December Wedding

So I finally have two consecutive days off this week. Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ They are weeknights though, and some people may have a problem with that. I don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚ First, it coincides with the boyfriend’s off. And second, it’s still two days straight.

Tonight I go back to work, hopefully better rested than I’ve been in the past two weeks.

I still haven’t done all the shopping I need to do. Looks like my parents are resigned to taking care of all the Christmas shopping required for our annual gift giving on both sides of the family. I feel sorry not being able to help out in the shopping part, but perhaps I’ll just volunteer to wrap them up. What I don’t feel sorry for is having to decide what gifts to get each person on the list, that’s proven to become harder and harder every year.

But let me digress from talk of Christmas, gifts and shopping, and instead talk about a wedding we witnessed last week.

I will forever think of the bride as my Auntie Leesah’s friend, which is why during the wedding I kept thinking that if there were angels in heaven happy that she found love and happiness again, it would be her departed parents, plus my auntie.

Auntie Jenny was married before, but her husband passed away at a young age. She has two grown up sons now. The groom is an Episcopalian priest who, I think, is Irish. He came here to live and teach at the Seminary a few years ago, and who would’ve thought he would find love too? ๐Ÿ™‚ Their union is a true inspiration that we can’t (and shouldn’t) really give up on love.

Now. Weddings in our small community are mostly simple and traditional. The ceremony is pretty much the same, even the hymns sung. People don’t always wait for a formal invitation, and we certainly don’t look at how many seats are reserved for the guests. Which makes it difficult to plan a budget wedding – because it’s difficult to say exactly how much people will be coming.

But such weddings are fun, because people you really know and who really celebrate your happiness are in attendance. And they don’t care much about how you look, or how they look. Dress code is also something people pretty much ignore. Haha. A lot come in their Sunday best, but for most this also just means jeans and a clean shirt. I know that doesn’t look pretty in pictures, but that gives the occasion a happy, relaxed vibe. Really. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s some of my favorite photos from the Church ceremony:

The happy couple

Lovely bridesmaids

It was really just a fun wedding. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have more photos to post-process, mostly from the reception but I’ve yet to find time for those. Let’s just hope I don’t forget them, haha ๐Ÿ™‚


The Campaign

The Broadband Internet service from Sky Cable is having some technical issues in our area. Thus, we have very slow connectivity. We noticed it a few nights ago but I dismissed it to just your regular loss due to high network traffic. But the next day when it was still pretty much the same, and none of us could load our Cafes in Cafe World, I figured we needed to do something about it. So I asked the boyfriend to give Sky a call.

That’s when we learned of the problem somewhere that’s been interrupting the service since last week, and is scheduled for resolution next week. ย Being in customer service ourselves we knew what kind of concessions we can demand for and the boyfriend tried to go for credit for time lost, and he got confirmation for it! So I’m looking forward to next month’s bill, and I sure hope it will reflect the promised adjustment. If not, then they better be ready for this irate customer.

So anyway, with my connection being as bad as it is, I spent time in front of the PC, offline. I used Writer to work on posts for Between the Covers (notice how there’s so much activity there lately? ๐Ÿ™‚ I also spent some time doing post processing on our photos.

I started with pictures from the campaign for the 2010 Barangay Elections. ย Both the boyfriend and I joined my cousins and other friends in a motorcade/walk to campaign for my Uncle Walter. I didn’t know about the motorcade until half an hour before it started, but off we went. I remember campaigning for my grandfather when we were kids, those were fun times, and there was no vote buying.

Anyhoo, here are the photos. All courtesy of the boyfriend, the photographer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Alrighty, I gotta go do the dishes before the Kohler kitchen sinks get too laden with so much stuff. Oh wait, I don’t have dishwasher duties tonight do I? Alfred??? ๐Ÿ™‚

My Pink Dress

She’s my Pink Dress, a Superheadz Super Fat Lens; reincarnation of the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim. She is in fact, manufactured in the very same factory that the Vivs were made back in the day. She needs film to produce photos, no other attachments not even a battery needed. It’s just me and my Pinky, pointing and shooting from the hip.

She’s going to help me live my Lomo dreams. I won’t talk about lomo today, and I won’t be posting sample photos from the first roll of film we used up together. I’ll save that for my newbie photographer blog.

We picked up Pinky from the very homey shop of Oh! Shoot along Boni Serrano in Cubao. It wasn’t what I expected. I like the store, really. It was very artsy, accommodating, welcoming. None of those elements that sometimes made camera shops too mechanical. No intimidating gadgets, no SALE signs or prizes displayed all over. They didn’t even tag their items for a barcode scanner or what not. Instead, lomo prints were plastered on their walls. A comfy couch was at the center of the space, inviting one to sit back and checkout the books they had on the table. Too bad none of the elves in charge of the store were there to give us lomo tips or take our photo for their show-off. But the dude from downstairs was more than willing to take us up to the shop, and just hang out while we looked around and finally zoomed in on what we were there for. I went there with one purpose: to get the Pink Dress. I would have settled for the Black Devil or the blue one, but then I saw her and I knew she was mine. Sure there were other cameras calling my name, including the Blackbird Fly and the Digital Harinezumi, but I blocked them all out. I had to.

So now you’ve all met Pinky. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Anniversary, Y and Pau!

I was at their wedding last year, July 23, 2009. It was a day after my birthday.ย ย 

I took photos.ย ย 

And my girlfriends kept harping on me to post them. I never did.ย ย 

Until today. ๐Ÿ™‚ย ย 

Here’s some of them:ย ย 

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