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Posted By Lester V Ledesma
In the same place, two years later. I never thought this could happen, but thank God it did:

Path to the Past

Dear Mr. Ledesma:

I am delighted to advise you that your entry “Paths to the Past” in the Travel Journalism - Travel Photograph category of The 2009 PATA Gold Awards has been selected by the Judges as the ‘best in class’. The Judges were most impressed with the quality of your entry and, indeed, the overall high standard of entries submitted this year. You may be interested to know that this year’s awards attracted 236 entries from 120 organisations worldwide.

I hope very much that you will able to join us at the People’s Great Hall, Hangzhou, China (PRC) on Friday, September 25th to accept your Award during the PATA Gold Awards 2009 presentation lunch.

Your Gold Award will be promoted in the 2009 PATA Gold Awards Winners’ Showcase brochure that will be distributed at the Awards Lunch and will also be featured in the PATA Travel Mart 2009 Daily News, published by TTG Asia. Information about the winning entries will also be on display at the Travel Mart.


More info on this year's awards can be found at

Other GOLD award winners in the Travel Journalism category include:

Travel Journalism – Destination Article

Taipei 2.0 by Jennifer Chen
Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, September 2008

Travel Journalism - Travel Photograph

Path to the Past
Lester V. Ledesma
Ink Publishing, Singapore

Travel Journalism - Travel Guidebook

Korea, Sparkling 365-365 Reasons to Visit Korea
Korea Tourism Organization

Honourable mentions

Travel Journalism – Destination Article

Is Baja on the Block? by James Conaway
National Geographic Traveler, November/December 2008

Travel Journalism – Destination Article

Shanghai Surprise by Julie Miller
VIve magazine, April 2008, Australia

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
The door at this Cubao bus terminal suffers from a serious design flaw:
Door to

What was the architect smoking when he designed this building??? Or maybe this is modern art shit... a way to bring highbrow culture to the hoi polloi?

I think the boss tells his fired employees to exit this way :P

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Postcards from Ilocos Norte...
Windblown sand, La Paz:
Norte Sand

Church angel, Paoay:
Norte Angel

Captured crabs, Laoag:
Norte Crab

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
It's the same old cobblestoned street, the same old homes, the same old church. Yet there is something different about the heritage city of Vigan these days. In what must be my seventh visit here, I arrived to find the place bustling with tourism-related commerce, even in the midst of the rainy low season.

M. Crisologo Street, the centre of the Kamestizoan district, where these homes have stood since the 1500's. Back in '98 when I first came here, these structures had crumbling facades with peeling plaster. Today many of them sport freshly restored faces. Souvenir shops and a few cafes' now inhabit most ground floors. There's even a t-shirt boutique store and a photography studio inside one house.
Vigan Rain

A store owner told me that Taiwanese tourists flock here on Mondays and Thursdays, and that they make a good money from the handicrafts that these foreigners buy. A local guide also told me about new government regulations concerning the restoration of antique Vigan homes - they now need to be faithful to the original designs, and approval from the heritage board is now required.

St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral looks as good as ever. During this Paulinian Catholic year, pilgrims to the church are rewarded with holy indulgences.
Vigan Kalesa

Ilocano garlic bunches await customers at the public market. My favorite commodity - hand- rolled binatis cigars - used to cost Php2.50 a piece. Now they go for 3 for Php10. There used to be loads of old ladies here smoking them with the burning end inside their mouths. Now the cigarillo of choice is La Campana filterless matamis.
Vigan Garlic

Business is good even for the lowly calesa driver. He's probably smiling because he's been ferrying tourists around all day. During low season! High season this coming December will surely bring in more money for these guys.
Vigan Kutsero

It's good to know this heritage city is finally getting the care and attention it deserves :)

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Is selling fish at the Farrer Market:



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