Scavenger Hunting!

I came across NicoleB’s site by chance, after reading a random comment in some random blog. I was drawn by the photos and information in her blog and so I read through it and discovered that she was hosting a photo scavenger hunt. It was like a sign for me, as I recently started thinking about exploring photography as a hobby. So here’s my take on the hunt.

Allow me some creative liberties as I had difficulty finding a few items…can you believe how hard it is to find a real phone booth in the Philippines?!? Anyway, here are my photos!


When ever I go to the beach, I take home a rather unique souvenir, if I say so myself. I scour the shore to find corals shaped like letters to spell out the name of the beach I was in. I take a photo before packing it up and putting them in a zip-lock plastic bag until they find their way to my shelf of shells. This, coincidentally, is how I learned to read! Read more about it here.


I was recently lucky enough to go to Coron, a beautiful island in the island of Palawan, with a few good friends and colleagues. We attempted to see some fish while snorkling but they wouldn’t take our bait, until my friend T thought of using one of the biscuits we had brought. Success!!!!

Religious Building

This is the facade of one of the oldest churches in Laguna. I am not really one to admire this kind of architecture, but this church took my breath away. I really wish I had nice photography equipment so I could have taken a better picture, but I’d like to think that this was not bad for a simple point and shoot camera.

Fire Department

This was one of the more difficult photos to get…mainly because I don’t live near one. So because I was running out of time, I decided to be creative and took a photo of the toys we had in school!
However when I was telling my friend about it he said he couldn’t let me settle for such a sad excuse for a photo so he gave this to me! The Makati City Fire Department is by far the nicest one I’ve seen here in the Philippines.

Manhole Cover

There are a lot of manholes around the streets of Manila…even around my village there are a lot. I wanted one that was unique though, but I had to settle for this one. Most of the ones I saw were just grey concrete but this was kinda different. I’m not sure what the big M stands for, I’d like to assume its for Meralco, the primary power source of the country. I could be wrong though.


This may be a bit of a different kind of postcard. The usual postcards have scenes of the place it comes from right? However, this is a special postcard to me because it was a pasalubong (souvenir) given to me by a friend who went to Singapore.


When I took my Bubba to the beach, he learned how to swim!!! I love this picture of him in the water. I sent the photo of Laiya to NicoleB when she did a meme on where people live, but that didn’t show the crystal clear waters of that beach.

Communication Device

These days my computer is my most essential communication device. From reading the news to writing on my blog, it is the tool most necessary for my life today! The site on the screen is my “professional”blog, www.theaccidentalteacher.com, which I am so proud to say was nominated in the search for the Ten Emerging Influential Blogs of 2009. The search is still on, so do check out the mechanics of the writing project here!

Life Event

One of my best friends recently got married. I think this is one of the cornerstone life events ever. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I had ever attended. I also love the photos I was able to take then, still with my P&S camera. The lights that the official photographer had sure helped make my photos great!

Foreign Stamp

When I heard Lily Van der Woodsen tell Rufus Humphrey in an episode of Gossip Girl that she and Bart Bass were going to Anguilla for the holidays, I thought it was just a tiny island that was part of a bigger country. However, when I was scavenging for a stamp to share for this hunt, I saw this! Interesting, huh? This stamp is part of my stamp collection. As a child, my mom and I would go to C.M. Recto or Binondo on weekends to buy some mint stamps to add to my collection. I have a whole book of Disney stamps! I also have a lot of the rare and commemorative stamps in many countries. Most of the stamps are used stamps, and I remember how I would write letters to the ambassadors of various countries asking them for used stamps from their homelands. I got a lot! If any of you have stamps to share, please do contact me because I’d love to add more to my collection 🙂


I actually had a nicer tree picture, but as I walked Bubba this morning, I came across this tree. I’ve seen it a hundred times before but it wasn’t till today that I noticed the treehouse in it. It reminded me of my childhood days, when I’d climb trees and play house with my cousins.

Living Space of a Non-Human

A few months ago I raised some caterpillars. I was amazed to see how they spun their cocoons. I was also amazed that not all cocoons hang on tree limbs. This is one of the caterpillars. Notice the web-like thingys holding the leaves together? Cool, huh?

Street Mirror

When I first read the list of items, I told Nicole I didn’t know what a street mirror was, maybe because I always called it a safety mirror or a corner mirror. They’re not too common here in the streets of Manila. They’re usually located only in parking lots, and not in the street per se. Also a lot of these safety mirrors are seen in store corners. Anyway, on a recent trip to a theme park, I saw this. And even if I was on the ride already, I had to get a shot taken! If you look close enough you’ll see me!

Decor on a House

I wanted to do something kinda different for decor as well. I thought of taking pictures of windchimes, which is my favorite decor, but I had done it before. I also thought of vases and frames, but it wasn’t calling out to me. Then I thought of something that I don’t see in many houses, except Filipino houses. This is called the Sacred Heart. I honestly don’t know the history of it, but most Filipino homes have something like this by their front gate.

Foreign Flag

Try as I might I could not find a real flag to take a photo of. So I scoured the archives of our school photos and found this. This was taken during one of our school programs.


I love how fire lights up the sky! To be honest, I have an intense fear of fire. The thought of losing a home to fire or being the victim of a blaze gives me nightmares. But every once in a while, I love the sight of fire.


This was a bit hard to take too. I wanted to get a photo of the typical antenna, but I couldn’t get a good shot with my camera. It was always blurry and fuzzy. So when I saw this dish, I figured it was better than my fuzzy blurry shot. It serves the same purpose, right?

Phone Booth

This was the most difficult!!! And yup, creative liberties taken to the max here. I think phone booths are almost obsolete here for two main reasons: first, sari-sari stores (kinda like a convenience store, but home based) allow for phone calls and second, because the Philippines is a widely texting nation, almost everyone owns a cellular phone. What seems to me as the “phone booth” people go to now are loading centers, where they can get their cellphones loaded with credit. Even the malls don’t have much phone booths anymore!

Verboten/Forbidden Sign

This sign never fails to make me laugh! I’ve been to several hotels that have this and it’s hysterical how a fruit can be forbidden! I don’t particularly like Durian, mainly because it smells bad, but to ban a fruit?!? hahahahahaha!!!! However, the rule does make sense. This fruit leaves a heavy and pungent smell that’s not too pleasant.


This is my favorite place in the world…so far that is! This is another shot taken at San Juan, Laiya. While the sands are not as pristine as the infamous Boracay shores, it’s so much more quiet and peaceful here. Another reason Laiya is so close to my heart is because it is where I found healing when I went through a very dark night of the soul.


This is the view from the penthouse of one of the hotels in Makati City. My friend had a birthday party there last weekend, and I got some great shots of the city. Makati is the business district in the country, hence all the skyscrapers, hotels and big buildings around.

Something Goofy

My beach buddy! He hated this….hehe. But he was nice enough to let me take a shot before getting all annoyed at me for making him my muse.

Something Carved

Another discovery from my Tagaytay weekend was this nice carved moulding accentuating the ceiling of my hotel room. Isn’t it pretty? I had another photo in mind when I started the hunt, but this was too nice to pass up.

An Eye

I know its not the best quality photo, but I love it! When I was teaching my toddlers class about the parts of the body, I took photos of them so they could identify these parts. I have a whole set of eye, ear, nose and lip photos 🙂

Something Rural

How much more rural or rustic can one get than with this manang (lady) hand-embroidering a table cloth? This was taken in the province of Laguna where embroidery is one of the main sources of income.

So there’s my hunt! I hope you enjoyed my shots as much as I enjoyed hunting for them. If you liked them, show some love and vote for me here!

  • #1
    Posted by mythopolis on May 31st, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Many fun shots!……….I love the tree with the ‘shack’ in it! I want to live there! The toy fire department was really cool! So was the street mirror shot. And the eye of the child is precious…not to mention his cute little fingers! Thanks! : )

  • #2
    Posted by postcardsfromwildwood on May 31st, 2009 at 5:34 am

    I love your collection. What I like most is that they tell us so much about your life in the Philippines. But I especially love your coral beach souvenirs (how wonderful!), the religious building with that wonderful sky, life event (she looks so beautiful), the tree house and bubba wearing goggles – not unlike my shark attack idea, and they both look similarly unimpressed! How funny to ban a fruit!
    Thanks for visiting mine.

  • #3
    Posted by Pamela on May 31st, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I have access to a computer on my journey – so I’m taking a few minutes to check out more scavenger hunts.

    I really would like to smell that fruit. never heard of it!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your menagerie of shots. My favorite? The shells. What a grand idea!

  • #4
    Posted by Melli on May 31st, 2009 at 11:04 am

    You know, I just loved participating in this hunt – finding the pictures was SO much fun. But I am enjoying seeing everyone else’s finds even MORE! It’s amazing the different ways we interpret these things! I had a hard time finding a phone booth too — I really had to do some driving to finally find one, so I completely understand you going with the load center!

    I LOVE your souvenirs – that is awesome! And I think your original idea for the Fire Department is EXCELLENT! It’s adorable! AND it was creative! And I think the big M on the manhole cover stands for… MANhole! LOL!

  • #5
    Posted by Ria on May 31st, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    @Melli: I did not think of that M for Manhole hehehe 🙂 that gave me a good laugh! Believe it or not even gas stations did not have the phone booth!

    @Pamela: it isn’t pleasant, that’s all I can say. Although they say it tastes good. I personally don’t like it. Other than here in the Philippines I think it’s also available in Bangkok. Don’t know where else 🙂

  • #6
    Posted by Bengbeng on May 31st, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    well done. o like the tree house the most

  • #7
    Posted by Faith on June 1st, 2009 at 4:42 am

    beautiful shots! i liked the woman embroidering and the goofy one…loved the dog! =)

  • #8
    Posted by ShutterHappyJenn on June 1st, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Ria! Thanks for telling me about this.. ang saya! Pinaka-nahirapan ako sa Fire Department at Street Mirror.

  • #9
    Posted by Ria on June 1st, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    @jenn…oo ako rin! those were the most difficult. natuwa nga ako kay mark kasi talagang kinarir niya for me yun hehe. although the toy was a good substitute diba hehe.

    @thanks faith! my dog hated it!!!

    @thanks bengbeng!

  • #10
    Posted by sakaigirl on June 1st, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    i like the decor on a house best. i think my fiance love the verboten sign best, he doesn’t eat durian..haha

  • #11
    Posted by Ballerina Girl on June 1st, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    These are wonderful! I really like the rural shot and the first fire shot…of the toys, excellent idea!

    The coral in the shape of letter is an amazing idea!


  • #12
    Posted by Kelly on June 1st, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Beautiful photos! I really like the souvenir and toy fire department photos. 🙂

  • #13
    Posted by Fjordan Allego on June 2nd, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    i sooo love the photos! super! naiinggit tuloy ako kasi frustrated photographer ako.. wala pa nga lang time na mag-explore tsk tsk..

    will vote for you!

  • #14
    Posted by Scriber's Web on June 2nd, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Lovely shots. It really gives me a glimpse of your life. Thanks so much for participating! My favorites had to be the beach pebbles photo. How unique! Great job!

  • #15
    Posted by mythopolis on June 2nd, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I just deleted my second comment by accident…so here it is again……..the wedding photo and and that of the children with the flags made me smile….and Bubba in the water made me laugh! : )

  • #16
    Posted by Nukke on June 3rd, 2009 at 5:27 am

    I liked your pics very much !!!! Most Iliked goofy, house decor, flag, life event, tree, water, fire department !!!! Thank you so much about your comment in my blog !!!

  • #17
    Posted by Kristi on June 5th, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Awesome job with the photo hunt!

  • #18
    Posted by alexa on June 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I think my favorite was the shells too. I love the beach and collecting shells.

  • #19
    Posted by NicoleB on June 15th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    You won :)!

    Check it out:

  • #20
    Posted by redamethyst on May 7th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    wow, these are beautiful photos. ganun pala yun noh, hanap ng shells or rocks to spell the beach name. nice. magawa nga minsan yan. hehehe

  • #21
    Posted by redamethyst on May 7th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    ay, Bubba is a dog pala. ang ganda nya ha. 🙂

  • #22
    Posted by Lourdes Espanol on May 24th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Photography is a pretty nice hobby. Ako din gusto ko try since I have a photographer friend.

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