SHOOT THE PEOPLE

It’s been a while since I fell in love with portrait photography. I remember how I only used to shoot mugs or all kinds of flora, or rocks by the beach because when I started this hobby, I was so scared to take photos of people. Back then, I was excited with what I thought was artsy photos of inanimate subjects (you know, with the shallow depth of field or in layman’s terms, yung portrait mode sa iphone or yung blurred yung background to make it look pro!).

RANDOM OBJECTS

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When I started shooting portraits and street photos, that’s when I realized that it brought me far greater joy and fulfillment. Although, the emotions, story and conflicts these photos portray can be a little heavy and discomforting, it only fueled my desire to tell more stories through photographs!

PORTRAITS

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Also, it gives me a deeper appreciation for life. It gives me a chance to sit down and reflect. It makes me feel more human and grounded. It lessens gaps. It brings people together. It creates a connection between people who have never even met before; because that’s how it makes me feel when I look at the subjects’ eyes.

So for this entry, I decided to round up some of my favorite photos of random objects, portraits and street photos I’ve taken over the past years and perhaps let you guys figure out the story behind each photo. All of these btw were taken using film cameras, and don’t you agree when I say, film made each of these photos SOULful?

STREET PHOTOS

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This has been quite a journey! I don’t know what the future holds for me, but despite the unfortunate circumstances recently, I decided to continue shooting people [on cam] even if gets hard and to trust in God’s ultimate plan for me.

#FilmisNotDead #ShootThePeople For more of my photos, you can also visit my film photo blog!

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Life Lately / Biggest Regret

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Just recently, I had to go through another forked road in my life and it has to be THE MOST challenging yet to date.

You see, I was offered an opportunity that was extremely difficult to turn down. It was my dream job; and I have been praying for it for the longest time now, but I let it slip off my hands.

How come?

Well, I had to take into consideration a lot of things and by that, I mean my parents’ opinion. I know they mean well for me, but let’s just say that my decisions in life are still somehow 80% influenced by them.

When I got through it, my friends helped me realize that there is no one to blame for the decision except for me and me alone. I am 29 freaking years old and I am way beyond the period when parents make all the decisions for their kids, but I let them, solely because I respect and love them and I am afraid of the karma that comes with going against your parents.

Adulting sucks and life is unfair a lot of times, but reality is, PASSION isn’t everything. (not if you’re not filthy rich!) That’s the way I see it now and I learned that the hard way.

Although some friends wanted me to pursue it without any second thoughts (It’s not like I am the breadwinner nor do I ask money from my parents), I needed to think about security. I needed to understand that I am turning 30 and I HAVE to comply with what society dictates and that is being PRACTICAL. I needed to think about my imaginary husband and kids. I needed to think about what other people would think about me and my achievements in life. I needed to stop having that YOLO mindset that parents associate so much with millennials.

On the other hand, my heart tells me otherwise. I am turning 30 and I have waited long enough for an opportunity like this. I may never get another one as beautiful as this. I may not live long enough for a chance to finally do what I love doing. Life is short and uncertain. The job pays good, it should keep me afloat. It’s not like I’m rebelling against them by doing something irresponsible. IT IS A JOB AFTER ALL,  a job that offers continuous learning of the craft, connections in the industry, not to mention, PEACE OF MIND, which I don’t think anyone will just offer for free. At my age, I should’ve grabbed the opportunity, but sadly, I needed to be practical.

My friends slapped me with the big ass reality check in my face and told me that letting this chance go has its consequences and I have to face them like a real fucking adult:

  1. I cannot blame anyone for the decision but myself. It was all on me.
  2. I have to accept that this opportunity may never come again.
  3. I cannot bring it up with my parents ever again because they are gonna react the same way, and so would I. (Unless I finally get the guts to fight for what I want) -Hi Jan!
  4. It’s not solely about following my passion, but in taking a stand for myself, making those difficult decisions and swallowing the consequences because that is life! – Hi Joey!
  5. REGRETS. This has been my biggest so far.

Then again, it cannot all be bad.

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Right before I sent my letter to the company owner declining the offer, another idea came up which my brother and I have been originally planning for since the beginning of the year. So I went back to that path and now, all I want is to be able to get to that goal in the next year and a half, max!

It’s all I could think about now, because who knows, that may even pave the way for me to finally do what I have been dreaming of.

Maybe I let this chance slip off because there is something much better ahead, or I needed to learn something more before I get a chance to take the wheel.

Been reading my favorite book in the Bible, Ecclesiastes (ever since my world came tumbling down and cried my heart out over the weekend) and I love that it is so realistic, that it sounded dark and negative, but you still couldn’t take out the fact that it still beams with positivity. After all, it is a book in the Bible.

So anyhow, whatever path we opt to take in this life, it all boils down to my favorite quote from a religious book I got last year, “God’s primary will for your life is not the circumstances you inhabit; it’s the person you become.” (You can read more of this on my past entry HERE).

At the end of the day, we won’t be able to take our plaques of achievements, our positions in our respective companies and our money to the afterlife. All we have are what we did to be worthy of a beautiful life in eternity with HIM.

Also, people (including me) tend to focus so much on going after dreams and in getting that promotion or increase or that next travel destination that we forget that we can lose this life we’ve been busy building up with trophies in a snap of a finger! We are such mundane creatures. We almost always think about worldly matters that we forget about the life that comes after this one.

Boy, I am proud of the selfless things I’ve done for others, but heck, there’s A TON of things I still need to fix in myself (one of which is boasting about what I do for others LELZ) and that’s what I want to do before I die. If I do that, then I deem myself successful should I die unexpectedly. That for now is my definition of success.

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Life Lately/Podcast Overload

Okay, so I feel like I have been spending way too much free time (meaning, once I get home from work or at the moment, over long weekends) listening to podcasts. Netflix also takes the other half of my free time so I should definitely make a separate entry for that too!

Anyhoww, over the past couple of months, I discovered heaps of podcasts and today, I will be sharing each of those to you; but I would really love it if you can recommend new shows too in return. Deal?

First things first, let me tell you how I got hooked to listening to audio series. If I remember it right, I started listening to podcasts around late last year. I never really thought I’d enjoy listening to one until I discovered “Wake Up with Jim and Saab“, which I must have seen on Saab’s blog. I am such a big fan of  her blog (this fandom dates back to her incugirl days), so it wasn’t that big of an adjustment to switch to her audio series co-hosted by none other than her husband, Jim Bacarro.

And since we’re doing throwbacks, some of you may know how I am such a fan of celebrity bloggers. This was way back when blogging was literally just an online public journal (such as this one lol) and when it wasn’t such a big money-making machine yet as it is nowadays. I used to follow Bianca Gonzalez, Patty Laurel, Veronica Peralejo and her friend Saab Magalona. They would share stories about their relationships, college adventures and problems which I found relatable at the time.

Fastforward to the present time, these girls are still very much in touch with their online  following, except that they evolved from bloggers to what we now call social media influencers. Most of them have Youtube channels with carefully curated content, wider reach and influence, hence the title.

I am not gonna go through all different types of platforms. I would probably share some favorite Youtube channels too in the future, but for this entry, I’d like to focus more on PODCASTS which I am crazy obsessed with and so passionate about, it’s all I could talk about with my friends! I even pushed a couple of them to record their own shows (with me as their occasional guest of course!).

So for those who still don’t know what podcasts are (hello OG grandparents and parents), according to Wikipedia, they are episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download to listen. Alternatively, the word “podcast” may refer to the individual component of such a series or to an individual media file.

In short, they are basically talk shows, minus the visuals.

Living on my own, without access to TV becomes a little too lonely especially when I don’t get to hang out with my friends here in Cebu; but having these podcasts help me get by because they can be really entertaining, informative, not to mention, addictive.

I listen to podcasts almost all the time——when I cook, clean my room, drive, wash my clothes and even while taking a bath! So you can just imagine how podcasts have taken over my life (in a good way). They help a lot with catching up on current events, being productive and multi-tasking!

Even Jim Bacarro himself said that listening to podcasts make his night routine less tedious. (not his exact words)

So here goes the list of my favorite PODCASTS at the moment (mostly on Spotify, if not all):

  1. Wake Up with Jim and Saab – the first ever podcast I ever listened to. Talks about current events, pop culture, adulting, and relevant topics such as “elevator etiquette” and “bar rules. They have a “Malibag” segment wherein they read and give advice on some of their podfams’ mails. They have an online following and community (which I am proud to be a part of) that has grown over the past year!
  2. The Halo-Halo Show – This was suggested by my friend, Jan which I find similar to WUWJAS. Talks about TT’s (trending topics), their  and pop culture, travel, also reads and gives advice on their Leche Fan’s mails. Very engaging and relatable, also very fun, light and hilarious at times! They are also very interactive with their leche fans on their other social media accounts!
  3. The Linya Linya Show – One of the Pinoy Comedy Podcasts in Filipino, talks about different topics relevant to the youth and yuppies, and also very hilarious and entertaining. I often find myself laughing out loud (even while driving) while listening to these guys.
  4. Long Distance – Talks about being Filipinos living abroad and stories in the Filipino diaspora. Most episodes are in narrative form which are very engaging. One of the podcasts that produces the best and relevant content in this platform.
  5. Adulting with Joyce Pring – Talks about issues of yuppies venturing out into the real world! Very helpful especially for people in their twenties!
  6. Armchair Expert – Each episode guests personalities from the entertainment industry hosted by Dax Sheppard.
  7. Good Times with Mo – Good old radio show with Mo twister, his mature and helpful opinion on a wide spectrum of issues of his callers; very entertaining and informative!
  8. The Creative Introvert – if you know me, you know why this would be so interesting for me!
  9. After 30 – mostly drawn to this because I am about to turn 30 in the next few months!
  10. Hilakbot TV’s Horror Show – freaky ass show! I get scared even when listening in broad daylight
  11. The Telebabad Tapes – Another husband and wife show that talks about pop culture, relevant issues and current events
  12. Bo Sanchez Radio – Reminders of God’s love and promises in a podcast!
  13. Anna Faris is Unqualified – Completely forgot about this but I love Anna Faris and I found her show very amusing and entertaining as they take calls from their listeners! Now that I have seen her podcast on my list again, Imma listen to her again!

Also saved the following on Spotify to listen to later on.

  1. Kanin Konvos
  2. Boiling Waters OH
  3. Modern Love
  4. This Filipino American Life
  5. Potterless
  6. Life is Short with Justin Long
  7. Happy Place
  8. Career Power Hacks
  9. DKMH
  10. Secrets of the Most Productive People
  11. SNL Afterparty
  12. Career Stories
  13. Psychology of Black Mirror
  14. Work Life with Adam Grant
  15. Road Trippin’
  16. Travel Genius
  17. Mashups
  18. Conspiracy Theories
  19. True Crime Obsessed
  20. The Complete Guide to Everything
  21. Listen Playlists – Pastor Rick’s Daily
  22. TED Talks Daily

I lost count of the podcasts that I have been following, and to think that these are just a fraction of the digital content created for social consumption. In fact, most of us also follow a long list of content creators in various media platforms. Truly, Social media is continuously evolving! It has become instrumental in reaching a wider audience, and this in turn, has impacted the way people utilize the power of the internet. And I guess a lot of you would agree when I say that we are indeed in the era of social media, wherein everyone can be an instant celebrity, but that is one power that we should all take proper responsibility for! Use it wisely!

 

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Life Lately / Desko

We just had our company’s annual physical exam today and we all got 2 free vaccine shots today, one on each arm. I had a hard time driving as it feels like I was punched on both arms. Still really very grateful though for the company’s health benefits! Plus, all Cebu assigned employees had a mini reunion for this annual event.

I decided to finish all my paper work today at this quiet little nook I discovered last week, but I’m guessing based on their full parking lot (which could only fit 4 cars), that it was packed. I wasn’t too bummed out about it too long as I saw a newly opened co-working space on the way to the said secret nook. I had an excuse to check it out!

Lo and behold, this co-working space, Desko turned out to be exactly what I wanted it to be!

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Although it had limited, not to mention extremely steep parking space (my car floor had yet again been injured), the office space itself is ……spacious! I had to look it up online to see what it looks like before I went here and when I saw that there were lots of tables for one, I knew I found the right place. I had to check it out, no matter the cost, the consequences and the climb (to the parking lot). LOL!

So I’ve been here for 3 hours now and I just finished liquidating some of my transactions. I have checked and sent emails, responded to my clients, organized my receipts. I was supposed to visit a particular department today, however, I just decided to maximize my time here as I have been working my ass off for the past days anyway. Plus, my colleagues and I have been dismissed early by our boss as well, so why not cut myself some slack?

So I’m just savoring my time here as I will be back to working doubly hard tomorrow! I wanna thank God for this peaceful time I had today. I’d probably be back here over the weekend and on days I wanna blog or finish my online courses.

I just had their sisig and I loved it! I’m not sure though if it’s canned sisig, but the fried rice was unique in a really good way (i wonder how they cooked it), the egg white was runny (which I surprisingly loved), and the pink onions added a sweet and spicy kick to the sisig!

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As I type this, I am also promoting this place to my friends who are fans of another co-working space here in Cebu. We were comparing prices earlier and we agreed that Desko is so much better than the other place in so many levels: the interiors (love the comfy chairs), the space, the ambience (really quiet in the afternoon but lots of groups of students at night, lights are perfectly installed in all areas with tables), the treats (unlimited iced tea, coffee and water), the sockets (available on almost all corners and tables), the service and the cost to name a few.

It’s funny though, being in places like this makes me fantasize about a life as a freelancer. I mean, this can really work for me in the future, should I establish myself as a professional designer/artist/photographer. On top of that, I can also see myself managing businesses that I really love, a.k.a. my very own massage place or a cozy coffee shop by the beach!

Funny how a lot can change in a few years, including my perspective, my plans and my priorities! Keeping fingers crossed coz I’m planning something huge this year!

xoxo,

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No More Wasted Nights

I don’t remember falling asleep last night; although I am sure I went to bed early as I was dead tired from the equally excruciating weather and job of mine.

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I woke up at 2:30-ish this morning and I realized that I didn’t take a bath before I went to bed, just as I would have wanted. I heard the water still running in the bath. Oooops, I did it again!

I couldn’t stand the heat so I had a quick bath, yep in the wee hours of the morning and I haven’t slept since.

As usual, I went to scour my phone for likes. I posted another film photo on my gram. I watched Chris Evans and Elizabeth Olsen on Ellen. I looked it up to see if they were dating. I was relieved to find out they weren’t, but who can prove that? Then, I began thinking whether I’d ever get myself my very own Chris Evans with America’s ass. JK.

I put down my phone for a bit, but I still couldn’t go back to sleep.

So, I decided I’d read my Neil Gaiman book, hoping it would eventually get me sleepy, but it didn’t. I got it from the Book Binge Bazaar of National Bookstore here in Cebu. I finished chapter 9, which is his “MAKE GOOD ART” speech for the graduates of University of Arts in Philadelphia. I ended on page 495 this afternoon while waiting to cover an oncologist, not knowing that the chapter ends in page 496. 

I went on to read the next chapter, “The View from the Cheap Seats“, which is also the book’s title. It was eye-opening and a little amusing as it talks about his Oscar’s experience, with all the celebrities he did and did not know. After that, I proceeded to reading the introduction. Just as he said in it, I was right in thinking that this book can be read in no particular order, as it is a collection of his speeches and essays. It is very engaging. It didn’t make me want to go back to sleep.

Instead, it made me want to make good art and to write this entry.

1 1/2 chapters into the book, yet I’ve already got loads of takeaways from the book.

I like what he said on how to focus on a goal and how not to get sidetracked by doing work that pays but isn’t in line with your objectives. I also like the way he sees making art as a lifesaver, because it would get you through good and bad times.

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It also is very timely that I got his book at this point in my life as I am faced with a crossroads once again. Just as he didn’t, I also don’t want to be stuck in a position that would lead me further away from my goal, so I need to make decisions may they make or break me.

I am turning 30 this year yet I feel like I might as well retire from work, just because I’m tired of doing something I do not love. It is pathetic.

Good thing though, I have a good support system as ever. I did get over my little dramatic moment with my boss a week ago and I’m choosing to fight this battle as courageous as possible, with the help from God and my loved ones of course. 

I had to get out of the house quickly and early this morning as my landlady warned me that people are fixing our street today. I am stuck in my car in the hospital parking lot because all of our clients are in Manila for the PCP convention. So I guess, I’m gonna make that art now!

P.S. I am so in love with my photos that were scanned by Sunny 16 Lab!

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P.S. 2, I am so in love with Avengers Endgame. I watched it alone, and I’m glad I did!

P.S. 3, No more wasted nights is from one of my favorite songs to date by ONE OK. And yes, I’ll keep doing what I want, I want, I want. No more wasted nights!

Off to make good art now!

 

 

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