Tag Archives: photography

Books, Manila and lots of walking

I went to Manila today with my friend Den. We took the LRT 2 from Cubao to Recto, where we proceeded to walk, walk and walk.

We went to our favorite stores along Recto to check for any books we wanted. I found some interesting ones but none that I wanted to really get. In one of the stores I found Chuck Palahniuk’s “Pigmy” for P150. Nunik likes his works so I decided to get it (It was either that or some Ernest Hemmingway, which is one of the author’s he’s reading now).

We also hit the National Bookstore along Recto. They were having a sale too and there was a section where hardbacks were selling for P99. On the second floor (or third? There’s a mezzanine y’see) there’s more bargain books. I wasn’t even looking when I saw Cameron Dokey’s “The Storyteller’s Daughter” (another book in the Once Upon A Time series. I wanted to get Gail Carson Levine’s “Ever” as well, but it was still P300+, so I had to pass it up. There were some nice hardback books, one of which was a compilation of fantasy short stories where Neil Gaiman’s “Chivalry” first appeared. Only for P100 but I passed that up too.

Book finds

We headed to Quiapo afterwards (we walked! Wohoo!), where we hit the DVD stalls. Den bought NCIS Seasons 2 to 7, while I got “You’re So Beautiful”. I didn’t know it was being shown on local TV but I don’t care. 😛 The seller gave us a discount of P50 for 7 DVDs. Not bad.

Quiapo afternoon
View from Chowking’s second floor (click to see a bigger photo)

We had merienda (or early dinner) at Chowking, then crossed the street to Quiapo Church. The underpass was crowded as always, mostly with vendors hawking their wares. Clicking sounds permeated the air, because of the vendors selling those electric insect killers. A lot of faux “Power bands” were also for sale, as well as various clothes, footware and whatever.

I took some photos of the church (mostly on film) and headed to the camera shops along Hidalgo to buy more film. I have to finish the roll first though. I have a picture of Quiapo Church but there’s a woman right smack in the middle of it looking at my camera haha.

We crossed back to the opposite side of Hidalgo where the DVDs were and rode a jeep to get to San Sebastian. It was my first time to go there, which is pretty funny considering I worked in the area for nearly four years and passed by Baste often, but never really went in. By this time, it was drizzling.

manila,san sebastian,church
San Sebastian

We headed our own ways shortly after that. I took my old route home, and for the first time I realized that it’s a pretty long ride.

Hopefully next time, we’ll be able to bring more friends and hit more shops.

July starts off well

I took a leave from work yesterday so I could go to Zambales for my Lolo’s birthday. He’s turned 85, and my parents had the idea to invite his friends over for lunch. Tito Abet and I left Manila around 5:30 AM and arrived in Candelaria around 11.

Amongst all my cousins and siblings, I was the only one who was able to go so I was my generation’s representative. Many of Lolo’s visitors were his friends from way, way back. Some were fellow teachers, others were family and relatives. His godchildren also visited, one of whom is the current governor of Zambales.

It was a small affair, but a good one. They sang Lolo songs, told stories and wished him all well. They all had a great time and Lolo did too.

I love being here in Candelaria. It’s so peaceful. It’s also quite good for writing as I was able to write a thousand plus words last night.

The weather’s great too. At mornings it’s sunny and comfortably warm. Around the afternoon, the skies would darken and it would rain, making it pleasantly cool in the evenings. I slept rather long last night, waking up nearly eight.

Lolo hi-jacked my laptop for nearly four hours to talk with Tita Meyann over Skype. It was a good conversation though. I should buy him a microphone and good speakers for the desktop so they can talk more often.

Tito Abet brought his DSLR and I’ve been playing around with it. I still have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to adjusting the settings. Sometimes it’s too bright, sometimes it’s too dark. Composition’s ok, but it still comes out blah. It’s fun to walk around taking pictures though. The chickens are good subjects because they stay perfectly still while you take a shot at them.

One of the things I like about being here is that my skin’s so clean. Back in Manila I have to do all sorts of maintenance just to keep the oiliness at bay, or keep it clear. Here, just water is fine. Maybe I should pack gallons of it and bring it with me.

Heading back to Manila tomorrow. Today, I’m just going to relax. Everyone (my parents and all my siblings) are in Manila. Miks is taking the nursing board exam this weekend. It’s been a while since I had the house nearly all to myself. It’s as good as going to the spa.

Will post pictures later (I forgot my USB cable and the card reader).

Other July 2 celebrants: My former boss Baby O’Brien and my cousin JC. Cheers!

P.S. Last weekend we had a barbeque to celebrate the June boys’ birthday. Miks and the rest of my brothers were absent though, but we had a good time, lots of food and booze and prepared for the next Iron Kitchen Family challenge.

Photography wan-oh-wan

Presea told me about a basic digital photography workshop she was going to attend. Given that the price is reasonable and the location good, I thought I’d give it a go as well.

The class was small, which was good because it allowed us to feel more at ease with our teacher James Nicolay (who really is a teacher by profession, rather than a photographer). The er, lesson was easy to understand. A bit overwhelming at first, perhaps, plus a little daunting when everyone else had a DSLR or at least a semi-pro camera.

Ego moment though, when I was told that I had a good eye for photos and should consider upgrading my camera (my ever lovely and reliable Canon Ixus 80 IS) soon.

Here’s the five photographs I submitted for critique, already edited and watermarked.



Carillon II


Tin Tin

You can view the other photos here in my Flickr.

This class was very helpful in learning the basics of photography. Sure, I read books and tutorials but sometimes, the terminology and the text can be daunting. At least now I have a better idea of the technical side of photography and I’m also more familiar with my camera. I’m considering getting a DSLR sometime this year, but that’s all plans. Still, I had great fun and I’m more confident now with what I can do, photography wise.