I said, “Welcome back to me, Photoshop. Long time no everything,” because it is only now, in the past three months, that I have opened this application to work on my photos. So long that I have, I believe, forgotten how to use it.
If you notice, I have a new watermark, and I am trying to do justice to it by putting it on photos that I am proud of myself and amusing myself with its placement every time.
If there are some differences in the ways I process my photos now, I have the following to thank for:
1. Mark Terence Sy – for the mentorship and the workshop last December where I learned a few camera tricks and tips, as well as how to use Adobe Bridge in some ways, among other things, of course.
2. My workshop classmates who basically taught me the existence of some, as well as how to use, awesome Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. I have not mastered them as I have not been sitting long enough in front of my laptop in the past months to effectively learn anything.
3. Some cheap filters that I acquired in November 2012 that I have also not mastered enough but yes, I will get there, that because they are cheap and I do not know anything, have also taught me how to use my camera in such a way that I shoot with the knowledge that I will crop the vignetted edges.
4. Some people and experiences to draw inspiration from. Not to mention infographics brought to me daily by my fantabulous Facebook feed. More
It is my first day back in Manila, after spending almost 11 days in the Visayas area – mainly in the islands of Cebu and Bohol. I have a lot of catching up to do: four months worth of photos and quite a number of blogs. My blog has been eerily quiet for the past three months. The days fly by, as do my thoughts, and my life. I try my best to keep up and basically live my life as quiet and productive as possible.
I have a lot to write about, a lot of people to see, a lot of places to go to, and it seems the days aren’t enough. Or even me, there is not enough of me. But again, I try my best to keep up.
Sometimes I do not know what exactly is happening, but I try to do things, always with my fingers crossed and hope and pray that what I am doing is right, or at least leads to something useful and worthy of the time I spend on it.
In my wanderings in the past months, I have managed to lose friends, and make friends, at the same time. Some of these friendships, I have surprisingly, managed to keep and nurture, regardless of time and distances. This gives me something to be proud of, despite many failings and shortcomings.
There have been a lot of changes in my life or the way I live it, but I am more inclined to wish that there are some changes too in the way I think and approach things, which I consider more important, for what is the purpose of changing things, when my heart and mind do not?
It made me think about the many people that have been in, out, and around my life, and can only marvel at how much I owe them what I am. I am what I am right now because of these people, who have shaped me, and I cannot be grateful enough. I can only hope that they are as happy to have me in their lives as I am to have them in mine. All that I am, think, and do, have been shaped by the many people and things that I fit into my life, no matter how fleeting or enduring, and deep or shallow.
In the coming days, I hope to be able to post the photos from the following events since December, in my website, or my Flickr, or even in my Facebook. I have not really posted anything much. A friend messaged me last week to inform me of his observation, “How are you? You have been quiet on Facebook of late.” More
When this site started out, it was really a very personal blog – a space for all my ruminations, intellectual masturbations, thoughts on family, motherhood, activities and photos with and of friends, short stories, and emotional creative output. It was basically a more permanent version of my Multiply site and a repository of my very personal blogs from Friendster written all the way back from 2005.
This was not meant to be a blog that was supposed to make an internet personality out of me, or make money for me, or a landing page for information the general public might find useful. I was into travel and sharing information for other travelers like me, so I put out a site specifically for that, onetravelstory.com. Maintaining two sites became too tedious though, that in the end, I merged both. And with the expansion of my interests, friends, and activities, this site became a catch-all for everything related to my own personal lifestyle; and subsequently, put me in that category. That being said, I have tried to avoid posting personal blogs. I have not written one, in my effort to avoid putting myself as the person that is me in the limelight, but instead, putting myself as a purveyor of useful information.
I have not written any personal blogs in a long time, but this is the day I will. Because I just need to.
I am at a crossroads of my life. Today is the day I move out of the house that in paper, fifty percent of which I own. Today is the day I officially begin a new chapter of my life. More
The first days were spent getting to know my kids. They may be taller and bigger than me now but they’d always be ‘my kids’ in my eyes.
In my classes, I made my students give me at least three things they thought I should know about them, just little things they wanted me to know about them – things they liked or not like to to do, liked or did not like to eat, and habits and attitudes. I’ve known them since they were young, we’ve not seen each other in seven years and I wanted to know how in those past years they have changed. I asked them if seven years ago felt like a long time, and was glad they feel the same way I do – it seemed to me only yesterday. They still look the same, just bigger and taller, yet the same. And to them, I still look the same too.
I asked them about their most memorable experiences from years past, and their expectations of this year, as well as how they see themselves a year or so from now. I always believed that the purpose of having an education is to be able to use it, and because of that, I always made it my purpose to give them a learning experience that they can use.
It felt really good just getting to know each other, all over again.
And then, I asked, “If there’s one thing you need to know about me, what is it? Think of a question that I need to answer.”
Devastated would be an understatement for what I felt the past week. A horrible, numbing feeling that I waded through as best as I could by immersing myself in activities that involved things that I loved like music, art and coffee, not necessarily in that order, in an effort to be inspired enough to wake up when the morning comes.
I went to gigs, as music is thoroughly therapeutic, as much as laundry. I took as many photos as I could, delighting in captured smiles of new as well as the familiar faces. I overworked on long overdue projects just to take my mind off the aching. After more than a year, I stepped once again at a theater, an old love, armed with a camera to hide my face with. And after the performance, walked to the harbor, breathing that mundane well-loved smell of the sea, tainted as it was, and I took it all in.
There I sat, in chair and table still wet from a recently concluded rain shower that I missed, with a cup of coffee, staring at a lonely sunset at the edge of the sea. A perfectly forlorn afternoon for my thoughts and ill emotions. I thereafter wandered amongst the stalls, looking for a unique toy to bring home to my child. Finding nothing, I wandered into the thoroughfare, steps in the direction of the east. Hidden songs from a play list thought long-deleted from the days when I still owned a Nokia for a phone wafted into my ears.
And there, just as I was crossing the wide highway, I read a text message from a much-loved old friend, and I was overwhelmed with such joy that tears sprung from the empty pools that were my eyes and streamed down my pallid cheeks. I was asked a question, and it was yet, the sweetest three yeses I’ve ever given, other than my daughter, anyone. I may be a nomad, but my heart still knows a home. And today, home beckons. More
After being at a rock bar nearly every night for almost a year and being exposed to different kinds of music and different kinds of people, should it come as a surprise if, being back in Manila and just staying at home, I always long for it?
I had loved being around people and being out at night, that is the only possible reason why I stayed that long.
These days, I find myself always longing to come out late at night and look for where the music and the people are. It’s just me looking for me.
My nights last year always started out with a cup of coffee, either at my favorite Starbucks branch in Magsaysay Avenue or a cup my staff made for me, that I quietly enjoyed either by the large windows of Wharf Galley overlooking Magsaysay Avenue or the tables at Kebob downstairs. Starbucks is only my third favorite coffee shop, after Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Bo’s Coffee, but in Naga, I had loved hanging out there because of the big trees outside. I had loved the open air tables, where pieces of flowers and dried leaves blew with the breeze. More
Frankly fed up with the onslaught of articles on “Date a Man who Reads“, “Date A Girl Who Travels,” “Date a Boy who Travels,” and more recently, “Don’t Date a Boy who Travels,” this article is a refreshing break. Though now that I have re-read the article, “Date a Girl who Reads“… or Writes, for that matter, I have, never been this agreeable, nodding my head, more times than I can count. In between little smiles of course. Why we are obsessed with justifying WHAT we date is beyond me, but that’s just me, whose so-called tastes have always been baffling to many, to say the least.
1. They will always have a friend who’s in a show, or having a reading, or playing a gig, or showing in an art gallery.
You will go on dates such as these, not because we have friends who are in a show, or reading, or a gig, or having an exhibit, but because, we simply cannot think of anything else to do or a better place to go than that, off the top of our heads. Or that’s where we we’re going anyway, before you expressed interest in joining us.
Below that is a link to a supposedly related article on 5 Date Ideas for Night Owls. I have never been a morning person and if it we’re up to me, no date should start before five in the afternoon, but there is a shortage of people who are up for dates after midnight, at least in my 30 years of experience. Unless they want sex. And in that point, is that a real “date”?
Which brings me to:
3. People who work in the arts often have relatively free/strange schedules.
Yup, that’s us, the blokes with the strange schedules. Actually, we’re even raising our eyebrows at the word, “strange.” To us, nothing is ever considered strange.
My mom and I have never been close. She was never really active in my life. A long time ago, I came to a point when I did not care anymore about our relationship. I care now, but she is gone.
It’s been more than a year since her passing, and I can’t say I miss her as much as my sisters and brother do, for she was never really that big a part of my life. But when I come home to our house in Bicol, it feels ever more empty. Along with her absence came the feeling of our house being homey. She was truly what kept that house, home.
Some days I think about what I could have done to have loved her better. Some days I still fault myself for not having done more.
Now that I’m a mother myself and my own gone, never has it been ever clearer to me, that my mom, more than the mother I knew she was, was truly her own person, and there were so many things she had to compromise so she can be the mother she thought we wanted.
When I read this, how I wished I had read this before, so that I understood her more or better – or anything that could’ve made us closer. Now all I have are regrets, for things that were never done, things that will never be.
Letter from a Mother to a Daughter:
“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. More
The only bus at the terminal when I walked in at four in the morning was a Florencia line with a sign to Nato Port – Sagnay. I boarded it with a smile and thought how nice it would be to actually get off at the port. I told the conductor I was getting off in the town of Pili, some fifteen kilometers and thirty minutes away, and paid the fare of P15. Oh how I long for the beach, I thought as I closed my eyes.
I woke up to peer through the stained glass windows and the pelting rain into the dark of what looked like vast expanses of watery rice fields and I knew instantly I had slept too long. I checked the time – five o’clock. Sleepy and not knowing where exactly was I, I decided it was best that I get off in the town proper, whatever town that happened to be.
I entertained the thought of getting off at the port but I looked at my boys and decided, maybe next time.
I got off the town proper, still not knowing what town, and walked under the eaves of the line of sari-sari stores shut at five past on a rainy Saturday morning until I found a sign. It read: More
I should be writing. There are so many things to write about and people to write to. Letters, I should be writing letters and these days, I seem to do nothing else but that. Important ones, not like the ones I used to write. Ones that do not matter now, if they ever did.
I should be writing letters, but right now, at 3:51AM, the last thing I want to write are more letters to other people. Perhaps a letter… to myself. Musings, like the ones I used to write.
Two nights, I sat on a bright yellow bench, with my dusky pink sweater wrapped around me, a cup of strong sweet and creamy coffee in a stryfoam cup bought from the sari-sari store nearest to that bright yellow bench that has endeared itself to me, and listened to Taylor Swift’s Fearless on my phone. I never did pay much attention to Taylor Swift, except when her video is on the music channel because she is absolutely pretty with that pouty lips and tiny mouth of hers, and except during that time when Kanye West was an a** to her at some particular awards show, but for some reason, I found it fitting to listen to Taylor Swift as the wind blew my hair around my face and the coldness of the early morning seeped into my jeans. A pair of bootleg jeans, perfect for my cowboy boots that has made itself famous in this particular city I happen to find myself often enough these days and that I have dug out of the bottom of my childhood cabinet – a memoir from my high school days. More
Welcome to Livin' High and Takin' it Easy. Thanks for dropping by! I'm sorry about the missing blogs, categories, tags, and links. My site crashed last June 2011 and had to go through a painstaking process of revival. We are slowly trying to bring back all the site features and formatting but going through nearly a thousand blog posts just isn't that easy. Thanks for understanding. Cheers!