Photowalk: Lamesa EcoPark

It was on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon in July that we finally succeeded in going out for a photo walk. Our destination: the LaMesa EcoPark in Fairview, Quezon City. The Lamesa Ecopark is situated inside the LaMesa Watershed, the primary source of drinking water of about 12 million Metro Manila residents (source). According to the LaMesa Ecopark website, the watershed is 2700 hectares big! Of this, 700 hectares is the reservoir (dam) itself, with the surrounding forest being the remaining 2000 hectares. The reservoir supplies clean drinking water to Metro Manila, while the forest helps clean the air.

A long time ago, my grandfather used to bring the entire family to picnics at LaMesa Dam. I was either too young to remember those trips, or I wasn’t born yet at the time. I do remember cousins, my parents and aunts talking about those picnics though. Due to lack of funds for the MWSS which manages the area, the surrounding park had fallen into ruin. In the last decade, the ABS-CBN Foundation, through its programs for Bantay Kalikasan, endeavored to rehabilitate the park and reforest affected areas. The 33-hectare public park is found along the natural boundaries of the watershed and is 40 meters below the reservoir. Proceeds from the entrance fees are used towards the continuous efforts to preserve the health and beauty of the watershed.

I first visited the park years ago when they had just reopened it to the public. My day brought us there with my mom, my nephew Esban and his older sister Dal. We had wanted to swim in their pool but there was just too many people. We ended up just having a picnic (without a table because all were taken and there were no huts at the time) under the trees, and then we had so much fun dancing and laughing while bathing in the rain. Yes, we danced in the rain because the sky really went all out while we were there. It was so much fun. 🙂

Since getting Maxine last year, we have wanted to troop to LaMesa to practice shooting. We’d always thought it would be a hassle to commute to the place. Boy were we wrong! We took a cab from here to EcoPark and it cost around 150 pesos, but it was easy peasy. From there, you could just hop on to a tricycle – they’re right outside the exit waiting to take you to Commonwealth Avenue where you can take a jeepney, FX or taxi to wherever you’re going.

Though I was already sleepy on the way (I came from shift, and had work that evening too), I went prepared. My camera battery was fully charged, I was wearing tights and rubber shoes for freedom of movement, and a comfortable shirt. After all, the trip had two goals: to break a sweat walking, and to practice our photography. We successfully did both! Now, we plan on going out each week. Whoever said you can’t hit two birds with one stone? I actually hit several here: bonding with the boyfriend, practice photography, have more physical activity! Doing all these work like all the best weight loss products available out there.

It’s difficult to pick just a few favorite photos to showcase here, so if you’d like to checkout all the photos, they are on this Flickr set.

Let’s start with some flower shots shall we?

I love how this one came out. It was a really vibrant blood-red color. I forgot which part of the park this was in though.

I don’t really wear yellow, and not much orange either, but I love the two colors together be it on these flowers, or on a fire tree. 🙂

I love the purple tinge on these small flowers. It would have really been good had there been signs near these plants so we would know what they’re called, Hehe. I think that this photo could be used as background for a card. 🙂

I didn’t use any textures on this photo yet the bokeh effect was amazing. I think it took on the shapes of the small leaves of these small flowers that stood unbending against the wind.

Now, who says plants need flowers to be beautiful? These certainly look pretty on their own:

I didn’t just take shots of the fresh, thriving and beautiful. There were other interesting stuff around too. The ecopark is a true thriving ecosystem, there was lushness all around but there was also decay and somehow, also death. This post is already long enough as it is so sharing those other photos will have to wait another day. If you checkout my Flickr set though, you’ll see them all there. 🙂

July Round-up and Entrecard Thanks!

Wow, my birthday month is over and all I can say is that it was an expensive month! Yes, I feel blessed to have been able to afford all the spending I’ve done this month, hehe 🙂 It was also a month of being conscious of my health and well-being (as is obvious in my SBD recap post), as well as the month for seeing my girl friends (don’t you think we are all pretty ladies? check out wedding photos from Y’s wedding and Mayeen’s wedding too.). July was also a good month to share our love for photography! We’ve been on a  photo shoot to Lamesa Ecopark (what, and no post?!), then there’s the wedding, and then my lomo camera… We plan on finding places to shoot every week, not necessarily just on weekends. These past few days the boyfriend was talking about wanting to shoot something construction themed. It turns out it could be any structure constructed by man, not necessarily buildings still under construction as I thought! I suggested a couple of places, old buildings, bridges, steel buildings, etc., but he hasn’t found his subject yet. I just think it’s amazing that we have a common love now. 🙂

And allergies! I have had the worst allergy attack in the past week or two. Last year I was diagnosed with allergic rhinitis and I am having the worst time now. Unfortunately, I lost my prescriptions and haven’t really been taking maintenance pops at all (anti-histamine/loratidine, and the nasal spray). So I guess having this attack is my fault too. And my eyes, oh my eyes! The company doctor thought it might be conjunctivitis so he sent me home for two days last week. After two days, it was pretty much still watery, itchy and sometimes painful so I went to an ophthalmologist. He basically confirmed that it was indeed an allergic attack. Since I was a kid I’ve had really sensitive eyes and I frequently visited the eye doctor, but this is the worst it’s been. Now, I’m on eye drops with steroids four times a day, artificial tears too:

I’ll see the doctor again on Wednesday and he’ll let me know if I can already stop with the steroids and start with the ‘maintenance’ drops that need to be done once daily for the rest of my life, along with the fake tears. Good news is I still have 20/20 vision. There is mild astigmatism on my left eye, but the grade would only be .25 so I don’t really need glasses. Doc advised me to wear glasses all the time though. Clear anti-glare ones, or shades. Wear them he says, to protect my eyes from allergens. Uh, me wear shades at work? Hmmm 🙂 I tried so many frames at the mall today and couldn’t find one that fit. It’s just so not me. So we bought this pair of shades instead. The lens isn’t too dark, it’s perfect for both indoor and outdoor wear, and it’s big enough for my big face. 😀

It’s been a really good month, a nice send off for the last year I’m spending under 30 years old. I am so looking forward to even greater things, and more blessings. 🙂

For now though, it’s time to say thank you to the following bloggers who have made it to July’s Top Ten Entrecard Droppers on Where the Moon Shines:

Mayeen and Angelo, July 24, 2010

A very, very dear friend of mine tied the knot with the man who has taught her what true love really means. Mayeen and Angelo, then Psych batchmates, now husband and wife. 🙂 

lovely couple 

happy couple 

They weren’t together when we were still at the UP. In fact, Mayeen and I only shared one class with Gelo – Psych 180. We would sit very near the door, with the cool wind blowing through PHAn. I remember we’d talk a LOT, mostly Mayeen and myself, with Gelo occasionally joining in. Haha. 🙂 

The Officiating Celebrant at their wedding took the time to make his homily truly personal. He talked about the story of their love, and how it was all about waiting. Waiting several years after college before they finally became close as friends, a few months before they officially became a couple, a few more years before the proposal. And then there was the wait for the actual wedding day. 

I am super happy for Mayeen, someone I consider to be one of my very best friends. She has had her fair share of heartaches, but I believe it really was only Gelo whom she gave all her heart to. And though I don’t know Angelo all that much, I know he takes care of her and will continue to do so. 

The wedding was simply yet lovely. The reception was… wonderful. The food was great, and the company was awesome. We invited other N6 blockmates to sit with us at our table, but as it turned out, we should have been the ones to move to theirs, lol! Our table was so far to the back (granted, it was right next to the bar, and very near the food), but we felt left out in some parts of the program :(. There was pride though in knowing that we had the pleasure of being friends with both the bride and groom, haha. Among us too were the soloists from Church and at the reception, Carla and Pauie. 🙂 

I could see how close the couple were with both sides of their growing family. I think it was Angelo’s relatives who danced towards the end of the program. It was nice of them to really take time out to choreograph and practice!  That signalled the start of dancing too, at which point the ladies and I were ready to leave. 

We also made sure that Mayeen and Gelo got their money’s worth for the photo booth! 






Good thing too that this photo booth was available. By the time we were at the reception, my feet were in pain! I hadn’t broken in my new pair of high heeled shoes, so they easily brought me to such misery. Haha! 😉 I wasn’t on Paparazzi mode at the reception and took very few photos. It was a good thing that Alfred was with me at the Church and he did his photographer duties. He didn’t join us for the reception anymore, because he had shift very early the next day (3am) and needed to sleep. When I told him about the lechon and the bar though, he regretted leaving early. 😀 

This is the second church wedding in our small circle of friends. Mayeen is the third to get married. I think Pauie will sing at all our weddings, so she’s got at least four more wedding marches to sing to (five, if Raech ever decides to get married in a church). 🙂 I love these ladies! I miss them so, and I could get used to seeing them a lot, if only we really could. 🙂 It was fun seeing Maye, Lynne and Carla again too. Except for Maye, I hadn’t seen them since 2002! 

All the best wishes to the newlyweds! They’re flying to their honeymoon tonight, and I wish them a safe flight and a very happy trip. I know they aren’t planning to get pregnant anytime soon, but I do look forward to seeing Mayeen and Gelo with an Ergo baby carrier holding their little one (or two) in the next few years 🙂

Engagement Party?

When can you say that a couple is engaged?  Take me and the boyfriend for example. There was no formal proposal of marriage. He didn’t ask me if I would marry him, and he hasn’t given me an engagement ring. But we both know that we will marry each other, and in fact, we have already started planning for it to happen next year.

Are we engaged then? Instead of calling him the boyfriend, should I now be calling him the fiance? Betrothed? Haha.

Do you know anyone in the Philippines who actually threw an engagement party? None of my friends or cousins did. It’s not uso here. I guess even ‘proposing’ and the giving of bejeweled engagement rings have also been just a recent phenomenon, probably only started happening in the country in the past twenty years or so. Diba? Do your parents have an engagement ring? Mine don’t. I don’t even see their wedding bands, lol.

It would probably be nice to have someone throw us an engagement party. I could just imagine the wonderful engagement gifts we could get! haha. 🙂 Those Lady Gaga earbuds would look so nice with my S phone. Really. 🙂 Wait, I don’t need an engagement party to ask for gifts, my birthday’s coming up in a few days! Weeee!

Anyhoo… I’m feeling a bit under the weather today. I woke up this morning after a very long (take 15 hours!) sleep, but I didn’t feel rested at all. It hurts to swallow and my head feels a bit heavy. Hay. I shoulda been up at 5am to walk with my dad, woke up at 10:00am instead. My dad was long gone and was already at work. 🙁

Ohwell. I’ve got other blogs to update, and photos to process. 🙂

Today was a Full Day

How many hours can you actually fit into a work day? I have had such a looooong day. I don’t mean that to be negative though. 🙂

I’m just dropping in to report that Day 2 food was so good. The only downside is that one of the snacks is just some cashew nuts. Not filling, so I was hungry for lunch earlier than what would have been optimal. Snack 2 was Kani salad. I feel like this will really work, especially once I start with the exercise/walking. I’ve set the start date for additional physical activity on Monday morning. This afternoon though, I did get to walk a bit. I still receive reviews of various weight loss programs, including those like this nuphedragen review, someone even mentioned that I try Maggie (or maybe it’s Magi), an appetite suppressant.  I’m wary about taking any type of diet pills though, unless a doctor actually prescribes them to me.

So I had lunch at work which is not news, but since the boyfriend and I were going somewhere after my shift, he brought my dinner to me too. It was both yummy and colorful:

Fish Putanesca and Vegetable Royale

While I finished my shift and this filling dinner, the boyfriend was waiting for me at MIP – it’s a food/drinking spot right across our office building. One of our teams was there drinking and since he knew some of them from when he still worked there, he hung out with them and drank a few bottles too many. Lol. He took a photo of some of those left too, but I’m hesitant to post it! Haha. 🙂

Today we also bid goodbye to Maxine and handed her over to her new owner. I’ve known him awhile and know that she will be in good hands. I also know that she will continue taking photos of kids, this time two little girls and their adventures!

With Maxine’s departure, can a new camera not be far behind?

His name’s ViKtor and he’s a Nikon D5000. We didn’t get time to get acquainted with him though. Alfred had to go home, and as for me, I had to blog. I’m sure ViK will get much exposure soon though. The loveteam of ViK and Deena. 😉

O sya, matutulog na ‘ko!

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