Villa Escudero


We Went to Villa Escudero last April 26, 2008. It was only a day tour but it was a lot of fun. We never expected that it would be this enjoyable. For only 1K+ pesos, we were able to have a great time and eat great food by the waterfalls! Here are some of our pics, for the complete set, you may go to www.dencio.com and click on the photos link.

First stop on the tour was the reception where they gave us welcome drinks (sago-gulaman) and handed out our tour tickets.  Then we were on to our first destination the museum. The Museum looks like an old church and it houses different items from the Spanish times. and also it holds the Floats for the Stations of the Cross parade. Picture taking wasn’t allowed inside the museum so we got no shots from the inside…

Villa E Museum

Next stop was the House inside Villa Escudero, tourists are not allowed inside.

Bahay, Official Shot

It was almost lunch time so we took the carabao ride to take us to the dining are which is situated below the man-made falls along the river.

Carabao Ride

The food was ok, it was a buffet with different Pinoy Foods like Caldereta, Liempo, Pansit, Banana-Q Etc. The drinks wasn’t included in the package and costs Php 70 for the fruit shake and Php 30 for the Coconut.

Buffet Lunch

Fruit shake by the falls with cold fresh water running through you feet… The Best!

Melon Shake Sa Waterfalls

After the meal, a little picture taking on the Van…

Villa E Van

Then we head off to the Lake where we can do Bamboo Rafting…

Lawa ng Labasin

Bamboo Rafting is So much FUN!!

Photoshopped

Ariah!!

Ayos!

First round, with Cristy. Di sya masyado nakalubog…

Me and Cristy

Next round, with elli. Naku Titanic! Sira siguro ang Balsa!

Titanic

After Rafting, Ikot Ikot muna tapos picture picture…

Kinabayo ang Kalabaw

Ray Gunnnn!!!

Ray Gun!

Garote!

Garote

Tapos mag-ikot… Biking Naman! Ang saya-saya mag bike sa hindi sementado!

Biker

During biking, bumaba para mag picture pa din….

Cannon

Sakay Na!

Sakay Na! 

Uwian na, and it was dinner time so we dropped by Kusina Salud in San Pablo.

Kusina Salud

 

Again, We never thought that the Day tour will be so much fun. We could have stayed the night as originally planned but unfortunately they were fully booked because it was such a short notice.

Next stop, ILOCOS! I’m so excited!

Until then!

Dencio

Dennis Christian Angulo Web Developer

Digicam 101


While I was surfing the net and suddenly, I came across this video site (www.videojug.com) and they have this collection of videos regarding digital cameras and picture quality. It  explains the different basic things you need to know with your digital camera. The best part is, it was explained on a video using layman's term and it comes with a transcript! This is Digicam for Dummies! It is really worth watching... and reading. Enjoy!

Digital Camera Picture Quality

TRANSCRIPT:

What determines the quality of a digital photo?

What makes a great digital picture? First of all, it's photographer skill. You've got to know how to hold and point and capture the subject with the camera. That's number one. Number two, you need a lens quality. Lens quality is far more important than any other aspect in digital photography. And if you look, I can show you examples from three and four and five megapixel digital cameras with premium, excellent quality lenses that blow the doors right off the ten and eight megapixel cameras with lower quality lenses. So look for lens quality. Number two, you do need megapixels to be able to make enlargements. But megapixels only gives you picture size. That's all it does. Chip size is also huge. The bigger the imaging chip in the camera, the better the prints are going to be. That's why the SLR cameras take much better pictures than the compacts, because the imaging chip on the SLR is a little bit larger than a postage stamp, while the imaging chip on your compact cameras is a little bit bigger than the nail on my pinky.

What is the "lens"?

With digital camera picture quality, the camera lens is probably the most important single part or component of a camera that you own. Most people think a lot of times about buying a camera and then decide heavily on which camera they want. They look at the features and then they buy whatever lens is on sale, and I think that's a mistake, because the lens is clearly the most important part of a camera. It's the eyes to the camera. If you think about yourself and how you would react to the world with bad eyes versus good eyes; the lens is the eyes, and the better the eyes, the better the picture that you're going to take. The lens of a camera work just as our eyes do, there's a glass lens that focuses the light, the better the lens focuses the light, the clearer the picture you will have. It focuses the light of course to the imaging chip you have in your digital camera; otherwise it focuses on the film in a film camera.

How do I choose which lens is right for my digital camera?

You choose the lens for your digital camera depending on what kind of subjects you want to take. Generally when you buy the lens with the camera, you're having to decide; do I want a small camera or a big camera. The small cameras have the 3X zoom and that limits what you can do. If you need a bigger zoom for far away things like animals, wildlife, sporting events, shooting people across the street then you need a bigger zoom; a 10X zoom or a 12X zoom, but that means the camera size is going to grow and it makes a big difference. You have to make a fundamental choice in the size of the camera. This camera has a 3X zoom, a small zoom. A very small camera great for going in your shirt pockets. This camera has a 16X zoom. Look at the difference in the size of the cameras. So you have to make that decision. A big zoom allows you to come way in close from far away. This camera goes in your pocket so you can carry it with you everyday but you're limited to the three power zoom.

What is "resolution" and how does it affect digital photo image quality?

With digital camera picture quality, when you buy a digital camera you have to choose the number of megapixels. The megapixels is the size of the imaging chip, some people call that the resolution. What you need to know about megapixels is this, to make a 4x6 size print of photo quality you need 1 megapixel, to make a 5x7 print you need 2 megapixels, to make an 8x1 print you need 4 megapixels and that will give you true photo quality. So, when you're buying a digital camera what you get when you buy more megapixels is the ability to make larger enlargements and the ability to crop the picture, it's just that simple. Once again though, remember that lens quality is far more important to your overall picture quality than how many megapixels you have, as long as you make sure you are in the range of what you can do with your digital camera.

What is a digital camera's "megapixel"?

With regards to megapixels in digital camera picture quality, "Mega" means "million" and "Pixel" means "picture element". So, when you buy the megapixels on your digital camera, it is how many million picture elements or dots it can take. If you take a look at the newspaper with a magnifying glass, or go right up next to the TV, you'll see that the pictures are made up of individual little dots, these are pixels. Therefore if you have a six megapixel digital camera, it means that the image is roughly 3 pixels wide and 2 pixels high, because 3 times 2 is 6, hence six megapixels.

How many megapixels should my digital camera have?

Now, you need four megapixels to make an eight-by-ten print. If I'm never going to make anything more than an eight-by-ten, why do I need anything more than four? Well, the reason is, the last time I took a perfect picture was: never. so, if I have a six-megapixel camera, that means I can crop my file image after I've taken it, and throw away a third of it. If I have an eight-megapixel camera, I can throw away half of it – and still have four megapixels that will give me an eight-by-ten quality when I make my enlargement, when I make the print for the wall. If I have a twelve-megapixel camera, I can throw away two-thirds of it. That's why you spend the money for more megapixels – it doesn't give you a clearer picture, it gives you the ability to crop and adjust the picture later on.

What is "ISO speed" and how does it affect my digital camera's photos?

It's just like the ISO speed was on your film. ISO tells us what sensitivity or how much light is required to make the picture. Now on film, ISO, higher ISO, gave us a grainier less clear picture; a lower ISO gave us better color and better clarity. The same happens in digital. As you turn down the ISO you're going to get clearer, crisper, better colored pictures. As you turn up the ISO, it needs less light to take the picture, but we get digital noise, looks like kinda snow on the TV set, you get these kinda colored artifacts, kinda freaky-deaky in the picture, that's what grain or noise is on your digital picture. My recommendation to you is: always set the digital camera to the lowest or next to the lowest for general purpose photography. If you shoot inside without a flash, indoors, you know, like a basketball game, hockey game, you know, indoor play or something like that, then you need to boost the ISO. But one thing I need to tell you is before you do that is you have to take a test on your camera because some cameras have a very low threshold for noise or the picture quality gets pretty bad, pretty quickly. So, you have to test with your individual cameras. You need to also note that the smaller cameras, the compacts, give more noise then the SLRs do, and that goes back again to the size of the imaging chip with a small imaging chip we get more noise or more grain, With the SLRs and the bigger imaging chip we get less noise and therefore we're able to boost the ISO higher and give you more low-light capability.

What ISO speed range should my digital camera have?

In general, for normal photography you need an ISO range of between 2 and 8 for general purpose photography. 2 for bright sunshine, outdoors and normal things. 4 for mixed light and low light family pictures. 8 for the occasional show, play or children's performance. You need higher ISOs for more specific low light kind of photography. If you are doing a lot of that kind of thing, you've got children in drama productions and playing indoor sports you may want something that goes to 16 or 32. If you are doing a lot of high quality, high colored landscape, tripod type of photography, you may want a camera that goes down in to the 5 to 1 range, but, those are more specific. So, in general, 2 to 8 is where you need to focus. All the digital cameras today have that.

Can a digital camera capture high-quality video?

With digital camera picture quality, most of your compact digital cameras today, still cameras are able to catch high-quality video as they do have a movie mode. This is ideal and cool for taking the occasional movie. Once again, just like the movie cameras don't do as well for still cameras, the still cameras do not do as well for movies, but do great still pictures. For someone's first steps or something unexpected, it's great to have the movie function with a compact still camera.

Can a cell phone capture high-quality stills?

Whenever I go anywhere, I see all kinds of people taking pictures with their cell phones. I just really question the quality of the pictures they're going to get. Because, even though the cell phones today have three, four or five megapixels, the quality of the lens and the size of the imaging chip is miniscule. I know it's very tempting and sexy to think that your cell phone can be everything to you, whether it's still or moving. Look at the movies you get off the cell phone. Have you ever printed a picture from a cell phone? Look at how low the quality is. I personally want more from my camera than what I'm going to get from a cell phone.

Can a video camcorder capture high-quality digital stills?

Today's digital video camcorders more often than not have a high-quality digital still capability. That is really good for capturing an occasional still picture. But digital video camcorders don't take as good a picture as still cameras for a couple of reasons. Number one, the lens quality; the lens quality on the camcorders is not as good as the lens quality on the still cameras. Number two, the imaging chip is still even smaller and they're designed for moving pictures. With moving pictures the human eye does not need to see resolution. The human eye builds in the resolution for you. With a still camera, we examine, we get in there and look for the fine details, so you need more detail with a still camera than you do with a camcorder. Maybe one day they'll be able to combine them both so that you get both in one, but not yet, we're not there yet.

All videos are copyrighted by their respective author/owners.

Hope you Enjoy This very Informative Post as much as I did! Till next Time!

PS: Sana Makuha ko na yung Free Digicam ko sa HSBC!!! Wish Me Luck!

 

Dencio

Dennis Christian Angulo Web Developer

Manila Ocean Park


"WOW!!! may Ocean Park na sa Pinas! Mas malaki sa HongKong at Singapore!"

Ocean Park Ticket Php 400.00 (approx US$10)

 

IMG_0467 We were so exited to go to Manila Ocean Park, I mean Really! Who won't get exited when you are bombarded with so many reasons to be... For starters, it is the first in the country, second, it is the biggest in Asia (as they say, bigger than HK and SG), and lastly, Media Frenzy! It is widely publicized, it is featured in all local channels, in the news, travel shows, lifestyle shows, morning shows, it is on the TV almost every day! Not to mention the print media and outdoor signs.. it is really everywhere! As a result, super excitement! Which is what we felt until we got there... Once you are there, you will realize that it is not as fun as you expected. First, there will be Pandemonium at the lobby, then a  Hot! Hot! adventure across the stations, and then a huge Sigh of Disappointment. Anyway, to give you an Idea of our experience, here's a quick recap.

THE GOOD:

  • It is the first in the Philippines
  • The entrance fee is Affordable (as compared to other marine theme parks)
  • Lots of Parking Space (at least for now)
  • Great Location, Very Accessible to the public
  • Lots of "Local" marine Species
  • Very Spacious (inside and out)

THE NOT SO GOOD:

  • The facade and the area around it is  not that clean, you will be welcomed by debris from the construction
  • The souvenir shop has very limited items (not much in there) but the prices are quite reasonable
  • The staff don't speak good English (sorry but you they should put more effort on this, more foreigners will be pouring in the next few months, they should be prepared with multilingual guides)
  • It is still on "Soft-Opening" the Theme Park is not yet complete.. they should go easy on the ads.
  • There is no walkalator inside the tunnel... it is good for photo-shoots but very bad for queuing and organization (they should invest on this)
  • The Sharks are still small, quite limited number of marine animals
  • The Glass of the tanks (especially the big ones) have a very limited angle for clear view.
  • The restaurant (Ozeano Fuzion) is expensive, they have semi-fine dining prices but lack the proper ambiance.

THE BAD:

  • It was Very hot and Humid (they should invest more in more sophisticated air-conditioning equipments)
  • There are lots of wasted spaces... poor lay-out. Yes, it is big but not dense.
  • They lack the WOW! factor... maybe because the displays are quite common. They don't have the super weird or some rarely seen animals like Jelly Fishes, Glowing Fishes, Turtles, Big Sharks, Octopus (although there were few), and an angel fish like what they have in Sentosa.
  • Their entry and ticketing system are so bad people are getting confused.
  • No Re-Entry (at least for now)
  • Their fish spa area which is supposed to be a big attraction is not quite appealing.. it looks dirty and they let lots of people dip their feet in one pool at the same time... I don't think i'll get a clean feet after that one...
  • The water is not that clear... considering that they have been operating for only a month.
  • Very few Guides/Staff to assist
  • It is a Loan from a Chinese-Singaporean Company, Meaning, it wa not funded by the Government!

IMG_0469 Well, I hate to say this but I am very disappointed. I think that at it's current state, the MOP is very overrated. As we walk inside the MOP, we hear lots of complaints and ranting from the tourist, which included the Foreign Tourists. I think, given the fact that it is still in its soft-opening, that people should wait for the Grand Opening  in order not to feel dismayed.

Perhaps IMG_0461one reason why me and my friends felt so bad about the place is because we have already been to either Sentosa in Singapore or Ocean Park in Hongkong. There is already a point of comparison. But we would have felt less disappointed if it wasn't for the super spectacular ads and features that we saw before actually getting in to the MOP. Or maybe we may have just expected too much from the place.

IMG_0447 To sum it all up, As of now MOP still has no WOW! factor. We just have to wait and see. Maybe in 3 years time, it will be worth it. If it is your first time in a Marine Theme Park, there will probably a bit of amazement. I think that if you are really love the ocean and underwater creatures and does care how and where it is presented, you'll probably still enjoy the experience. But if you are looking for something sophisticated and spectacular and if you are expecting something like the ones from SG and HK, you should probably wait of the Grand Opening. Maybe they will have something better to offer by then. If you haven't been to MOP and dying to do so, don' fret! It is not yet worth it.

Well, It's just me! If you have any thoughts, feel free to comment! :p

For the complete set of pictures, visit www.dencio.com

Until Then!

Dencio

Dennis Christian Angulo Web Developer