Friday, June 29, 2007

Tropical stereotype: exotic fruits and guitar music

Not much to add besides the fact that guitars are rare and that in many places ghetto blasters will do the job in entertaining the vendor while customers have to shout what they want.

Photo from May 2007 at Tagaytay.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where E.T. is coming from

Why are we always looking beyond Earth to locate the Extra-Terrestrial or E.T.? On the Galapagos Islands 'extra' terrestrial life always existed (see above). Just compare to the other E.T. (on the right) which only is a movie producers' imagination.

Photo from February 1998, Floriana Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

No night owls on the island

Rural life differs a lot to life in Manila, the city that never sleeps. While there are 100,000s of night owls in Manila you might better get an owl as pet if you live on an island.

Photo from Pandan island in June 2007.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

a fish which is not a fish

Despite their common name, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs. Cuttlefish are sometimes called the chameleon of the sea because of their remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin colour at will. Their skin flashes a fast-changing pattern as communication to other cuttlefish and to camouflage them from predators.

As I took this picture in June 2007 at Pandan Island, Mindoro I felt that this cuttlefish was seeing in me less of a predator since it actually came out of its hole following me and altering its skin very quickly. First love?

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Crossing the bridge

Photo taken while crossing the scenic hanging bridge of Sablayan, Mindoro in June 2007.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Deer for lunch?

After having shown a picture of a young monitor lizard in our room on Pandan island, Mindoro I need to share three pictures from Komodo Island in Indonesia. While the monitor lizard grows up to 2 ½ meters, the komodo varanus (or komodo dragon) is reaching some 3 meters. Interesting, the weight of a komodo dragon is about 50 to 70 kilogram when the stomach is empty but it quickly reaches 100 to 150 kilogram depending on how much food the komodo dragon can find. The good thing about these pictures from August 1992 is the fact that most of these komodo dragons are still there. Komodo dragons have a life expectancy of up to 50 years. One more sentence on caution, komodo dragons run up to 30km/h and are known to be fast swimmers.

Photo above: Feeding timor deer, the komodo dragon's main prey.

Photo above: It can get quite crowded when only one deer is served.

Photo above: Ouups, the deer's stomach exploded.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Men's world: Let the cock fight

Cockfighting or ‘sabong’ in Tagalog is the gambling sport in the Philippines. A cockpit belongs to most villages and usually on Sundays cock fights are taking place. Before the fights the specially trained and bred roosters are shown outside of the cockpit. Visitors are given the opportunity to estimate the roosters’ fighting (i.e. survival) potential. Before each fight the cockpit is full of shouts. Men are betting on the preferred cock while giving hand signals indicating the amount of the wager.

Cock fights are a bloody events. Curved blades that extend to as long as three inches are attached to one or both legs of the roosters leading to very short fights (often two/three minutes). Usually one cock dies (sometimes both). You betcha!

Photo above: fostering aggression...

Video above: Make sure you get front row places.

Photo above: Almost done...

All photos/video from Sablayan, Mindoro in June 2007

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Bamboo tricycle

Photo from somewhere in Western Mindoro, Philippines in June 2007.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

middle of the road carabao

Some carabaos need to follow a line. Who cares if it is the dividing line.

Photo close to Mamburao, Mindoro in June 2007.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Unexpected visitor

As we got back from scuba diving we found this unexpected visitor in our room.

Can you imagine how we checked the bed afterwards?

Photo of a [Stick insect hunter, your call] from Pandan Island, Mindoro in June 2007.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

screen saver interruptus

'Just don't breathe' as seen at Pandan Island, Mindoro in June 2007.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

It's coming closer!

Photo of a venomous lion fish at Pandan Island, Mindoro in June 2007.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Flying Filipinos

Taking a ferry ride in the Philippines comes with its own entertainment program. Before a ferry sails out of the harbor the local kids try to get onto the ferry and when they succeed, they jump from the main deck into the water.

Please note that the flying Filipinos are keeping their sandals in their hands.

Photo and video from the Abra de Ilog (Mindoro) - Batangas ferry in June 2007.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Making the best out of 3rd class traveling

During ferry rides in the Philippines most drivers stay with their vehicles. Some party (see above), some relax above their trucks.

Don't think the different forms of relaxation have an influence on the driving styles.

Photo from the Abra de Ilog (Mindoro) - Batangas ferry in June 2007.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

What to find under a burqa?

The world is full of surprises and sometimes you might find the unexpected under a burqa.

Photo from Manila in June 2007.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

A brush with life

Seen on the flight back from Shanghai to Manila in June 2007.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sweetest fire extinguisher ever...

Photo from Manila Airport in June 2007.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don't park your car here!

June 2007 photo from Shanghai 4AM in the morning showing a car which somehow got stuck between two lanes. Don't ask why, just zoom in his girl friend.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Underwear fetish restaurant

In Shanghai you'll always find something for even the most exquisite taste. Quite famous is the traditional 'underwear festish restaurant'. Locals call it simply and in English 'UFR' which is to be found at Jiangsu Road (江苏路), Lane (弄) 82; just across Wuding Xilu (武定西路).

You better reserve a table well in advance.

Photo of UFR in Shanghai from June 2007.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Picture at a Shanghai exhibition


Picture of a picture taken during a 王强 (WANG Qiang) retrosceptive art show at Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai in June 2007. Long live Mussorgsky!

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

China's fastest train: Progress. What progress?

The picture above is showing the maximum speed the Maglev (magnetic levitation transport or transrapid) had reached on a particular day in June 2007. More than two years ago, in February 2005 the maximum speed was exactly the same, some odd 431 km/h (see the picture below). In a city of records such as Shanghai it is remarkable not to find any progress in this field within two years time.

BTW, the race is still on: In April 2007 the French TGV broke a new record by accellerating up to 575km/h. A Japanese Maglev managed to reach some 581km/h back in 2003.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Capiz - Decorative art from the Philippines

Capiz is a province of the Philippines in Western Visayas, famous for its seashells and pearls. Capiz is also the name of the flat and transparent outer shell of placuna placenta, a mollusc found in the shallow coastal waters. The Spaniards started to use capiz very early for windows; capiz keeping the sun glare out but allowing light in.

Nowadays, capiz is being used for jewelry, as decoration for bags or shoes, lamps etc. It can also be formed into different shapes after heat treatment in a oven and subsequent flooding, glued, colored, varnished, thus widening the possibility is to use it. Unfortunately, Philippines now have to import capiz from Indonesia to sustain the handicraft.

As always, not all workplaces are equal.

Most photos by Q from Shell Arts Company in Cavite (close to Manila) in May 2007.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cleaning Manila

Photo from Makati, September 2006.

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Monday, June 04, 2007


Tired? Same here.

Photo from Beijing, China in September 1985.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

EDSA picturesque

How can you concentrate on the traffic in such an environment?

Photo along EDSA in Makati, Metro Manila in May 2007.

P.S. Do you see the Belos?

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