Yellow Fins

Not as yellow as I would have wanted, but I am in love with them!

Last year, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, I was introduced to the world of FREEDIVING by a guy I briefly dated. For someone who fears the deep blue waters, it did not excite me at all. I was terrified. It didn’t help to hear stories of people blacking out or coming out of the water with bleeding noses, but the thought of trying something new tickled my adventurous and hydrophilic heart.

In September, I took an Introduction course in Mactan, Cebu with the Pacific Blue Freedivers, under Marion Sumalinog himself, a Molchanov instructor who also recently competed in Bohol and now holds a Constant Weight record of 61m!

I only dream of doing awra shots in the deep, but seeing how much freedom and peace of mind you get from diving into the deep in just one breath hold, I’m not surprised why this water sport and the community has grown quite quickly over the past years.

After completing the course, I went on weekend dives to see if I will eventually grow tired of it or in my case, will give up trying because I couldn’t get my duck dive and equalization right. My frustration grew more as I fail to even reach the sea floor at 5m deep.

My last dive was back in November and seeing as it would be pointless to dive again and again without improvement, I thought, there’s probably no need for me to buy fins anymore. And I would also let go of the sport as easily as I let go of the one who introduced it to me. Chos!

Though I stopped diving for a while, my love for it grew as I continued to scroll through my freediving groups on facebook, stunning photos of freedivers on instagram, Seazoned and Apnea.ph (freediving schools I followed way before I got into the sport itself) and documentaries on Netflix and even of Erwan Heussaf. I also follow Alexey Molchanov on instagram and seeing how passionate he is with what he does, I knew, I couldn’t let it go of it just yet, without at least giving it one last try.

Little did I know, my brother was aching to go back diving as well. Unlike me, he got himself new fins immediately after his intro course and he didn’t want them to go to waste as they weren’t cheap. Lol.

We tried to go back diving in Mactan one weekend. Sadly, the timing was bad as it was just after Marion’s competition and the place was just too crowded even though I had slots reserved for us. Good thing, he booked us a drift dive in Moalboal through Nicco’s Place for his birthday!

I have to admit, it was one of the best things that ever happened during this pandemic and I am so glad I did not give it up just yet.

Unfortunately, the fins I ordered online didn’t arrive in time, so I had to rent from Nicco. The fins I used were longer than the usual ones I rent in Mactan; however, they were a bit loose, so I got blisters for the next 3 weeks. Fortunately, I had a really good time and the battle scars don’t matter to me no more. Haha! Yes, I do have a horrible scar on my heel and my butt cheeks and legs are 5 shades darker (don’t ever forget to put on sunscreen even if you’ll go down deep LOL) now, but they are all worth the fun 2km dive, the resident pawikans and sardine run in the home of the freedivers! My brother even got up close and swam next to a pawikan!

At first, I didn’t expect much from the dive. After all, it was my first dive since November and knowing how much I suck, I was surprised I FINALLY perfected my duck dive! I even did a dolphin kick once on the way down after duck diving. How I did all those and not die, was all by God’s grace and probably from the fear of humiliation from the group we were with that day. Haha.

So, I finally got my YELLOW (of course) pre-ordered fins from Leaderfins Philippines last week (after more than a month of waiting) and a bunch of bright colored swimwear from Shopee. I am just waiting for my PINK customized fins bag from Reez Custom Spearguns (yes I am a fan of fun colors forever and always). We are just waiting for the weather to improve before I finally get back into the deep once again!

Moral of this post, wear sunscreen, equalize before diving, pray lots, and don’t give up just yet!

Before I end this post, I’m sharing some of the documentaries I love watching over and over and a clip from our recent dive! Also saying hi to my blogger friend, Aysa who is one heck of a freediver in one of the best places to dive ever!

35 sec clip of moi! haha!

xoxo,

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 orΒ yung blurred yung background to make it look pro!).

RANDOM OBJECTS

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When I started shooting portraits andΒ 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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Filmmaking and Deliberate Living

FILM MAKING

Last Saturday, I attended another Colours Foto event here in Cebu. This time around, it was sponsored by SONY PH INC., which is why I was so excited! They offered free cleaning services for the first 15 attendees! Did I mention that the seminar itself was also free (with free snacks) and the speaker was none other than the the great, Pepe Diokno!

 

 

 

 

The talk ended earlier than planned as there weren’t a lot of questions from the participants; but it was packed with lots of amazing takeaways on filming documentaries and travel videos, I had to take notes!

What struck me the most at the beginning of the talk was the story behind his successful career in the film industry. I guess every great person had something to struggle with before they got to where they are now and Mr. Diokno was no different. He shared how he struggled to find his voice at the start of his career, not to mention how he went through a couple of mishaps, which I had to admit were terrifying but inspiring at the same time. It made him a bit more relatable and a little less infallible, at least through my eyes.

Another important takeaway from this talk was (of course) about filming documentaries. He taught us the 3 golden questions to ask before deciding if a documentary is worth doing or not:

  1. Who is the story about?
  2. Who is telling the story?
  3. What interests you the most about the story?

Simple, but these questions are the deal breakers as these would align all the other elements of the film to your plot.

Apart from these, he also shared a lot of tips, from evoking answers you need from the people involved in the story, to the camera set ups, to the pre, post and production of the film.

He also showed a lot of his works, most of which brought a lot of the attendees to tears, me included.

His award-winning films include “Engwentro“, “Above the Clouds” and “Kapatiran“.

 

 

 

 

He’s also known for tv ads that could make even the toughest men cry.

 

 

In the middle of the talk, I remember I had an epiphany! Well, it’s either that or I just got carried away so bad, my emotions were playing tricks on me! So I realized, I’m not meant to pursue nursing (despite having a license and hospital experience) nor am I destined to be successful in a corporate world, because my heart will truly beat only for ARTS and MEDIA. Though I know it would be hell to pursue, I feel that it is something I should go after, may it be in the near future or not.


DELIBERATE LIVING

Speaking of epiphanies, I must be on a roll this weekend as I had another one while watching this documentary on Netflix called MINIMALISM.

I watched it twice yesterday and I felt like it was speaking to me knowing that in my heart, I yearn for a life in simplicity.

I have struggled with depression and eternal quarter life crisis, not only because I used to constantly compare myself to my peers and social media made it worse, but also because I didn’t know how to fill the void in my soul, heart and mind.

This documentary and the Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus helped me understand why people remain unhappy despite having everything money can buy.

After watching it twice, I felt the need to follow a minimalist lifestyle to be able to save up money this year, to live a deliberate life rather than a compulsive one and to be content and happy.

That is the goal and that is what I want for my life from now on.

Right now, I wanna learn more about living a minimalist life and how to declutter my life so I could let go of the excess stuff, not only the physical but as well as the emotional and psychological baggage that burdens me.

Boy, am I glad to have found a new PODCAST to follow and 173 episodes to indulge myself with!

 

I know the first 3 months of this year went by so fast, but I’m committing myself to continue with boxing for a stronger me, to pursue my real dreams and to live a more minimalist lifestyle. I have never been more excited!

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Tiger

To the person I almost loved.

When I met you, I didn’t like you at all. I thought, I wouldn’t even wanna talk to you, even if the world ends.

But you changed my first impression of you in a way that I wouldn’t have expected, just as our first meeting was. Unexpected.

When I got to know you, I kept telling you, you were too good to be true. You were slowly unfolding into the real you, letting me in to the person that you truly are, and again, I thought, you’re weird, but I like it.

Never a day went by that you didn’t brighten my morning with your “go get them, Tiger” texts. For the longest time, I never thought that someone would dare break down this wall that I have built, so no one could come close, until you came into my life.

When I talk to you, my mind opens up to a world that I never thought existed. You constantly test my beliefs, my wisdom and my limits in a good way.

I craved for your attention, for your time, for you and slowly, you became part of my life I wouldn’t want to end. I didn’t know if I was falling in love. I didn’t know if it was love that I was feeling. All I knew was that I care about you just as you care for me.

You ask me a lot about future kids. You talk about building [our] house on a hill top. You tell me things that make me like you even more. Maybe I was falling, all thanks to you, the person, I almost loved.

I like how good looking you are and how brilliant your mind is. I like how you are so good to the people around you. I like how you let your sad past mold you into a good man that you are now. I like how your mind works. I like your insights on life. I like how you take care of yourself, and your family. I like that you know yourself well and that you have planned your future. I like that you stand firm with your decisions.

Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for opening up to me. Thank you for kissing me and hugging me and holding my hand. Thank you for pigging out with me and for working out with me after. Thank you for worrying about me. Thank you for taking care of me when I was sick. Thank you for being disappointed our beach trip got cancelled. Thank you for listening to my worries and for making them go away. Thank you for making my faith in God stronger. Thank you for teaching me Bisaya. Thank you for getting in to the photobooth with me even if you didn’t want to. Thank you for getting into my car that day where it all started. Thank you for all the beautiful memories.

I’m sorry if I was impatient or paranoid. I’m sorry if I was a bit selfish. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to wait for you.

If tomorrow, we meet again, I would like to let you know that you have inspired me to be a better me. You made me braver and stronger with your Buddhist mantras. You made me smile with your dog videos. You made me love Cebu even more.

You taught me things I would treasure forever.

I told you most of these things. I thanked you a lot for them too. I just hope that I would’ve told you I am lucky I met you and that I loved you and I miss you.

Go get them, Tiger!

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Time for Solitude

One thing I realized as I started working away from home is that I actually liked and appreciated being A-L-O-N-E.

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You know when you watch these coming of age movies and see this independent protagonist, who btw, also happens to be an outcast loser weave his way through the cafeteria only to be judged and mocked by all these other kids who are so full of themselves, and you think, “why wasn’t I as brave as this kid when I was in elementary (or HS even)?” Some would ask, “Why am I not still brave enough now that I’m freakin’ turning 100?”. Wehhh OA!

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I wasn’t an outcast loser back when I used to wear my checkered uniform, but I also wasn’t the popular kid, and I have to say, back then, I dreaded being alone.

I couldn’t go down to our school canteen without anyone to accompany me. I feared not having anyone to talk to on the way to our school gymnasium for first Friday masses with the entire school. Heck, I even feared going to the restroom alone, but for way scarier reasons, if you know what I mean! πŸ˜›

Like most people, I grew up caring so much about what others thought about me. I guess, it’s part of growing up. You have to look good, smell nice. You have to do well in class. You have to have Jansport backpacks. CHOS! And most importantly, you can’t be seen alone, because people will feel sorry for you. WRONG!!!!

I used to hate being alone, but no so much anymore.

When I broke up with my ex, it felt weird to be shopping alone or eating alone, but it wouldn’t take long before I got used to the feeling. I started feeling comfortable doing things on my own. I carried my gigantic bags. I sit in coffee shops alone. I go to church alone (although my eyes still well up at the sight of families holding hands and kissing in church). I even go on roadtrips alone!

I started enjoying the feeling of being able to go wherever because you don’t have to consider what your companion has in mind. All decisions are up to you. It doesn’t matter if you change your mind faster than you blink your eyes, you have no one else to blame but yourself, and it’s okay!

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I like being alone on most days. In fact, I enjoy being alone. It’s a breath of fresh air. It makes you think out loud, yet it also silences the mind. You get to clear your head, talk to God, be mindful of the beautiful things that you have taken for granted.

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You also get to be grateful for the chance to have time all to yourself. It’s time that can never be lived again. It’s time that you will crave for on chaotic days. It’s your escape on negativity. It’s your time to rest and set everything aside. It’s your time to spread your wings on top of a hill while feeling the breeze through your hair without caring what other people also on the same hill think about you. πŸ˜› Life doesn’t get any better than that, so cherish every moment that you’re alone. It’s a blessing in disguise.

Time alone also made me realize all thaaaaat! O diba? May kagandahan sa pag-e-emote! πŸ˜›

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With all these goodness spilling over from having that well-needed solitude, I am slowly learning to stop caring about what other people think of me. I can never have control over that. I try to focus instead on what God thinks of me, which is waaay more important than what anyone else thinks of me.

Plus, I also got to take lots of photos in my me-time!

 

xoxo,

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