Saturday, December 22, 2012

Angono photo walk

I usually take long walks. I sometimes look like a freak that carries a camera all the time, snapping pictures of whatever. Here's some snaps from a walk that (almost always) turned into a photo walk.

It's a good thing that Angono is not a densely populated town, because every time I take a walk, there's only a few people that I see. At the time I took these pictures, I was wearing house clothes and plain tsinelas while lugging a heavy Yashica film camera.

Nemiranda's Art Camp. I took this shot from the bridge over Angono River. As you can see, it is located in a very idyllic place. A perfect spot for creative minds while doing their artwork. I attended two art workshops last year in this place. The classes were taught by no less than Nemesio Miranda (Nemiranda) himself. He is a great teacher, and I feel like I'm doing him a disservice by not producing much art this year. Perhaps, next year, 2013, which is only a couple of days away, I'll be doing more artworks that can make their way in this blog.

This is an old "bahay na bato" which burnt down years ago, and the owners never got the chance to renovate it. I felt sad seeing this structure, this is just beside the Angono Highway. However, I am against the idea of demolishing it, I think it should stand as a testament of a time long past.

This used to be Nemiranda's art gallery, with the first floor used as a resto bar. Through the years, it has changed its purpose. Last time I checked, the rooms are being let as residential spaces and the first floor is rented by a funeral parlor. I once dreamt living in one of the rooms here, but it's always occupied by a renter. Still, I admire the architecture, and of course, the huge sculpture were both designed and made by Nemiranda.
That's it for now.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Angono street art (relief sculptures)

Instead of graffiti, Angono artists decided to adorn their street walls with various relief sculptures.  Well, they do have some walls adorned with creative graffiti art, but that's for another post.

This street, I believe, is the one that leads to or is Lucio San Pedro Street. You can't miss this street it's near the town proper, just look for the bust of Lucio San Pedro at a street corner from the main road, enter that street.

This, obviously, is a scene depicting Jose Rizal's moment of martyrdom, when he got executed in Luneta.

This one seems to be depicting the exultation of the Filipino family, its values and culture.

I love this one, merging different famous Filipino mythology stories. Can you identify the characters and/or symbols used?

This looks like a depiction of village life and camaraderie of a neighborhood.

(I have failed to take note the names of the artists who made these beautiful creations. I could update this in the future to include their names.)

Angono is a nice town to be lost in. You can just take a long walk, be lost and be surprised on what wondrous artwork you'll see round the corner. I advise you all to go out and explore, too.

That's it for now. Four days left before Christmas. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Intramuros in light-leaky images

I have mentioned several times on this blog that I have an old Yashica FX-D film camera. It is not in good condition, its joints are covered in black tape, film inside has a propensity to get stuck often, among other things. Most of the prints taken in sunny conditions get lots of light leaks.

Despite all of these drawbacks, I still love using it. Instead of seeing an image that is a close approximation of the real thing, I get to see them in a surreal light.

Here's some photos taken using my (not so) trusty Yashica. I used redscale film (or is it expired film?).

The film did give this vintage structure, a very vintage effect, without using Instagram or other filtering programs.

The light leak looks like a blob of light that's about to enter the darkened church.

For vintage, worn photo-looks, redscale film really does deliver.

I held the cam still for about a minute (or did I use a tripod? I forgot.), slow-shutter mode thingy (no, not HDR) to allow more light to expose the film, it then gave the image color even if the film is redscale. (Or, it could just be a freak accident that this one got color-y) 
I will sleep after I finish writing this post, and this photo made me think that it could be a great setting for a dream sequence, as long as it's not a nightmare.

Finally, this sculpture, for me, is just so moving. The subject is heartbreaking, dying of poverty and hunger. I guess, the film and the light leaks made the image a lot gloomier as it is.

What have I learned with this? Well, using a cheap, ready-made redscale film gives unpredictable "filters" on your photos. If you want a vintage, warm, worn look on your images without PS, this could greatly help in your project.

Redscale film by Lomography is one of my favorite types of film to use. The results on each frame, on every roll developed, is very varied, it surprises you.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Youth (A random-people-on-the-streets post)

Some say that, technically, youth ends at the age of 35.

Here's a puzzle for you: Spot the elf. Hint, the elf is female.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lantern Parade 2012

I met up with some college friends that I haven't seen in years last Friday, December 14th, to watch the annual Christmas Lantern Parade in UP Diliman.

It was catch-up time, so we really didn't take lots of pictures of the lanterns/floats being paraded. It's just a nice feeling to chat with friends in person, we've all been busy with our own lives. We reminisced, laughed, talked and had a great time.

Here's a few snaps I took using just an ipod touch.

Flying fish!

I'm not sure what this is, just looks pretty.

A Nightmare before Christmas Rudolph

Alien abduction of a creature

Fantasy flying ship

Would you like to be kissed by this guy?
It just occurred to me that technology in photography has come a long way indeed. Almost everyone is lugging around photographic equipment, even kids have the expensive ones. Parades are great for photo moments, it's just that I got a bit dizzy seeing camera flashes from all directions.

I love going to the annual parade. I try each year to find time to watch it. As a spectator for several years, I realized that I really am getting old, but it's a warm, fuzzy feeling. Yes, I do see the world changing right before my eyes in my mundane existence, but gatherings like this one amplify those changes. Making me sit back not only to marvel at the beauty of change, but to also mourn losses.

It's almost Christmas. Have a happy holiday!

Monday, December 17, 2012


We had lots of fun times in our own house that we, unfortunately, had to leave. My loved one told me, if the house had a heart, it felt that the house loved us.

Please don't call my glasses hipster glasses, I never knew that my geeky glasses would suddenly be a fashion item for some. I've been wearing glasses since I was a kid.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some mobile stuff

Lately, I've been using mobile stuff to take photos. I still have a film stash, but I have trouble preparing my film cameras before I walk out the door.

Here's some photos taken during a morning run at our provincial capital.

empty ferris wheel

leaning statue of Rizal

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Balaw-Balaw is a restaurant/art museum in Angono, Rizal. I lived for almost two years in Angono, and this resto is one of my favorite places in town (the other one is Nemiranda's Art Camp). I took lots of photos of this resto, on different occasions, but I'm not in the mood to upload all of them here. If you want to see this great art resto, you have to come in person.

Yummy Filipino dishes in generous servings + great artworks = HEAVEN (for me, at least.)

This photo is one of my favorite shots of my favorite artwork in Balaw-Balaw. The sculpture is very realistic. When I first saw it, it made me break a tear, I can't explain the feeling, but I had a melange of emotions upon gazing on this wonderful piece: calmness coupled with heartbreak and longing and other emotions that I can't put into words. I know my photography isn't great, but I hope you get the gist that this is a great work of art.

I could almost see her breathing.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cosplay shots

These are old shots, I think last year, taken at different places and events. I used to lug around several film cameras, (these days I don't go out much) snapping pix of anything interesting using whatever I have available. From what I could remember, these were taken using my old Yashica SLR.

The first three pix were taken at a cosplay event at MOA. We got bored inside the cosplay area as it is dim and nothing much is happening. So we took a breath of fresh air and noticed more interesting stuff near the entrance.

Three maidens. I dare say, they all look great.

Anbu on a mission. 

A group of cosplayers trying to cross the street. My, what big swords you have.
Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vivitar Point-and-Shoot Test Shots

We bought the Vivitar P&S film camera for only 500 pesos buy-one-take-one from the local online deal store: cashcashpinoy, our local Groupon. If you are Pinoy, chances are, you've already heard or used that site.

It comes with a false panorama slide that you have to insert inside the cam's body. What it does is it gives the image a black border at the top and the bottom, fooling the eye into thinking that it's seeing a panoramic shot.

These were taken in Angono and Antipolo City, both in Rizal Province, Philippines.

First five photos are from Angono. This town offers idyllic spots, perfect for those who are tired of the city life. We just walked around and took photos of interesting subjects.

Here's a restaurant area, where you could choose your preferred "kubo" (nipa hut) to dine in. I don't know the name of the resto, it's closed when we went there, but their specialty are duck dishes, specifically, roasted ducks.

Since Angono is considered as the country's art capital, there are lots of places where art is their business. This one is the entrance to a factory of world-class sculptures. Again, my memory fails me in remembering the name of this place. You could easily spot it though, as it is near a prominent landmark in the town, the Iglesia station.

We walked further and spotted this huge carabao carving at a waiting shed. Each barangay in Angono have epic sculptures, but we weren't able to take pictures of all of it using this camera.

Finally, we went home to Pao's parents' home in Antipolo and strolled in the park within the subdivision. We spotted this old water tower, which looks like a UFO for me.

That's it for now. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Macho Temple, and a series of happy misfortunes

Our La Union trip tops all serendipities we have experienced. (A happy post :))

We went to La Union for a fun run. We registered online and sent the payment through the bank. We were so excited. A week before the trip, we went online for hotel reservtions. All the hotels within San Fernando City were fully booked for the event, so we ended up booking for a hotel resort in the adjacent town of San Juan. It's going to be a fun sporty weekend for us, we thought.

It was a long trip, delayed by slow-moving traffic on different points. The six-hour trip became a 7.5-hour trip. While on the bus, we got a bit concerned that our hotel seems far from the starting area of the fun run, which starts the next day at 4 a.m. We thought, let's just cope with our circumstances.

We were tired, legs achy, hungry (because we didn't bring food and the food from the stopovers didn't appeal to us: pricey but doesn't satiate hunger), bummed that we got there at 4:30 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. check-in time, worried for the next day; when we checked-in at the lobby of the hotel, got a bit disappointed when we were told that the balcony room we reserved is not a beachfront room.

But fate works in ways we could never predict.

Despite not being a beachfront room it still has a wonderful view of the beach! We got the view of the beach used by the Billabong Surf School. Nice waves, with lots of surfers. The far-off modern lighthouses can also be seen, this we found out at night.

After freshening up, we went downstairs to the hotel restaurant, and was awed at the great view that it has. The resto is near the beach, we ate our food with the view of the calming waves and a magnificent sunset. We just went upstairs to our room when the moon was fully visible.

We slept early (7 p.m.), because we need to be on the fun run meeting place by 4 a.m. The next day, we woke up at 2 a.m., hungry and excited, we went out and tried to wait for public transport (jeep or trike or bus) at 2:30, but uhm, we only got to hail a jeep at past 3.

We ate a fast meal in McDo, then hailed a trike to take us to the starting point. When we arrived, there were lots of people. The people there are nice and friendly, but the registration is chaotic. Despite being registered online more than a month ahead, there was no separate list for those who have done so, and we had difficulty getting our race kits. We also were not allowed to upgrade our race category despite being advised days ago that it's ok. After an hour, we got our race kits and the feeling of being so out of place dawned on us. Yes, they are nice and friendly, but still, it felt that we are intruders in their event. Everyone seems to know where to go and what to do, but we just felt stupid and sad. (I mean no negativity towards the organizers, they are really good, nice and welcoming people, we just don't know how to cope in a foreign place.)

So we decided to take a walk in the dark and not join the fun run. We were so sad, holding our singlets and race numbers, we walked where our feet took us around the still sleeping city until we found a convenience store, where we bought some provisions. We then rented a trike to take us back to our hotel.

I have a habit of taking note of signs and landmarks while on any kind of transport, especially in a place I'm not familiar with. While the trike was speeding on the highway, I saw a sign that says Macho Temple. Funny, that sign is.

Back at the hotel, we ate breakfast at our favorite spot in the hotel's resto. The view and the food made us feel good. We found it funny that we planned a trip to La Union for a fun run that we didn't participate in.

After our meal, we took a long walk on the beach. I then understood the reasoning behind the cliche that most women long for, taking long walks on the beach with the guy they love. It really is a nice feeling. Well, it's my first time to walk on the beach with a guy I love. My beach outings were usually family and barkada events, not this. It's like we're on our first date. Four and a half years of being together and having fun conversations, but this long walk on the beach is different, a different kind of fun.

When the sun got too high, we went back to our room. Checked our phones for messages and updates from family and friends, uploaded some pix, etc., the usual stuff. We then talked about the funny sign we saw, Macho Temple. I told him, I think it's a gym, thinking that some people think of their bodies as temples, it would be a cool gym name. He said, it sounds like a bar or beerhouse where men go. So we decided to ask google about it. After which, we laughed at our ignorance.

Macho Temple is a Taoist temple.

So on our third day in La Union, we have a new unplanned itinerary.

The temple's location sits on a high elevation that gives a great view of the sea and San Fernando City.

After touring the temple, we went for a walk around the city and we enjoyed it. Next year, we'll explore La Union some more.


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