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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Self Deprecating Images in Bagan, Myanmar


God dammit there's a bunch of selfies in here. I muttered to myself while I was looking at the photographs I've taken in Bagan, Myanmar. But hey, I've seen dozens of Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac's self portraits while they're in some exotic locations. I figured, I also deserve some self-deprecating images, with the timeless Bagan temples dominating the background. It certainly looks better than the thousands of "selfies" shots taken in the bathroom, bedroom, conference room and even the frigging train. 

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My current Facebook profile pic Garnered 55 likes :))
I am embarrassed usually to ask someone to take my picture. I grin at seeing the puzzled look on their faces whenever they will take my picture because I rarely smile at the camera. But sometimes I do love having my photograph taken. For posterity sake, especially if the camera is distanced at least 10 feet away and the background is stunning and would produce an image that could launch a thousand clicks of  "likes" on Facebook (haha).

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At some temple I forgot the name 
Its crazy to even look back to my experience in Bagan, Myanmar. It seems like everywhere you look at are  postcard material. The stunning stupas and pagodas littered by the hundreds across a desert-like terrain. Just climb up a random temple and you will see em all spread out far and wide. 

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After lunch on our first day, when the temperature reaches fever pitch at 40 degrees Celsius, I took a short bike ride to nearby temples. I parked my bike by the road and proceeded by foot on sandy trails while rolling twigs passes me by, as I step over cactus and other thorny bushes. Just to get closer to some of the not-so-easily accessed temple ruins.

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Photo taken by Dong Ho of  http://www.escapeislands.com/
It was a great feeling just capturing the moment in a single frame and multiple sounds of shutter clicks later. I  stopped and stare in awe at my surroundings and decides I needed to have some images with myself embodied in it. The day I arrived home I quickly showed my pictures to my brother and minutes later he was checking airfare's to Myanmar. It's that easy really for a photograph to speak a thousand words and inspire anyone to see these places we took photos, with their own eyes.

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"High" in Bagan
I told myself, If ever I get imprisoned for the rest of the year for some mischievous cooked-up case, the trip to Myanmar will be enough to make my year an epic one. Anything else are just icings on the cake. It was a different form of "highness" - the feeling of stepping into a once mysterious country. Whose struggles throughout history, I'm familiar with, yet I'm clueless of what's the real situation there. At least now, I've gotten a glimpse of the country. 

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From movies, CNN clips, and my former colleague Leland, who spent some years as a volunteer in Myanmar, my first-hand experience have added to my over-all knowledge of the country. Something which formed this itch to come back in the near future. Hopefully, for a much longer stay.

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Uhm This ain't me. Look he's got no sideburns
I still have a lot of things to write about our trip here. I don't know where to start, other than kick-starting it with a bunch of these self proclaiming images. But hey, its Bagan, Myanmar. Everyone should have a picture  of themselves in this place framed and sitting on top of their table, like a proud memento you can show to your friends and family. In my case, I'm sharing it to this blog's readers hoping it'll get their urge started and soon find their way to this timeless place.

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Group shot: Me, Dong, Melo, Jerome, Ronel, Reuben, Monette, Gay and Baby Luna


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