Hope Springs, 2019

I’m going to challenge myself this year by focusing on what I had been really wanting to pursue, and to pay attention to a few things I also hope to improve on. That includes photography. In the coming days, I’ll be posting random snapshots and some musings that go along with it. Moreover, The Dogwood Challenge 2019 is also a weekly activity I hope to accomplish successfully until the end. If you haven’t heard about it, Google is your friend. Just hit search. 🙂

The past weeks gave me time to reflect and it’s one of those phases where I truly had the chance to detach myself from thinking about my career. The past few years have been about ‘hustle’, in Filipino, ‘raket’. Raket dito, raket doon, and even when your flame is burning passionately, it’s a flame that’s bound to lose its spark one day. May be mine needs some rest or some rethinking. It’s not a sign of giving up, but a period of reevaluation.

Here’s also hoping that by the time that I’m going to share some spontaneous brain farts / reflections from my readings/ research on my film studies, you benefit from it as well. I’ve yet to unearth a goldmine of information and reflections from the movies I have watched, the texts I have consumed. I’m definitely no film critic but may be instead of passively consuming all these media texts, we can also actively participate in creating them? Good way, nonetheless, to process information and contribute to the discourse.

It’s going to be a busy year, I am sure. And I hope to anchor 2019 on improvement and gratefulness. And I’m really eyeing that magic word: focus.

So to start… here is a picture.
No profound epiphanies here yet. ) but i love to look at it because of its aesthetic simplicity, and because it represents much about hope and growth, two things I’ll look forward to this year.

plant

PETA’s ‘NIGHT, MOTHER press preview highlights

Better late than never talaga. On January 24 this year, I was invited to the special press preview of PETA’s ‘NIGHT, MOTHER. It’s a brave depiction of someone experiencing depression, and about to commit suicide. PETA is still staging it so catch it if you can. Sharing to you some highlights during the ‘debriefing’ after the play. #NightMother

Watch it here.

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Why I still work on New Year’s Eve

Welcome 2018!

For more than five years now, I’ve celebrated New Year at the SM Mall of Asia. Not to hangout with family or friends. Not to mingle with strangers somewhere in the MOA Bay area as we wait ’til the clock strikes midnight. I frequent MOA on New Year’s Eve because I choose to work for the GMA New Year Countdown. Keyword is Choose. I have not been forced, threatened or whathaveyou. It has been an annual tradition for me and the people behind it, and this year was no different.

I’ve often been asked, Work na naman?Don’t you get lonely, still working during the Holidays? You know to  be honest, it has not crossed my mind. Or even if it does dance somewhere in the corner of my mind, I’m not going to be chained to its rhythm for too long.  Thankfully, I have a very understanding and supportive family who has been very open-minded about my nature of work: taping and shooting late at nights or early mornings, burning the midnight oil to finish projects in time for the deadline, welcoming the erratic schedule that would take me away from them during special occasions and holidays. At first, they were foreign to that idea; it’s one that has been met with resistance and tampo. But I guess they got over that, not because they don’t give a hoot anymore. But because they understood. And they really do trust me. So yeah, there’s no space for loneliness on New Year for me. 🙂

This year, I was assigned to write for the online activation. My host were Tetay and Joyce Pring. It’s a whole new frontier for me, due to my inexperience to write for a live online show. Basically, it’s the behind-the-scenes coverage of the Countdown while the TV show was on break. So during gap, there we were, updating the netizens while we interview the celebrities and giving them games/ challenges. We also brought in a feng shui expert, Nick Nangit, to share his forecast for the incoming Year of the Dog. As always, netizens were very eager to know their luck in 2018 so online inquiries came flooding.

Last Thursday, we met with the Network’s New Media group to discuss the show’s stats and feedback from netizens. It was insightful! For someone who has been familiar with the TV business, my knowledge of the online economy is limited and I did not know its real potential.  So that meeting was very enriching, something that really opened my eyes on the power beyond broadcast media. Based on the stats, we did good! And I’m hoping we’d do better next year!

So when people ask me if I’d ever get tired of working on New Year’s Eve, I say I can only look at it as a blessing — a chance to share my talent, an opportunity to earn so that I could treat people I love and accomplish my life’s passion. And I’m happy with that thought. Tired? At least, not yet.

Sharing with you some pictures I took on set.

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Photo Diary: Kalsada by Solenn Heussaff

So last November, my friend, Patricia and I visited the The Provenance Gallery at Shang at The Fort to see Solenn Heussaff’s exhibit. Admittedly, Pat and I are not art experts. We just fancied visiting a new place in town that we’ve never been before, and it happens that we were also interested in Solenn’s paintings.

November 5, 2017, Sunday.

 

Writing for the Christmas Special

Hello, and Merry Merry Christmas!

As I write this, I am filled by so much joy and gratitude because of my Christmas experience this year! Doesn’t get much cheesier than updating my site while in the background now is Spotify’s Christmas Peaceful Piano playlist. Currently playing: Mila Crowell’s It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas.

I look at my December calendar and like years passed, it has been very eventful. Here goes the usual Christmas parties and reunions, the Christmas shopping, and the Holiday Carmageddon!! But the highlight of December 2017, for me, is being part of the GMA Christmas Special.

It’s my first time. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I want to do good! I want to do great, in fact! I want to learn from it as much as I can. Other than the New Year Countdown Special, it’s the most star-studded TV production I had participated in. There were the Kapuso Primetime Favorites, the Afternoon Prime headliners, the Bankable GMA Idols and amazing Kapuso singers, the most sought-after Love Teams, and the new faces from the roster of the GMA Artist Center.

But this year’s show was more than the usual sing-and-dance production numbers by the Kapuso Stars at the studio. Instead, we chose to do more for our Kapuso: Isang Buong Pusong Pagtatanghal Para sa mga Kapuso. We reached out to the public — to our Kababayans — by bringing the Christmas vibes and Holiday cheers to them. We surprised young fans and made them meet their idols in the flesh, held a magical show for the kids at Child Haus, paid a visit to our modern day heroes at the headquarters of the Philippine Army, spearheaded a feeding program for the children at Heroes Foundation, encouraged the OFWs and other Filipinos abroad to send in their Christmas videos, to name a few.

It took us months of planning and pre-prod meetings to pull of this grand production and last December 17, I guess it’s safe to say we ‘gave birth’ to it. And I am proud to have been part of it! It was no way near perfect. There were still a lot of room to improve on. But I can sincerely say it feels good to be part of a good cause. It’s more than working, it’s actually entertaining and helping others, too.  More than the ratings or the monetary compensation, I am happy and content because I know I did good and I shared it to others.

This Christmas, actually, make it every Christmas, I hope you find your reason to celebrate the season!

Sharing below the pictures I took during the shoot for the Christmas Special!

Learning Black and White Film Photography

Happy Halloween! Tomorrow, November is here. Pretty long time since I’ve updated this website. My last update was back in August, and I made up my mind just now: I have to post something just before October ends. Hello, very much alive here.

Sooooooooo many things have happened, and about to happen soon! And I am happy to share that I have crossed film photography off my bucket list! Like legit film photography using SLR, or single reflex camera. I enrolled in film photography class last August even though I was not required to take it. Bummer. But hey, I’ll live.

It’s not about trying to channel some hipster vibes or to look cool. I have always desired to learn photography ever since my dad gave me a point and shoot Kodak camera when I was a kid. Wanted to master photography but never really got around doing so. Yup, #adulting happened. Well… everything, this time, just fell into place, I guess. I had free time; and the subject was offered this sem during my free sked. And I had extra moolah. What luck came my way, I know right.

When I learned about it, I didn’t consider the price to pay. My excitement got a hold of me. And in hindsight, that might have been a blessing in disguise because if I seriously thought about it, I might have reconsidered and backed out.

For those who wanna know more about this, here are a few things that you should consider if you wanna take film photography (based on what I had experienced so far):

  1. Magastos (!!!!) It is an expensive course. No doubt. A black and white film roll of 36 shots costs about 300 pesos (Ilford HP5 plus). Developing and processing fee at a film lab might charge you around 300 pesos as well for one film roll. Film scan- 100php. And printing… well that depends on the size of the photo paper. And factor in the SLR camera. You may get a secondhand unit at Quiapo which price starts from 3000php. I got my Canon AE-1 at around 5000php there.
  2. It will test your patience. Which is one of the major reasons why I opted to take this course before jumping into digital photography. I must admit, being patient hasn’t been my strongest ability. Photography reminds you to have it in place because damn, the entire thing is costly and every moment is fleeting. Another trivia: Did you know that a single 8×10 black and white photo paper is around 70pesos?? So you better study the subject and scene in front of you, compose the shot, and double check your gear and settings before firing that shutter. Because you don’t wanna go home and develop your roll and end up looking at a poorly-composed shot. And yup, you can never have that exact moment again. Unlike shooting in DLSR, you can just go ahead and fire away and select your best shots AFTER. Seeing the results right away makes it whole lots easier. But not in film. Which is why it trains you to really think before you click.
  3. It encourages you to “see” or “look” at things in a special way. Our world is full of color. So you have to imagine things in black and white. But for that to work, you have to consider some elements so that your photos will stand out. That includes: texture and contrast. So you have to pick your subjects carefully. A majestic sunset at Roxas Blvd will not be as amazing to look at in black and white as it does in color. In short, it demands you to broaden your imagination and creativity.
  4. It allows you to step back and take it all in. Because we live in a fast-paced world when instant gratification is at play, film photography has become therapeutic to me. No kidding. I long for the days when I do photo walks because my mind is offline, and I am just focused on getting a good exposure. It’s inspires us to seek more of what we need in a chaotic, noisy world: focus.
  5. It encourages you to explore. Photo walk! I have been to Manila’s iconic spots pretty much every weekend ever since August. Escolta, Luneta, Intramuros, Roxas Boulevard, CCP.
  6. It urges you to have fun and experiment. The city, the people are always there. It’s up to you how to capture and frame them, and ‘take them home with you’ thru a shot.

I am sure I will discover more of photography and more of myself in the days to come. Meanwhile, in my next post, I will be sharing with you some of the photos which I took, developed, and scanned/ printed myself. 🙂

 

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Black and White Photography in Escolta
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Black and White Photography in Intramuros
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Black and White Photography. Manila Post Office Building

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