Thursday, June 30, 2011

Glorious Sunset In Cambria

I treasure each and every sunset that I capture because I very seldom get the chance to do that. I am often still at work at sunset or during the daylight savings time I am driving home which makes it extremely difficult to be shooting, right :)

Therefore when I get to be at the right place at the right time with a camera in hand, believe you me, I snap furiously. Wanna see the what I snapped on that day when I found myself waiting for the sunset by the coast?

These are all SOOC.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mazatlan: Ending the Day with Shopping

Yes, shopping is inevitable especially since the people in our tour went ashore mainly to shop. The tour guide then took us to a place that he says is where he takes everyone that goes on his tour, which I know is code for "I have a commission with this store."

I was happy to go inside the store - first, the thermometer had gone north by this time and I was glad to be inside where there is stronger AC than what the van provided, second - I had an inkling this stop would provide more shooting ops, and I was not wrong.

The free refreshments - choice of margarita or beer - while shopping was an added ooomph.

The store sells everything as I'm going to show you. Plus there is an attached jewelry section where they specialize in - what else - silver jewelry. While I gawked at all the masks, I left the store with a little silver chain that I matched with my little Maltese cross that I picked up in Malta in my previous travel.

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Three-piece wall art that would go along so perfectly with my living room color scheme, but I wasn't ready to carry extra weight in my luggage.
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I'm a sucker for these statues/decor but I don't have a place to display them at my house.
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Well, cross is a popular design especially in predominantly Catholic countries.
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Tempted to pick one up, reminds me of my childhood days.
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They have a whole section on items for Dia dela Muerte.
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Don't you want to take them home?
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There is a series of these paintings that really make me wanna laugh out loud.
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This is part of that series/set. Cute isn't it?
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But my favorite of all are the masks. I love capturing masks. Some day when I can (afford to), I will start collecting masks :)

And so another lovely shore day on the cruise came to an end.

This is my entry for this week's MY WORLD.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mazatlan: Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

It's two bellfry tower over the structures and easily spotted from the deck of the ship. The minute I saw it I knew I wanted to see the church. The time had come to stop at the church. While our group mates opted to shop at the department store across from the church, we were drawn to the beauty of its combination Moorish and Gothic architecture. The facade somewhat reminded me of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
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The church stands in the center of the city across from a little plaza. It began construction in 1856 and was completed in 1899.
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There was a service going on when we arrived that limited our shooting range :)

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There were 3 naves with 3 altars, all were decorated in true Baroque fashion - opulent.
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It is also the world's only Roman Catholic church to have the Star of David displayed in all of its 28 stained glass window. It was said that during the construction of the church a Jewish family in Mazatlan donated a huge sum for the construction and the grateful people put the Star of David to show their gratitude.
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Entry on four corners of the church.
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The church is across from Plazuela Republica
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The church begs for a return, more thorough visit. I hope I get the chance.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mazatlan: Drive By Shots

We left the cliff diver area and proceded to go to the church. On the way to the church, he took us to Old Town, where we just drove by as there were no parking spots to be found and the other people in our tour had mobility problems.
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Some of the neighborhood are falling apart, greatly damaged by the drug woes. The guide was quick to say that every effort is being made to rehabilitate these neighborhoods. I was was glad he showed us these areas where windows and doors are boarded up and the walls are littered with graffiti.
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We were driven to the open air market, well not really a "market" since they set shop on the sidewalk and became the shrimp market, Mazatlan being the shrimp capital. They had good shrimps I can see, but we were on a cruise and we couldn't shop for raw food :)
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WE passed by the hotels and resorts overlooking the water.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mazatlan: Pearl of the Pacific

The second port of call is Mazatlan, known as the Pearl of the Pacific because of its beautiful beaches and abundant marine life. Mazatlan has become an important site for international fishing tournaments. We were told that it is the shrimp capital of Mexico.

Mazatlan is located in the southern region of the state of Sinaloa, about 131 mi from the state capital of Culiacan. It is a popular destination for those who want to soak up the sun and relaxed pace of life along the Pacific Coast.

Note that there is a travel advisory on Sinaloa, among other Mexican states regarding the drug cartels. Thankfully I was in the dark about it. I always thought that drug cartels shy away from resort towns, after all these towns are where tourists flock and where the economy thrives for the betterment of the entire country. So I wasn't too concerned when I got on the ship. However, a day prior to docking in Mazatlan, words that another cruise line - Carnival - had opted not to dock in Mazatlan because of safety issues circulated around the dining areas and reached us. I got a little nervous. I thought I'd play it safe and just stay close to the water/ship when we spend the day in Mazatlan.

Having done a little research on what to do and see in Mazatlan, we figured that going on a little tour around the city would be the best option for us. After all, there is very little to do around here, unless one wants to go shrimping/fishing. There isn't enough time to go ziplining because one has to travel out of the city to do that.

Anyway, we found ourselves sharing a tour with three women and one man from the corn state of Iowa. They were not interested in seeing the sights. They were interested in one thing and one thing alone - SHOPPING. One of the ladies is on a mission to find a small sterling silver shot glass - she's collecting. She had four from previous travels. She had these four shot glasses engraved with her grandkids name. The problem is she had two more grandkids that arrived after that shotglass engraving project. She needs to find two more shot glasses.

So, we agreed to take the cursory drive through around the main sights. Although our main stop that we bartered with the gals from Iowa is a stop at a Roman Catholic Church - they are Jews - which they agreed. Serendipitiously, the church is across from a department store, so when we went to the church, they stayed in the store to shop and avail of the airconditioning. It was hot and humid in Mazatlan.

What I'll show you is a little mosaic of what we saw and photographed when we stopped somewhere along the Malecon. The Malecon is considered one of the longest in the world at 21 km. It is an esplanade like the Corniche in Alexandria.

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Along the Malecon is this heart-shaped lookout. Very scenic.
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Further along we found the Cliff Diver of Mazatlan. These guys dive in rocky waters for tips from tourists.

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Ready, set!
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Dive!
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Did he make it alright?
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Of course he did.

During out time there, we saw him dive twice. Or there were two divers, I wouldn't know.

As we ambled along, we found statues stood along the esplanade.
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To be continued............

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Filipino Heritage Night

If you don't know yet, my favorite sport is baseball. And my favorite team is the SF Giants, who by the way has finally won the championship after a drought of 54 years. The crown that they won in November of last year also happened to be the very first championship that the Giants franchise won after moving to San Francisco.

While I am a die-hard fan - since 1993 - I hardly go to the games. Reason? Ticket prices are too high and that going to the ballpark can make a hole in your pocket.

I try to go once a year at least. I was kicking myself for not going to any game last year - their championship season. So this year, I was hellbent on going to at least one. But with the team coming from a very successful season, the popularity of tickets had soared.

Thankfully, the Giants have special events like the Filipino Heritage Night, where Filipinos can come and enjoy the ballgame. If my memory serves me right, the Giants started with an Irish Heritage night followed by Italian and then there were Japanese and Chinese.

A few years ago, Manny Pacquiao flew in from LA to throw the ceremonial first pitch for the heritage night.

So when my husband told me that a group of Filipinos from his work are making a group to go to the game, I told him to sign us both up, even though the game was a Wednesday night at 7:15. I leave work at 6 pm.

We got signed up and went to the ballgame. Tickets and free t-shirt cost us 56 big ones for both of us. I brought a teeny tiny point and shoot, since I was coming straight from work.

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We took public transportation. This new (since 2000) ballpark is centrally located and is serviced by public transportation. We used BART (subway) and stopped at Embarcadero Station.

From here, the park is a 20-minute walk along scenic bay views and shopping and dining options.

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Finally got to photograph this gigantic art installation, the bow and arrow in Embarcadero.

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Been wanting to get up close to this art installation near the ballpark, finally did.

BTW, on weekday games, there are free rides from pedicabs with COMCAST signs on them. They sponsor the free rides, we availed of one just so I know that what they advertise is really true :)
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There is that beautiful AT&T ball park.
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We came in early enough and was able to wait in a very looooong line to get our free t-shirt. Because we were standing in line we missed all the pre-game festivities on the field, we saw on tv monitors of folk dances happening on the field.
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Then it was game time. It was a sell out crowd. Lots and lots of Filipinos.
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The free t-shirt features the Giants log on the front with the Philippine flag colors and the back features LINCECUM #55, who is the face of the franchise as well as a Fil-American athlete. I heard and read people saying they heard and read that Lincecum is born of a Filipino mother but I cannot find an accurate link for that.
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Two of the attractions in the park are the gigantic coke bottle, which is also a slide for kids, and the humongous glove. The lights in the background are from the East Bay cities of Emeryville and Oakland, perhaps even Berkeley.
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We exited at the back gate so I can photograph this pretty little sailboat.
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The main gate waiting for a barrage of people leaving the facility.
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Always holiday atmosphere in the park.

The Filipino Heritage Night this year was May 11, 2011.

BTW, the Giants won that game!