Related Posts with Thumbnails

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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Indios Experience: A photo exhibit

The Indios' Experience: The Flickristasindios 1st Photo Exhibit

After its two successful outreach projects, Flickristasindios is now holding its first photo exhibit, dubbed as "The Indios Experience". The exhibit will showcase selected individual works of its members from all over the world.

Fellow blogger Jojo Pensica, a.k.a. jobarracuda in Flickrlandia, says:

The exhibit will be about our group – Flickristasindios….who we are, the passion the binds us together, our weekly activities, our beloved photowalks, our small projects and our Outreach Projects.
While the group exhibit aims to make a dent in photography through this exhibit, it also aims to raise funds for its outreach projects. Thus the photos, as well as the Flickristasindios 2009 Calendar, which showcases the group's photos will be on sale during the exhibit. As I have blogged earlier, Flickristasindios has already conducted two outreach projects for the Pantay Elementary School. In the midst of all the preparations for the exhibit, the group is brewing another outreach project for another group.

For the past years, the group, with a membership of 991 as of November 25, 2008 has been very active in Flickr, which has gained for itself the most active Flickr group in the Philippines that, in turn, caught the attention of Yahoo! Philippines, which is the major sponsor of the event. Also supporting this event is TriNoMa Mall, which is providing the venue for free, and Digiprint in printing of the photos.

So you are all invited to the group's exhibit on December 15-19 at the TriNoMa Mall Cinema Lobby.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sharing the Gift of Knowledge: The Indios' Way

Indios Book Sharing Project: Sharing the gift of knowledge

Bound by a common interest--that is photography, Flickristasindios members go beyond what they see and capture through their lenses. Through their photowalks in the streets of Manila, photography has enabled them to see the stark realities in the plight among the poor. An idea came, "Why not make an outreach project so that we can, in one way or another, help ease the burden of the poor?".

As a result, it came up with a partnership with Red Cross Rizal Chapter in its regular outreach project in the Municipality of Rizal, where Flickristasindios participated by providing snacks for the children of Pantay Elementary School. Everyone was just so eager to help and reach out for the children.

It did not stop there. The members were more eager and enthusiastic to come up with another outreach project that even members who are based abroad expressed their willingness to join. Since we initially held a feeding program for the pupils, we thought of giving something that is close to their needs--that is education. It is also a blessing that my wife works for Children International-Philippines Housing Foundation, Inc., which provides used books. Although it should be easy for us, but propriety dictates that we should go through the right process, by formally asking for some books that we can donate for the school. Sharing the same passion of Flickristasindios, CIPHFI granted our wish by not only giving around 300 books on health, science, art, English, and math, but also other school and art supplies which the teachers would need in preparing their teaching materials, and for the children to use for their art projects.

After planning and coordination work, and mobilizing material, human and financial resources from the members of Flickristasindios, we were able to hold our second outreach project. Last November 15, Flickristasindios conducted its 2nd Outreach Project dubbed as: Book Sharing Project: Sharing the gift of knowledge, with Pantay Elementary School in Teresa Rizal as its partner-beneficiary.

Again, the children were treated to a snack and they received the books in behalf of the school. All the members, once again, felt good about being able to reach out.

In behalf of the Administrators of the Flickristasindios, let me thank all the members who supported this activity and for being a channel of goodwill and development. We also thank the Principal and faculty of Pantay Elementary School, and also Children International - Philippines Housing Foundation for the books we have donated, and for helping this small effort come into reality.


Sharing the Gift of Knowledge: The Indios' Way

Indios Book Sharing Project: Sharing the gift of knowledge

Bound by a common interest--that is photography, members of Flickristasindios goes beyond what they see and capture through their lenses.  Through their photowalks in the streets of Manila, photography has enabled them to see the stark realities in the plight among the poor.  An idea came, "Why not make an outreach project so that we can, in one way or another, help ease the burden of the poor?".

As a result, it came up with a partnership with Red Cross Rizal Chapter in its regular outreach project in the Municipality of Rizal, where Flickristasindios participated by providing snacks for the children of Pantay Elementary School.  Everyone was just so eager to help and reach out for the children.

It did not stop there.  The members were more eager and enthusiastic to come up with another outreach project that even members who are based abroad expressed their willingness to join.  Since we initially held a feeding program for the pupils, we thought of giving something that is close to their needs--that is education.  It is also a blessing that my wife works for Children International-Philippines Housing Foundation, Inc., which provides used books.  Although it should be easy for us, but propriety dictates that we should go through the right process, by formally asking for some books that we can donate for the school.  Sharing the same passion of Flickristasindios, CIPHFI granted our wish by not only giving around 300 books on health, science, art, English, and math, but also other school and art supplies which the teachers would need in preparing their teaching materials, and for the children to use for their art projects.

After planning and coordination work, and mobilizing material, human and financial resources from the members of Flickristasindios, we were able to hold our second outreach project.  Last November 15, Flickristasindios conducted its 2nd Outreach Project dubbed as: Book Sharing Project: Sharing the gift of knowledge, with Pantay Elementary School in Teresa Rizal as its partner-beneficiary.

Again, the children were treated to a snack and they received the books in behalf of the school. All the members, once again, felt good about being able to reach out.

In behalf of the Administrators of the Flickristasindios, let me thank all the members who supported this activity and for being a channel of goodwill and development.  We also thank the Principal and faculty of Pantay Elementary School, and also Children International - Philippines Housing Foundation for the books we have donated, and for helping this small effort come into reality.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photography 101: Other lessons learned

Earlier, I blogged about my first two (2) Explored photos in Yahoo! Flickr. This week, the rest just came out one after the other, and I was so happy about it. Why not? it landed in the Top 500 photos of the day they were uploaded. Some of them were already dropped since the ranking differs each day--depending on whether there are still people who view and comment on the photos--and when they are dropped, that means they lose their "interesting-ness."

However, more than being in the Top 500 among the thousands of photos uploaded and viewed each day, it is the realization that there are photographers in Flickr who see something good about my craft. Being in Explore is just an icing on the cake. Sourgraping? No, of course. What counts more to me is the fact that my Flickr friends pat my back and show their affirmation that I have something good to show the world. (Or am I the only one thinking about it? lols!) Even if I only had a photo viewed and commented only once, but whose view and comments comes from a photographer I really admire, is enough gratification for me.

One photography club emailed me after joining them, and told me "Welcome to the real photography club!"

Being a thinking person, I reflected, "What did he mean by that?" --That Flickr groups are not real photography clubs? Ergo, I had second thoughts in joining but eventually joined--yeah, to get the feel of it. Eventually, however, it waned and lost my interest in the "real photography club".

I have some valid reasons to shy away from the group. First, I felt I did not get the warm welcome. I am not expecting the red carpet rolled out before me. But you know, you will feel when you are welcome or not. Second, I have some valid observations that I think will not fit my personality.

The "club" with its connotation of exclusivity, is, to me, so high-strung that it loses its ground, and has the tendency to close its doors to many other possibilities, networks and interactions among other photography groups and even individual photographers. The number of exclusive cliques in the group leaves you out-of-place and some of its members believe they are the best photographers while toting their expensive gears, left and right, front and back. Competition among the members is so strong that the photos you see online are the ones that are not worth commenting on (pardon me for this, because even though I have no formal training in photography, I can decipher whether or not one is a good photo).

It is very much unlike Flickr, which is a friendly learning environment, where amateur/ hobbyists and professional photographers alike share their knowledge in photography. I do not know but in that "club", there seems to be a form of "habit" not to show their photos online. It is also very much unlike Flickr where there are no strict rules. Artistry has no bounds and rules. It just does not augur well for me who has a free mind and will expressed through my creative juices. And the most important of all, it is also very much unlike Flickr where I am always welcomed or feel welcomed!

Anyway, enough for the rants. Let me thank my Flickr friends, and online friends who showed their support in my craft by at (at least) viewing my photos.

Thank you so much!

Here are my photos that made it to the Flickr Top 500 based on "interestingness."

1. SEARCHING for meaning, 2. Almost blinded, 3. A day's reward, 4. Tingala [Look(ing) up], 5. Searching, 6. Study 009, 7. Repleksyon [reflection], 8. Idlip [nap], 9. Basco Light House, 10. PAIN, 11. Race, 12. Imagoism Thursday - Essence, 13. Pinoy Kodakeros give back, 14. Batas [Law], 15. Oblation

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Inkblots™ Home

Introducing my new home page: Inkblots™ Home.

This is an aggregator of my blogs, photography, personal and photography networks.

Please feel free to link. Thank you!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

I am explored!

For two years in Flickr, and flickr-ring, I always wondered how is it to be explored. Flickr's Explore page consists of 500 photos of the day based on interesting-ness and is chosen using a secret algorithm only Yahoo and Explore people would know. Being in explore to some gives them that kind of pride and say: "Hey I am explored!" For some, being explored means winning a lottery. Some add this as a feather in their cap.

My friends kept on asking me, why on earth don't I have any explored photo? I said I don't know why. I really don't know why. I am not really interested, after all. What matters to me are the real comments of my friends who have always appreciated my photos in Flickr. Nevertheless, the question kept on nagging me. So now I am more interested to find out how "explore" works rather than being explored.

So I deleted my Bighugelabs account that provides the service Flickr Scout--the one that looks for your photos in explore. I thought that there might be some problems with my account because there was a time that I unlinked my Flickr account for fear that it would be used by a third party. Then I signed up again, and made sure both applications were linked. Still there was none. So I tinkered in my Flickr account--where I saw I disallowed third party APIs (Application Programming Interface), so I allowed all APIs to run into my Flickr account.  Then voila!  I found one last night!  This morning, I found two.

So after two years in flickr, I have been "rewarded" with "explored" photos--oh well, not that majority of my photos are interesting.  They just did not manage to get into the 500 most interesting photos of the day among the hundreds of thousands of photos being uploaded. [Sourgraping! Lols!].  So here they are: ordinary photos that made to Top 500 in that particular day:

My first two


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ang ngiti ni Nog-nog

Ang ngiti ni Nog-nog [Nog-nog's smile]

Si Nog-nog ay isang batang palaboy sa Binondo. Makulit at hungkag sa wastong kaugalian na natututunan ng isang batang normal sa isang normal na tahanan. Ngunit narunong siyang makihalubilo sa lansangan--street smart, ika nga.

Subalit sa bawat pag-click ng camera, napapahinahon mo sya--tila tumitigil ang gulo at ingay ng mundong ginagalawan niya. Pakiramdam niya, napa-importanteng tao nya kung bakit sya kinukuhanan ng larawan--isang panandaliang kasikatan, isang panandaliang kaligayahan, ilang sandaling pagtigil ng di kaaya-ayang salitang namumutawi sa kanyang bibig--at sa kanyang pagngiti, tumitikom ito..sandaling nahahalinhan ng kapayapaan, ng isang ngiting umaapaw ng pagmamalaki, ng pag-asa, at ng kaligayahan.

Ngiti pa bata!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On being part of a rich heritage

Last July 26, members of Pinoy Kodakero members, (that includes me) shared their talents to a worthy cause to San Carlos Seminary in building up their Heritage Hall, aptly called Bulwagang Karlista. It was a fun-filled day, not mentioning of course the sumptuous meals given to us! More importantly, however, is the fact that we were able to share our talents for the Glory of God!

On November 3, after three months of conceptualizing, renovating, selecting artifacts, photos, and memorabilia for display, San Carlos Seminary finally inaugurated the new Bulwagang Karlista, which included the photos of the PK members.

Bulwagang Karlista (BK) at a Glance
Bulwagang Karlista at a glance

The exhibit hall is divided into 6 areas: history, seminary life, altar area, photo mosaic, snap shots and tribute wall. As contained in the brochure of BK:
The Bulwagang Karlista is not meant to be merely a repository of old photographs and dusty artifacts--remnants of an era long gone by. It is envisioned to be a shrine dedicated to the Karlista Spirit.
Indeed, BK boasts of its rich with history and pride. It even showcases a lei given by Mother Theresa to Fr. Albert Meersschaert, CICM, and the chair an chasuble used by Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Philippines in 1995.

Being part of their heritage is both fulfilling and a humbling experience. I never knew that some of my photos were actually chosen for the exhibit. Before I took these photos, I had to remind myself, this is all for the Glory of God. Nevertheless, I feel like I am in heaven for two of my photos are on display. One in Samut-sari section and one in Paghuhubog wall.

Finally, I quote:
While it may be said that the greatness of the Karlista Spirit will never be sufficiently contained within the walls of this meager hall, our collective memorial, however, is good enough beginning; for remembrance is teh language of a grateful heart.
To the Karlistas, thank you too for making me (us) part of this undertaking!

Capturing Undas 2008

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome. [Isaac Asimov]

Ang mga naiwan

Capturing All Saints' Day through the lenses always gives me that creepy feeling. Therefore I took photos therefore were simply iconic and suggestive of what it is all about.

This year is my first time to document a part of Philippine Culture and Tradition--All Saints' Day/ All Souls' Day. However, I do not have plenty of photos since I did not have much time going around the cemetery. Besides, the people in my hometown are not used to being photographed in the solemnity of remembering their departed loved ones, so I decided to leave them in peace and privacy.

Post Script

After shooting some, I felt a tic on my left uper eye lid. I got scared. I thought, nabati ako ng mga spirits in the cemetery. I got scared and just contented myself with a few shots.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Losing it

Losing it

In the past months, I guess, blogging has taken its toll on me. I could not believe that my last entry was last July 9! There were so many factors why I haven't blogged much for more than 2 months.

First, was my job. It was not new to me, but there were more changes and improvements that needed to be implemented this time. Plus I was under pressure to perform better now that I am into my 4th batch of trainees.

Second, I was hooked to photography. I am a self-confessed Flickr addict! I cannot live the day without browsing through the streams of my friends, and administering and moderating groups. My weekends are usually for shoots and photowalks and out of town shoots.

Third, I was also busy with some photography-related activities/ events like joining for the first time, a Flickr photo exhibit in TriNoMa, and joining Pinoy Biyahero of Philippines Group also in Flickr.

And many other more reasons I have already forgotten!

Recently, something motivated me to go back to blogging...and why not? It is my first love! It was actually an e-mail from someone who can relate to my earlier post on Maryhurst garden in Baguio City. I was ecstatic not only because of the fact that I am on page 2 of Google when you search "Maryhurst" (Yes I tried it after reading her email, LOLs!), that I am read, but more importantly because of the fact that we share the same "passion" for Maryhurst.

Let me quote in full her e-mail:

Hello there! I was just trying to browse on the web for some stuffs while waiting for students who'd consult me on their academic load this semester when I chanced on your site regarding the maryhurst garden. I have heard so much of the famous "rose garden." I have been teaching the Maryhurst seminarians for the last 12 yrs, and I may say, every visit to the seminary is always a new experience. But I envy you because like a few, you have been a part of that garden and had appreciated it more than I did in memory.

Maryhurst has changed-the structure, the environment, the people, and perhaps the spirit. One of my college professors told me that when he was still a seminarian back then, Maryhurst was rustic and old and nostalgic. Now, the building looked more of a hotel. It maybe because of that tragic fire that ravaged it and its accessibility to the public. Most of my colleagues in the department where I belong had been Maryhurst seminarians. They can only feed me so much of first-hand info regarding that garden. Even the Panagbennga festival here which is held every February is no match for the late Bro. Armand's rose garden. Indeed, nothing can compare to a past that has not been forgotten. In philosophy, we say that at times, it's always good to forget so that we can remember.

I thank you for your article. It really moved me-the times that I have taken so many things for granted opened a few avenues in my journey. Most good things in life come a long time, and yet, they're still worth waiting for. The Maryhurst garden is no longer that majestic perhaps, but, it still is full of trees, and ferns, a few flowers and a lot of memories.
To you, Ms. Melany Natividad, thank you also for giving me that motivation again. It is now very rare for an unpopular blogger like me to be read, and it brings so much honor to be read even by just one person like you--and I guess, we have the same Alma Mater too, madam!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Virtual flowers for a tired soul

The Flickr community is such a great site where you could only share your images and passion for photography. In my short stay at Flickr, I have gained friends--whom I met, whom I joined in photo shoots, photowalks, and bonding sessions; and whom I have yet to meet in person--who are yet to remain as my virtual friends, both here in the Philippines, and abroad.

To a certain degree, you get to know their persona through active interactions in Flickr mails, in commenting and receiving the same in the photo streams, or just plainly looking at their photos, which captivate and strike a chord in you. However, there are times when you wonder why your Flickr buddy is no longer posting a photo in his/her thread. Then you begin to ask questions, and follow the traces and leads that might give you an answer. Some just put in their profile they are busy, but some choose to be quiet, and some post in their blogs (which are also provided in their profiles).

This is what exactly happened to Sayote Queen or more popularly known as SQ in the blogosphere and Flickr. Early on, her blog never failed to make me let go of that smile, and some chuckles. Her Flickr stream never failed to amaze my eyes and captivate my soul. Perhaps, it is because of the fact that we share the same passion--that is photography and Baguio. As I have blogged about earlier Baguio Vignettes and Of Maryhurst, Flowers and Drizzles, Baguio occupies a special place in my heart.

So, the "investigation" began after knowing that SQ took a "leave" from her photography--and I am not happy with what I read in her blog entry "Silent Tears". Being a parent myself, I rooted for her and felt what it like to lose a part of yourself. I did not know how to express my sympathy, and at the same time letting her other Flickr friends know about her situation.

Then I thought of doing "it" again. It was a success when I first did it, and why not do it the second time around? However, it might not work this time because some members might think I am just making myself popular. Nonetheless, even if my move would be misconstrued, I posted a discussion thread in Pinoy Kodakero, and Flickristasindios where SQ is also a member.

Sympathies and prayers poured. I did not send a Flickr mail to SQ, and just waited her to open her Flickr site, and notice it. And by grace, she also posted a photo after some months of absence, and it seems she was surprised with the show of affection. I immediately commented on her photo, and said:

HI SQ! I hope you are well now! Glad you are back again!
Perhaps, it was not too late when I noticed your blog....but,

The Flickristasindios, and the Pinoy Kodakeros love you, and poured out their support for you!
Her comment in the thread speaks for itself. I am just happy with the thought that even online friends can give sympathies to persons you do not even know in person, and whom you only virtually interact with. I believe, this is one of the biggest benefits of the virtual reality where we belong now. We can touch people's lives--positively.

As I mentioned in my response to her appreciation, the credit still goes back to SQ:

I think you owe it to yourself that you have touched other people's lives through your photos, and we are just giving back what you have sown in us....I hope you also start to rekindle that passion will never lose just waits for a tiny spark...go out girl, and start shooting again, and express yourself!

Again, to SQ, may you find peace and happiness after your tragedy.

This may not be the last time I will do it. If there is a need to show sympathy for a person, or rally for a cause I am not going to restrain myself to campaign. I always believe that blogging (and now photography) can produce great results, if used appropriately. I always believe that Filipinos can!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Batang kalye

Batang kalye

umiinog ang mundo mo sa kalye
dito ka isinilang
nakipagbuno sa kalikasan upang kahit papaano
ang katawan mong impis ay magkalaman

naging paaralan mo ito--
natututo--tungkol sa buhay, para mabuhay
nakikipagsapalaran sa bawat sandali
kung saan ay walang katiyakan
kung kailan ka matatapos
tanging Diyos lang ang nakaka-alam

palaruan mo ang bawat lansangan
nakikipagpatintero sa mga sasakyan
humahabol sa bawat taong mapaghihingian at mapaghihingahan
upang kalam na tiyan at
sikip ng dibdib ay maibsan
habang nakikita mo ang ibang bata
akay ng kanilang magulang
alam kong itinatanong mo din,
"Pano kaya ang magkaroon ng mas mayamang magulang?"

hanggang kailan
na ang pagkain ay guni-guni na lang?
saplot sa katawan
ang bahay na inaasam
ang katreng mapaglalatagan ng hapo mong katawan
ang lapis at papel na dapat mong hawak
ay mananatiling
drowing at
kathang isip na lamang?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Inkblots: Double R [Rants and Rates]

Life is not always pleasant. You wake up one morning and some work issues greet you, making you grumpy the whole day. Save for the photos I see on Flickr in between work, and getting nice comments on my photos.

Then getting some not really good news from my sister, the morbid stories about the Romblon disaster, the spiraling prices of oil in the world market, and some saddening stories about my wife's cousin. Last Friday seems Friday the 13th!

However, I think God is really good. At least, the tax exemption is bigger now, which would at least gives me a bigger take home pay. I just hope they get reflected in my next pay check. Overall, my household is peaceful. My two sons are behaving well. Blessings! Blessings! I would count them instead.

In my previous post, I just started to count my blessings by discussing and expressing my gratitude to PinoyCentric as the second home for my photos in the net. Then, while reviewing the Technorati blog stats in Larawang Pinoy, to see if my groupmates are reading the LP blog after all. i was happy with the results in terns of page views and unique visits. Not bad for a baby blog. Then I noticed that there was a new link on Rate my Philippines. So I clicked it and saw something familiar screen shot -- and that is my blog! So I clicked it and indeed, it was my blog which is the latest review of the Rate my Philippines (RMP) Website.

Although it did not come to me as a surprise because, in the first place, I submitted my blog for rating and to be included in their review. What surprised me is the fact that it came too soon, add to to it the very nice review they gave to my blog.

I would say, it feels good to get a very nice review from people like the admins and website reviewers of RMP. There are not enough words to thank them for making me feel good about myself today.

Thanks a lot, Rate My Philippines!

God Bless and have a happy weekend!

P.S. I finally made a way on how to perform print screen, which you can see now posted here. I think the Print Screen button of my keyboard is not functioning. Then I looked into the installation icon, and found the function called "on-screen keyboard". So I tried if it works. It did! Cool A4Tech keyboard! Now I do not have to bug Alvin to do a print screen for me. LOLs!

Also, please visit THIS LINK and rate my blog. Just click at the stars below the review. Thanks!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

PinoyCentric - A second home

When I started with Flickr last year (2007), one of the first Flickr groups that I joined is PinoyCentric. It's group description says:

This is a place to share interesting your photos from around the world. Whether you're a pro or an amateur this is the place to showcase your best images of our people and culture - your own unique view of being a Filipino no matter where the diaspora has taken you.
From the links in the Flickr, I also stumbled upon their website with the same name. I thought it was a cool site solely dedicated to the promotion of Filipino culture, tradition, arts and crafts, and events and home-grown talents, both in the Philippines and abroad. Sharing the same vision of PinoyCentric, I was further inspired to hone my craft and capture through my lens the essence of being a Filipino, and the Philippines as a whole.

One day, I received a Flickr mail from Armand Frasco, one of the owners and admins, if they could possibly publish one of my photos and the accompanying story. Of course I was excited. It was the first time my work has been published in the net. This is the result of that short negotiation, which I also blogged here. Since then, by showing gratitude to PinoyCentric, I have contributed some photos in the group pool, and I was lucky enough that some of my works were also published in PinoyCentric. Some of these landed as weekly cover photo.

May this simple blog entry be my way of showing gratitude to Armand Frasco and the rest of the PinoyCentric Admins and Staff for recognizing some of my works.

May PinoyCentric continue to showcase the Philippines--its people, culture and the arts!

Maraming Salamat!

You can view the photos included in PinoyCentric, HERE.

Friday, May 30, 2008

My updated Lakbayan Rating

I has been 11 months after I got my Lakbayan rating. So I am now updating my Lakbayan Grade. Nothing much has changed ex except I think that I have been more often in Cagayan de Oro, been to Batanes, and Romblon in the past months.

My Lakbayan grade is B+!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

So get your grade now....I am now a "B+" from a "B" Traveler in the Philippines. I wish that I could be A- at least.

Larger than life

I have always been fascinated with images that are larger than life. Looking at the awesome macros of my Flickr buddies is a delightful experience--and I realized that even a dreaded and despicable housefly or garden fly would look so beautiful--then I begin to realize that God's creations--big, small and tiny, have something good to offer. Definitely, they are an eye-candy!

When I decided to buy a 70-300mm Zuiko lens, I was not thinking only of street photography. Then I realized that I can also use this for macro photography. There are dedicated lenses for macro photography, but buying another would be too costly on my part. So I thought I should make it a try with my 70-300mm zoom. I already have the 40-150mm but I just can't get what I want from my macro shots. For a time, I was wondering how I would make use of it. I had a hard time adjusting using long lenses and it just did not augur well for shaky hands like mine.

Nonetheless, I succeeded in this venture. The photo is one of my better macros so far. Not yet the best, but I hope I would be able to capture more tiny creatures.

You can view the rest of my macro photography HERE.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I was capturing people who are praying at the Pilar Shrine. Then I saw him in one corner. He was coughing hard and seemed so sick, which explains why he had a chair solely for himself. He seemed to be waiting the whole day for people who wanted to have their photographs taken. I wanted to get near him to conduct a short interview, but for some reasons, I hesitated. I just contented myself with taking his photo. I was glad he did not mind at all, or perhaps, he was too tired to mind me.

Photographers like him remind me of a funny experience in Baguio a year after my college graduation. I was in Burnham Park doing my photography when a middle-aged woman came to me and asked if they can have their photos taken. I did not know what to say but I was so amused. I just told them I am not a park photographer and it was just a hobby. They were so ashamed and apologized, but I told them it was okay and it was not the first time it happened to me.

I always admire these park photographers. Unfortunately, their livelihood is no longer as brisk as it was 3 decades ago, when there were fewer people who had a camera. To all park photographers like him, this is my tribute!

Taken at:
Pilar Shrine
Fort Pilar, Zamboanga City

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Experiencing Aliwan Fiesta 2008

It was my first time to cover an event as big as the Aliwan Fiesta, the Philippines' Mother of all Fiestas/ Festivals, as it gathers different festivities in one location. This year, there were 22 festivals that were showcased--the colorful indigenous costumes, beadworks, facepaints, the heart-pounding beats, the different dance moves, chants, and the ready smile they wore can never be forgotten.

Despite the sudden downpour at exactly the time when it should start, never dampened the high spirits of the participants, spectators and photographers. In the midst of the rain, the drummers went to their instruments and pounded their drums like they were calling the gods to stop the rain and let the festivities continue. The crowd cheered on every drumbeat! The photographers would not like to lose this photo opportunity! Many of us who were in the stands covered our cameras and went out into the rain to capture that "Kodak Moment" (I have some in my Flickr album). Indeed the gods heeded the call to stop the rain, and the festivities went on like nothing happened. Despite their being soaked in sweat under the heat of the sun earlier, and soaked in the rain, the performers went on to entertain the people. It was a sight to behold. A hair-raising experience!

I am glad I was able to capture them in photos--and I will never get tired of making an indelible mark of the Philippine cultures and traditions, which I am so in love with.May this be my simple way of giving recognition to the men, women, old and young, who have painstakingly and who never get tired of showcasing their talents and their indigenous culture and tradition, as wel as their aspirations, through dance, chants and color.

I am glad I have become part of their culture and tradition, albeit only a few hours. But I will treasure it forever.

Till the next Aliwan Fiesta!

See the rest of the ALIWAN FIESTA 2008 PHOTOS

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rootedness - A Celebration of Earth Day

Inkblots Celebrates Earth day with this post. Taken at Tanay, Rizal, April 7, 2008.

Let us remember....
...our rootedness to Mother earth we call home
...where we draw life from
...which nurtures and feeds our body, mind and soul

Let us remember....
...those who have battled against environmental destruction
...those who have perished for protecting our home
...those who continue to endure the suffering to make it worth living
...those who have suffered and those who have died because of the catastrophic natural devastations

Let us remember this day...
...and start acting to protect its integrity

No one else will, but US who are still living in this planet, we call home.


If you read this, and support Earth Day, post a blog that shows your love for Mother Earth.

Earth Day is a name used for two different observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment. The United Nations celebrates Earth Day, which was founded by John McConnell in 1969, each year on the March equinox, while a global observance originated by Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, and since January 1970 also called Earth Day, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22, including the U.S.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I am turning ONE!

It was not so long ago when I started with my first entry entitled My First Ink. I was a just noob in blogging and was and completely dumb about blogging. Little by little, I learned about HTML and all that stuff. Since then, I have tried to improve the look of my blog, trying out various templates, only to bring it back to a much simpler format. After all, it is the content that matters.

Blogging has also introduced me to fellow bloggers, who have become my online friends. Then there are those passers-by who do not just read but also who express their support. It is enlightening and heartwarming to know that after all, there are still people who care abut the Philippines and who dare to be part of the development arena where I come from. I am not a voice in the wilderness, after all.

Blogging has given me so much freedom to express my thoughts and feelings. Yes, there are limitations to blogging, especially when someone tells you to delete your post because it is against company policy. I did delete some of the posts--with a heavy heart. However, propriety dictates I should do so. It may be against my principles, but I just thought that it is also a way of protecting some people that have become part of me.

Blogging has broadened my horizon--seeing new things in a different light. And I thank all my online friends for doing that. Blogging has also given me that needed pat on the back when I won a blogging contest. I do not know if I could do that again....but one thing is for sure--I will hold this in my heart forever. I thank you for all your support.

My blog is turning one on April 29, 2008. I will be on an out-of-town trip on that day, so I decided to just do it today.

This is my way of saying thank you for all the visits, links (Technorati preferred, LOLS!) and sharing your thoughts!

Silence kills!

The Philippines is acting on Filipino child survival by launching the Bata Movement with the theme: "Bata: Tamang Alaga". This commenced with the March for Child Survival from Manila Hotel to Museo Pambata on April 11, 2008. The movement is led by the International Society of Tropical Pediatricsin collaboration with UP Manila-National Institutes f Health and the Philippine Ambulatory Pediatric Association. This march for the children and launch of the Bata Movement also coincides with the 8th International Congress of Tropical Pediatrics. The congress aims to discuss how the Philippines can achieve the Millennium Development Goal No. 4 (Improving Child Survival).

The photo also shows that apparently, the Number 1 Child killer in the Philippines is pneumonia.

View the rest of the BATA Movement Photo Docu HERE.

Cross-posted at: VIEWS WITH A POINT

Friday, April 18, 2008

Redefining Capital

Finally, I have seen my effort come to fruition with the e-book entitled: "Community Wealth Rediscovered: Knowledge for Poverty Alleviation".

The E-book contains six (6) case studies that redefines "capital" and identifying the capital of the "poor". More often, we always define poverty with financial capital, which delineates the "haves" and the "have nots." In these case studies, the writers (that includes me), tries to identify the community capital present before and after the projects were implemented in the areas. It is interesting to note that while we define capital in monetary terms, we tend to relegate to the background the cultural, social, institutional, stakeholder, natural, and structural capital that the people or community already have.

In a way, this effort tries to redefine the "poor" and poverty in general. This shies away from defining the poor on the basis of monetary considerations alone. In the end, we conclude that the "poor" as we usually call them, are not at all poor. They may be poor in terms of financial capital, but they are rich in terms of culture and social interactions. Thus, we take advantage of their strength as a community and start development efforts from there.

The E-book was launched during the "Panibagong Paraan" exhibits and events featuring innovative approaches to development management and poverty alleviation. The e-book was a joint undertaking of Peace and Equity Foundation, and Center for Conscious Living Foundation, Inc. - Philippines. The launching was held last April 9, 2008 at Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. "Panibagong Paraan" is sponsored by the World Bank.

Cross-posted at: VIEWS WITH A POINT

What's with DSLR-toting photo enthusiasts?

Taken before the Holy Week. The guard asked me if I am a journalist and what paper I work for. The First Family was scheduled to have their Holy Week vacation in the Mansion House. Understanding his job, I just told him photography is just my hobby. He walked away after. In my mind, I said "Good soldier!"

Although I admire him for doing his job, this makes me wonder why did he ask that question? Is it because I look like a pro toting a DSLR? Maybe yes. Public places and tourist destinations like the Mansion House in Baguio City is a subject of many photo sessions. People toting a compact digital camera will not be asked or questioned for photographing the Mansion House.

One of my photographer friends was only able to take photos of the TriNoMa mall in Quezon City when he used a compact digital camera. One of my Flickr buddies, however, were questioned by the security guards, just because he is using a DSLR. And I am glad I was able to take photos of the mall last December when I was with my wife and her friends. It appeared as if we were just tourists in the area.

On one hand, something funny, which also put me into an embarrassing situation, happened to me when I visited Davao in March and I was billeted at the Marco Polo Hotel. I was fascinated by "The Deck," which is actually the poolside of the hotel. I would not go into detail, but the story is in in my Flickr album.

I would understand hotels and malls preventing seemingly professional photographers toting a DSLR camera. Their architectural designs are copyrighted. perhaps, they fear that their designs would be copied, and perhaps some unscrupulous photographers are already making money out of the photos of their establishment.

However, if one uses a compact digital camera, no one will question him or her. Perhaps building managers should already be educated on this.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wind beneath my wings

It is not the first time that I won a photography challenge. In fact, 34 of my photos have already won the challenges in several groups. However, I feel honored with the way my other group Kabayan Fil-Am Photogs recognizes its weekly winners. And modesty aside (hahaha!), I won in the fourth week with this photo.

It just feels so good being recognized by your co-photographers. Needless to say, a budding photographer like me needs this kind of "ego-boost" to further develop my craft. This, i believe, is what feeds the buddings artists like me.

You may read the rest of the blog feature about me HERE.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


As I rummaged through my blog, I am surprised that I have reached more than 5,500 views as of today. This is not much compared to tens of thousands views by some blogs. Nonetheless, I am still happy I have reached 5,534 views as of today despite the fact that I have "neglected" my blog for 3 months. I guess, I have regained that momentum to blog again and share my thoughts and feelings to online friends

What excites me more is that my Flickr album got 6,023 views as of today! When it was nearing 5,000 views I planned to "celebrate" it, but I totally forgot it. Now, I have to "celebrate" it with a fitting photo.

Before I forget, I want to thank you, my Flickr friends who have constantly commented and visited my photo stream. you comments mean a lot to me to further home my craft. Of course, I should not forget my blogger friends, as well, who kept me company even if I was not able to maintain it for a while.

Now I am happy to announce I am back to both--blogging and Flickring!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chiqui Pineda and that song

Photography is not just about photographs. It is also about making friends online and off-line. I attended my first EB and photo walk last Sunday, February 10 at Quezon Memorial Circle. And it was fun meeting a bunch of guys and gals who share the same passion with you.

And perhaps, one of the best things of being online at Flickr is the fact that you get to meet people--and though they may not know it, they have touched your life in one way or another. One of them is actually meeting Chiqui Pineda online. And for some reasons I could not express, her song How Did You Know is one song that I really like. For those who do not know her, she sang the original version of How Did You Know, which was revived by Gary V.

I have not personally chatted with her, but she does join the discussion threads and her first photo challenge, the Valentine Special Challenge. She won and gave her "acceptance speech" and rendering the Pinoy Kodakero's most requested song through her podcast (update: sorry may password na pala). You can see her winning photo here.

So while watching and listening to her podcast, I am also including the lyrics of the song:

I remember so well
The day that you came into my life
You asked for my name
You had the most beautiful smile

My life started to change
I'd wake up each day feeling alright
With you right by my side
Makes me feel things will work out just fine

How did you know
I needed someone like you in my life
That there's an empty space in my heart
You came at the right time in my life

I'll never forget
How you brought the sun to shine in my life
And took all the worries and fears that I had
I guess what I'm really trying to say
It's not everyday that someone like you comes my way
No words can express how much I love you.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love month. Love hunt.

People are my favorite photography subject. With their photos, I am able to take a peek of what they feel. These photos are a product of my voyeurism (lols!). I hope I have not offended the people I captured in this photo. If somebody reads this blog, and knows the people in these photos, please give my apologies. And as a sign of peace offering, I would gladly give them a copy of these photos. (Smile!).

Give all to love; obey thy heart. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others. ~ Anne-Sophie Swetchine

To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be. ~ Anna Louise Armstrong

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age. ~ Jeanne Moreau

You may visit these links for photos of people and children:

People, The Filipino Child

Note: These photos are copyrighted. Please do not copy. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

JDV: Late, but not quite

In line with my work, I have had a few audience with Speaker Jose De Venecia. Everytime he speaks, I regard him as an eloquent person. He speaks with such candor and magnanimity, which makes you drawn to him.

I am not particularly fond of him because of his unpopular stance in various policy issues. But then, he knows what he is talking about. I think he knew public policy by heart. He had the right mind on certain issues. He had the best connections to push the most controversial policies in the House of Representatives.

While watching him on TV delivering his privilege speech, I witnessed again how engrossed and how eloquently he delivered his message. Albeit, this time, he becomes the issue. While I am writing this, 145 Representatives have already voted against him for his ouster from the seat of the 3rd most powerful official in the land. Being most adept in policy concerns, perhaps, he knew his ouster was coming.

Honestly, it appalled me hearing and watching him enumerate the foibles of the Palace, and his alleged involvement in various controversial issues. My first reaction was, "Now you are talking!" Is it because he is the one at stake? Probably, yes. Is this patriotic move hiding behind a cloak of personal and political agenda? Probably yes. Possibly, no. After all, politics is a turf issue, and one cannot just cower and hide under table when your person and your position is under attack. He has the right to defend his position. After all, he is the Speaker.

I am not in the position to give my analysis on how and why this has to happen. Leave it to the political science experts. As an ordinary citizen, I am more interested with his expose. While it may be too late a hero to expose the Presidency and its allies in its alleged lapses and involvement in various controversies, I realized something good was coming out of it, after all--that is the unveiling of some hidden truths and burning issues that the Filipino nation must face.

What will happen in the coming days is for us to see. As JDV said, it is just the start and the Filipino people would expect more in the coming days. That is for us to hear and see.

After some period of stabilization, we are again riding a political roller-coaster. I just pray that this move to expose the Presidency's alleged shortcomings would do good for the country. Definitely, this move by JDV will turn tides. I just hope that many Filipinos would become more vigilant of those turncoat politicians who would take advantage of this situation, and that the people behind it would not resort to violence.

May God bless the Philippines!

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year. New Look. New Outlook!

I thought having a New year's Resolution is only for writing elementary formal themes. I am sure, many of you would share that part of grade school days when we have to write the things we promise to change or to acquire.

Of course, we have become more mature (physically), but some of us still have our Peter Pan syndromes. Still, making the resolutions come true remain to be an elusive reality to many of us, including myself.

Since it is new year, I am changing the color of my blog to white, to reflect what I feel now. (Also this is to accommodate the request of one of my readers who could not read in black background). So I hope Fe (yes, her name is Fe, a former colleague in PBSP), could read my blog better now. Hehe.

Nonetheless, I still do not have a list of my new year's resolution. Besides, I could not say much about the future. It is very difficult to promise something, but could not deliver what I have promised because the world is not within my control. But I would like to quote Milan Kundera, one of my favorite writers:

"We must never allow the future to be weighed down by memory. For children have no past, and that is the whole secret of the magical innocence of their smiles."
I just want to be happy ans take life's course. And now I realize, I wish to become child-like again!

Happy new year again, folks!

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