Cebu Beaches, to Die For
International photographer Arlene S. Chua takes us to her glorious vacation in her own hometown in splendid Cebu.
Isn’t that nice to be spending my one month work vacation in my home Cebu City? The best thing about it is they are white sand and public beaches. Best of all, they are not so expensive nor very far from where I live.
My first adventure was watching the Butanding (whale shark) in Oslob town, only 104 km from where I live and then going for a swim off Sumilon Island public beach.
I also went to Badian Lambog beach, also in the South of Cebu, 88 km. from my place nice place.
My last stop is Pandanon Public Beach which is in between the islands of Bohol and Cebu. You get there on a motor boat for 45 minutes and splash into the crystal clear waters. Vacation at the beach with friends is unbeatable, to die for!
International photojournalist Arlene S. Chua headed to Naples in Italy, sampled on its world famous pizza, and wished the great art and cultural structures of the city be loved some more.
Pizza and Palaces in Naples
Naples reminds me of Julia Roberts’ movie Eat Pray Love, where she and a friend ate pizza in a small pizzeria. I just found out that Naples was where modern pizza was invented, although it is the traditional home of pizza.
Originally the meal of the poor, Naples has managed to upgrade pizza to become popular among the upper class. The Margherita pizza was named from Queen Margherita of Savoy after she visited Naples. In 2004, the Neapolitan pizza have been strictly regulated to include wheat flour type “00” with the addition of type “0” yeast, natural mineral water, peeled tomatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil.
My oh my, my mouth is watering as I write about the Naples pizza.
But there is more to Naples that just pizza. I roamed around the old city and saw its great art and cultural structures. Obviously, however, these valuable landmarks needed much care from the people and its government.
Vacation and Action at the Sochi Olympics
International photojournalist Arlene S. Chua lends to us snippets of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as she luxuriates in a vacation/work assignment in that ancient city of Russia. She considers herself lucky that her ship, the Norwegian Jade where she works as assistant photo manager, is chartered for the winter Olympics. The former Cebu-based ace photographer has collected memories of her journey around the world using her cameras.
Arlene is quick to say that the people of Sochi are friendly and the city is impressively clean. Although she marvels St. Petersburg because of its artistic antiquity, Sochi is captivating because of its friendliness. Being able to witness the Olympics is definitely a treat to Arlene and she could only wish for the same luck that she will be assigned to a chartered ship in the upcoming Olympic games in Brazil.
The Other Side of New York: the Real Jungle
Photography by Jeff S. Stern
New York’s real jungle is not made of concrete. Far from the city’s bustle, the Empire State is a spectacular landscape of verdant forests, lakes, mountains, hills, and valleys with flora and fauna that is naturally amazing.
Through the lens of Jeff Stern, life coach and mountaineer by passion, we see the wonderful sites of the New York countryside. (Jeff could be reached at http://www.beasuccessmagnet.com/)
WITTENBERG AND CORNELL MOUNTAINS
The Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains are in New York’s Woodland Valley. They are part of the Catskills Mountain in Ulster County of New York.
The hike from the peak of Wittenberg to Cornell is unique with a path following narrow ridge line that usually ranges from 10-to-50 feet wide. The pathway gives a limited view of the valley.
Before reaching Cornell Mountain, hikers will come to the Cornell Crack, a V-shaped wedge crack, which is often difficult and unique. The summit to Cornell Peak is just 400 feet past the Cornell Crack.
Hiking Wittenberg Mountain, on the other hand, can be very busy during the weekends of spring, summer, and fall. The view from the ledge on Wittenberg Mountain is spectacular length of the Ashokan Reservoir. The mountain below the ledge is Samual’s Point. (From http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/SMW-wittenberg.html)
BASH BISH FALLS STATE PARK
The Bash Bish Falls is one of Massachusetts’ most dramatic and its highest single-drop waterfall. Cascading water tumbles through a series of gorges and a hemlock-hardwood ravine forest, and then drops about 60 feet into a sparkling pool below.
Bash Bish Falls is located next to the 4,169 acre Mount Washington State Forest which offers 30 miles of trails, including the South Taconic Trail and wilderness camping. They both adjoin New York’s 5,000 acre Taconic State Park, which offers full service camping, amenities and access to Bash Bish Falls by a moderate difficulty uphill foot trail. Nearby 1,356 acre Mount Everett State Forest offers informal picnicking at Guilder Pond. From the top of Mount Everett, visitors may take in a view spanning New York and Massachusetts. (From http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/western/bash.html)
The Mohonk Preserve is a 487-acres of majestic land covering Gardiner, New Paltz, Marbletown, Rochester, and Rosendale in the Shawangunk Ridge of the Hudson River Valley. It is home to 1400 species of animals, including the endangered peregrine falcon, Jefferson and spotted salamanders, and timber rattle snakes.
It is New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve which welcomes about 150,000 guests annually.
The Mohonk Preserve is a place where nature and people thrive. The place is perfect for hiking, running, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.
The volunteers in the Preserve conduct programs on environmental education, land protection, land stewardship, and conservation science.
A popular destination at Mohonk is the Mohonk Mountain House, a spectacular Victorian Castle private resort overlooking Lake Mohonk.
Since it was established in 1869, guests have found this resort, looking pretty much like an ancient city, for recreation and renewal of body, mind, and spirit in our unique mountaintop setting. (From http://www.mohonkpreserve.org)
The Breakneck Ridge, in the Hudson Highlands State Parks, was rated by Newsweek as one of the top 10 day hikes in America. The 5.5 mile Breakneck Ridge trail rises 1,250 feet in only a 3/4 mile stretch, along the Hudson River, between Putnam and Cold Spring in New York.
It was not named Break Neck for nothing, hikers must give great care in the trails, as deaths have occasionally been due to carelessness.
The hardest part of Breakneck a one-way trip by following the white blazes of the Breakneck Ridge Trail one way, and then turning onto the Breakneck Bypass (red blazes) for an easier descent. The Bypass strikes the Wilkinson Memorial Trail (yellow blazes) after roughly 0.4 miles. A left at the trail intersection deposits you at Route 9D Just north of where you began. There is nothing like Breakneck in all the Highlands. (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakneck_Ridge)