Movie Review: The Road

 Last week I visited my friend in Baliuag, Bulacan to catch up on what's going on with our lives. He has a small restaurant that serves sizzling dishes. After serving the last customer that afternoon we decided to go to the nearest cinema and watch a movie.

We decided to watch The Road by Yam Laranas. Let me show you the trailer for the movie that I found inm youtube

The story tackles about the killings that was happening around a certain area in the Philippines spread over the last 20 years. It is more of a psycho movie than a ghost horror story which was what the trailer was implying.

I have to commend the movie's cinematography, specially on how the colors were "post processed" it gave the viewers a good sense of time on where in the time line is the scene happening as the story spans the years 1988, 1998 and 2008.

Brownman Backtracks The Year That Was

There it goes again, that certain smell in the air that reminds you its that time of the year again. The year is about to end again and here I am thinking what have I accomplished during 2011?


Finished my basic course in photography. It has been a life long dream for me to venture into visual arts and this is long over due, so I am so glad to have finally done it. I started posting advertisement online and God blessed me with clients so much I have at least one every weekend. 

Guardia Sibil at Fort Santiago

Growing Up

I have been contemplating long enough  if I shouold diversify or centralize my blog so after a few months and the opportunity to  buy a new domain and pay for hosting services, I grabbed the opportunity and signed up for the services.

For two weeks I searched far and wide throughout the immeasurable horizon of the internet  to find the perfect theme or at least something that would satisfy my needs. Oh yeah did I mention its gonna be running with a wordpress engine? oh yeah! I am that brave! lolz!

I began practicing with wordpress a few months back and I was not really satisfied because it was kind of difficult and I feel a bit restricted with the layout compared to blogger. But friends told me that it is much better than blogger. Anyways my decision to finally go with wordpress was the fact that I wanted to host my own site which I could not do with blogger, however I still lover blogger more than wordpress, at least for now =)

So I now have my domain, signed up for a year's worth hosting service I'm ready to build my site. After about two weeks on working on things including my first post, my new site was born. With that I'd like to introduce to all of you my newest baby,

From now on this will be my blog focusing on my travels. As of now it only has a couple of posts but i can't wait to have it grow into a site where people can share their experiences too.

By the way! Please don't forget to like us on facebook

Romblon: Remembering a traveller's younger years

On board a ship at the Batangas pier with my childhood friend Margie

After a fun filled afternoon of playing with my friends, darkness was slowly conquering the surroundings  that was my cue to go home. As I step inside our house I found my mom discussing with my dad about something. As soon as we finished dinner my mom told me that I coming with her to Romblon!

The Story of the Seagull

Just came back from church to hear mass here Baliuag, Bulacan. The priest's homily was knowing who you really are, he told a story about a seagull a bird known of flying so high above the waters of the sea. 

Cabanatuan City: The City That Almost Failed Me

I was hanging out at my friend's house in Baliuag, Bulacan just doing nothing, "Dulce Far Niente" as the Italians would put it. We have always wondered as the buses in front of their house passes by with signboards going to the City of Cabanatuan of what is to see there.

My Manila: The City Through A Brownman's Eyes

There is this place that never fails to inspires me. It is where I run whenever I feel I need to rest my soul.

I call it Manila

This is where the Sun sets perfectly each and every single day,
Sun set at Manila bay

Baclayon Church, Bohol

When you say Bohol the first thing that comes into my mind is, well of course the Chocolate Hills but one more thing that makes me want to go to Bohol is the Baclayon Church.

Luneta Park

Note: Original article was posted on this blog on 2007. This article has been re-written for re-posting purposes. (and to minimize the grammatical errors, I'm not saying there's none now ok!? =D )

On Sunday (07-01-07) I accompanied my girlfriend to the Manila Hotel where she will be attending a seminar for operating room nurses. I really had no business that I have to do there so I left immediately right after we found her co-nurses in the venue.

Manila Hotel which is a five star hotel situated in uptown Manila. Originally built to rival the Malacañang Palace in 1909,  It lies near the famous Manila Bay where a the largest man made park leads off, the Luneta Park.

I started alighting  from the hotel's grand entrance and found my self on the stairs of the lawn fronting the Quirino Grand Stand which were in poor condition.

Baguio International Arts Festival Weekend (Part 4 Finale)

Day 4: February 22, 2011

Waking up to a beautiful weather and the right temperature not to mention the beautiful views would definitely make you fall in love with this city.
Wild flower I spotted while walking

My mind was set already to explore the outskirts of the city  and maybe pick my own strawberries . Unfortunately, my sister informed me that they’ll be leaving for Manila after having breakfast.

Baguio International Arts Festival Weekend (Part 3)

Day 3: February 21, 2011

Another chilly morning, I have now realize that no matter how short I sleep as long as I am comfortable I can get through a day already.

Peaceful morning at Burnham Park
It's Choi's free day today he wanted to go around Baguio and relax a bit, he also wanted to show me around of one of his favorite destinations. We enjoyed walking around Burnham Park in the morning before eating breakfast. It was a Monday so the park was almost empty of tourists.

Baguio International Arts Festival Weekend (Part 2)

Day 2: February 20, 2011
View from a connecting bridge inside the hotel.
It was almost eight in the morning and after just almost five hours of sleep I already felt energized, the cold weather and the good mattress gave me quality sleep.

I went out to buy some food at the grocery store beside the hotel for breakfast and after everybody had finished eating they started preparing for their appointments around the city.

Baguio International Arts Festival Weekend (Part 1)

It was a blessed morning, I woke up ate breakfast and my mom asked me the best question she ever asked  me "I'm leaving for Baguio this afternoon you want to join?" of course I said Yes!

We left our house by lunch to meet up with her friend Choi who generously provided our transportation. They are actually on a business trip to present to prospective client at the city of pines. It was a long drive ahead of us and our car kept on over heating because of some air conditioning or electrical problem so we had to stop several times at gasoline stations.
On the way up to Baguio as the sun sets.

Paete Artist's Cross

I was able to visit the town of Paete just this Summer. I was amazed with the number of craft shops that are lined up on the promenade leading to the church.

We went inside on one of the shops which is also a coffee shop and gallery. Inside the gallery I found this golden cross depicting the crucified Christ.

As I look at the cross I felt like it was telling me look at me I am your God, I am grand and powerful. But I am here crucified on the cross because I love you.

Laguna Church Series: Saint James the Apostle Church

The Artisan's Church: Saint James the Apostle Church
(article was first published on

Located in the town of Paete in Laguna, a town known for its people's talent in carving, the church's facade will welcome you with its intricate desgin carved by the town's locals.

US Trip Series: AIR BORNE Somewhere between March 18, 2006 (2200 hrs Mla) & March 18, 2006 (0800 hrs PST)

I was thinking of including this portion of the trip on my second post for the series, but what the heck, Its 12 hours of non-stop flying there must be something that I could write! Right?Anyways....

So we were the last ones to board since we were flying economy, plus we were seated second from the last seat at the back. The seat was okay since there's only the two of us traveling and the best thing is that even though we got to check-in late we still managed to get a window seat. How? I begged the check in officer to reserve us the seats because we still need to get our ticket outside the terminal and there's a big chance of somebody taking it, I told the officer "please sir, pa reserve naman po ng window seat first time ko po kase mageroplano sige na po..." (please sir, reserve us the window seat this is my first time to ride a plane).

Packing 101

So you have booked that low fare flight a hotel and your itinerary is all set, all you need to do now is pack your things for that much awaited vacation.

I used to be panicky when it comes to packing things up. I would pack loads of clothes and accessories that are meant for events that could possibly happen.... up there in my head.

Oh yeah I pack like crazy whenever I go out of town, Until I had a life changing experience came to me. I started to be more carefree and adventurous but not to a point of irresponsibility.

Since then I was able to make a formula on how to make my checklist. Let me share them to you.
how to roll clothes when packing from

1. Know where you are going

Research on the weather of the place that you are going to whether it is out of the country or domestic. Places may have extreme weather conditions like if you are near a dessert where it gets really hot during the day and extremely cold at night. Domestic destinations isn't an exemption to this, just think of Batanes where you could experience mild winter or the Cagayan region where it gets really hot.

Diversify or Centralize?

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, and I see it something good for me as it encourages me to read and write more.

Here are some of the things that I noticed that makes me keep on reading these articles online.

I really admire writers who take their readers to a roller coaster ride and takes them into where their stories are. I first experienced this kind of writing with John Grisham's "The Lawyer", a lot of people say that it is actually nothing compared to his other works. But the point is, I am not a person who's reading is on his most enjoyed hobbies' list so for a person to put me into a page turning experience is something else.

The blog Transcendental Tourist ( ) is a good example of this. Every time I read his posts, It feels like I am traveling with him. It lets you experience an array of emotions that you would feel as if you are the one who's experiencing what is written. 

US Trip Series: THE AIRPORT March 18, 2006 (2200 hrs Manila)

This the day! I'm on my way to the airport, at centennial terminal of the Manila Airport to be specific. we had to be there for at least two hours earlier to make sure that we can board the plane on time. 
I'm late.... actually I arrived an hour earlier but this is the first time that I'm gonna ride a plane and I dont actually know how to check in. I saw my companion, Dindo, who is also my manager inside the check in area already.

The terminal is a little small so the guards had to check for my passport to see if I'm the one who's going to board and they won't let any guests come in.

So there we were at the check-in counter, we asked the information desk where do we go so we could get our seats and have our Luguage checked in. 

But wait! I think there is something wrong, as i can clearly see the impression on the officers face, then the officer said "do you have your tickets with you?". All along I thought what the US office faxed us was enough for us to get into the plane but instead we needed to go to the ticketing office and secure our electronic tickets!

Life less interesting May 22, 2011

It has been a while since I broke free from the corporate chains and focused on my passion in photography. So far I am happy with what I am doing, I am satisfied with my work but still acknowledges that I have so much to improve and to learn.

I love the fact that most of my weekends for the past months were mostly booked, meaning that business is really doing good.

But it has struck me that I have been doing much less to almost nothing during weekdays.

I felt like I wanted to go back to work again, should I? Maybe I should but I dont think that I would want to go back to being on a management position. I just don't think its worth it.

Okay so maybe I'll go back and get a job so I could have more funds traveling.... hmmm.... that ain't such a bad idea ey?

My current status may not be that Interesting but I like it... =)

Taal Church: A Church's Journey To Survival

The Saint Martin of Tours Parish, more popularly known as the Taal Church is regarded as one of the largest churches in Asia.

The Obando Town Fiesta: Santa Clara Feast Day

With all these discussion going on about the controversial RH Bill, we tend to forget about the people who actually are struggling still to have a child.

Of all the Philippine fiestas during the month of May celebrating fertility, Unlike other fiestas that celebrates fertility in harvest, The Obando fertility festival celebrates fertility of humans to bear a child.

Obando Church, San Pascual Baylon Parish with the former convent converted into a school on its side.

Laguna Church Series: San Sebastian Church

The Infirmary Church: San Sebastian Church

The church, situated in Lumban which is one of the oldest  town in Laguna and was the primary mission of the friars when evangelizing the southern tagalog area, particularly laguna.

Minasa: SkaBeche Music Video

We made this video for Bustos' Minasa Festival Last January. The song was written by Dionisio Sumera and was performed by SkaBeche a ska band from Bulacan. It was incidental that I became part of this music video, I shot the second scene (from the lead vocalist coming down the stairs then giving respects till he leaves the room), the closing scene (where he woke up in a factory and bites a piece of the minasa cookie) and the still pictures used at the closing credits of the video.

The music video aims to promote the town of Bustos Bulacan and its products and tourist spots.

hope you enjoy the video.

US Trip Series: The Miracle

Years ago I started another blog to tell the story of my trip to the United States. However I got so tied up with work back then so I wasn't able to finish the story.

Now, I will attempt to complete the story that changed my views in life and where I got to own my first camera. So let me begin on how it all started......

The Miracle

It was just another ordinary day. My shift was almost done, suddenly the phone rang. I answered with our company's standard greeting and learned that our client was on the other end of the line. 

She was asking for some reports sent to her by the end of our shift but I couldn't resist in asking her something that has been bothering me for quite sometime already. There has been a series of emails from her asking details about the nearest airport from where I was. I was on the thinking that she would be coming over to observe us on how we do our jobs.

So I mustered all the courage that I have and casually asked her "So when are you coming over?". She laughed a bit and answered back with a question, "didn't Mike tell you anything?". At that point I was kind o f confused on the situation since nothing has been said to us by our Client Director, Mike.

Life ain't fair....

Yes life is not fair. Doing good things to others does not assure you that good things would happen to you as well. Being honest does not assure repentance or loyalty. Life is not fair at all. people will forget about you once they are done with you (well okay maybe not all) once that they don't have any use for you. so why don't you give a damn to what others would say to you. its a dog-eat-dog world. so go ahead and shamelessly reach for your own happiness.

Lumban Municipal Hall

We were on our way to one of the churches on our visita iglesia list. While we were walking since there were no jeeps en-route to our destination, I noticed this old structure from a far nicely preserved.

As we approached the structure we learned that it is the Lumban Municipal Hall. It felt good that a local government preserved a piece of history instead of altering it.

Lumban is a 4th class Municipality and is one of the oldest town in Laguna.

Villa Tortuga: Back to the time of elegance

Step back into the 19th century and relive the era where elegance was part of everyone's daily living in the Philippines.

I was invited to Taal, Batangas' first ever El Pasubat Festival and I was so excited to see the town, as I have heard that they have beautiful heritage houses.

I took the Jam bus in Buendia, Makati and arrived at the bus terminal in Lemery, Batangas at about 7PM. The bus usually passes by the Taal town proper but due to the festival, the local government closed the main road. I then negotiated with a tricycle driver for a special trip (50 pesos) to where we will be staying for the night in taal.

The driver thought that I was a local and I on the other hand thought that he knew where I was going. I told him to take me to Marcela Agoncillo's house as the place we will be staying is just three houses from the said landmark.

As we were driving around, it was sad to learn that most of the people that we asked for directions didn't knew where the house actually is.

We drove around a little more and finally we found it. Welcome to Villa Tortuga!

Villa Tortuga is an old Andalusian type house situated beside the Pansipit River. The name of the house came from the Spanish word "Tortuga" which means Turtle in English. This is because it is said that turtles lives on the river beside it, and true enough some of the staff of the house caught a turtle in the river earlier during the day, they then set the turtle back to the river the following day.

I knocked at the door of this completely unassuming house. I started thinking that no one could hear me from where i was, so I decided to go inside the property since the gate was open. I started to call attention again and fortunately Mr. Rogie Reyes was able to hear me. He then told me to go upstairs.

As I enter the main door a grand staircase welcomed me. Filled with big shells on the side this grand stair case leads up to the main floor of the house.

My Small Beginnings In Photography

I was waiting for my mom to finish using the net book that I use to surf (I use a netbook to surf to save on electricity as a desktop computer uses too much energy) when I tried to clear my table from all of the clutter  on it so I could edit some photos on my desktop, when I found my old Digicam.

I looked for spare batteries to try it. I laughed a lot thinking that the small 1.5 inch LCD display was enough for me way back.

It is an Olympus digital point and shoot camera that I bought at Best Buy on Victory lane in Burbank on a business trip in California on 2006. It's a 5.1 megapixel camera which I think was not so bad back at those time. I didn't thought that I could ever afford to buy one, as one of the office guys told me that I could save about a couple of thousand pesos only if I buy in the states.

However, to my surprise the camera costs less than $130 which if I converted at that time to Philippine pesos was just a little over 6,000 pesos. When I got back here in Manila I went around and canvas on how much my camera costs here. Again I was surprised with how much I saved! The camera costs 18,000 pesos at that time and I got it at a third of its price.

I feel so blessed that I got the to own one of these. I owe it to this small point-and-shoot camera the start of my photography career. With this small camera I was able to enter the world of light and show everyone how I see the world through my eyes.

I always encourage people who loves to get into photography to start even with just a poin-and-shoot cam as you can learn a lot of things that you can later apply when you have your big cam already.

here are some of the photos I took with this camera.

May be my passion for my art was the driving force for me to create such images even with such basic equipments. I am grateful to this camera for letting me in the world of photography.

So go out today and shoot!


Laguna Church Series: San Juan Bautista Church

The Neglected Church: San Juan Bautista Church

While most of the old Churches would boast about how old their structures are, this particular church though its age shows its antiquity cannot do the same. No one knows when the church was really built as most of the documents and things in the church were lost.

For over 40 years the church was taken for granted when the parish was transfered to another location. During that time no one took care of the structure and unfortunately the church had to be retrofitted with a new roof because of the damages it sustained from natural calamities, and due to the construction the important parts of the church had to be torn down as well.
Bas relief of saint john baptizing Christ 

The patron saint of the parish atop the entrance arch

View of the bell tower from what is left of a convent

Still there are treasures to be found inside the church. slowly they are rebuilding the parish bit by bit, one parishioner at a time.I particularly love this church because it is one of the few churches that faces the Laguna lake. I pray that this beautiful parish recovers and bring back the people back to this church.

For more information about tours for the Laguna Churches you may contact
Joel Aldor
Unit 3, #8225 Vicmar Bldg., Constancia St.,
Brgy., Olympia, Makati City 1207
Mobile +639174797015

Infanta, Quezon: Rituals of repentance, April 22, 2011

The Philippines is full of  traditions and customs, one of them is self flagellation of penitents.

Came in ten minutes late at the Raymond Bus Terminal in Manila and missed the 7PM bus, so we had to wait for the next trip. But the next trip is already fully booked as per the reservation officer. but we need to be in Infanta, Quezon by at least 2AM. So we took our chances and rode the 9PM bus. one of us had to sit on the floor near the driver as there really was no seat reserved for us. Luckily the conductor found empty seats as he organized some of the passengers while collecting fare.

We arrived in Infanta, Quezon at about 2:15 AM. Bought some cookies and a chocolate crinkle at a bakeshop and had some coffee at a Big Mak burger stand. 

After eating we walked around and looking for penitents until we reached the Infanta Church. We couldn't find any one so we asked around for information and we were directed to a certain street where most of the penitents are coming from.

As we were walking my photography bud saw this lugawan (congee) serving lugaw with kalabaw meat (congee with carabao meet) and since it was still early like the locals said, we decided to eat... again! ( lol )

When we finished our congee we walked around again asking locals some more information about their tradition. They say that the penitents go to the church and then goes to a river or the beach to wash them selves.

At about 3AM right in front of us with our very own eyes, we saw the first few penitents walking from the dark. I was stunned as if I saw a ghost. It was so surreal, I found my self standing unable to think what to do next. Then my friend told me to shoot, I replied "sige ikaw na muna". I was trying to digest the imagery until i finally came to my senses and took my first shot.

A penitent's saya, panyabat and tucarol

What's unique about the penitents in Infanta, Quezon is that they start their rituals before sunrise just before sunrise. The reason to this as one of the penitents say is that it takes time to numb them selves before they scathe their selves to bleed.

        A penitent waiting for his back to be cut.

One of the penitents who started early. His back looks like has ex-foliated his top skin already

Just like what the locals that we asked the penitents went in front of the Infanta Church where they prayed for their thanks giving or requests.

Penitents praying in front of the church

After praying they go back to the streets of the poblacion to continue their penitence.

The picture looks blurry but i like it. It seems like the images are moving when you look at them.

A man holds a surgical blade that he uses to cut the backs of the penitents. He says that it is his own devotion to cut penitent's backs during the holy week.

Sunlight has broken and they have not stopped still, I can now see better the extent of the damage they have inflicted to them selves.

a penitent standin on the streets while the sun continous to rise.

After a while they left the poblacion and converged into this place. I asked them where they are heading the penitent just said "sa tulay" (to the bridge). I asked him if they are to wash them selves there after flagellating them selves and he said no.

We decided to follow them and looked at what they would do. While walking we saw other people also headed to the bridge as well.

When we got to the place, we saw them continuing to hit them selves. It was a small barangay road, I asked around and I guess the reason they gather at this place is its proximity to the beach where they will clean them selves.

A foreigner trying to get a picture of the penitent.

A penitent's side that seems to be skinned off already.

Once again they line up the streets while self flagellating.

A penitent catching up with his comrades. 

Another person part of this ritual is the one who has the devotion to give lambanog to the penitents. Penitents drink lambanog while self flagellating to make it more tolerable for them.

From time to time they wash their blood drenched panyabats in water, that is why you should keep your distance from them if you don't like your shirts to get bloody like mine.

We decided to leave already and head to another place until we found this small shack where some of the penitents continue to self flagellate.

Penitents actually ask other people to hit their backs for them so that the blood (im just not sure if the blood that has came out or the hemorrhage forming) would look even

Finally we decided to leave 

We all have our way of saying sorry or asking for forgiveness. Though this is a culture rich event let us not forget that the true penitence happens in our hearts. After all the physical abuse that we did to our self let us stay silent and listen to God.

You can check the rest of the photos HERE or you can go to my site at thanks!
Directions going to infanta

You can take a Raymond bus in Sampaloc, Manila going straight to infanta. The fare is 185 pesos on a regular bus. you can walk around the town center or you may also take a tricycle to the beach which is about half a kilometer from the town center.

You can also check out the beaches of real Quezon while you're at it.