03 Feb 2013
in MOMents Tags: Lia, love, MOMents, motherhood, personal, travel
As a new chapter of my life begins, allow me to look back at how we have spent the last four years together.
We used to spend every waking and sleeping hours together, just you and me. But now, there will be less time for you and me to be together because you are growing and things are changing. Soon, you will be four years old, going to school more, and spending time with more and more people outside the family.
Before you came, I was hard at work on my master’s degree and was close to taking up a 5-year doctoral degree at a university abroad. I was also a [highly-paid] Drama teacher at a prestigious all-girls high school. I had more money than I needed. But I was lost.
Only when I had you did I find purpose in life. Indeed, you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and without you, I would have been living a successful, and yet, empty life.
Because you and I will be spending significantly less time with each other, I could not help but look back to the time you came into being until now, to this. The time of being primary and sole caregiver, stay-at-home-and-hands-on mom has ended as I now go back to working full time.
But know that I am your mom and I will always be here for you. I love you in ways unimaginable. You have made me a better person altogether. For all that you have done to me, I am grateful.
Our journey has not been easy but it had been very exciting. You are my daughter and my best friend, and I could not ask for more.
I had loved traveling with you.
July 2008 – Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Catanduanes
September 2008 – Siquijor, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental
November 2008 – Camarines Sur
At Lake Buhi Resort, Camarines Sur. November 2008. 16 weeks.
January 2009 – Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin
At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.
At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.
February 2009 – Guimaras and Iloilo
March 2009 – Pangasinan
May 2009 – Camarines Sur
At Surfer’s Paradise, Pasacao, Camarines Sur. May 2009. 1.5 months old.
07 Jan 2013
in Family, MOMents, Photography Tags: Bicol, Camarines Sur, family, Lia, MOMents, photography, Stonehouse, Stonehouse Gardens Resort, travel
Lia was borrowed by her grandparents during the weekend and I was missing her so much that I went back to the photos taken at Stonehouse Gardens Resort while we were in Bicol last month. This is really, I could say, Part 2 of Lia and her Mama at Stonehouse Gardens.
01 Jan 2013
in Camarines Sur, Family, MOMents, Photography Tags: Bicol, Camarines Sur, family, Lia, MOMents, photography, Stonehouse Gardens, Stonehouse Gardens Resort, travel
Having finally decided that Lia and I will never come back to live in Bicol, we embarked on a road trip to haul all of our stuff back to Manila. We used to travel together every two weeks when Lia and I were both based in Bicol in 2011 but this was Lia’s first return trip to Bicol after leaving nearly ten months before. We allotted two out of the three-day long weekend for just driving the 900+ kilometers back and forth, and only one day to stay and roam around the area. This mainly meant having coffee at Starbucks Magsaysay, dropping by Bigg’s Diner and Red Platter, having kinalas and puto bucayo. Of course we could have done more but with the limited time, we had to prioritize the ones I missed the most.
I have always wanted to go up and visit Stonehouse Gardens, and because we had no plans of ever coming back, it was imperative that we go this time.
We arrived a few minutes before four in the afternoon on the first Saturday of December. The sun was nearly at the horizon and behind the clump of trees by the fence. After refreshing ourselves with glasses of juice served by the resort and take-out food from Bigg’s Diner, we went on a walk around the place and took photos. The setting sun gave just the right light for what would become some of my favorite photos for the year 2012.
13 Oct 2012
in MOMents, Photography Tags: El Nido, friendship, Lia, MOMents, Palawan, photography, photography by Lia, portraits
My daughter has a very good eye and I am immensely proud of it. I’d buy her her own camera soon as she is old enough to know exactly what it’s for, and is responsible for what she will get out of it. She loves looking at the photos I take and I like asking her opinion on which photos are good or not.
She also does not like having her photos taken. More often than not, she would say No when I ask if I can take her photo.
Some days I’d ask her to take photos and she’d flat out say no.
Whereas some days she wouldn’t stop taking photos. She loves taking photos of me.
So one September morning, while hanging out in our bedroom in El Nido, Lia decided it was portraits time.
And I guess that day, Lia was really in the mood for taking photos because that evening, she was still at it. She found it extremely amusing that I had Angry Birds stickers on my face, which she put on herself.
Lia and I definitely have lots of fun together. Even if we are just hanging out inside our bedroom.
24 Aug 2012
in Life in El Nido, MOMents Tags: El Nido, friendship, Lia, MOMents, mommyhood, Palawan, Simizu Island
Through all of Lia and I’s many ups, and a significant enough number of downs, is a blossoming friendship. More than being mother and daughter, we are best friends.
The other night, as I was slaving away, like I have been the past two weeks, she and I were staying up late, me with my two laptops, many text books, pens, notebooks, and many paperwork, and she with her portable dvd player and two books she has “borrowed” from God knows where, I suddenly hear her in a very serious, commanding tone, “Mama, hug me.”
Startled, unsure of what I actually heard, the tone being commanding, my forehead creased in lines, I asked, “What?”
Bewildered at where this was coming from, I went over to her, where she promptly put her arms around me and held me quietly and tightly for about a full minute. I glanced at what she was watching, wondering if this sudden need to hug me or be hugged by me came from what she was watching, and saw that she has been watching an episode from her favorite Little Einsteins show and that there was absolutely nothing there that could have prompted this overwhelming show of emotion.
She proceeded to flip her book with one hand, while another arm was around my shoulders and we we’re like that, for about five minutes.
Ah, my darling sweet little girl… You’re the love of my life.
21 Aug 2012
in Life in El Nido, MOMents, Palawan, Photography Tags: El Nido, family, Lia, MOMents, Palawan, photography, travel
We went to hang out at Pukka Bar on this day, and the weather was nice, the light was good, and I came home with 400 photos in my camera. I take RAW+basic jpeg shots so that translates to 200 photos. Half of them were taken in the first twenty minutes we were there, and half of them were taken after I was done with the camera and my daughter and I were just playing and hanging out.
These photos were taken by Likha. He has the habit of stealing up on us and taking our photos. I had no idea he was taking pictures of us until I got home and looked at my camera.
In most photos, you can see Lia with a backpack. Sometimes it has a water bottle, a face towel and a bottle of her milk. Most times though it only has her toys. We make it a point to bring her beach toys every time we go to town.
Lia said, “Mama, will you play with me in the sand please?”
17 Aug 2012
in Life in El Nido, MOMents, Photography Tags: 18-135mm, 50mm, El Nido, Lia, MOMents, Nikon, Palawan, photography, Pukka Bar, Vitacon .5x wide angle converter
Most days my daughter would refuse to have photos of her taken.
16 Aug 2012
in MOMents Tags: Instagram, Lia, MOMents, photography
Someone asked me once, “Do you really live high and take it easy?”. I said, “No but I love Jason Mraz.”
Little you or smaller I
Sleeping like a baby… a little naked one. This is little I.
For god so loved the dog… He sent lil kids like Lia to give em kisses.
Mystique Transformation, 15% complete
02 Aug 2012
in MOMents Tags: friends, friendship, kids, MOMents, mommyhood, parenthood
I keep saying this to all my no-kids friends, of which there are plentier than plenty, since I was almost the first of all my friends put together to get married: You will never know what it takes to be a parent until you become one.
“Your life will change when you have a kid” is an understatement. Though superficially, my life now seems not too different from the one I used to have pre-baby, that’s all it is, superficially.
The very first thing I learned when I had the baby was, it’s possible to love something so much that nothing else comes close, and you will do everything, anything to make your life and that thing you love so much, work. It’s even possible to forget all other loves you once had. That was how it was for me.
When I read this article, I cried, bitterly.
18 Jul 2012
in Family, Life in El Nido, MOMents, Palawan Tags: Caalan, El Nido, Lia, Makulay Lodge, Makulay Lodge and Villas, Palawan
My Flickr Pro is expired so I can but see 200 of my most recent uploads. This makes it difficult for me to look for old photos I need for some comparisons or reminiscing experiences whenever I feel so inclined. I have not felt the need to renew my Flickr account in the past 2 years, especially last year, when I was busy managing the bar in Naga City and had absolutely no time to take photos. I feel the urgency now though. It seems that every other day I shoot at least 200 photos – and about 20 of them would end up being posted or in the very least, blogged about.
Lia’s first few days in El Nido were blessed with excellent weather. It was really bright and sunny and we went to town and the beach every day. She and I also took a lot of photos.
I have been quite busy too testing my Vitacon wide angle lens converter and I think I have decided that it is best that I shoot two of whatever it is I fancy every time – one with the converter and another without it. The converter comes with vignetting and other “effects” that I find only acceptable for certain artistic inclinations – the edges become soft or smeared, there is considerable image quality loss and I get a fish eye effect.
I still have a lot of problems with regards to my shooting and post processing workflow as I feel that I’m not being as efficient as I should or can be. I am badly in need of a refresher on workflow management.
Since I cannot see my old photos, I had to repost some of them. Only because I wanted to show a little bit of now-and-then.