Look back

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My first experience with a camera was with my Mom’s old Canon powershot point and shoot film camera. I was in first year high school. We went on a retreat in Batangas, and I bought two rolls of film for the event. Our recollection was a three-day, two-night affair, but I ran out of film on day 2 because I took photos of everything I thought was interesting. When I got back home and had the film processed, I wasn’t entirely happy with my shots. Most of them were blurry, poorly composed and weren’t as presentable as I wanted them to be.

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My Mom’s Canon Sure Shot Zoom-S

From then on, I would always bug my mom to let me use her camera, and buy me film whenever we had field trips so I could continue taking photographs. I would skip lunch just to have enough money to have the canisters processed. It was a very expensive hobby for me then. Film processing was expensive. Printing each blurry and poorly composed shot was also expensive. I only had a 40 peso allowance. So I decided to give photography up for more manageable hobbies, like Magic and Pokemon cards.

My Pokemon Trading Card Game Collection

In 2003, my parents thought it was time to have my mom’s old Canon to retire. We went into Abensons appliance center in Harrison Plaza and went out with a Sony Cybershot digicam. By this time, I wasn’t as interested in photography as I was before. I only used that digicam for thesis and for group projects that needed videos.

My first digicam. A Sony Cybershot 5.1 Megapixel camera.

My first digicam. A Sony Cybershot 5.1 Megapixel camera.

Fast forward to 2009, I was working at a call center. My boss was an avid photographer. Working with him and seeing him post-process his shots on the computer every day, slowly reawakened my passion for photography. I realized that I was now living at a time where there is virtually no cost to taking photographs. You could take as many shots as you want, view it on the computer, and delete the blurry ones after. Since I didn’t have that enough money to buy a DSLR like my boss’, I settled for that now-old Sony Digicam.

As I read and reread its user manual, my shutter finger began to itch. I found that it had two aperture levels, F/2.8 and F/5.6. I shot everything, and I mean everything: the street in front of the house, plants, flowers, our dog, clocks, ants, and flies. Anything that I thought would look good inside a frame, I photographed. I joined several photography forums and ogled at their amazing photos. I also read the harsh comments that accompanied them. I tried to apply those criticisms to my own photos. After a few weeks, I saved enough money to buy a secondhand Nikon D40 from my friend. Holding that camera for the first time was one of the happiest days of my life.

Fast forward to 2013. My lolo gave me his old Nikon film camera a few days before he died. It felt something like a parting gift, a memento of some sort. A gift that bridged his generation to mine. I thought of that camera as that single photography lesson that my lolo (who I didn’t know until a couple of years ago, was also a photographer) was trying to teach me. While on a photowalk with friends, I started to think of what that lesson was. I didn’t really give it much thought as I happily hear the sound of single lens reflex mirror go up and down as I shot a foreigner resting after taking a swim in the dirty Manila Bay. At the end of our walk, I was happy to have tried out his camera and to have bonded with my friends throughout the day. But as I sat in the bus on the way home, I felt incomplete in such a way that I didn’t fully understand what my Lolo is trying to teach me.

My Lolo's Old Nikon F3

My Lolo’s Old Nikon F3

Tattoed Foreigner admiring the view of Manila Bay

Tattoed Foreigner admiring the view of Manila Bay

Nikon F3 + 24mm F/2.8

Nikon F3 + 24mm F/2.8

Several days (and six film rolls) later, I went to Hidalgo with a friend to have the film processed and scanned. I couldn’t wait to get home and see the photos, so I borrowed my friend’s netbook while we were eating dumplings at a place nearby to view the scans. Right then and there, I had an epiphany.

Nikon F3 + Kodak Gold ISO 100 Expired Film

Nikon F3 + Kodak Gold ISO 100 Expired Film

    I realized, Lolo wanted me to relearn my basics. He wanted me to revisit the days I first held a camera, and feel the joy I felt then. He wanted me to learn the techniques he used in his time by lending me his 25-year-old camera. He wanted me to learn how to manually focus in low light and fast situations. He wanted me to experience the excitement of waiting several days later before I could see my shots at the processing center. He wanted me to experience the pain of seeing a shot that could have gone well but was destroyed by the silly mistake of opening the back cover and exposing the light-sensitive film to the sun. He wanted me to feel the joy of owning a couple of lenses that I wouldn’t be able to afford. He wanted me to experience the ecstasy of capturing a moment, and storing it in a little canister made of cellulose in my pocket.

Light leak

Light leak

Blurry shot

Blurry shot

But I believe that this is not the only lesson he is trying to impart. There is so much more for me to learn, so many failures and hardships I need to experience, before I can take my photography to the next level. I will take them on, one film canister at a time. For I know that somewhere up there, Lolo is teaching me what he taught himself before I was born. I am looking forward to that day when we will be able to sit down under a tree with our cameras hung from our shoulders, showing each other photos that we took and sharing the stories behind them. My last article as photo editor of MedDyaryo is for you. I love you, Lolo.

Nikon F3 + 24mm F/2.8 This one is for you, Lolo.

Nikon F3 + 24mm F/2.8
This one is for you, Lolo.

Capt. Leonardo Dalida. He who thinks of his family first, then himself last.

Capt. Leonardo Dalida. He who thinks of his family first, then himself last.

 

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First Humble Attempt at Food Photography

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A couple of months back, my best friend and study buddy, Arik, invited us to visit and to do food photography for their café and restaurant in Batangas. Syempre, I got excited because I get to travel and eat! But to be honest, I got a little nervous. I tried shooting food at one point in my life but I wasn’t entirely happy with the result.

I realized then that it takes more than correct camera settings and proper lighting to get mouth-watering food shots. It takes skill to cook even just a simple pancake to perfection. From frying pan into the studio, the work isn’t done yet. It takes an artist’s eye to arrange the food in a way that it’ll both look beautiful and mouth-watering. At that time, I didn’t think I was ready.

A couple of years have passed, I had my fair share of experience shooting events like weddings, birthday parties, and sports but still had little experience on food photography (except maybe for that shoot that I did for Café Noriter). This made me feel uneasy, so days before we headed to Batangas for the shoot, I looked up several food photos online and my former Photo editor’s facebook page. I tried to see how they arranged the food, how they picked the accessories, the complementing  colors. (This still baffles me up to the present, I can’t seem to get it. Boys will be boys I guess) When I felt I was ready, I closed my computer and went to sleep for next day’s shoot.

Cafe Florenel Food Photog 7

Florenel Café and Restaurant is located in Brgy. San Felipe, Cuenca, Batangas, around an hour and a half drive from Manila. It is named “Florenel” because it is the brainchild of good friends, Ms. Florence Marquez and Tita Nelia Abu. The idea came to them one day while they were having coffee in Tagaytay. Entering Florenel Café and Restaurant gives you a feel like it’s an extension of one’s own home. The seats and tables are made from environmentally sustainable lumber. The place also has a lot of windows, allowing plenty of ambient light get inside. The restaurant/café also features an abundance of electricity plugs and will soon offer wi-fi internet connection to cater to guest’s electronic needs. The place is perfect for studying for that important exam, holding business meetings and family gatherings.

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Tita Nelia Abu

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We arrived at the place at around 9 in the morning. Since it was still early, I got their famous Batangas “barako” coffee made from the finest Liberica coffee bean plantations in Lipa city, and Tsokolate Ala-Eh. The latter is a Filipino  version of hot chocolate, made from Florenel Café’s unique blend of Tablea chocolate.

(Tip: If you have sweet tooth, I suggest pairing their Tsokolate Ala-Eh with their homemade chocolate cupcakes!)

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Home made Chocolate Cupcake with Tsokolate Ala Eh.

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“Barako” Coffee

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They also serve Filipino “-silog” favorites like Tapa, Tocino and Bangus.

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Tocino, Sinangag at Itlog

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Piniritong Bangus, Sinangag at Itlg

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Tapang Batangas, Sinangag at Itlog.

If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, I would suggest you try their Bacon Waffle. The mix of salty and sweet is just exceptional!

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Bacon Waffle.

As an appetizer, I recommend their take on the classic Mushroom Soup!

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Classic Mushroom Soup

For the main course, I HIGHLY recommend one of their best sellers, Crispy Pata. It is priced at roughly 300 pesos, and can satisfy four (4) people at most.

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Crispy Pata

What they would do is to slowly boil the meat with a blend of their own secret ingredients, then they bake it inside an oven till it’s half cooked then put it in the freezer, then quickly deep fry it. This results in a unique mix of crispiness on the outside, soft and tender meat on the inside. This would go very well with any of their shakes.

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Like my mom, I have this certain fondness for anything pancit. So when Arik had us try their Pancit Lang-Lang, all I can say is: Sobrang sarapFeeling ko humaba na ang buhay ko!

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Pancit Lang-Lang

Next up, dessert! Florenel Café and Restaurant offers a variety of sweets. My personal favorites are the Strawberry shake, Decadent Chocolate  Cake and their Turon de Saba with Mango Salsa.

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Strawberry Shake

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Decadent Chocolate Cake.

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Turon de Saba with Mango Salsa.

For me, what Florenel Café and Restaurant offers that other coffee shops don’t is their value for money. I mean, quality coffee at 30 pesos? Meals that look and tast like the ones they serve in hotels for half their price? Business owners who personally make sure that their customers are having a great time? I am a big fan!

Credits:
Special thanks to Jessy Go, Dianne Poblete, Ian Meru, and Arik Abu for helping me with this photoshoot.

Cafe Florenel Food Photog 9-35

Twelve photos that defined my 2012.

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These photos might not be the best ones I took for the year, but these are the photos that stood out for me

1. January of 2012, with the goal of sharing my thoughts, words and photos, I decided to launch this blog. One of my first few entries was about the UFL Opening. I don’t know if it was the bevy of beautiful dancers or the presence of the azkals but that particular post garnered 15,150 hits in a day. (I hope Aly returns to form soon. He is one of my favorite azkals)

More photos of the UFL 2012 Opening Ceremonies here: https://shutterbugfritz.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/united-football-league-2012-opening-ceremonies-phil-airforce-fc-vs-kaya-cignal-fc-photos-2/

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2. When Sendong hit the country, the Philippine Football Community quickly got into its feet to help those who weren’t so lucky. They organized a charity match between the Azkals and CFIM. One particular photo that stood out for me was the one where various football officials did ceremonial free kicks with one of them had their shoes leaving their feet.

More photos can be seen here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.323298517691434.75927.172954179392536&type=3

3. This was my first time to document Tondo’s Self Flagellation event. This particular event really opened my eyes on how other people can take their faith to the next level (Also opened my eyes how unhygienic the process was and how they are exposing themselves to serious diseases by doing so).

More Photos can be seen here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.379990008688951.86544.172954179392536&type=3

34. I helped deliver 4 healthy Shi Tzu pups! I actually tried preparing for the delivery by reading online and watching youtube videos. I guessed it worked naman. All the puppies were alive and healthy.

75. This year also marked my entry into the Marathon/Running world. Out of all the marathons I covered, Outbreak Manila stood out because of their unique concept. I am proud to be one of the pioneer photographers to cover this event.

Read more about my Outbreak Experience here https://shutterbugfritz.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/outbreak-manila-from-a-photographers-pov/

46. The LaSallian Teambuilding 2012. Time together with friends on an epic beach getaway! Not to mention, this was my first time to kayak and ride a banana boat!

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7. Mount Batulao, the first mountain I ever conquered! (Though I think I was the reason why our group had such a slow pace).

Read more about my Mt. Batulao adventure here: https://shutterbugfritz.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/mt-batulao-my-first-climb/

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8. First time to decently cover a basketball game. Believe it or not, This year marked the first time I ever covered a UAAP basketball game. I had covered it in the past but I had to buy patron tickets just to have access to the lower parts of the court. It was quite an experience! Hoping to cover more basketball come 2013!

More Photos here: https://shutterbugfritz.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/uaap-season-75-dlsu-green-archers-routs-ue-red-warriors/

119. The Philippines wins the Long Teng Cup!

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10. Became an official AFF Suzuki Cup Photographer! I felt like I was getting closer to one of my dreams, to become one of the best sports photographers in the world.

AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 Presscon 32-43

11. This year also marked the Centennial years of both my alma maters, Paco Catholic School and De La Salle University! This particular photo is the most daring one I ever took. “Buwis Buhay” as some of my colleagues said, because I had to get to the slippery part of the roof with no railings whatsoever just to get this particular shot.

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12. I began working as a sports photographer for various TV/Newspaper/Online organizations. Well, it’s not really work when you enjoy doing it, right?

11132012_uflcup-11142012_GreenArcher-Stallion_FGD--DSC_0348Of course, there were also some moments who did not make it to my list of 12 but I felt the need to include them here anyway. So here are my Honorable Mentions!

1. This photo became my first ever full page advertisement for Smart Communications!

AFF Suzuki Cup Azkals vs Lions 36-60430789_4134128198865_321448964_n2. Started playing tennis this year! 😀 Hopefully, I will be able to buy my own racquet and tennis shoes next year!

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I certainly enjoyed 2012. I am looking forward to 2013!

Reasons why YOU should visit Sagada

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Writer’s note: This was originally posted in my Multiply page a couple of years ago. When I learned that Multiply will be closing down the blogs part of their website, this album was the first thing that I backed up. Looking back at all these photos brought back good times spent with friends, nature and my camera. I hope you enjoy the following entry as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Original entry can be found here:

http://fwitz.multiply.com/photos/album/179/Reasons-why-YOU-should-visit-Sagada

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Our Photo group went to Sagada last May 22-25, 2010 😀

It was our much needed break from all the stress from school and stuff.

May 22, around 10:00 pm
We met up at DLSU Mcdo (Late si andrew so he had to take our start photo haha)

May 23, around 1-2ish
Naflatan kami ng gulong haha, and stop over at a gas station for a much needed stretch of legs and munch!

around 4am
We arrived at Baguio, nagpavulcanize ng gulong :))

around 5:30 to 6-ish
Napapansin na namin na sumisikat na ang araw. We stopped by at one of the curves sa road to take some photos! 😀 si Jenner, nagsastart na kumontours :))

Sagada-TLS-Photo-32Around 10ish
We arrived at Sagada, sobrang lamig, i had to wear a jacket over my tshirt. I cant do that in Manila.

We went to Salt and Pepper Diner for our breakfast, ordered longsilog (which was pretty delicious compared to the ones served in manila) and hot chocolate.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-84Sagada-TLS-Photo-82
Around 12ish, we went to check in at our room at George’s Guest house.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-86Syempre, there was 5 of us, we cant fit inside a single room, so they had us take the penthouse room instead. the room was large and comfortable, the wash room is clean, there is a water heated shower, kasi sobrang lamig sa Sagada pagdating ng gabi. there is this small TV na di naman namin nagamit. When you step outside the room, the view is quite out of the ordinary

So there, kahit wala pa kami maayos na tulog, we decided to start the festivities by visiting Ganduyan Museum.

Nung una pagakyat namin, we just removed our shoes and looked around all the antiques and relics representing the native of the town. photographers as we are, we cant contain ourselves from documenting the place, lo and behold, lumabas ung owner ng museum, told us bawal pala… she said if we had the time, she can tell us everything about her collections. since wala naman muna talaga sa plano namin ung museum, we politely said na tomorrow na lang kami babalik as we have other plans for the day

Ok so with our guide, Kuya James, Nag trek na kami papunta dun sa hanging coffins. we were first treated by this awesome view of a walk way with pine trees on both sides.

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As we walk, the trail starts to incline. when we reached the top, medyo na surprise kami kasi dun sa tuktok nung kinlimb namin na mountain were several graves.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-134Kuya James, pointed to us this one particular tombstone that had Japanese markings on them. He told us that this is the grave of the infamous Yamashita (the one in Yamashita’s treasure).

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So aun, after the cemetery atop the mountain, Kuya James, led us to several steep paths papunta dun sa hanging coffins. Sobrang steep sya, so we had to watch our footing. Since we had a lot of our gears with us, its not that easy (Jenner had around 7 kilos worth of photo gears with him).

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But when we got there, it was all worth it… as we look up to the sides of this huge rock, there’s a dozen coffins, just hanging there.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-160Sagada-TLS-Photo-172The Place is also known as Echo valley. Valley means inbetween two mountains, and echo kasi when you shout, talagang maririning mo ung echo, na parang sa cartoons or sa movies.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-163Being as near to the coffins as possible, i noticed na maraming intricate carvings of lizards sa mga coffins.

The Curious person that I am, I asked Kuya James about what they are and what it signifies.

He told us that the graves here are graves of Igorots and in their belief, the lizard protects them from harm, brings good life and prosperity. Lizards in the coffins also signifies na the Lizards will guide the dead to the after life.
Kuya James also told us that the mountains protects the hanging coffins from storms and strong winds.
Sagada-TLS-Photo-223At this point, I started to admire and respect the culture of the Igorots.

Next on our Agenda was Sumaguing Cave. Kuya James told us na isa ito sa mga pinakamalaking underground caves in the Philippines. He also told us that there is 2 entrances to the cave, and he will be taking us to the entrance where they have another set of coffins.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-198The view is breath taking… I’ve never been so afraid and amazed at the same time. Afraid, kasi one wrong step, and you can fall 300 feet to the abyss. amazed, kasi sobrang ganda ng structure.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-211Sagada-TLS-Photo-217Since we had a lot of gears with us, Kuya James didnt recommend na bumaba na agad kami sa cave at that entrance, since sobrang hirap na daw bumaba dun without gears.

so we went to the other entrance.

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I stopped counting the steps at around 200ish dahil sa sobrang pagod.

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after around 10-15 minutes of descending down the seemingly never ending stairs, we were greeted by the mouth of the cave.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-279In reality, the cave was pretty dark, so i had to adjust my camera settings for a better view of the insides of the cave

Sagada-TLS-Photo-280Now the next 2 hours, we spent on hiking down the cave. Kuya james told us that there are 3 phases from where we entered.

Phase 1

Sagada-TLS-Photo-282this was supposed to be the easiest part of the cave. True, it was easy but the descent was long, you gotta have endurance the size of a whale just to get to the 2nd phase.

Kuya james told us that we are near the 2nd phase when he showed us ung rock fomation na tinatawag nila na “elephant” and “pigpen”. (sorry no photos, i stumbled and came in contact with bat poop and cant hold the camera)

Phase 2

Sagada-TLS-Photo-284This phase of the descent mostly consists of Slippery cold boulders the size of dinosaurs. medyo mahirap na dito kasi ang taas ng pinanggalingan namin, at madulas na ung path. On some parts, kailangan mo magpadulas para makapunta ka dun sa next stepping stone, which is kinda scary kasi you’ll have to lose control of your footing temporarily.

This phase is marked by rock formations named by the “Turtle”, “the King” etc.

Wag nyo na tanungin sa kin bakit ganun names nila, medyo bastos eh haha!!

Sagada-TLS-Photo-302Bago tayo pumunta sa Phase 3, eto pala si kuya james, ung tour guide namin, patiently watching and guarding us as we document our descent 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-298Phase 3

Now unto phase 3, at this point, Jenner told me that we are basically around 300+ feet above our point of entrance.

At this point of the travel, you’ll get submerged in knee deep water. We needed to be extra careful as there are sink holes scattered around. Sabi ni kuya James, pag nahulog ka daw dun, sigurado you’ll end up somewhere else deep in the cave.

So after trekiing the dangerous waters, we were greeted by some more rock formations.

This one is called the King’s curtain
Sagada-TLS-Photo-303Sagada-TLS-Photo-304Oh did i forget to tell you, na the temperature inside the cave is around 20ish below degrees celsius? at this point of the cave, i can see my breath turning to white smoke. my skin emits white smoke din dahil sa sobrang lamig.

So after resting for a bit, we went up na. the trip back took us around 2 and a half hours. I even cramped before the start of the 200+ ish stairs.

So eventually we reached our room 😀 after a quick wash, we went to Yoghurt House for Dinner

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I ordered a bowl of spaghetti and Chicken and their famous yoghurt na SOOOOBRANG sarap!! Nagaagaw ung sweetness nung sugar and yung sourness ng yoghurt! mahirap sya iexplain! basta masarap!!

Sagada-TLS-Photo-313So this basically marks the end of Day 1 😀 grabe, ang dami naming nagawa despite having no decent sleep and rest :))

Day 2.

First Agenda of this day is to capture the rising sun 😀

After asking around, they told us that the best place to capture it atop Mt. Kiltepan.

being tired from the previous day’s trip and cave adventure, we kinda woke up late :)) buti na lang pwede mag drive paakyat dun sa taas ng Mt. Kiltepan.
Sagada-TLS-Photo-410Upon reaching the top, di naman kami nabigo 😀

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after several minutes, the sun decided to shine its rays on the other parts of the range na we didnt see kanina…

Sagada-TLS-Photo-396Here’s a closer view

Sagada-TLS-Photo-371After enjoying the sunset, we decided to eat at one of the most famous diners in the place, Masferre’s

You are right, it was named after Eduardo Masferre, the Father of Philippine Photography

Sagada-TLS-Photo-417He was one of the first to document the Igorot tribe and their cultures. sabi nila, up to this day, the family has taken care of his camera and photos.

So aun, having heard of this place before, i decided to order their infamous continental breakfast 😀

At di naman ako nabigo. Ang Sarap!!

Sagada-TLS-Photo-420 Sagada-TLS-Photo-423 Sagada-TLS-Photo-428After eating breakfast, we decided to visit Ganduyan Museum.

The museum displays a lot of artifacts not only by the Igorots but also of other tribes nearby.

From what i learned from Nanay Cristina, the owner of the place, the Igorots are very strict with regards to their ranking. If you are poor, you use the jars, baskets and cloth designated for the poor. if you’re rich, vice versa.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-114 Sagada-TLS-Photo-115Sagada-TLS-Photo-116Nanay Cristina also told us that Igorots are head hunters, they behead their opponents. Parang prizes nila un from the war.
Sagada-TLS-Photo-117Asides from these artifact, Nay Cristina also have vast collections of accessories (pipes, bracelets, necklaces) that were worn by the Igorots.

A drop by to her museum when you go to Sagada is definitely a MUST

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While waiting for our ride na mag dala sa min para sa sunod namin destination. I saw this jeep na may dalang mga tao. I asked around and sabi nila, if you plan to go to sagada without driving a car, youre gonna ride jeeps like this.

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Shempre gusto ko din itry ung umupo sa bubong ng jeep like this foreigner 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-430Next on the itenerary is the Pottery house. too bad, wala dun ung mga tao na nagkaclasses so all we had to ourselves are empty spin tables and several unfinished pots 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-456 Sagada-TLS-Photo-457 Sagada-TLS-Photo-462 Sagada-TLS-Photo-463Sagada-TLS-Photo-467 Sagada-TLS-Photo-479Shempre after nyan, kainan na naman 😀

We went to Cafe St Joe in St. Joseph’s Rest house for our lunch

Sagada-TLS-Photo-483 Sagada-TLS-Photo-489Mostly ung food offering nila is more on Italian, kaya nag spaghetti ulit ako, para carbo loading for our next trek 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-497Our next trek entails going to the Bomod-ok Falls. XD

Its actually 2 destinations in 1, because in order to get to the falls, we have to hike 3 hours down along these 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-521 Sagada-TLS-Photo-522We really didnt notice the time though, kasi ang daming subjects for photo 😀 Plus the view is really something. It’s like God spent 1 day, creating Sagada.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-536 Sagada-TLS-Photo-549 Sagada-TLS-Photo-594As proof, si andrew, sa sobrang pagka mangha sa view, nakalimutan tumingin sa inaapakan nya.

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So after some good 2 and a half hours of hiking down, we eventually reached the falls, which is located on the bottom of the terraces. some good 300 feet from where we started.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-633 Sagada-TLS-Photo-685 Sagada-TLS-Photo-705Indeed, it is not your ordinary swim 😀

I couldnt resist, i just had to take off my trekking shoes and submerge my feet in the water… grabe ang lamig.. para na akong nasa Spa. sobrang relaxing tapos pati ung talsik ng tubig from the falls damping thru my face and body soothed my aching muscles.

So after some time, we decided to trek back. this was actually easier than when we went up sumaguing cave kasi di na ganun ka life threatening ang path, pero sobrang layo talaga and sobrang taas ng kailangan namin akyatin. pero then again, kahit na dumaan na kami sa path na to nung papunta, the view is still unique and is very much deserve a photograph 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-724 Sagada-TLS-Photo-728after a good 2 and a half hour hike up, my legs started to cramp again, pero same as sumaguing, it cramped at the right place, ung nandun na kami sa tuktok 😀

We actually went home early. there was still sunlight when we reached our room. Being the hungry bunch that we are, we asked our companions kung san pa kami pwede kumain, ung di pa namin nakakainan. They told us na nakainan na namin pretty much ung mga established na diners in Sagada then they asked us if we are willing to try something new.

Buti na lang, we said yes!

just a minute walk down the road from the inn was a very modest looking diner named Lucky’s Shanghai Haus. upon entering, we saw several paintings of Lizards on the wall and the nice hardwood seats and table. But what really caught our attention was the price of the food. it was at least 50% cheaper than all the other diners we’ve been in.

But don’t let the price fool you!! Sobrang sarap ng pagkain, and as we ate, we were entertained by the owner of the place, Mrs. Lily Bagtang. Of all the diner na nakainan namin, this place showed us hospitality that is home. The conversations are very lively and light at napaka accomodating ni Tita. 😀

So aun, as the kwentuhans pass by, i brought up the subject about pinikpikan. Kasi when i was looking for info regarding Sagada sa internet, lagi ko nababasa ung pinikpikan na manok, pero so far sa lahat ng kinainan namin, wala nagseserve nito sa menu.

Kinuwento ko un kay Tita Lily, and guess what, she talked her husband into making one for us tomorrow for brunch 😀

so aun! naging excited naman kami kasi at least, before we leave for Manila tomorrow, kumpleto na ung trip namin. 😀

After that, we went to our room and get the much needed rest we deserve.

Day 3
We started this day by waking up early din 😀 kasi nung Day 1, nung papunta kami sa Echo Valley, we noticed this old looking church, sabi ko, it would look nice if we photograph it just before sunrise. Di naman kami nabigo.

Sagada-TLS-Photo-878 Sagada-TLS-Photo-894 Sagada-TLS-Photo-898 Sagada-TLS-Photo-917Sagada-TLS-Photo-923
Napaka solemn ng place. Tapos ung mga artifacts inside the church were carved mostly from wood which adds to the feel of the place 😀

Asides from the beauty of the church itself, madami din natural beauty outside of it 😀
flowers + dew in the early morning = 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-830 Sagada-TLS-Photo-833 Sagada-TLS-Photo-854 Sagada-TLS-Photo-860Naalala ko tuloy ung sabi dun sa isang book na nabasa ko about photography. Kahit saang place ka mapunta, as long as your eye is ready, the composition will reveal itself 😀

So aun, after taking photos of the church, we went back to the ever hospitable Tita Lily and her Lucky’s Shanghai House. We arrived just in time, her husband is just about to start cooking our Pinikpikan 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-970 Sagada-TLS-Photo-1054 Sagada-TLS-Photo-1061After learning from Kuya Gerald na there were some establishments making pinikpikan, most of them arent really Igorots (From Kuya’s story, the pinikpikan made by other establishments arent really the true Sagadan Pinikpikan since it wasnt made by an Igorot). In this case, Tita Lily’s husband is of Igorot descent 😀

Now for the Taste Test!

Sagada-TLS-Photo-1119Tita Lily served us 2 dishes, dinuguan na manok ala Sagada and Pinikpikan na manok. The photo above is dinuguan na manok, my friend Andrew Pamorada has a much better photo of pinikpikan, you can check out his site at laboh.multiply.com

So for the verdict, Ang sarap! naghahalo ung lasa ng sabaw ng manok dun sa inihaw na meat, plus ung lasa nung smoked meat na hinalo nila. it is certainly a feast for the senses 😀 add to that the hospitality of the owner and her very accomodating family, Lucky’s Shanghai House is now officially The LaSallian Photographers 2nd home in Sagada 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-1131Thank you Tita Lily and family 😀

Shempre pwede ba matapos ang Sagada na wala ang Sleepix? :))
Of course ang biktima namin eh ung neophyte ng group! haha Introducing Mr. Joseph Oropel!

Sagada-TLS-Photo-1103At syempre dapat may close up!

Sagada-TLS-Photo-1104Haha!!

So there, we said our good byes to Sagada and went on home! 😀

Kami naman ni Jenner ang nag bonding timezz sa van, talking about a whole range of stuff starting from our courses up to the environment, even touching on topics like religion 😀

Sa sarap ng kwentuhan di na namin napansin na we were about to pass the Philippine Highway’s Highest Point: Mt. Pali

So we stopped for a bit and took photos 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-1160 Sagada-TLS-Photo-1165 Sagada-TLS-Photo-1163Last photo is our photo chief, JDJ haha!! Ozzom face!! 😀

We also stopped over at baguio to shop for pasalubong like choco flakes and strawberries for my families… at syempre bumili din ako ng Uber sized Oranges for my mom 😀

Sagada-TLS-Photo-1217So there, if you are a budding photographer or a seasoned professional or even just a wandering tourist, these are the reasons why you should visit Sagada!

After learning from Kuya Gerald na there were some establishments making pinikpikan, most of them arent really Igorots (From Kuya’s story, the pinikpikan made by other establishments arent really the true Sagadan Pinikpikan since it wasnt made by an Igorot). In this case, Tita Lily’s husband is of Igorot descent 😀

Now for the Taste Test!

UAAP Season 75: DLSU Green Archers Routs UE Red Warriors!

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La Salle dominated UE Red Warriors, 73-52

Jeron Teng – 16 points 10 Rebounds
Norbert Torres – 10 points 11 Rebounds

UAAP Season 75: UST escapes DLSU in double overtime!

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Jeron and the DLSU green archers suffered its third loss this season as it succumbs to his older brother Jeric and the UST Growling tigers.

P.S.
Its been 2 months since I last held my camera. I MISSED TAKING PHOTOS!

 

Mt. Batulao : My First Climb

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Mount Apo (2008).

A couple of years ago, I made a bucket of list of things to do before I die. It included things as simple as reading at least 40 novels, to something as extreme as skydiving. This one item I put in, came to me while I was in Davao. When me and Sai, my girlfriend, went around the city to do some sightseeing, I saw the grand Mt. Apo. That moment, I told myself, I’m going to climb that mountain one day.

Of course, Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the country and at almost 3,000 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level (something I learned from my trekking friends)), attacking it straight on without proper skills and training is suicide. Since the only hiking and mountaineering skills I have was last used when I joined the Boy Scouts’ Jamboree camp centuries ago, I wasn’t really sure how to check this item off my list.

Then, first year of med school happened. Before we finished our last exam of the school year, Jay, one of my classmates, invited me to climb a mountain near Calaruega, in Nasugbu. I saw this as an opportunity to come closer to striking out that item in my bucket list.

View of Mt. Batulao from Calaruega Church, Taken last 2011.

Before the climb, I, being eager, squared out what I am up against. The only information I have about this mountain is when me and my family would go to Calaruega church. I would just stare at it and tell my dad what the mountain’s name is. So, I started asking around and surfing the web. I found out that Mt. Batulao came from amalgamation of the Filipino words “Bato sa Ilaw”. The name came about because when the sun sets every December, it sets right in between the twin peaks forming a very beautiful landscape. The mountain is also 811 MASL and would require at least 2-4 hours to reach the summit. The classified it as a minor climb with a difficulty of 4/9 with a 60-70 degree assault. (to be honest, I underestimated this climb because I already went down Sumaguing Cave in Sagada which I heard has a difficulty rating of 7/9. Later on, you’ll see how I was punished by Batulao)

Side Note:

At this point, I would like to thank the community of PinoyMountaineer.com, they compiled everything there is to know about the climb, what to bring, and what to expect)

Reminiscing going down Sumaguing cave in Sagada, Mountain Province. Taken last 2010.

After I came home for the summer break, I vowed to jog and start training days leading up to the climb. I only jogged two days. To make it even worse, I was on a chinese food eating spree 2 days before the climb. I kept telling myself, “I survived Sumaguing, I CAN definitely trek Batulao”.

Start of Trek.

I woke up early for the climb. I met up with Jay and his cousin, Lemuel, for our travel to Evercrest Golf and Country Club in Nasugbu. It was the jump-off point for our trek. We started walking at around 7:30 am.

One of the things I noticed was how hospitable the people were. Being in Manila almost all my life, I got used to passing people along the way without so much as a “how do you do?”. Here, I got greeted “Good morning” and “Aakyat po kayo? Ingat po” almost every time we pass by their houses. I immediately picked up the gesture and started greeting everyone I meet with “Magandang Umaga”. I hope I’ll have the tenacity to continue this practice here in Manila.

One of the hospitable people who live in Calaruega.

After the jump-off point, We were greeted by our first challenge, slippery roads. As most of you guys know, I never really hiked. So, I don’t have the correct equipment to climb mountains. I have the usual hiking clothes like dri fit shirts and pants but I don’t have trekking shoes and a bag. I wore my old basketball shoes which proved ineffective when trekking slippery trails.

I am not sure if this is due to rain or something that came out of the horses.

My inappropriate gear (and stamina) proved worthless when attacking slippery slopes. I was outmatched by this elderly lady as she passed by me.

After a while, we reached our first pit stop. It’s known to the hikers as “Mini Stop”. They sold refreshments and snacks at reasonable prices.

Jay drinking Buko juice.After a few minutes of rest and refreshments, we went on our way. The first part of the trail is usually composed of uphill and downhill roads which was no problem. Rather, difficulty lies on trying not to slip due to the mud. I have my camera with me and it would be a sad thing if that will break my fall.

A view of Mt. Batulao from the Fork.

Mini Stop, asides from being a stopover, is also a landmark to the Fork. I learned that there are two ways to trek Mt. Batulao. One is take the easier, New trail, or to take the more challenging Old trail. Jay recommended that we take the Old trail going up, and then take the New trail going down. I said yes, thinking that it will give me an opportunity to try out both the trails and also see the mountain from all the angles.

Overview of our trail to Mt. Batulao

Overhead view of the trail.

Along the way, we were greeted by a boy. His name is Ranuel. He offered to guide us as we trek along Batulao. After making sure that his classes did not start yet, we let him show us the way.

Our little tour guide, Ranuel

The old trail is characterized by up and down hikes, a lot of grasses, and trees to keep the hikers cool. There isn’t too much climb at the start of the trek. Jay told me that the old trail traverses the base of the mountain before it goes up on a very steep climb at the end.

One of the paths along the Old trail.

At one of our pitstops, we posed for a photo.

From R to L: Me, Lemuel, Jay and Ranuel

After a while, we reached the foot of the mountain. The view here reminded me a lot of when we trekked down the rice terraces of Sagada.

At the foot of Mt. Batulao. The Old trail is easily visible at this angle.

Somewhat similar photo I took when we went to Sagada a couple of years ago.

We arrived at the campsite at around 9 am. After paying the registration fee (Php 20), we rested for a bit as we try and assess our assault of the mountain. At this point, I am beginning to feel the weight of my every step.

“Don’t change the mountain. Let the mountain change you”

Side note:

The quote above kind of struck something inside me. Being a graduate of biology and doing a thesis under ecology, I’ve always tried to leave a small carbon footprint whenever I can. It saddened me to see a lot of plastic candy wrappers along our trek. At this point, Jay took out his trash bag and we began to pick up trash as we pass by the trail. Don’t change the mountain, Let the mountain change you.

Start of our assault.

Around 10 minutes to the climb, I felt my legs starting to cramp up. I cursed Wai Ying and its tasty menu as I try to massage the lactic acid accumulating in both of my legs. Soon enough, I told my friends to stop for a bit so I can recover. I took the time to rest and take some more photos.

Ranuel mocking me as I struggle climbing this little hill.

After calling all the angels to push my heavy butt up, we reached 3/4 of the way up the peak. The tired feeling I got while climbing was immediately replaced by the awe as I saw the view.

Ranuel is lucky to call this view as his home.

Jay also admiring the view.

At this point, I hiked for 5 minutes, and then rested for 10. I can feel the whole mountain punishing me for not preparing for the climb and for eating too much chinese food. Ranuel and Jay told me that the steepest part of the climb is coming up and advised me to rest here so I don’t cramp up as we go up the steep trail.

Ranuel posing for the camera as he climbs the steep part of the trail.

As we near the peak of the trail, I was faced with my last challenge. This one is particularly ugly. Its a 70 degree climb with almost no rocks to step on. A single rope is what stands between me and a nasty fall.

Posing before we complete this last obstacle.

One hand on the camera, another to hold on for dear life.

At the edge of the cliff, the view is simply amazing.

After that, it was just a short hike until we reached the top of the world Mt Batulao. Both my legs cramped as we reached the peak.

View at the top.

Panorama of the view atop Mt. Batulao

This one is a video I took at the top of the mountain.

Video I took from the top of Mt. Batulao

(Sorry, I have yet to learn how to embed a video straight into wordpress)

Group photo at the peak!

Another side note:

At the peak, we saw a goat and her kid loitering about and eating grass. Wala lang, nagulat lang ako :)) If the goat can do it, so can I! 😀

At the peak of the mountain, we found a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I tried to read some of the inscriptions to see who brought it here, but I can’t read the writings anymore.

Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the peak of Mt. Batulao

After one final glimpse at the peak, we went on our descent via the new trail.

One last glimpse.

I know I’ve said that Mt. Batulao’s view is impressive but if there is one downside, is that, the view is pretty much the same at all points of the trek. though not to take anything away, each angle of the peak is just as impressive as the next.

It was pretty straight forward from here. The trail was easier with only a few steep downhill slides.

New trail is much more easier to traverse than the Old trail.

Side Note:

Along the trail, we saw Nipa Hut owned by Janet Belarmino, a Filipina and one of the first Southeast Asian women to climb Mt. Everest

Janet Belarmino’s House near Peak 6 of Mt. Batulao

At around 2:00 pm, we arrived at the jump off point.

“Di ko akalain na kinaya ko yun!”

To be honest, I never really expected myself to finish this hike, given my physical fitness. As I look back, this climb made me even more committed to become more healthy and fit. Mt. Batulao reminded me how to persevere, how to set my sights to higher goals, and how to tackle each challenge in my pursuit to reach the top.

Thank you, Mt. Batulao

;

“Don’t Change The Mountain, Let the Mountain change YOU”

Final side note:

If you guys are looking for a good challenge but doesn’t have the time and the gear to tackle multi-day climbs, Mt. Batulao is for you. Travel and adventure doesn’t need to be far and expensive.

No expensive lens, tripod and ND filter was harmed in the making of this blog entry. Thank you!

If you guys would like to read more about my Sagada Experience, click here.

More photos are available at my Facebook Page.

Outbreak Manila: From a Photographer’s POV

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It all started from AMC’s popular TV series (which is also one of my favorites), The Walking Dead. That popular scene where Rick was being chased by walkers inspired the great minds that started the first ever walker infested obstacle fun run, Outbreak Manila.

 

 

 

In the beginning, we were given three flags which represented three lives. We would then have to manage a five-kilometer-long maze full of the unknown obstacles, difficult terrain and a variety of walkers. From what I observed, those who ran ahead of me died an early and a gruesome death.

One of the runners tries to evade a walker.

This is what greets those runners who doesn't crawl low enough.

Although it was sad to see my fellow survivor’s flag get devoured by walkers, it did buy me sometime to run past them without losing a flag. Those who were lucky enough to survive the initial onslaught but lost a life were given chances to redeem their flags by doing challenges. One of these was crawling under a fence infested with walkers.

A runner bravely crawls under the fence to get an extra life.

The second challenge was influenced by TWD. Remember that scene where Rick and his group disguised their smell by chopping up walker guts and putting those around them? We did just that to evade numerous walkers in that section of the map.

Runners hurriedly cover up themselves with "Walker Guts".

The third challenge is a maze the runners have to go through. One wrong turn could lead them straight to a walker or straight towards the path to the finish line. For me, I kinda cheated on this one. I looked at the maze from higher ground and traced the direct path towards the exit. (Hehe)

After that challenge, it was just one more turn then it’s straight to the finish line. Fatigue was already setting in. I feel my feet starting to cramp up. As we come near the finish line, walkers started to march towards our direction. It’s as if they picked up on our scent. I started to pick up my last defensive strategy that will take me to the finish, my Media pass.

It worked like magic, walkers ignored me. Some even wanted to have their photos taken. Apparently, most of them are on facebook and would want to see their shots later when they get home. I actually gave my number to some of them hoping they’ll find me later, not so they could eat my brains but so I could show them their photos.

My friend and photographer Juric being invaded by zombies before he brought out his Media Pass

As I crossed the finish line, I saw survivors hugging one another, tending to their battle scars and being reunited with their family. As I walked towards our tent, I asked myself this question, what aspect of humanity was I able to observe when we’re faced with obstacles, like walkers.

A survivor showing off his medal. Proof that he survived Outbreak Manila

I saw camaraderie. Runners making new friends and helping out each other when faced with obstacles.

I saw teamwork and strategy. There was this one wave wherein some of the runners strategized. One group, where they were lots of really fit runners tried to lure the walkers so that others may cross.

I saw heroism. There was this one runner who ran straight in the middle of the walkers, getting all his flag torn down from his belt so that others may pass.

One of the brave souls who went first.

Lastly

I saw the FUN in fun run. Runners and walkers exchanging smiles when the latter caught the other by surprise. I saw runners approaching the walkers for photos. I saw couple runners who strengthen each other’s bonds while running along the course. I saw kids living their dream of experiencing what they could only experience in the movies.

The living and the undead posing for some shots!

Outbreak Manila indeed is an innovation. It isn’t your usual “fun run”. To be able to survive it, you’ll need wit, strategy, and physical fitness.

We survived the Outbreak!

P.S.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the runners who bought some of my photos during the outbreak. Proceeds will go to the Project Pink Women’s Cancer Support Group. Again, my thanks to all of you!

http://www.projectpink.org.ph/www/index.html

I will be posting soon my favorite walkers and favorite runners. Please watch out for it!

My Photoworld Experience

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PhotoWorld Asia 2012

Attending this year’s photoworld isn’t really on my plans. It was a Wednesday afternoon, I was studying for my Psychiatry evaluation (One of three exams I’m preparing for next week) when my friends, Justin and Martin, called my attention to a post by Nikon Philippines on facebook.

They were offering a bunch of seminars from Nikon Pros, and they were offering it for free for the 10 people they select. There were a lot of specialized topics to choose from. Topics ranging from Cruise photography, to strobist, to fashion and events. I decided to join the seminar entitled, National Geographic Experience by George Tapan.

So I quickly looked up on the requirements, which were pretty straightforward, an email with my name, contact info, and a photo that represents my photography. After sending my email, I went back to studying, thinking that I wouldn’t get picked since it’s been a while since the announcement was posted and I’m pretty sure that a lot of people are interested in the seminar.

While in the middle of my readings, a notification popped up. It’s an email confirming my slot for the George Tapan seminar.

Email confirmation

I was ecstatic. I realized, this will be the first ever seminar that I’ll attend in my 3 years into photography. In hindsight, I never really got formal photography education. I was more of a trial and error guy. Back then, I was lucky to have been surrounded by people who were willing to teach and mentor me. I didn’t really see the need for a basic photography class, I was able to find most of the answers to my questions through google, online forums, trial and error, and with the help of my friends.

I am about to attend my first ever photography seminar.

Both my friends were also selected to attend that same seminar. We planned to go there an hour earlier so we can try out some of the lenses that were available.

That day, I particularly had my eyes on the 200mm F2 Nikkor.

Nikkor 200mm F2 on display at Nikon's booth

I was hoping to get this as my main lens for covering football. *Hoping that sponsors will be able to help us*.  So there I am, trying not to drool while attaching my camera into this monster of a lens.

Shot using Nikkor 200mm F2

Zoom cropped by a little bit. Still shows how superior the IQ of this lens compared to the 70-200mm F2.8

As expected from a prime lens, the separation between the subject, foreground and background is just amazing

I am really set into adding this Php 175,000 worth of a lens to SoccerCentralph.com’s repertoire of tools.

After trying out this lens, we saw some Nikon Slogan placards and decided to have fun with it.

Side Note:
Canon was a major sponsor of PhotoWorld so they had their booth elevated and smack in the middle of the activity center.

Justin went up to Canon's booth holding up a Nikon slogan. Take that, Canon!

It's supposed to say "Nikon, Delighting You Always" but we can't find a wide enough lens, so this would have to do 😀

I have nothing against Canon, but I had to admit, it was fun posing . my beloved camera brand against their booth. 😀

After having a few good laughs, we decided to roam a little bit before the seminar started.

This photo is for the guys at Kodak. I hope you guys survive the financial challenge you're facing right now.

Olympus' booth was busy! They had lots of activities going on. They also have their renowned EP-3 Pro digicam on display.

Nikon also have some of their lenses on display. They also displayed their entry to the mirrorless camera war, the Nikon 1.

Cameras aren't the only thing sold here in Photoworld. They also sell accessories. Lowepro offered 30% discount on the bag I had my eye on. Justin had to peel me out of the place or else I would have emptied my wallet.

After checking out all the booth’s (except for Canon, of course) we went back to Nikon’s booth for the seminar.

George Tapan of National Geographic showing us the way of the travel photographer.

George Tapan’s photography is anything but ordinary. As he told us his story, about how he won the National Geographic contest, I can’t help but admire the skill and dedication that this man puts into every click of the shutter.

"I don't "photoshop" my shots, doing so is cheating."

Here’s one more thing I admire about him: He doesn’t post process his shots. He achieves his desired composition through research, planning and supreme technical know-how of the limitations of his equipment. What surprised me more was his unconventional and straight forward techniques in doing HDR without the use of photoshop and stunning photographs of horizons without the use of filters.

"Photography is my passion"

Me and George Tapan. Photo by Justin De Jesus

Attending this seminar was really something for me. It re-ignited my passion. It made me remember that feeling I got when we were travelling and taking photos. It makes me want to push my photography not just to the limits but beyond. Photography is something that I will do for the rest of my life, this seminar made me realize that. Thank you Nikon for this wonderful opportunity.

 

Photography is my passion, I am Nikon.

P.S.

Nikon gave me a Nikon Crumpler Strap! Thanks Nikon Philippines! Photo by Justin De Jesus

Thanks Nikon for giving me a Nikon Crumpler Strap 😀 I really appreciate it.

UFL Game day! Nomads FC vs Army Red Juice FC + Global FC vs Pasargad FC photos!

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Sorry I wasn’t able to cover the Azkals United vs Incheon FC game that day. I needed to study for my Physiology exams on tuesday. 😀

But stay tuned as our other SoccerCentralph.com photographers captured the event in splendid detail!

Note:
I reduced the resolution and file size of the photos so it will load faster. 😀 Thanks for the comments from my previous set guys!

My Wishlist 2012

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It has always been my tradition to set up a wishlist every year. It gives myself something to look forward to as I, painstakingly, save up every peso from my allowance. And it also gives my parents and friends idea on what to get me for christmas haha.

So here goes my top 10 list for this year. 😀

1. Good pair of pillows

Pillows, lots and lots of pillows

Ever since I decided to rent a dorm while I study, I’ve always left my good pair of pillows at home. After a good study marathon for each weekday, I always look forward to the time I get to sleep. Having good pillows is like sleeping on clouds.

2. A bunch of Highlighters, Schneider Job Yellow and Orange

Schneider Job Highlighters

I’ve only spent my first sem in medschool but I have already consumed more than 20 highlighters. So for this year, I aim to buy at least a box of these so I don’t have to run to the bookstore to buy one while I’m in the middle of reading for that important exam.

3. A big ass study table

Big Ass Study Table

I’m that kind of person who goes to a coffee shop, grabs/stalks the biggest table available and scatter my things all over. I love space. It gives me room for my laptop, big ass books, notebook, coffee etc.

4. UItra Notebook

Any laptop that has decent processing power, long battery life and lightweight

To be honest, i don’t have anything against the laptop I’m using right now. I mean, its working fine and does the job well. But, it’s kinda heavy and its battery only lasts 1 hour 30 minutes with WiFi on. So combined with my big ass books, it does put a strain on one’s back and backpack.

5. Northface Backpack

NorthFace Backpack or similar big backpacks

Before I went to medschool, I bought myself a plain, blue Jansport bag. It’s comfortable but lately, I’ve been seeing the threading coming out of places where it recieves the most weight. And with the amount of books I have to carry plus my laptop, I am afraid that sooner or later, It might give way. So I added this very sturdy, big ass backpack to my list.

6. A year’s supply of Quaker Oats!

Quaker Oats, Chocolate flavored

Believe it or not, I’m on a diet. 😀

7. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones book set

I was introduced to this HBO series by a friend. And now I’m hooked! though I only get to read this while I’m on the bus on the way home.

8. Leather Shoes

Leather shoes

I’ve been using my leather shoes for 4 years now. It has gone through several repairs and I think the only thing that’s been holding it together is Rugby.

9. A new phone

Blackberry Smartphone

I am not really fond of changing phones. As far as I can remember, I owned not more than 5 phones (1 of which got stolen) in my whole life. Ever since my trusty SE P990i broke down, I have been using a Nokia flashlight phone. Having a smartphone would be a welcome change. 😀

10. A plane ticket

Plane ticket to Davao

This is a given ❤

Note:
I do not own any of the photos above. Credits goes to their respective photographers.

United Football League 2012 Opening Ceremonies + Phil. Airforce FC vs Kaya Cignal FC Photos

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United Football League 2012 Opening Ceremonies and the match between Phil. Airforce FC vs Kaya Cignal FC which Kaya won via a goal by Dagroh, 1-0.

Note:
I’m testing out if my photos would look better here than on facebook. Comments and Critiques with regards to how the photos look on this page compared to facebook is much appreciated. Thanks! 😀

Favorite Photos of 2011

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Before I start 2012, I look back at 2011 once more. The memories and experiences I had and the challenges I endured. It was a year dominated by perseverance and success. It was a year where several life changing decisions were made.

2011 was a year of revelation for me and will stay as one of my most favorite years ever.

And with this, I bring you my favorite photos of the year 2011.

Note:
I’ve put in captions sa photos to explain why favorite ko sila, but somehow I can’t get them to show sa gallery 😦