Benson Kua's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Manila

Storm Over Makati

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“Very ominous-looking clouds loom over the Makati skyline”

So I have this thing for taking pictures outside of windows so whenever I see a window I usually gravitate towards it and take pictures of whatever is outside. This particular set of pictures was taken from a window in a high rise building in Taguig.  They show the Makati (financial centre of the Philippines) skyline before and during a rain storm.  Now, these types of cloud formations are very common in the Philippines, seeing that it is in the tropics. But when I showed these pictures to my friends here in Canada, they thought that there was some big disaster coming; weather extremes are really rare here in Toronto.  Although, I wouldn’t really blame them because these clouds do look very ominous and threatening.

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Written by Benson

April 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Goodbye Manila! Next stop, Puerto Princesa, Palawan!

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“Goodbye Manila! Next stop, Puerto Princesa, Palawan!”

I have always wanted to go to Palawan because friends, who have been there, have been telling me how beautiful this little chain of islands is!  They rave about the beautiful sights, the mouth watering seafood feasts, and of course the gorgeous white sand beaches! So I vowed to myself that I will one day get there! It didn’t really matter to me where in Palawan (since I heard that it was nice anywhere; although Amanpulo would have probably been extra nice – someone please sponsor me to go there?? Please???), I just needed to get there!!!  Well last year, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to finally travel to Palawan’s provincial capital, Puerto Princesa.  I was only there for a weekend but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of that weekend!

This post is about the sights from the plane ride going from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Yes, MORE pictures out of windows…. The flight was about an hour long (I think) and I was peered out the window the entire time taking pictures (except for those occasions when motion sickness creeped in a little).  I loved how the sights under the plane became more “remote” and less city-like as the plane travelled from Manila to Puerto Princesa; I have always lived in cities and this was definitely a nice change.  I also loved seeing the islands of Palawan pass under the plane; this was such a new experience for me because whenever I had travelled by plane it is usually over the Pacific Ocean and all you can really see is water.  I really enjoyed that plane ride to Puerto Princesa, it was the perfect start to a great trip!

This is the first of many more posts about my Puerto Princesa trip!  Enjoy the plane pictures as I was en route to Puerto Princesa!

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Grounded at the Airport (and I Love It!)

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“Grounded at the Airport”

Have you ever had a layover at an airport? If you have ever travelled by plane, even occasionally, you will most likely have experienced waiting at the airport for a connecting flight.  Well, whenever I go back home to Manila (Philippines) from Toronto (Canada), I would always have a layover at the Hong Kong International Airport lasting around 4-5 hours, depending on how early my flight from Toronto would arrive in Hong Kong.  This flight would also always arrive in the wee hours of the morning (around 5 AM) and I loved this because of several reasons:

  1. There aren’t a lot of people at the airport, except for the people who sleep on the airport benches (who I assume stayed overnight at the airport) so its not ridiculously crowded unlike peak hours.
  2. The relatively empty airport gives me a chance to do some ridiculous stretching exercises, which I normally would not do in an airport full of people. Believe me, you need to do a good stretch after a 16 hour flight (deep vein thrombosis begone!)
  3. The early morning light is beautiful and I get a chance to take pictures of the planes (thank goodness the Hong Kong Airport is mostly glass as this gives me more places to take pictures from!) and the airport itself!

This post chronicles my picture taking exploits at the beautiful Hong Kong International Airport during my somewhat lengthy layover when I had gone back home in August of 2011.  Enjoy!

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From Inside the Plane

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“Flying High – Taken over the British countryside as we were headed to Rome”

I was trying to think of a topic on what to post about next and I thought of this old post I did on my Tumblr account about taking pictures out from airplane windows.  Do you see a trend here?? I certainly have this fascination with taking pictures out of vehicles (1)(2).  Anyways, I couldn’t really talk much about the pictures in my Tumblr post because the photo caption functionality was very limiting (It limited the caption to a certain number of characters only); so I decided to take another stab at it here and put captions for the photos as I had originally intended to.

These photos were taken from various trips/vacations I have had in the past years.  I feel very grateful to have been able to go to these places (and also of course, having a window seat on the plane so I could take these pictures).

Just a note about my travel habits: Whenever I travel by plane, I usually try and book a window seat (except when its a REALLY long flight, booking a window seat on a long flight is just disaster for the toilet situation). I love looking out the window to see the views and of course take pictures! Sometimes I do overdo it though and get airsick in the process…. lol.


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Written by Benson

March 12, 2012 at 9:46 pm

The Streets of Manila from Inside a Car – Part 2

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A continuation of my previous post about taking pictures of the street from inside a car. I managed to find some more pictures that I liked and decided to show them off here in the blog. Enjoy!

“A classic car stuck in traffic (well, us too…) on the Southern Luzon Expressway – I wonder if it had air-conditioning….”

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Written by Benson

March 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm

The Streets of Manila from Inside a Car

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Whatcha’ lookin’ at?”

I am not much of a street photography kind of person.

Its not that street photography does not interest me, I actually often find myself browsing through street photography websites/blogs wishing that I could take pictures as evocative as those.  I have alway had an aversion to this type of photography and I can never seem to point the camera at random people off the street and take their pictures.  I think this is mainly due to fear; I am fearful that my subjects will see me taking their pictures and react negatively and I am fearful that people will judge me because I am taking pictures of people and harassing them and invading their privacy.  Fear prevents me from doing street photography.

But during my recent trip back to the Philippines, I took a lot of street photographs.  No, the plane ride back home did not magically remove all that fear I had for street photography and I did not find myself roaming the streets, bravely pointing my camera at people and taking their pictures (This is actually not advised because if you did this, you probably would go home without a camera because you would most likely get mugged).  I had discovered a simple method of taking street photographs that relieved me of my fear of being seen by my subjects and this was to take the pictures from inside a car (preferably behind a tinted car window).  Taking pictures from behind a tinted car window completely takes away all my fears because my subject can barely see me through all that tint and no one else can see me take pictures of people outside the window (well, maybe except my mother who kept asking why I kept taking pictures out the window…. lol).

Anyways, here are some of the fruits of my “inside-the-car picture taking” exploits.

More pictures after the break.

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Written by Benson

March 10, 2012 at 2:29 am