Manila Christmas Morning Sunrise

Quick time lapse of the sun rising over the hazy Metro Manila landscape on Christmas morning, as shot from a San Juan high rise, looking east towards Ortigas:

That may look like a picturesque mist but it doesn’t burn off quickly like radiative fog when the heat of the sun falls on it. That’s because it’s more a haze of particulate matter — smog — settling where there’s no wind.

Hazy Christmas Morning
Hazy Christmas Morning
Hazy Christmas Morning

Snapshots from around Greenhills

I’m trying to formulate some dumb egg jokes for this egg-static breakfast but bad yolks like that are just too over-easy for me to bother the shell about.

Crying Fried Eggs

As always the Greenhills tiangge (bazaar) is a great place for lovely jewelry made from the aggregated nacreous excretions of irritated shellfish.


This is a new snack to me: “butchiron”, or deep fried chicken esophagus bits. Not only do you get delicious crunchy fried chicken flavor but it is pre-seasoned in life with whatever the chicken ate, things like corn feed and worms. Yum.


I was very tempted to get a pint of durian frozen dairy dessert but settled instead for some mango ice cream.

Durian Ice Cream

“PotDog” turned out to be neither.


LHC Reunion

LHC Meetup
LHC Meetup

Took the NEX3 camera to lunch at Serendra with old friends from college. We wryly called ourselves “Lonely Hearts Club” back in school but we’re not lonely today, and I’m who I am because of their friendship. Love you all, great to see you again.

Chili Chocolate Gelato

And the chili chocolate gelato was amazing.


Exploration Flight Test 1 was the first test launch for Orion*, NASA’s next deep space exploration capsule. After a day of delays from exclusion zone boat incursions and stiff fuel valves, the mission launched on December 5th aboard a ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Continue reading EFT-1

Stained Glass Sunlight

Winter afternoon sun shining through stained glass windows, First Baptist DC

Since I’m in the First Baptist DC choir, the day of Christmas Candlelight Carols are an all-day event for me, from morning rehearsals and worship service to more rehearsals in the afternoon, to the Candlelight Carol service itself. During a break in rehearsals I noticed the sun shining through the famous stained glass windows and casting colorful light on the sanctuary pillars; quickly I took out my phone and snapped a photo. Seconds later a cloud had covered the sun and the light was gone.



Lola (Tagalog for “grandmother”) was actually more of a step-Lola, my paternal grandfather’s second wife after his first passed. I have vivid childhood memories of Sunday mornings in their old house, watching morning Mass on TV, and she would bring pan de sal around Communion time. We were never really very close, but she was the only grandmother I knew, and my last remaining grandparent.

Lola died early this week, peacefully, in her sleep. We’ll remember her.

Thanksgiving Weekend 2014

Spent the Thanksgiving long weekend up in New Jersey with Amy’s folks.

"Uniquely New Jersey" board game

There was turkey, of course. I also learned about how olives and celery as traditional American Thanksgiving fare. (You can see it on the plate at upper right.)

Roast turkey, Thanksgiving 2014
Thanksgiving dinner

On Saturday we ran up to New York City for a bit to see El Greco at The Frick and the Metropolitan Museum (having already seen his anniversary exhibit at the National Gallery). At the Frick we also viewed some masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery, and at the Met we lingered for a bit over ancient Assyrian reliefs from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II.

Moody subway scene, 68th St Station
At the Frick Collection
Temple of Ashurnasirpal, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanksgiving is over, now Christmas is coming.

First Baptist Church Westfield NJ Christmas Decor

More photos from the weekend.

Comet Landing

And now some good space news after the bad: a robotic comet landing by Philae, companion spacecraft to ESA’s comet probe Rosetta. I’m a big fan of their “Once Upon a Time” series of cartoons which do a lot to humanize the mission and make the probes more relatable to kids:

Philae bounced a few times before coming to rest on its side in a shadowed spot that blocked a lot of light from reaching its solar arrays, but the plucky little robot still managed to complete its primary science objectives, send back the first dim images taken from the surface of a comet, AND record the sound of its touchdown.

First comet panoramic

More amazing photos of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from ESA’s Rosetta probe.