for February, 2014
If I remember it right, this was the first time I used a 50mm f/1.8 lens. My French friend Edouard happened to be an exchange student at an institute in Makati and I was able to convince him to go to the shabby streets of Binondo to have him as my practice model. We used an old rooftop as our playground.
When I first heard the project of Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar years ago, I was apprehensive with the idea of moving Filipino-Spanish mansions from their original locations. But then, with the lack of government support of preserving historical sites and buildings, something has to be done at the very least to save our heritage. And what they did is marvelous. It really feels like you’ve been time-warped during the Spanish regime.
Recreating the houses was not an easy task. They either requested or bought some of the actual pieces from the old heritage houses that were being torn down or neglected. They relied on old photos to achieve that authentic appearance. Currently, there are more than 20 houses in the resort and there are still some that are being constructed.
You don’t have to check in to get inside the resort. A guided tour for walk-ins is available if you just want to spend a day. The history of each house will be briefly explained and then you’re free to roam around and take pictures. Just a tip: It’s better to call their office in advance if they will have a big tour group coming in that day. Luckily for me and my friend, when we arrived in the morning, we were the only guests until 5 buses full of foreigners arrived at 2PM. Good thing we were finished enjoying the place already.
How to get here (from Manila):
Just do everything backwards to return to Manila.
For more information, visit their website: www.lascasasfilipinas.com
No, this is not a scene from a Korean TV series. Seoul’s five grand palaces have guards dressed up like they were time-warped from the Joseon Dynasty. If my memory is correct, this one’s from Deoksugung (덕수궁). Get off at City Hall Station and go out at Exit 2. This palace is closed every Monday.
Camp John Hay remains to be one of my favorite places in Baguio. Relatively away from the noise of the city, one can just sit back and enjoy the cold breeze of the Philippines’ summer capital.
Last 2013, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea held a video contest that had the theme “My Best/Favorite Korean Friend/Food is…” Fortunately for me, my Korean best friend Oh Hyun lives in Manila so I convinced him to join the contest. He was very eager about it because the grand prize was a Korean car.
I immediately contacted my 2 Filipino friends (hello, Jeb & Jojie!) from Crevin Media, a small but rising production company that makes awesome videos mostly for weddings (but they cater to other kinds of projects as well so go ahead, inquire about their services.) The requirement for the contest was a 3-minute video only but we had to do a whole day shoot around Manila, Tagaytay, and Laguna.
The study scene shot in Tootsie’s, Tagaytay. Heirloom Filipino dishes await if you dine in here.
Football scene in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Fortunately, there weren’t that much people that day but it rained so hard 10 or 15 minutes after we arrived.
Dinner scene in Manna Korean Garden Restaurant, Poblacion, Makati. Definitely one of the best Korean restos I’ve tried in Metro Manila.
We waited for 4 months and finally, November 2013, the announcement was made (official article HERE.) We didn’t win the car but we still got a Bronze recognition for our efforts. Not bad considering there were 464 entries from different countries around the world!
I attended the awarding ceremony in Arirang TV’s studio in Seoul, Korea last December 5, 2013. It was a memorable experience for me since it was my first time to appear in a Korean broadcasting program and I somehow got to represent the Philippines in an international platform.
Oh Hyun and I would like to thank our families and friends who supported us along the way. It’s definitely one of the best memories in our friendship so we’re very grateful that we’ve reached this far.
If you haven’t watched the video, here it is. Load it in HD quality. It’s much much much better. 감사합니다.
My Korean friend took me to Hwangryeong Mountain (황령산) by car. We arrived around 6PM and as the sky darkened, lights from various areas gradually illuminated Busan. Good thing I brought my tripod to make a long exposure for this night shot.
Most people think Taal Volcano is that relatively high land formation on the right side of this picture. That’s Binintiang Malaki. The crater is found in the middle, usually not visible if you’re viewing from Tagaytay. I’ve trekked it twice; one for a school field trip and the other time with my friends.
Even Garfield is having a tough time earning money these days.
It was June 2009 when I had my first ever professional work as a photographer. I got a random call from a friend if I wanted to work as a behind-the-scenes photographer for a lifestyle TV show. The moment she said that the host was Heart Evangelista, I gave a resounding YES as an answer. I was excited for two reasons: 1) I’ve never worked for TV before, and 2) Heart was my crush every since I was young. Obviously, I was filled with nervousness during my first taping day with her.
I’ve always had this notion that TV personalities are the complete opposite behind the camera, but Heart was very down to earth and easy to work with. I’ve never had a problem asking her to pose or candidly shooting in her periphery.
Fashionistas By Heart was a TV show by QTV that focused on fashion and anything interesting to young women. Every episode, Heart explored different looks and it was my job to magnificently capture her in these outfits.
The stint may be over but Heart and I still get to work occasionally on some TV shows. Moreover, this opened various photography-related opportunities for me in GMA. I’ll truly be grateful to the people who believed in me even if I was a newbie back then. (Thanks Virna & Ate Irene!)