highway from Agusan del Norte all the way to Camarines Sur. No mean feat.

Don’t get me wrong; a few of these photos were actually published in the net – the more prominent and interesting ones – but most of them got buried deep owing to its sheer volume (it was an 8-day event!) and the not-exactly exciting prospect of rummaging through all of them and doing post-processing on the chosen ones.

So having said that as a backgrounder, let me feature first photos taken in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.

The Pansukian Tropical Resort was the first resort built in Siargao Island – a remote island located in the easternmost border of Surigao del Norte province in Mindanao facing the Philippine Deep and the mighty Pacific Ocean. Over the years Siargao has gotten to be known as the surfing capital of the Philippines.

Built by a Frenchman in the middle of a lush tropical mangrove forest with a lagoon and a river running through it, and with a beach front facing the sea, the Pansukian Tropical Resort stands out as one of the more prominent paradise-like exclusive hideaways in the remote island.

Its Balinese architectural theme makes one feel like being in another faraway land.

I’ve heard earlier that the resort’s architectural-designer group was the same one which designed and built the Surf Camp Resort in Calicoan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. One cannot miss the striking resemblance.

And, of course, when one goes to Siargao, one goes to surf. Or see others surf.

And Cloud 9 sits right there at the island’s major surfing area.

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