BALER, AURORA

Went to Baler over the weekend to celebrate dad’s birthday. I was expecting a little down time at the beach, like how Nikk and I like our dose of the ‘beach’ — which is lying on the sand, not dipping into the sea — but we were mostly out, touring the city. Three days and two nights were not enough to really savor this place. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it cause even though I’ve been here few times already, it’s the first time I’ve been to some of their famous tourist spots.

Yeah.. posting the other places we’ve visited to a separate post. Hahaha! For now, enjoy these photos. :p 

Canon AE-1P // DNP Centuria 100

I have the best photographer on the entire universe for a lover…that’s why! <3 

I won’t have awesome photos if it wasn’t for him. Thank you, love! :)

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Less than 6 hrs til the big announcement. Still waiting for that email, but… Hahaha! Rooting for – other than myself that is – these four lovely ladies: Tessa of GooglyGooeys, Maritzi of HappyTummyTravels, RV of Chasing Adventure, and Hazel of Staybookish.

Really glad I’m making friends because of BBE. We’re planning to meet soon; hoping this pushes through. I think this will be my first ever blog meet up – I mean besides Tumblr Fair which wasn’t much of a meet up; I was too shy to approach anyone I didn’t know personally. Haha!

Good luck to everyone! Thank you Big Blog Exchange and Hostelling International.:) And Aia, there’s always next year (repeat til you believe it and feel better). :p

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Congratulations to everyone who won! Special mention to Tessa of GooglyGooeys — you owe us coffee! Currently bookmarking the blogs of the winners. Can’t wait for everyone’s journey.

Definitely joining again next year!!! I’ll join til I bag a place on the top 16.:) See you all, next year!

P.S. Really glad the PH representative came from one of my favorite BBE ladies. Wasn’t as heartbroken because of that! <3 

Click on the link to see the winners and their exchange destination.

RANDOM SUNDAYS — 5.

A lot of tagging games — if you call those games — going on on Facebook and Instagram lately. One of which is the Top 10 books that made an impact or meant something to you one way or another. I’m not big on books to be honest. I never was a bookworm. Nonetheless, I still try to read — and even keep a list of to read books — especially those ones my friends recommend. Last year, my goal was to finish at least one (1) book per month; wasn’t successful. Hahaha! 

Anyways, here are my top 10 books, in no particular order:

  1. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  2. Diary of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
  3. Catcher In The Rye - J.D. Salinger
  4. Perks of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
  5. Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain - Charles R. Cross
  6. The Prophet - Khalil Gibran
  7. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
  8. ABNKKBSNPlako!? - Bob Ong
  9. Mac Arthur - Bob Ong
  10. Looking For Alaska - John Green

I have this thing for auto-biographies, biographies, philosophical, journal-like type of books. Those are the kind of literature I loooooove reading. If you have any recommendations, please message me the title. I’d love to read more.:)

What about you, what are the top 10 books that made an impact to you? :)

PLACES TO VISIT IN THE PHILIPPINES | Part 2

Here’s the part 2 of my previous post. I haven’t been to any of these places I would be posting so there’s nothing much I can say but IT’S BEAUTIFUL. All photos were taken by the love of my life. 

3. Bohol

Chocolate Hills. The clean waters of Loboc River. Scrumptious meal and awesome lodging. And special mention to their ice cream. Of course, an up close, personal encounter with tarsiers. 

4. Coron, Palawan

If you’ve got to follow last year’s winner, I remember Tina from Germany who exchanged with Camie from the Philippines, went to this place. I’m not so sure though if it was Coron; I can’t find her blog anymore. :( 

Coron, in one word, PARADISE. Everything is just beautiful here. Even all the food are delicious, according to my boyfriend that is. :)

Hoping I can visit this place soon.

5. Banaue Rice Terraces

A 2000 years old hand carved mountain by the indigenous people of the Philippines. I almost forgot I’ve been here already; back when I was still in highschool — which is roughly a decade ago. Apart from the terraces, I also  remember going to Sagada Cave and see the hanging coffins. Nikk said it is not close from each other, but I remember going to both in one trip.

There are so much more beauty the Philippines can offer. Sadly, you can’t see them all in just a 10-day visit. I do hope, if ever our country would be chosen to be part of the exchange destination, you’d get to enjoy it as much as I/we do. And I hope this 1 post somehow triggered your wanderlust for the Philippines.:)

PLACES TO VISIT IN THE PHILIPPINES | Part 1

I’ve been trying to come up with a list of must-visit places in the Philippines since The Big Blog Exchange started. I’m having a really hard time since I have only been out of Luzon — the island where I’m from — once; that is when we went to Boracay. Haven’t really been much around my own country, sadly. The reason for that is because going out of the country, most of the time, is less expensive than traveling domestically.

Good thing, I have a well-travelled boyfriend who’s helping me collate photos of places I wanted to recommend an exchangee to visit — if ever our country will be part of the exchange destination, whether I get a place on the top 16 or not.  *Dyeing to be part of the top 16. Typing with my fingers and toes crossed*

I’m going to start with the ones I’ve already set foot on. 

1. Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar — Bagac, Bataan

This place is rich in Philippine History and Culture; and when I say rich, I mean RICH! This is what Philippines looks like hundreds of years ago; the time when we were still under Spain colonization. Entering the gates of this heritage park feels like traveling back in time. Houses here were from different parts of the country; dismantled brick by brick and rebuilt here. Some only contains about 1% of the house, but they did an amazing job recovering and copying how it originally looked like. 

You can see more of this place on my other blog posts here.

2. Manila, Philippines

Your visit to the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without walking the streets of Manila — for me, at least. You can’t say you’ve fully understood being a Filipino without experiencing the hustle and bustle of Manila — again, for me, at least. Just like any third world country, the place is dirty and very crowded. Despite that, walking here is something I’ve grown to really love. Avenida-Quiapo-Divisoria and/or Quiapo-Escolata-Binondo are the routes Nikk and I usually follow when we just wanted a plain old photowalk. 

Avenida is full of thrift shops, vintage stores, and street vendors; well, Philippines is full of street vendors wherever you go. Haha! Quiapo, if you’re a photography enthusiast, is the place for you! Hidalgo St. in Quiapo is a photographer’s haven. Lenses, films, cameras, anything — may it be digital or film — you’ll find there; and it is alot cheaper compared to gadgets sold in malls.

Divisoria, on the other hand, literally has everything. From clothes, accessories, toys, novelties, decorations, school and office supplies, decorations, dry and wet goods, household supplies, basically everything. You’ll just have to find your way to what you’re looking for. It is indeed “the mecca of value shopping”.  

While Escolta — going to Binondo — is somewhat a quiet street. Or perhaps, it’s because Nikk and I usually go there on weekends, during which, schools and offices are close. There are still old buildings in Escolta that I wish the government would restore. Old Manila is such a beautiful place! Binondo is where China Town is. You definitely have to go here to get some Chinese food and other Chinese goods. Lastly, Intramuros, the oldest district and historic core of Manila (accdg to Wikipedia). What you’ll see there now are ruins and some establishments that are either restored or salvaged. It is still being reconstructed since it was declared a National Historical Monument back in the 1950’s.

Part 2 of this post will be up, hopefully, tomorrow. :)

All photos were taken with film! :)

RANDOM SUNDAYS — 4.

Did you know that I have an ask.fm account? Yes! Yes, I do! HAHAHA! I don’t actively advertise it — unless you call this advertising — cause I like talking to people privately and more personally (e.g. Tumblr ask). But yeah, I do have an ask.fm account. I don’t get alot of questions to be honest, but these are the things I get asked about all the time. In fact, these are the only things I get asked about. 

FAQs

1. Where do you buy films?

I buy online. Ebay, Amazon, The Online Warehouse and these two Facebook groups — Film Photography Swap and Lomomanila which you can freely join anytime. 

The Online Warehouse is owned by Dr. Jackson Sy. It is a great and constant source of films. While Film Photography Swap and Lomomanila, even though noone sells films constantly, it usually is a bargain when someone does. Just be on the lookout. 

I also ask friends who go outside the country. I just Google available photolabs on their destination and beg them to buy me some. Haha! When you have a friend who’s into film photography as well, then it’ll be easier. Like April of http://grewlegs.com — who I haven’t even met yet — recently went on a trip to HK and was kind enough to offer to buy me some films. Hi April! Thank you so much!!! :) Check out her blog, she has lots of awesome stories to tell. 

There are other online stores in the Philippines, that I’m sure of. Just Google your way to them.:p

2. Where do you have your films developed and scanned?

I’ve tried a number of photolabs, so far the best and the most affordable is Fuji Sto. Domingo. D.O. is 55php/roll, scanning is 70php/roll; both for 135mm and 120mm. You can also apply for a loyalty card which only cost 180php. It is good for a year and you are subject for 20% discount on their services — developing, scanning, printing. 

I also support my friend Teo of WTF — What The Film. You can be sure that your films will be well taken care of, plus high resolution scanning. 

3. Where do you buy film cameras?

For people who are interested in film photography and don’t know where to get a camera, my main source are eBay, Film Photography Swap, and Lomomanila. Log on to Facebook and check out these pages; the last two I’ve mentioned. You’ll definitely experience GAS while scrolling in it! 

That’s it! Hope this helps! Let’s keep film photography alive! :)

Canon AE-1P // Brooks 400

ARTWORK.PH

For the first time, in a long while, I wasn’t the one behind the camera. Hahaha! My friend, Teo — a designer at Artwork and the one who taught me how to develop black and white films — asked me to model for some of their shirts that will be posted on their Facebook account.  

Artwork is one of the leading t-shirt brands in the Philippines dedicated to the young and passionate; a brand that never tires out of pushing the limits of t-shirt fashion and Art. With its Myriad of influences—Arts, Music, and Pop culture…

http://www.artwork.ph/#!about

I think Teo was already out of options. HAHAHA! For whatever reason he invited me for the shoot, I really don’t mind cause I grew up loving this brand — and I absolutely had fun. Plus, I had a free shirt, some GC’s, and PIZZAAAAA along with it. Eeep! <3 Also got to meet their pretty boss, a.k.a. the daughter of the owner, and all their wonderful and very welcoming artists. 

Up on their Facebook account are the Raglan Tees. Go get yourself a pair! :)

P.S. I went to the shoot unintentionally wearing a top from Artwork. To my surprise, the designer was there. Sadly, I wasn’t able to take a photo with her. (Just between you and me, I was just actually a little shy to ask for a photo. Haha!) :p

Sorry Teo for the out of focus shot. Huhu! :(

Canon AE-1P // Schlecker-Fotoland AS 200

BBE 100 FINALISTS.

I want to cry! I am officially part of the 100 Finalists of The Big Blog Exchange. I cannot stress enough how thankful I am to each and everyone who voted and are continuously rooting for me. To my family, friends, online friends, friends of friends, who didn’t waver promoting and campaigning for me, thank you very much and I will forever be grateful to you. I wouldn’t have gotten here if it weren’t for all of you guys. Now, it’s all up to the international jury to pick the 16 bloggers who will get to swap blogs and countries for 10 days. The waiting game begins… 

Oh, the agony of waiting — I haven’t felt this in years! I was so used to this feeling back in college — during which I am always on the verge of failing. Haha! 12 (or is it 13?) days til they announce the 16 winners. 12-13 days of sleepless nights (fo’ shizzle). 12-13 days of nervousness and excitement. This probably is the most nerve-racking experience I’ve gone and currently going through in my life…by far. 

I don’t know what I’ve got to offer that the rest of the 99 finalists cannot do. I don’t want to hope too much, but I don’t want to be a drag about it as well. We all want this! We’ll all make good stories out of it. And I seriously don’t know what to say anymore. I am overwhelmed. 

Congratulations to my fellow Filipino bloggers, RV Panambo of Chasing Adventure who I’ve got to follow and talk to and Maritzi Tullao of Happy Tummy Travels who I just followed last night. And of course, congratulations to everyone who joined and took part of this wonderful project. Good luck to all of us!



 
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