Beach Lomo Shots

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’re aware that I enjoy posting lomography photos here on the blog from time to time. I love how vibrant colors are in lomo shots and how they always look old school. It’s getting harder to have rolls of film processed here in Manila so I don’t know how long I can keep this up. Anyway, my most recent trip was in Zambales a couple of weeks ago – in the town of Pundaquit, Capones island and Anawangin cove. Here are some shots from that trip (click to embiggen):

Can you see what’s written in the sand? Here’s a closer look:

And more shots:

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Anawangin Again

Sorry if the blog has been pretty quiet lately. I went to the beach this weekend because Monday and Tuesday are holidays over here. I wasn’t able to schedule any posts and I haven’t even replied to the comments here the past couple of days. I’ll try to do better this week! In the meantime, I want to share some photos. I believe I’ve already posted this picture of me reading in Anawangin (taken back in 2009):

I went to the same place this weekend and I tried to recreate the shot. Here’s what we came up with:

The place looks different and the colors are muted because we used the Toy Camera effect in a Canon digicam. I’ll upload more pictures once my rolls of slide film are processed and when my friend shares pictures because I didn’t bring a digital camera with me. For those in the Philippines, hope you’re enjoying the long weekend! And for those in other parts of the world, hope you’re all having fun with Halloween.

Bohol

I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like because traveling is expensive but when there are budget flights and friends willing to go with me, I’m always game. It was my first time to go to Bohol and I really enjoyed the trip. We were able to eat at several good restaurants, visit the local tourist sites, go snorkeling and of course, hang out and relax by the beach. As promised, here are more pictures.

The tarsier, the smallest primate in the world:

Chocolate Hills, which are named as such because they’re brown during summertime:

Mahogany man-made forest and yes, that is me, fooling around:

Up close and personal with the fishes in Balicasag, I can only tell that this is me because my mask looks familiar:

The sandbar in Virgin Island:

Reading, as always and trying to imitate the cover of the book that I’m holding, The Family Fortune:

Back from Bohol!

Hey everyone, I’m back in Manila! I haven’t had time to post anything here on the blog and I still need to catch up on my Google Reader. My flight wasn’t canceled and I really enjoyed my vacation. πŸ˜€ To those who’re curious about the weather situation because of my previous post, here’s a picture:

Virgin Island, Bohol

I’ll try to post something within the week but follow me on Twitter or Tumblr if you want updates. I’ll probably do a more detailed post about the vacation when I’ve had the chance to transfer all the pictures.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I’m heading out-of-town this weekend and although we’re in the middle of the rainy season here in the Philippines, I’m hoping for some nice weather. I’ve had the worst luck with some of my beach trips in the past. Here are some pictures to illustrate my point:

This was in Laiya, Batangas when a sudden freak storm descended upon us in the middle of the night while we were hanging out and drinking. Electricity and water was cut off and we had to move up to the rooms in the upper floors because our rooms were flooded. Yes, that’s me, smiling while wading through floodwaters.

This was in Anawangin, Zambales where we got stranded on the cove with no supplies because the water became too choppy for boat rides. I’m trying to perform a rain dance in the picture above and as you can see, it’s not working.

On that happy note, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this weekend. We’re not even sure if our flight will get cancelled because of the typhoon but we’ll see.

Bangkok Update

Bangkok was amazing, as expected. It was similar to Manila in a lot of ways but also very different. As the nice Italian lady who sat beside me on the plane said, it’s always a good idea to travel because you see the world in a different way whenever you’re exposed to other cultures. I really want to go back and I hope I could do so in the future, what with budget flights and not needing a visa for any Southeast Asian country. It was sad that I got sick (if you follow me on Twitter then you’ve seen me moaning about it) and had to stay in for two nights and that my friend’s phone and camera got stolen. 😦 But still a wonderful trip, overall. We got to see the Siam Niramit show, a spectacular show that I highly recommend to anyone who gets a chance to see it. We also saw the Grand Palace and was a little saddened that we don’t have something similar in the Philippines. It’s always hard to come up with touristy things to do in Manila when people come to visit but in Bangkok, we didn’t even have enough time to see everything that we wanted. Had a great time shopping, clothes there are a lot cheaper! Plus they bring down prices when you buy wholesale and you know how many pieces are considered wholesale? Just two! Didn’t go as crazy with the shopping as I expected and still had money left in my wallet when we went home. And because pictures say it better, here’s some spicy Thai food that we had:

I have a ton of Grand Palace pictures but I think this one shows how elaborate and gold-centered everything was:

Look at what I picked up on an airport bookstore (the one on the left, obviously) – it’s the Thai edition of A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner.

I won’t be able to read it because the text is in Thai but I thought it would be a good idea to keep it as a souvenir. Good thing they didn’t have the other books because I would’ve been tempted to get those as well.

Also got to add a Thailand tumbler to my mini-collection of Starbucks tumblers:

I’m still a bit sick so I haven’t been reading a lot lately, hence the silence in the blog, but I hope to get back in the swing of things soon.

Halloween and Such

It’s funny how we absorb a certain culture’s traditions based on pop culture. Halloween is not a Philippine holiday and I highly doubt that people here even know the reason for the celebration. Most of what Filipinos know are carried over through TV shows or movies, we know that it’s time for ghosts and scary things and it’s a time for dressing up in costumes. Trick or treating is not even that common here. Halloween has its roots in the festival of Samhain, which celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year”. This isn’t even applicable to us! We don’t have the four seasons that other countries have so we don’t have a lighter or darker half of the year. Also, we don’t have pumpkins. We have kalabasa (squash), which is different.

Image Source: WeHeartIt

Locally, what we traditionally have is Undas or Todos los Santos (literally “All Saints”) is observed as All Souls’ Day on November 1. This day and the one before and one after it is spent visiting the graves of deceased relatives, where prayers and flowers are offered, candles are lit and the graves themselves are cleaned, repaired and repainted. People even have sleepovers in cemeteries when they do visit. I’ve never done that because my parents didn’t have that tradition in their own provinces so it wasn’t passed down to us. But we do visit the resting places of our relatives.

I just wanted to share my thoughts about this holiday in case some of you are wondering. So no, I don’t have a costume for this Halloween but yes, I’ll be visiting a cemetery and two columbaries. What about you, what are your plans for this Halloween? πŸ™‚

Zambales in Lomo

I haven’t done a Wow Philippines post in a while so I decided to put up some pictures of my trip to Zambales last year. These shots were taken using my lomo cameras. Again, here’s a description of lomo from lomography.com:

It was in the early 1990s when two students in Vienna, Austria, discovered a small enigmatic Russian camera, the Lomo Kompakt Automat, and started a new style of artistic experimental photography of unorthodox snapshots. In the blink of an eye the Lomographic message spread around the planet.

I miss going to the beach! I’ve only been to the beach once this year, when I went to Coron, Palawan. Let me know what you guys think of these shots!

Ateneo In Lomo

Encouraged by what Emily said here, where she mentioned that she liked my Wow Philippines posts, I thought I’d share some more lomo pictures. I haven’t gone on vacation for quite a while so I thought it’ll be a good idea to share some old photos that I have. I already talked about lomo before but to those who don’t know, here’s a description from lomography.com:

It was in the early 1990s when two students in Vienna, Austria, discovered a small enigmatic Russian camera, the Lomo Kompakt Automat, and started a new style of artistic experimental photography of unorthodox snapshots. In the blink of an eye the Lomographic message spread around the planet.

Basically, lomo is playing around with lomo film cameras and shooting whatever is interesting for you. Lomo has this motto: “Don’t think, just shoot”, meaning you don’t have to spend hours trying to take a perfect shot. Just shoot at random and be happily surprised with what comes out. I used to love doing this, I would take my lomo cameras everywhere with me. But now I only take them when I go out-of-town because films are expensive! I thought I’d feature pictures of my alma mater today. Here are a couple of pictures of the Ateneo de Manila University, where I got my college degree. Click to embiggen any pictures.

Film: Kodak Elitechrome
Camera: Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim

I think my school looks even better in pictures than in real life. πŸ™‚ So, so, so. Let me know what you guys think of these and if you want to see more of my lomo pictures.

Mt. Pinatubo

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a nice weekend! I didn’t get to read this weekend because I met up with a couple of friends and yesterday, I went on a day trip to Mt. Pinatubo, a volcano a couple of hours away from Manila. I thought I’d share a couple of pictures. Click on the pictures to embiggen.

Here’s more info from Wikipedia:

Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, at the intersection of the borders of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. Before 1991, the mountain was inconspicuous and heavily eroded. It was covered in dense forest which supported a population of several thousand indigenous people, the Aeta, who had fled to the mountains from the lowlands during the protracted Spanish conquest of the Philippines which began in 1565. The volcano’s eruption in June 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century and the largest eruption in living memory.

It’s funny because we spent more time traveling than staying around the area. It’s still a great experience and I recommend it. I’m not much of a hiker and I’m not very sporty so no need to worry about the hiking part, it wasn’t that hard. It was a nice trail for lame hikers like me. I enjoyed it because the trail area is really nice, there was a stream flowing near and sometimes across the trail and the greenery was refreshing to look at.

On the way to the trail, there was a very bumpy 4×4 ride that was about 1 hour 30 minutes in length. Mostly, we saw lahar on the way there. There were some cows there though.

I don’t have nice pictures of the trail because my camera was in my bag when we were hiking but I have this:

Here’s a picture of the crater lake:

I like the aqua color of the lake even though I have no idea why it looks like that. My friend said that the color used to change with the seasons but it hasn’t changed color for some time. We swam in that lake and the water was really cold and you can smell a hint of sulfur. It was real interesting for me to be inside the volcano’s crater. And because I like my camera’s color accent feature, here’s a picture of the lake with color accent: