Monday, November 28, 2011


I was expecting something more of a Benin: chaotic airport, dirt roads, dilapidated buildings, gnawing poverty.

I got a modern and swanky King Shaka International Airport, freeways, high rises, and neat bungalows on a hillside.

I told the white folks who fetched me from the airport that things look more like European than African.

And quaint Chelsea Guesthouse Villa in an upper middle class white neighborhood along Brand Road is indeed Europe with a splash of Australia.

Then the security protocol came and I realized I am not in Europe after all.

I am in fact in South Africa…

FOOTNOTE: Photo shows Pres. Jacob Zuma of South African formally welcoming delegates to the UNFCCC’s 17th Conference of Parties in Durban. The second photo shows the iconic city hall of Durban, South Africa’s 3rd largest city and home to Africa’s busiest seaport. It was also in Durban where Mahatma Gandhi first used the method of non-violent protest against the compulsory registration of Indians, where Nelson Mandela cast his vote for the first time in 1994, and where the 2010 FIFA World Cup was held. 

Friday, November 18, 2011


Wala pong mosque o simbahan.

Kaya pansit na lang muna ang maihahain ko para sa inyo...

Thursday, November 17, 2011


What I like best in our recent trip to Bangladesh is the VIP treatment.

We were ushered in the VIP Lounge at Dhaka's Hazrat Shajalal International Airport after disembarking and have someone clear immigration and retrieve our luggage for us.

We have our own limo too and were billeted at the 5-star Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. 

I got to attend my second formal state dinner (the first one was in Benin; those in the UNFCCC were receptions and not included).

And I shoot a lot of VIPs.

Dhaka is known as the City of Mosques. The downside is I did not get the chance to shoot any of them. 

PHOTOS (from top to bottom): Among the VIPs I shot were: (1) Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, (2) former president  Jose Maria Figueres Olsen of Costa Rica, and (3)  Commissioner Yeb Sano of the Philippine Climate Change Commission.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Left Manila at 10 pm and arrived in Dhaka the next morning at 2 am.

Attended the welcome reception and state dinner until 11 pm.

Went out for a dinner with the Ambassador and his staff the next night until 10 pm.

Left Dhaka at 1:30 the next morning.

That's all I have to tell about my Bangla Nights.

PHOTOS EXPLAINED (from top to bottom): (1) My seat at the state dinner, (2) a frame of the cultural show during the state dinner, and (3) our dinner with Ambassador Bahnarim A. Guinomla and his staff.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


PHOTOS, from top to bottom: [1] Honored Lady and Sir Knight at the conclusion of the constitution,organization, and installation ceremonies of the Order of the Amaranth's Model Court No. 55. [2] The newly installed Marshall in the West of Model Court No. 55. [3] The Marshall in the West leading the guest of honor, Police Gen. Tomas Rentoy III, to the stage.