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turning points

October 31, 2006 Leave a comment

4. i didn’t have a lighter again, it was confiscated when i boarded. i remember asking for a light at the view deck of Changi airport from a kind-looking Asian girl. that was my last cigarette, and more than 48 hours has passed since we landed in Frankfurt. i remember thinking how strange it would be to live with complete strangers for a month while making candies in gloomy Solingen. after our first day of listening to instructors while attempting to make edible sweets and drinking coffee every after 4 hours, i needed another smoke. thus, finding a lighter seemed to be the most important thing to do; which was not very easy since i was the only nicotine-dependent in the group.

few people came in late, missing the first day of class. i saw them dragging their suitcases towards the lobby. by that time, some of us who have checked-in earlier have been playing a game of “who’s who” based on the room assignments posted by the commons. i went inside my room to get my DunHills, did not really have a plan where i would get a light. when i came out, there he was, locking his door. since i have asked every single person in the group if they have a lighter, i had my script on play. “hey, oohh… HI! uhhmm, do you have a lighter?” i didn’t ask his name, didn’t ask how he was, where he was from or if he’s tired from his trip. first thing i asked was if he had a lighter. i could still remember how he looked at me, smiling. got a lighter out of his pocket, grinned and said “Yes, but you have to come over to get it”. 

 all of us have our what if’s.

5. we’ve been together for 5 years. and just like how all cliches go, i’ve never thought i would love anyone as much as i love him. but he had his dreams to fulfil, and all men will be boys until they get what they want. of course we could always settle for something else. me continuing my corporate day job that i enjoy but i don’t really adore, he working as a research scientist in the biggest semicon company in Cavite. but we both knew that wouldn’t be enough, especially for him. it has been his dream since i’ve met him to get that PhD in the US – and now the dream is about to come true. there was just one last thing that had to be done.

i actually had a choice. i could stay in Manila, continue on with my life and stretch a tested relationship to its limits. or i could leave everything behind and be with the one person i could never live without. making the decision was not really hard, the choice was pretty much obvious from where i stood. 

as my connecting flight to Nagoya rose through the mid-morning mist of Manila last June 14, i knew i have made a commitment which would not be easy to live-by. but i love this man. and there won’t be any limit as to what I can do to be by his side, always.

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Categories: others

turning points

October 31, 2006 Leave a comment

1. ever since i could reasonably answer the typical grown-up question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” i’ve always wanted to be a doctor. blame parental influence. i took BS BIO as my 1st course (note the 1st) dreaming of being able to attend medical school someday. funny but i’ve always imagined that i will love being in med school but sincerely doubted if i’ll like being a doctor. after a year in UP, i decided to give up on the dream, shifted to PHARMACY and eventually to FOOD TECHNOLOGY which, i foresaw, was more practical then. my family was in financial slumps, and as much as my mom refused to let go of the dream (even if we starve to death just to pay for tuition fees) – i had to set my foot down and decide for us. i needed a course that would allow me to work as soon as possible while maintaining that slight chance of still going to med school (if in case finances would clear up). well, it never did. so i worked a few months after graduation in the first job that offered me a 5-digit salary and forgot all about the glory dream of wearing that  noble white robe.

2. working for my first job was a blast. that 5-digit salary doubled in six months and continued to increase as the president-owner of the small company i worked for took me under his wing. i was given all the things fresh graduates could only dream about, a 40k salary per month, an SUV (and it won’t hurt to mention that it was a CRV-limited edition), topped with company-paid training in Germany and travels to Paris & Amsterdam. i was being groomed, and all eyes were on me.  eventually, i tripped. and it was all downhill from there.i was a fish out of water, struggling all the time to stay alive. whenever i look back to analyze what happened – why did i stop “being really good” – it always ends up to the fact that i didn’t know enough at that time, and i was expected to know. it came to a point that struggling to keep myself alive in that lion’s den didn’t seem to be the best of ideas, and i gave up. sometimes i wonder, would i be “better” if i stayed in the ball game? i am at a point in my life when i still couldn’t give a final answer to that question.

3.  one evening of again being bored out of my wits while refusing to study for another exam, i checked the land of anonymity for some descent conversations. we talked for about 5 minutes, he was in a hurry. before leaving though, he pulled out a jedi-mind-trick on me and got my number. a few days pass, emails to and fro, just like all the emails my inbox have received before. i was reading through sophie’s world one night when i received a text. he wanted to know how i was, and if i was busy. he was about to go to one of his research labs (he had 3 at that time) which had a phone, and he was wondering if i could give him a call through there. i was really enjoying my reading and didn’t want to be disturbed. text messaging back then was not a reliable way to reach people – i thought of denying that i have received the message and continue with my pleasent, hassle-free evening. then i figured, talking to this guy would surely not take THAT long, it would be a simple “hi, hello – glad to meet you – hey i’ve got to go i hear my mom calling me”. so i called the phone in his research lab. and we talked. and talked. for hours. then we met. and talked some more. for days. and all the years that followed.

Categories: others

pano mag-upload?

October 30, 2006 Leave a comment

i’ve been trying to find a way to upload these shots i took from the recently held Indian Festival (which was more of Indian kids dance contest in really cool costumes) for the past 45 minutes. I took them in high resolution since I was shooting far back in the crowd.

  watching at the indian festival at the indian festival at the indian festival from above

so i had to think it through. posted the pics in flickr, copied the codes and placed them all in the HTML editor.can’t say i’m satisfied with how these worked out. i can’t always post in flickr to copy codes here, i have a flickr capacity which i’m still silently debating with myself if i’d like to pay to have the luxury of uploading more. just need to shoot closer at small res next time. 

Categories: others

existentials and digicaming

October 28, 2006 1 comment

— i first posted this in my old blog weeks ago. felt i should upload it here. ‘la lang…efficient dba? —

it’s a Sunday evening. I’m in my bed, laptop at hand, with a bunch of warm and clean laundry that needs to be folded. Francis is nowhere to be found (I push him to study in the library during Sunday’s cuz he usually just ends up playing Civilization3 if he stays in our apartment) and it’s another 20minutes before “Just Like Heaven” debuts in HBO.

i figured, to kill the next 20minutes (for i am just semi-watching Richard Dreyfus hunt a shark with 2 fellow washed-out actors); I’ll make another list!

yeah, list are fun. i love lists. (say it with me…”liissttss”)

what i learned in photography which is applicable in a drama-filled life:

1. not having the right light does not mean you won’t get a good shot. you just need to look at it at a different angle. you could use the back light to emphasize form rather than detail, you could re-compose your shot OR – just move the sensitivity notch to a higher level. yes you’ll get more noise – but a little noise is sometimes bearable that not having the chance to take the shot at all.

2. when you see a thing of beauty, do not let it pass. shoot it. you may not have the skills now to capture it at its full beauty, but the fact that you have documented its existence allows you to be a part of it all.

3. the auto functions may not give you the shots that you want all the time. you could know how they work and when they will work, it may be easy to use and a lot of people use it all the time and sometimes it will give you the shot you have pictured in your mind. but it is only when you truly master the use of MANUAL control could you fully maximize your shooting potentials and truly capture the image you intend to shoot.

4. a fast way to learn how to take good shots is by viewing the works of other photographers. you cannot expect to learn everything and make all the mistakes possible on your own. by looking at how others do it, you get to have an idea on how to better get what you want.

5. composition may not be everything, but it is a very important thing. how all the elements on your shot are positioned against one another, the relationship between the foreground and the background and how you treat your main subject is what makes or breaks your shot.

6. regardless if your subject is in the background or the foreground, if you are using bokeh or not – something should be in focus. a completely blurred picture is not commonly a work of art – it is usually an accident brought by trembling hands or too long exposure without the correct support.

7. a good picture for you may not be a good picture for me. different strokes for different folks.

8. there is no right and/or wrong way to compose a picture. it all depends on WHY you did it. the WHY is all that really matters.

9. utilizing all known techniques to capture a good picture could help you create a good picture. but it is only through perfect moments which is beyond our sense of self do we achieve greatness.

10.  in a pool of 2,000 pictures, 90% won’t make it to your fave list. it’s only the 10% that you keep for life.

Categories: others

loving studio 60

October 28, 2006 Leave a comment

is studio 60 on the sunset strip aired in manila already? how i wish friends back home could watch this series!

isang malaking HAAAAYYY!!!

it’s beyond good. it’s GREAT. the last time i was this crazy about a tv series was a decade ago; yacking my head off every time the credits of “white picket fences” roll.  remember that show? well i was 17 then and i loved it, which was the same time i thought “cutting edge” was the best movie love-story and “good will hunting” was a very clever film.

technically – i don’t watch studio 60 in the TV. i download it every week from nbc’s website. i watch it this way because i HATE commercial interruptions – specially commercials here in the US which seems to lack the decency to be funny.

the material is REALLY GOOD. and i know the show is not getting the praises i think it deserves. i blame the magnitude of hype NBC generated prior to its fall premier. that’s what artists gets from corporate interference – a good kick in the butt which swells and hurts once you land in your ass.

though it does make me wonder where Sorkin is going with his plot. it seems to me his characters are developing too fast and he has yet to air 20 more episodes before the season ends. it’s a shame that i’ve never seen the west wing, was it ever aired in Star Asia?? – so no point of comparison here. this is basically a Sorkin-virgin analysis of a highly publicized and criticized show.

i was googling about it prior to this post and was saddened by the fact that there has been a steady fall-out in viewership. as a devout marketer, i’ve always hated negative statistics. bosses who are too self-absorbed usually shouts “KILL” whenever negative ratings comes up in their screens. and i don’t want studio 60 to end. i’m dreaming of minimum 8 seasons here. naahh. its too witty to get 8. 6 seasons would be more realistic.

though I’m not sure if the majority of the public reads through the subtle critic of how American TV is drowning into idiot-hood. or is it  because i’m not an American – and it’s just me who interprets it that way. i don’t know. but a major network making fun of themselves is not only cool – this is talent. and i love it.

Categories: others

i smell smoke…

October 27, 2006 Leave a comment

it started last week. initially, i thought it was just the book i was reading. and it wasn’t smoke but the smell of newsprint that was irritating me. but a few days after and i was done reading that book, it was still there. a lingering sensation of someone smoking a few feet away from me during random moments. as if i should stand-up, walk towards their general direction and light a stick with them.

at that point i realized – this is hallucination. i asked Francis if he could smell it, knowing his keen sense of knowing i smoked when i have pledged that i quit the habit years ago, he can’t. so… this is all in my head ‘ey. my first chronic paranoia.

there could be simple explanations really. the vents. the room next to ours are occupied by a bunch  of 18 year-olds Chinese-American university students who seem to think that playing PS2 whole day could help them get through college. it really won’t be a stretch of character to find out that they smoke, in packs, and the smoke goes through the vent which leads to an exhaust strategically placed by the lower bunk of my bed.

or a psychosomatic explanation: i miss smoking. the other night i dreamed that i was with my handy Winton’s, smoking a stick with a good friend. it was a good dream. i  could even remember the feel of smoke as it passed through my throat as i write this line.

and of course there is my ever-reliable make believe friend – FATES. maybe, she’s sharing with me a glimpse of what’s to come. that there will be a fire accident in the building? that someone i know is suffering in a fire accident? that despite my daily fear of my God (for i can’t seem to drag my carcass of a body to mass every Sunday’s) which i compensate by hosing down all ill-thoughts which my evil mind generates without breaking a sweat, i’ll still end up in HELL eventually?

can never can tell ‘ey?

well, i’m not smelling the smoke now. i haven’t since i started writing this post. so maybe, just like some things in life, it just needs an affirmation of presence. and once its identity has been notified, it gets tucked down with all the other psyches and is only aired-out fresh prior to use once deemed necessary.

the maybe’s.

Categories: others

there’s always a first for everything

October 25, 2006 1 comment

i have to agree – writing the first sentence of the first chapter of anything is always the hardest. whenever i’m about to borrow a novel from the local library; (since i’ve refrained myself from buying books considering the 30lbs airport baggage limit if we eventually decide to move, again) i read the first few paragraphs. if i’d be able to engage myself with it for at least 10 minutes while joyfully absorbing what the author wanted me to absorb – the book reaches the check-out counter.

yes i’m stalling.

since i have no idea how to rightfully introduce this take on being heard, i will quote my favorite Narnian, Puddleglum in the classic, “the Silver Chair”:

“I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hallow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narninan as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

i think i made my point.

Categories: others