Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

“On top can be a feeling, a perspective, or a physical location.”

I would prefer location.

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On top of Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines at 9,696 feet above sea level, is like you are on top of the world. At a temperature ranging from 10 to 16 degrees centigrade it’s quite cool up there at the peak.

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At the peak these three guys appeared like jumping scarecrows with the bursting rays of sunrise behind them.

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One of my favorite stopovers to and from the peak is the PNOC (Phil. National Oil Corporation) Compound at Barangay Ilumavis, Kidapawan City. With facilities like these up from the foot of this vast jungle I would sometimes imagine I am right up in Baguio City- the summer capital of the Philippines. At this point the temperature is much in the same range as that of Baguio City. The PNOC operates two sets of geothermal power plants here. Another one is up soon. Not far from here is the famous Lake Agco where one would love the confluence of hot spring and cold mountain spring water.

Oh, that feeling like you are on top of the world makes you feel like you have that freedom of flight just like the birds and the bees.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

“The Eiffel Tower? Stonehenge? Your town’s sole traffic light? For this week’s photo challenge, blow us away with your take on the monumental.”

Yes, I will. Below is our town’s monumental landmark located at the main crossroad along the national highway.

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And what a coincidence! The colors resemble our house’s paint. But I had our house painted a few weeks earlier, and therefore, it was clear the monument’s management had plagiarized. Or, it could be better said this way: “the monument’s paint was primarily inspired by our house’s paint :-)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

A threshold is a point of entering; that point just before a new beginning — that split-second moment in time, full of anticipation. All the hard work is over; relief is palpable.” -Krita Stevens

I am passionately in love with flowers. To me there is nothing more beautiful a sight than blooming flowers. I see them as the threshold of a new and exciting but reassuring feelings from the moment of first glance up till they register in my memory. Thanks to my most important travel buddy- my smartphone. For me, this gadget is made for 25% talking, 25% sending and receiving messages (texting) and 50% shooting photos.

For this challenge, I am sharing my photo collection of flowers taken from various places both here and abroad. Here are some of them:

Flowers. You are so delightful and beautiful. You always make me whole in an instant.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

“A snapshot of a street (or road or path) can tell a tale.”

“In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that brings a street to life.”

It does not only bring a street to life. To some people the street is their life, or life on the street is what helps them make both ends meet for them.

Here are glimpses of some street scenes that tell lots of tale:

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In one of the flooded streets of Navotas, Metro Manila, this pedicab driver braves the water and the rain to do business as usual. In Navotas about one-fourth of the city is mostly submerged the whole year round. It’s quite hard to imagine how people make both ends meet but most people really have their own unique ways of adapting to certain conditions on the street and of life.

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And these kids seem to have found a better playground which they might want to call “street pool”. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a place is how you make use of and enjoy it.

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Still, to these kids the street is not only a place to mill around but home sweet home. We can only imagine how the piece of cloth available to them makes them comfortable. My heart breaks whenever I see horribly unacceptable scenes like this. How can this world be so cruel to some!

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I should better conclude this week’s photo challenge with a unique street life that somehow reflects a life that is not devoid of the blessings of creativity, modern technology and happiness. In some streets in the Philippines some enterprising people had learned to make use of air-conditioned transport vans to set up an internet cafe. At least, this is a kind of street life that knows how to keep up with modern trends and fads, if I may add that.

Oh street lives! You make me change my mood so fast depending on where I train my camera. I can choose only the beautiful and inspiring ones but they don’t seem to give complete tales without capturing the other side of beautiful, inspiring and happy.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

“Reflection is an important part of growing as a person, and we each find the perfect moments in different places, people or things.”

IN A POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHOW US AN IMAGE THAT SAYS REFLECTION.

Reflection. It’s such a beautiful word to associate in photography!

And here is my own reflection of a magical scene translated into the realities of life.

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The Aurora Borealis is always a sight to behold. It doesn’t last too long though.

In life, let’s be contented and grateful for all the beautiful things we have. Everything we have is beautiful because they all come from God’s creations. They may not last forever but they are beautiful to have and to behold.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

“So much of life happens inside something. A house, a car, a sleeping bag, a UFO.”

“The “inside” idea can be as wide-open as your imagination wants to make it. From the simple to the absurd, it works on almost any level.”

“THIS WEEK, IN A POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO THAT SAYS INSIDE.”

Here are my “inside” photos:

On March 15, 2014 the municipal government of Pikit (in North Cotabato, Philippines) sponsored the 40th Regional Quran Reading Competition for the fourth time. Yes, the Holy Quran (the Muslims” Holy Book or Scripture) has a unique way of reading by following some melodious tones and (sawt), strict pronunciation (harf), rules (tajweed) and rythm (tarannum). Because of these reading parameters, some of us Muslims find that there indeed is enough challenge to take on in a contest.

The first photo above (L-R) shows the stage where the Quran Readers do the reading inside an area that is concealed from the eyes of the judges. This was done for obvious reason that the judges should not know the name of the contestants except to hear their voices.

The second photo shows the lady defending champion, Ustadza Raihana Abdulkarim, reading the Holy Quran. Unfortunately, she lost to the new champion (the one in the third photo). Her name is Ustadza Hanifah Sambutuan.

The fourth and last photo shows the male defending champion, Ustadz Zulkarnain Manampen, who won as Regional Champion for the third time in a row.

Ustadz (for male), Ustadza (for female) is an Arabic term for a professional Quran Reader. I hope to be proficient in reading the Holy Quran but I was only able to finish grade four.

Proficiency in reading the Holy Quran is one of the requirements for a Muslim to qualify as Imam (one who leads in a Muslim congregational prayer, as in a Friday prayer). I am qualified though to act as Imam in the absence of someone in the congregation who is more proficient than me.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

“This week’s photo challenge is about perspective: post a photo which is not what it seems to be. Make sure you share what the photo actually is of in its caption!”

“For those who are looking for an extra bit of challenge, show us two photos, each one showing a different angle or interpretation of the same subject.”

Here is mine:

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If you just consider the first picture at the left, you would imagine this as plain and simple child exploitation, as in, child labor! But then, when you look at the right photo, you will understand that this is just a case of moving a chair from one corner of the house to another, and therefore, the toddler is just one naughty small one holding on to the chair instead of the grandpa’s belt loop.

Well, folks, friends and foes, I’ve been busy these past few weeks but you know this is one challenge I couldn’t afford to miss. So here it is. Better late than never.

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