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Shooting cascades in Papa-a

As soon as I saw small cascades running down the stream, I immediately thought it would be good to do long exposures. It was just disappointing that I did not bring my tripod [again!]. But then I felt I had to shoot.

Awesome sunset in Butuan City

It is not very often you get to witness a stunning sunset that gives you goosebumps. For a photography junkie like me, you should never, never, never let it pass just like that.

Winning a photo contest

Winning a photo contest for the first time (well, officially and with a prize for that matter) gives a different high!

Missing Cordi

From afar, I could already see the clouds rolling over the mountaintops. It was a sight to behold. So I asked the driver of our vehicle going to Buguias, Benguet to stop so I can capture this once-in-lifetime scene.

Cory Aquino: An inexhaustible gift to democracy

She further stressed the belief that the Filipino people, as a nation, can be great again. During her last State of the Nation Address (SONA), she said: I believe in the inexhaustible giftedness of the Filipino people.

Conversation with a cab driver on climate change

Ironically, this cab driver who would like to contribute something help curb climate change and global warming, by planting his narra tree becomes discouraged and disappointed...

At home [and at peace] with HDR Photography

HDR is not bad per se. HDR is nice to learn. In fact it is a must for non-pro like me to learn HDR to learn more about shadow and light and exposure, which is the crux of photography.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

On hurdling challenges

The year 2007 has both been easy and challenging for me.

Personally, it was satisfying because I got the chance to look after my growing sons. Being on consulting work and working at home gave me that enough leeway and free time to look after them. At the same time, it gave me that rest I have been longing for.

It was also an opportunity for me to take on blogging (read: writing), which I have always wanted to do. Blogging gave me that opportunity to expand my horizon and views about many things. It also gave me that chance to meet great people online.

I also got engrossed with photography, which is my first love, actually. Being unable to draw or paint well, photography gave me that chance to delve into visual arts.

My almost one year "rest" if I may call it that way (although I am working in the comforts of our home), however, was a sudden shift in my professional career. For the past 19 years, I have been up and about, and working from one project to another. The sudden slack time sometimes bored me. Gladly, there is internet where I could channel my spare energy. When I go out for meetings and mall hopping (which is very rare), sometimes I even wonder if I still know how to cross the street. (Smile!).

Working on consulting projects also means smaller income. But I was glad I was able to get through it. And I am just happy that I would be working on another project in 2008. That should get me off my seat and become busier again. But I have to wait until I sign the contract. Lols! Does it mean less time for blogging? I hope not. My work is related to my other blog: Views with a Point, and I should be able to take off from there.

The year 2007 was both a challenge and a blessing for me. There are no misgivings--simply an appreciation and learning from what 2007 has given me. I just hope year 2008 would be kinder to me.

Happy New year to all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Maligayang Pasko

To all my online friends, readers, family, friends and "supporters"
I wish you a blessed Christmas and another fruitful New Year to you and your family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How Baguio wants to be remembered

My former SLU psych professor, Fr. Evarist Verlinden, once showed us a beautifully (and painstakingly) carved 1-piece Belen (with complete characters!). We all agreed that it was really very beautiful work of art.

Then he ranted that the carvers of Baguio and Benguet should instead put the pieces of wood to good use like making an art piece like the Belen he showed us, instead of those nasty wood carvings sold in the market.

When I was a kid, one of the popular Baguio souvenirs was an Igorot in a barrel, whose sex organ would pop out once you lift out the barrel. It was more or less, funny.

In the late 80s, wood carvers became more daring by carving the almost exact replica of the male sex organ with its size more than the normal. It was no longer funny. It was obnoxious, and it was too shameful for somebody to buy one as a souvenir.

Now, perhaps, with the low sales from those pieces, the male phallic symbol is smaller and more discreet. However, it has been "mass-produced" by making the penis "more affordable" through key chains!

Now, I wonder, "Is this how Baguio wants to be remembered?"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another tag: 5 questions

I almost forgot to respond to the tag of Monaco. As I have explained in my previous blogs, I am hooked to photography, and just today, I learned about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. It was one of the challenges posed by the previous challenge's winner. It sounds too techie, but I will try to learn more about it. I still have to master basics particularly my exposures. (lols!). It is really hard to shift to DSLR from point-and-shoot!

Anyway, I am here to answer the 5 tag questions passed on to me by Monaco. So here it is:

How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging since April (officially), but I actually started a blog in 2004, which I deleted. So, I am blogging for more or less 8 months now.

What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?

I actually dream of writing a book about me and my clan. But that is hitting the moon. So I will just be content with writing using the available and cheapest way to express my ideas and recording your life events.

About my "mentors", I think there are too many of them. They serve as guiding posts to what I am doing. And somehow, my readers are my mentors, as well. I learn from their comments and I take off from what I sense of what they want to read (and learn) from me.

Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?

I am blogging just for fun and for personal expression. I do not like my blog to be cluttered with those ad banners. (Lolz!). But if I would be given a chance to write, say for a product endorsement, why not?

But the more important reason why I blog, is that I make sure that it becomes part of my curriculum vitae. Recently, I was invited to judge a photo essay contest, and rewarded with tokens and certificate. And I got the opportunity to work with the bigwigs like a President of a photography club and a photo journalist from Philippine Daily Inquirer. That is priceless!

And I blog to serve. I inform. I contribute to the ideas. This is the essence of citizen journalism.

Tell me 3 things you LOVE about being online.

First, it excites me about the new learnings about technology and photography.

Second, you get to appreciate people at their face value. If I like your photo or your blog, I can say so directly, and vice versa.

Third, I have full control of my blogs. I am the writer, editor, circulation manager, etc. And that is freedom for me.

Tell me 3 things you STRUGGLE within the online world.

First, I still wish all people would be polite. I hate spammers and critics who try to outsmart you. I believe Filipinos are naturally polite, because I am.

Second, I cannot please everyone. I cannot saturate the blogosphere. I fear that nobody reads my blog. I become paranoid and jealous of others who have reached hundreds of thousands of visitors/ readers. But eventually, I weaned myself from that attitude. I got tired of the rat race.

Third, I could not seem to figure out WordPress! I am simply frustrated. But as they say, if you have a lemon, make a lemonade. I am contented with Blogger.

I think that would be all for now...and it is my turn to pass on the burden..hehe!

So, I am tagging the following:

Hatchel of FILTEANY
Doc Ian of So Far, So Good
Hazel of Darang Sisa
Nina of the Underside
Blogie Robillo of Blogie Blog

Happy blogging!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My photo blog -- where two passions meet

For a time, I have neglected my photo blog, Viewpoint. I was more concentrating on social issues. But for a while, you have to face the reality that your need to look after your personal growth as well.

Being more serious in honing my craft in photography I was hooked up with Flickr, especially to my group Pinoy Kodakero where we have fun and exciting contests on various themes (from the simple [color] to outrageous [shots taken at 5,000 ft]). It is indeed fun to join this group, which also supported me in my blog action on Glorietta victims and families.

I miss writing in my blog. However, my time is now divided to work and photography and Photoshop editing (which really takes time). Good thing, my new DSLR does not require me to edit so much of the colors because it gives me brilliant ones. It only takes time when I transform my color photos into monochrome and adjust lighting for dramatic effect just like in this photo.

I tried to figure out how can I merge my two passions--writing and photography, that does not take so much of my time from work, and at the same time does not take away the passion from one craft in favor of a new one.

I have just found the solution last night when I was editing my photos. It would be through Viewpoints, my photo blog, where I could post photos that, for me, convey a meaning or a message.

So goes my my photo blog, springing back into life....

And I invite you to visit VIEWPOINTS, my photo blog for some inspiration and enlightening quotations.


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