August Break 2016 | day 9

Okay, I skipped a day because nothing was left of what I was supposed to take a photo of for day 8 – “favorite taste”. It was too late when I realized it. All that was left was the wrapper. At least I know for sure that it was indeed my favorite taste in the world. 😛

Good thing though, this photo challenge isn’t strict with their rules, so I’m thinking of posting something for the said prompt some other time. Like I said, I didn’t want to feel pressured into doing this challenge. It was meant to be fun and so far, it has been fun.

Anyway, today’s prompt is RED and here’s one of my favorite cameras that was refurbished by the previous owner.

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Life Lately / 5

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I can’t believe 2015’s over in just a few hours. It’s been a scary, depressing but amazing year for me and I wouldn’t have been able to make it through without the people who helped me and the exciting new things I’ve got to try!

For this Life Lately entry, I’m listing down the things, experiences and people I’m really, really, really grateful for in 2015.

  • THINGS:
    • Film Cameras: This year, I’ve added a few more cameras to my collection, all of which I’ve used except for the Minolta weathermatic camera. So If I remember everything correctly, I got:
      • Yashica Electro 35G rangefinder in sexy red 🙂
      • Polaroid Land Camera 230 which is the most old school camera I’ve ever held in my hands in this lifetime
      • Olympus AM-100 Point and Shoot – didn’t think I’d enjoy using one!
      • Minolta Weathermatic underwater camera
      • Yashicaflex TLR – still trying to figure out which one it isIMG_20151204_220732
      • Olympus Pen EE-S – a half frame camera I never thought I’ll ever find IMG_20151219_152911
    • I also got myself a cheap film scanner. It’s not the best but it has been quite useful.
    • I’m also grateful to finally have started investing for my own life insurance. I would never have been confident in getting one without my former colleague’s help, Ma’am Donna and of course, my sister.
    • Adult coloring books and my own Daykeeper. Not so long ago, I saw a bunch of these adult coloring books online and I’ve been curious since it was on the bestselling list of the Book Depository, so when the fad finally arrived in the RPH, I jumped into the bandwagon, hoping to de-stress and unwind. My officemates also got me another one, coz my wrinkles might have given me away. 😛 Kidding aside, it was very thoughtful of them. I also got my own Daykeeper. Last year, I didn’t get to order in time so I made sure I ordered extra early this year!
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    • Hammock – How could I not be thankful for these cheap hammocks we got in Taytay? I could stay behind our house for hours just looking at the stars at night on these precious little hammocks. 000027
  • TRAVELS/EXPERIENCES:
    • This year, I got to travel more with my family and some friends and first time with B. To be honest, I would never have been able to do so when I was working in the hospital so I have to say, my current job really has its perks.
      • To start things off, this is not exactly far from us since we’re from Rizal, but my family visited the beautiful Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. My father got the idea from my sister who just went there with her then boyfriend the day before. LOL. We had an amazing time. My heart exploded having seen so many lovely works of art in one place in 2 hours. I didn’t want to go home, but I’m glad it’s so near, I could go back when I want to, and also I need to make sure that my films are properly loaded! 10974402_10206310924117774_833056609924935684_o
      • We went to Pagudpud for the first time and visited a few of the landmarks in the region that we haven’t been to yet:
      • We stayed at the farthest resort in Pagudpud, Pannzian and it was magnificent. The food was great and the place is relaxing. There was no WIFI, no cell service and no TVs, so it was just us and the beach!PIC20150515220112
  • We also got to try the Sand Dune activities in Paoay for the first time! It was unforgettable! 000027
    • We also visited Cape Bojeador and got to try fresh seafood streetfood. I still cannot forget getting a piece of fresh grilled squid for P10. No wonder everyone’s stopping by the road to try them and the rest of their seafood choices. They were dirt cheap, but super fresh and yummy! I’d go back to Ilocos just to hoard these! 000011
  • In May, my sister planned another trip up north, to Bagac, Bataan. It was another first for our family and we got to stay at the beautiful Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. The moment we got there, I can’t express how we were so in awe of the reconstructed ancient houses in the whole resort. Even the hotel rooms looked as if they were literally transported from the past. It’s definitely one place I want to visit again, especially in Summer.11222305_10152807686751895_8834770626067608159_n
  • Also in May, my officemates and I went on a quick weekend getaway to Laiya, Batangas and I’m glad B was able to come with me. It was our first trip together and I was very happy it turned out pretty amazing. We stayed at the beautiful Blue Coral Resort000024
  • In June, B and I got to watch the UP Samaskom’s LIVE AIDS. I have to say it was one of the craziest and funniest shows I’ve seen in my life and we’re lucky because it was their 30th year and the it was directed by Tuesday Vargas herself!
  • B and I also got to visit UP’s Chocolate Kiss Cafe twice this year and these were 2 of our most memorable dates. 🙂 new000034
  • We also got to visit the beautiful Monasterio de Tarlac which is situated in one of the mountains in San Jose, Tarlac. We also squeezed in a bit of biking with our parents in the equally peaceful Tarlac Recreational Park before capping the night off at a karting place called KCT nearby. Did I also say that this was back in my birthday? image-9c0643ac995f80d759e09cd354f04222339391237d049ef3d3d49490a60776ba-V-01image-a791d6fe0d19bfff9d8524201f7f939b138041b024c7ca6e006719a86f7792a3-V-01
  • A few days after, we had a chance to visit Padre Pio’s shrine in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The place was flocked by so many devotees and I’m glad to be part of that, being a devotee myself. new000025
  • Just a few days ago, we had the chance to visit the beautiful Laresio Resort situated in the Alligator Lake itself in Laguna. I’m really thankful it turned out well since it was a vacation that we, the kids, planned for our whole little clan. We got to try their resort attractions like their giant slides, vine swing, cliff diving and kayaking. It was also our first trip with my tito’s girlfriend whom he got back together with, years after it didn’t work out (I assume) between them when they were in college. Isn’t that crazy beautiful? image-a72c966c7092288cc66fb1ee3e20f7f3e1128dfa67cb431f583f24c41dcfa807-V-01
  • To cap things off this year, we got to drive around Clark, Pampanga and do a bit of shopping before finally ending the day back in KCT, this time with our brother. It was so nice to be back! FB_IMG_1451411875760-01
  • PEOPLE:
    • Lastly, above all of these, what I’m more grateful for are the people I’ve shared these moments with, this year. Without them, I don’t really know where I’d be now:
      • My family – They’ll always be the one I would want to come home to, travel with and spend amazing quality time with. They’re forever going to be the people I’ll love unconditionally. I’ll always be thankful for them for the strength, faith, love and profound happiness in my life right now.image-7d0f997e861b12b0d4cea667952fc51ac228c04f8eb68e4e613cf344cc2f9e72-V-01
      • Brianne – He’s beyond the best friend and partner I never imagined I could have. Apart from my family, he’s one of the reasons why I have never given up on life, no matter how ugly it has been. He’s been with me through the most trying times and through my worst days and he has seen the worst version of me. Thank you for holding on.
      • A few of my friends – I’m really grateful for those who stuck with me. I’m a mess and I’m to blame for losing the ones I’ve had, but I never thought that there’d be people who would stay despite my personal issues and I want to thank you all for that. Thank you for listening and just for making me feel that I’m not alone. I specifically want to thank 4 of them, Joey, Juci, Ina and Ma’am Donna for taking me out this year. Having spent time with you all was a breath of fresh air!
      • I’m also grateful for my officemates who have been really helpful and thoughtful and for making me laugh from time to time. Life in the office (and the constant changes in the office) wouldn’t have been bearable without them.
      • I’m also thankful for manang. She has been my dinner mate for the past year and we’ve been bonding over a lot of telenovelas, even though she’s a Kapuso and I’m a Kapamilya. 😛

This year has been really ugly, but looking at the bright side, I didn’t think it would be this beautiful still. Looking back at all of these things, it truly is a miracle that I have so many reasons to feel grateful for.

I’ve been through the worst this year and I don’t think I could ever go this low in life, but despite all these, never have I felt abandoned by God, not once. Even at the brink of giving up, I felt Him there and He always gave me a reason to hold on. So thank you Lord, for 2015. It was the most meaningful year yet and even though I’ve never been the best me this year, I hope I could make it right someday.

Here’s to another beautiful year!

P.S. I’m also thankful for:

seeing this:image-cfaed3c45744dd13dfb8b195d5a877453391d4daeea190f7139ab4255e59f08a-V-01

and this:

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I’m being patient, am I not?

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I was looking for a good article to read on patience and why it is recognized as a virtue. The second one I came across online was this article on Christianity TodayIt’s pretty long and seeing that it comes in 7 pages/parts, I’m thinking of skipping the middle and just read the beginning and the end. Ooops! You’re probably going to think, why the heck am I even writing an entry on patience then?

Well, you’ll know. Just be patient. 😛

I like how they defined patience. It says that patience is enduring discomfort without complaint. Easy enough, but I reckon, it takes a lot of that endurance and self control/discipline to ever be patient in this lifetime.

Then they enumerated 3 types of impatience or patience, whichever way you want to look at it:

  1. when facing a nuisance
  2. when bored
  3. when facing great difficulty (physically or psychologically)
  4. when waiting for something important to come or simply waiting for something to happen

The fourth one, I thought I’d add because there are things we’re impatient about that don’t necessarily fall in any of the first 3 categories.

So lately, I’ve been really observing and trying to see how I’ve been or not been patient in certain circumstances in my life. I’ve been dealing with all 4 types (of things that make me go oh crazy impatient) every day, and sometimes, it bugs me when I or the people around me just lose it. I really hate it when my father loses patience when driving, but who can blame him when traffic has become a major, major issue in the metro today, and that’s even way before Christmas season came.

Then there’s the fact that I see life as a race and it doesn’t help that I often feel tired thinking and waiting for something to happen in my life, when I obviously am not doing anything about it. I also have been praying for something for the longest time now and I don’t know if God will ever grant it. So, you see, my patience has been tested countless times. There are even things I won’t even tell people and sometimes, it hurts to think that we can’t always get what we want, but knowing that something else must probably have been laid for us makes me hopeful still.

So apart from the really petty things like waiting for an online seller or a resort staff to respond (which can be completely irritating and terrifying at the same time) to my inquiries and requests for updates, there are far scarier and greater things I often lose patience with.

One thing I learned from all of these is that although, it may take great self-control for you to not lose yourself in all the things you’ve been waiting or praying for, it also helps (a lot) that you never lose sight of God and your faith, and to not blame or question God no matter what, because in the end, you’ll realize that through all the pain and trials, He never let go of your hand, not once, not even when you thought He did. I can attest to that!

I know this may be more than just about patience but I’d like to believe how it correlates to faith. I know I’m not the person to speak of these things, but in my own sufferings, I’ve learned to wait with great endurance and with better faith (I think) and to appreciate that God’s timing is truly the right timing.

P.S. After a whole lot of waiting (and a bit of prodding, if you can call it that) and of course with teeny bit of panic, I have heard back from the seller and the resort staff. It wasn’t the best and smoothest transactions I’ve dealt with, but I couldn’t thank God for never making me lose temper. I could easily have thrown ^#$%@^&@ at them, but they did get back to me and I’m thankful for that. I guess, it never hurts to always wait a few more before really losing it and I was really hoping I don’t ruin it for everyone in my family, so I had to take an extra dose of patience.

So do all of these make sense? Did I get the answer I was looking for? Do I see patience as a virtue? Well, thinking about it, in a way, patience makes people see life in a better way, which in turn makes them do good things, at least from my point of view.

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

Film Forever

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On the 5th of May, I will be celebrating my very first, real, film camera’s first birthday. It was such a whirlwind romance between us and now, I can’t imagine my life without it. I never felt so in love with film as much as I am now.

To date, I added 2 more analogue cameras to my collection, maintained a film blog, traveled with the analogue babies and followed and got to know local and foreign film photographers.

Throughout the year that has passed, I’ve learned to love the bittersweet feeling one gets when shooting film. Some photos turn out nah, others look really good while some, you realize, don’t get developed/exposed at all. You’ll also start to see that you’ve learned a lot, but still have a long way to go. You learn everyday, every time you use a new film or a different camera or simply when you teach others how to do it.

You also begin to understand that it doesn’t always have to be about being hi-tech or expensive for one to see and appreciate beauty in photography. It’s not about taking hundreds of photos and hoping you get a good shot and maybe just delete the rest. It takes great patience, understanding and a whole lot of effort and figuring out your own approach in getting a photo to turn out the way you want it to. But when it doesn’t, it can be something way, way better than you have imagined. It’s very unpredictable, film. It can surprise you in a reeeeaaaally good way!

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So how and why did I get into FILM PHOTOGRAPHY?

I bought my very first film camera from a college friend. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to make it work. After getting 2 empty film rolls developed, I got very frustrated and I decided I just put it to rest.

Fast forward to a few years after graduation, a former colleague thought I would love his lomography cameras. He sold me his FISHEYE 2 and HOLGA CFN with a free 120mm film. I knew how to use a film camera. I know we used an “instamatic” film camera until I was in high school, but never have I seen a 120 film! I had to research how to load one into the Holga and to tell you honestly, it was pure joy what I felt when I did it. I was like “this is definitely not a thing of the past!”.

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I couldn’t really remember why that colleague thought I would enjoy using his cameras, but now that I think about it, I think I may have poured my heart out once about being a photographer. Also, I think assembling my own plastic toy TLR camera gave me away.

As much as I had the time of my life using these toy cameras, there came a point in my life that I wanted to take the hobby up a notch higher. So, I decided to get myself a real film camera. That’s when I joined the group, Film Photography Swap, where I got my very first real camera, a Canon Ftb QL. It is a heavy, all metal and a very good looking vintage camera. It is fully mechanical and I loved it the moment I laid my eyes on it. That was indeed, the start of my epic film adventure!

Why I got into film is a different story. At first, I just wanted my own camera. I knew I could not afford getting a DSLR as soon as I can get a film SLR so that’s what I invested on first.

I also realized early on that I never learned a thing about photography (except for taking photos with DOF) playing around with my father’s DSLR, so I thought, why not start where almost all great photographers started, with film photography? True enough, most film photographers and enthusiasts alike would say that if you want to learn the craft, you’d have to learn it the hard way. 😛

Kidding aside, I understood all the technical stuff playing around with my camera. I appreciated everything the manual had to say and also what the online photography teachers expounded on. As time went on, I appreciated the unpredictability of the end results, the great effort you put into getting a single photo, the grain, the delayed gratification and not to mention the excitement and the magical feeling you get from beginning to the end.

I often think about the fact that this camera was built in the 70’s when my parents haven’t even met each other yet. It must have been passed on to generations and must have been used to take hundreds of photos, yet it survived long enough to take photos of the modern day world. Doesn’t that sound magical?

Do I see myself going back to digital?

Digital photography will always be the go-to and less risky way to document the most special moments of our lives. That’s why it’s comfortable to use! I still take photos using my phones, and digital may never be completely shut out of my life, but for 90% of the time, I would always prefer to shoot film and rather than megapixels.

What are the two other cameras I recently bought?

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This one’s my first rangefinder. It’s a Yashica Electro 35 G. It’s an aperture-priority camera which means, once you’ve set an aperture on it, it automatically sets the shutter speed. It was customized by the previous owner, rangefinder lover and also a member of the FPS group I mentioned earlier, which explains the red leather cover of the camera body. It came with the complete and original leather case and strap, a rubber lens hood and a lens cap! Definitely a good catch! Plus, I got it in pretty mint condition!
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This one I took using the said rangefinder. Not bad, right? In the photo is the latest analogue camera I got. It’s a Polaroid Automatic 230 Land Camera. It’s very odd-looking, uses peel-apart instant film and looks very intimidating to use, but once you get the hang of it, it seems pretty less complicated than it looks.

So far though, I’ve wasted 2 film sheets because it’s mostly for bright and sunny, outdoor photography. Sometimes, the peeling of the photo causes small parts of the photos to come off as well, especially when the photos have not yet been fully developed (I think). That’s why some of my photos were damaged mildly. Other than that, everything worked smoothly, even the loading of the film which I totally forgot to review before we went on our trip.

Any favorite photos to date?

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I have a few more, but these are definitely climbing up the charts!

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