My Adventure Partner (a photo essay)

This is an entry to Wanderlass Adventure Partner Contest

If I had to think of an actual physical adventure partner (as opposed to research skills and a Zen attitude), it would have to be my faithful Canon Powershot A80 camera.

Me and my trusty camera (2010)

Continue reading


My Adventure Partner (a short essay)

This is an entry to Wanderlass Adventure Partner Contest.

I have two complimentary yet contrasting partners whenever I travel: my kickass research and organization skills and my ability to just go with things.

Even though I love to travel, my first no-parents-allowed trip as an adult happened just last April 2010. My friend and I ended up in Australia – our first time in Cairns but my second time in Sydney. As I’d been there before and my friend’s only stipulation was a budget cap, planning everything fell to me. I looked up all the places I went to and enjoyed, the best ways to get there, a good hostel located within walking distance from the attractions, and most important of all, possible ways to get discounted tickets. After all the research, I presented my friend with three possible itineraries complete with projected costs. Thanks to me (*pats myself on the back*), we made the most of our five days without breaking the bank. My only regret was being two weeks early for the John Mayer concert and not knowing “Wicked” was staging just blocks away from the hostel.

However, just letting go and going along with what other people want to do has its upsides too. During my latest trip to Antique, Guimaras, and Iloilo, my friends did all of the planning. All I did was buy my ticket and contribute towards group expenses. Thanks to them and friends-of-friends, we visited a hacienda, went diving, island hopped, celebrated someone’s birthday, and ate tons of seafood in just four days!

/end essay

Notes: yay I’m writing again! Yes the impetus was winning a kickass backpack but I really have been meaning to get writing again. I have lots of adventures to document, most especially the trip to Antique, Guimaras, and Iloilo. I want school to be over ASAP!

yay more writing :D

I entered the “I Love Philippines” Year 2 contest last August. They asked people to submit stories about best Philippine travel experiences in the form of websites, photos, songs, or videos created using Apple’s iLife ’09 software. The grand prize? A 13″ MacBook Pro. As someone who’s been dreaming of a Mac for some time now but never had the funds, how could I pass this up?

My project: a website featuring my almost 2-year stay in the paradise known as El Nido, Palawan created using iWeb ’09. I didn’t win the MacBook *sob* (but the winning video really was kick-ass and deserved to win) but my entry was among the top 4-10 entries (they never mentioned my exact standing) so I got the 3rd generation iPod shuffle. It’s so tiny!

Screenshots after the jump!

Continue reading

Another publication

An article and a lot of photos of mine were featured in the Juan Philippines El Nido issue. My article starts on page 16, while my photos can been seen on the cover, pages 4, 6-8, 16-18, 23, 24, 28, and 34. Unfortunately, I didn’t get paid this time around and didn’t get credit as “Contributing Photographer” 😦 Haha. Juan Philippines is a travel magazine (same size and page number as the Sunday Inquirer magazine) that they give away at the airport. If anyone reading this is passing through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila anytime soon, grab a copy of this off the stands 🙂 (And if you have the time, please mail a copy to me [I’ll pay for shipping of course] for my portfolio. Hehe.)

Published, published, PUBLISHED!

One of the reasons why I’m so happy these days:

And this:

Yup, that’s one of my photos printed full page in an international travel magazine. Granted it’s a new travel magazine – this is just the third issue – but still .

*deep breath*


Now that that’s out of the way, I have a few quibbles. Haha. First, the photo is pixellated. Sigh. It was originally a landscape but the magazine chose to crop it to focus on the right side. Unfortunately, the camera I used was a Canon A80, a 4 MP point-and-shoot. Four MP gives you a maximum print size of 8×10, which would have been fine had they chosen not to crop it.

Second, the text. The one paragraph description of the photo started out as a 500-word article with other photos accompanying it. I’m totally fine with the severe cut, but I just wish I had been the one to trim it down instead of their editors



Now that that’s done, I can go back to being happy for getting published for the first time . Huzzah! You can read the rest of my stuff here in my blog (I crosspost like crazy) or in my Everywhere profile. If you’re an Everywhere member and you like what you see, please vote for my submissions so that we can see it in print ^-^

Product review: a camera bag that doesn’t scream “CAMERA BAG!”

When I bought my first (and so far, only) digital SLR, the bundle offered included a fully-padded and compartmentalized backpack that could carry the body with a 70-200mm lens attached, at least four other lenses, a flash unit, and all the other accessories you could think of. Besides being too huge for someone who’s just starting out, it none-too-subtly had the camera’s brand emblazoned all over the bag. Not really something you’d want to use if you want to keep a low profile. The solution? A Crumpler “5 Million Dollar Home” camera bag.

crumpler 5 million dollar home exterior

Continue reading

Family vacations: how to survive them with your sanity intact

Whenever my parents said “We’re going on vacation!”, my first thought was always “Who else is coming?”. Growing up in a close-knit family with an equally close-knit extended family, the term “family vacation” almost always meant going with at least 20 other aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends of various ages, personalities, and preferences. With at least one outing every summer since I turned 12, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that made the trip less of a hassle. As they say, you can choose your friends but not your family.


Continue reading