Tuesday, June 30, 2009

El alma de las Filipinas

Esta foto representa el alma del Sureste Asiático, esa tierra mágica donde todo es posible, donde el sudor te impregna todo tu alma y hace que parte de tí se transforme a cada paso. Una tierra de descubrimiento y aventura.

This photo represents the soul of South East Asia, that magic land where everything is possible, where sweat covers your soul up and makes part of you changes at every step. A land of discovery and adventure.

Philippines. Hapao and Philippino Village

Banaue area has several rice terraces which are world famous; it is not only Banaue rice terraces. We wanted to see some more, so we also went to Hapao, a place within a Philippine National Park and located around 1.5 - 2 h from Banaue. The road to go there was mostly unpaved and was an interesting experience (bumping inside a tricycle---> I will show what a tricycle is in the coming days...).

The views on the way to Hapao were impressive:

And we passed by many villages in the middle of the mountains:

Finally, we got to Hapao, paid the fee for the national park entrance and went to the main view point of the terraces. Amazing!!

Then, the same way back... bumping in the tricycle... The way was long, so we asked the driver to stop by some traditional village. And this is where we went! Quite South Pacific style in my opinion (although I have never been there! yet!!:) )

And the views over Banaue rice terraces were superb!

And this was one guy living in one of the houses... Quite cool! :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Philippines. Rice terraces in Banaue

The rice terraces in Banaue (Philippines), are considered the 8th wonder of the world by many people. The trip from Manila takes around 10 hours and it is overnight, which is good to save some money in hotels.

The first views of the rice terraces are amazing. It is a really beautiful landscape!

In order to enjoy them at most, we went for a hike with a local guide. The money to hire him was really worth it, since he showed us the way around and taught us many things about the country and their people. Our guide was a great guy!

The hike took around 3 hours and we could see the terraces from many angles and meet some people on our way. Much better than just looking from the view point!

At some points, the trail got quite hard and we even got into the tropical forest, where there were waterfalls.

The rice terraces in Banaue are really picturesque and it is really easy to get great shots! :)

After the hike, to get back to Banaue town, we had to cross over the river by using a hanging bridge I would not dare using in a developed country! ;)

These terraces were amazing, but there were not the only ones in these region! Tomorrow, more!

My new apartment

After coming back from Japan (holidays with Naoko chan), I had to move to a new apartment within Caltech Graduate student apartments. My new home is located a few meters away from the old one but it is better (only two people in one apartment, queen size bed, bath tub...). This is my new bedroom:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Karate... almost one year...

I just found some nice pictures taken when I practiced karate last year... good memories...

Friday, June 26, 2009

First photo back in LA

I will post many more soon! ;)

Michael Jackson. RIP

I am back in Los Angeles and this morning, when I woke up, I got sad news: Michael Jackson was dead. I was pretty shocked. My friend Ramon asked me to go and get his signature and I was going to after my short trip in Asia, but now... Anyway, rest in peace one of the most important musicians of the last decades. Farewell to MJ.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Sorry for my long absence. Now i am in Tokyo, just back from 4 days in the Philippines: Manila and Banaue (rice fields)! Quite an interesting place!!

My new map of visited countries! Now it is 38!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My graduation

Today I graduated from Caltech. I got a MSc in Electrical Engineering!!

Now, it is time to work towards my PhD!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Two weekends ago, I had to go to Boston for a Science and Technology Award Seminar organized by Fulbright. The idea was to gather all the grantees so we could know each other. In total, this program is paying for the PhD studies of around 60 people from all around the world. During these 3 days in Boston, we presented our research and discussed some useful topics such as presentation skills, networking, etc. And the most important thing, we got to know each other better. I will post more photos later on... Now some photos I took the last day in Boston. The description will be very brief since I feel very tired right now! ;)

This is the State Hall of the State of Massachussets:

A typical street in the area where rich people used to live in the early times of Boston:

The Declaration of Independence of the USA was signed in this building!

The waterfront:

The Custom House from the Long Dwarf (a nice view!):

The entrance to China Town:

A nice park, the Boston Common:

The Trinity Church, a famous landmark of Boston:

MIT, Massachussets Institute of Technology, also known as "the other institute of technology" XD

Good night!! :)

My last road trip in the map

1900 miles in 3 days!! How far/crazy is that?

It is quite a lot... check it in the map!! :) Bear in mind that most of the trip is in two-lane roads!

Trip in the South West. Day 3. Grand Canyon NP

The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. No introductions are needed though. The moment you get there and have a look down in the canyon, you notice it is big! It looks like a staircase, with different steps. And down in the bottom, the Colorado river, really far away!

A little bit of the river can be seen in this photo. The canyon is so deep and wide that it is hard to see the river from the top!!

Most tourists just drive around in the rim, but the real experience is going down into the canyon. That is what we did. We followed Angel Trail for 7 miles (7 more to come back), and that brought us to the first step, just above the river.

This is the view at the beginning of the trail:

This is the view when you are going down:

A detail on a typical structure:

If you have the money but lack the energy, you can rent a trip by mule and the mule will do the effort. Ask this cowboy if it is hard to come back up! ;)

At the beginning, you see all the canyon down there... but at some point, you really get down into the canyon and see no large panoramas...

And the way up cannot even be seen in full...

When you finish going down, vegetation starts (cactus, some trees...) and it is full of lizards and squirrels!

It is really nice to get down in the canyon. Next time I will get a back country permit and spend the night down there!! In my opinion, going down the canyon is the most worthy experience in the Grand Canyon.

And back up again!! The way up is kind of hard and it depends very much on your physical condition. Try to do some exercise regularly before coming to the canyon ;)

And I made it!! I went up real fast, even ran at some points, so I was really tired back in the rim...

Three more panoramas I took from different places:

After our hike, I drove around the rim a little bit and started driving back to Pasadena, where we arrived at around 1.30 am.

What a road trip!!!!