Friday, 26 July 2013

To my birthday girl.. My mother!

Today happens to be my mother's birthday, and it also turns out that I need not go to Arayat for community service. Perfect.

Being the youngest, I would obviously get the favor of my parents, and being the only son, I would get the favor of my mother. So it is clear that me and mother share a strong bond. I am after all, a self declared mother's boy and I am proud to let the whole world know about that.

I went out with my mom, which by the way, is like the best date in the world! I mean, she would constantly pay for the meals, and such. Even if it is her birthday, parents, and in my case, my mother can still spoil me even if I insist that I would pay for the meals even just for today, but to no avail! Why resist? LOL

I just want to post a blog about my simple day in the local mall and local restaurants with my special girl in the world in her special day. It is a supreme blessing that I have no duty today and was able to hang out with my mother whom I haven't hung out with in ages thanks to my clerkship. But God always knows how to give us what we want when we least expect it.

Of course, my mother's birthday isn't over yet, me and my second eldest sister are going to treat her to dinner tonight, and even if she insists on paying again, we will really resist! I am just glad that I got to spend time with my mom like I used to when I was younger. We used to travel a lot together, but age and certain responsibilities have caught up with the both of us to do these as much as we used to.

Anyways, here's to my mom! Happy Birthday! Love yah!!

Date with my birthday girl!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Slice of Life: Community Rotation in Arayat, Pampanga

My groupmates with the "Barangay Health Workers" that also act as our guides; not pictured... ME.

Funny how things start so scary since we don't know what we are getting ourselves into, such is the case with me and this community rotation; as with many students, even if the task is daunting, scary, or plain boring, one will still strive to rise against such a challenge in order to get the grade, pass the subject and course, and then, eventually graduate. But such is the case also, that at times, you are blind sided by the fact that what you perceive as daunting, scary, or plain boring, can become the most fun you had in years.

The past few rotations we had so far, were challenging in their own right, and had their own sense of fun (I will be posting about our previous rotation some time later... really later), but we had an idea on what is to be expected of us from our residents, etc., with this community rotation, we really had no idea at first, but once we were acclimatized, as always with me and my groupmates, we get the job done in such a quick, orderly, and most importantly, efficient manner, and that's why I love my group.

Being a city boy, well, being a geeky-stay-in-your-room-Filipino-American-city-boy, I was at first, at a loss; not in the sense that I couldn't get the job done, but in the sense that it is as if I wouldn't survive there in Arayat, for a day, but that quickly watered down when the Barangay Health Workers were the nicest bunch of ladies I have ever met, and the people in that live there are just as friendly and extremely humble.

I keep on rambling on about this job we had to do in Arayat; so what is this job anyway? We had to go around around their neighborhood, doing a survey, based on their current living situation in order for the local health organization to list possible ways to improve their living situation. 

Melody interviewing the locals

Ditto with my groupmate, Paul.

The whole experience is humbling, and in a way, worth while; I for one, who has spent most his life in the sense of familiarity, finds this new area, these people, a refreshing experience as it pits me out of my comfort zone. I am not well adept in the local dialects, but I was still able to communicate even with my half-ass attempt to speak Tagalog (one of the many dialects). Also, its not as if, English is a total mystery to these people, as for me wanting to practice medicine here in Philippines, I still spoke in Tagalog even amidst them insisting that I speak in English.

Alas, here I am interviewing...
Apart from interviewing, I had another assignment given to me by our consultant in charge, Dr. Rene Santos, and my groupmates, that is, obviously, to take photos for the documentation of this project and it will serve, for me and my groupmates, of our rotation here in the community. I was the obvious choice, since ever since I was first year, when we used to have medical missions with Dr. Rene Santos, I was already the photographer for such events, and everytime there is a class activity or college activity, I am always in the front line of photographers, thus, my classmates', and in this case, my groupmates' go-to-guy for documentation.

Of course, I wouldn't say no to such a task for a number of reasons, one I wouldn't have to pick my brain out for Tagalog words, and two, I get to be reacquainted with my beloved DSLR named Nikki (because she is a Nikon). But I'd soon find out, that I should have declined and rather interview than take photos...

I didn't start shooting on day 1 of our community service, the first 3 days, I was also interviewing the locals, it wasn't until the 4th day where I took photos, but ironically, out of all the days we have been there, the 4th day happened to be the hottest day as the sun finally peaked through the other wise cloudy day. And to top it all off, I had forgotten that me and my groupmates usually split up with our respective guides in different areas of the neighborhood in order to cover more ground and finish the job a lot faster. So I had to walk arounf in this heat looking for my groupmates in different areas of the neighborhood. Of course, not being around there, I had asked my guide if she would help me find my groupmates so I can document, however, like any parent eventually sending off their children on their own, she let me go, with her blessings, to find them on my own. This wouldn't bother much if I was actually really familiar with the neighborhood, but being a complete tourist, lugging around my camera and such, on my own, wandering the streets, looking aimlessly for my friends, one could imagine my fears of being mugged or kidnapped. Thankfully no one did so. But that was an exciting moment, however, I wouldn't want to experience that again. At least just that part.

Now, it wouldn't be any much of a shooting trip if I don't have any creative shots that I usually call "the money shots" when I am tasked to shoot in an event. I had a couple or so shots that I really enjoyed taking and post processing and below are but a few of them:

"The Other Side"; I added the monotone to make it more gloomy since it was too sunny for its own good. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

"It was a blur"; had no tripod in taking this shot, but it turned out alright. Visit my Flickr photostream, link below this blog post, for higher resolution

My groupmate, Vyel. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

I felt like playing around with prime's bokeh. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

In here, people are more than willing to be your model. LOL Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution

I saw this toy in such a strange location. Being vigilant, I took the shot of this imprisoned  toy. Visit my Flickr photostream, link on the bottom of this blog post, for higher resolution
Our community rotation is far from over, but I couldn't wait to blog about this experience of our's; we still have to tally our surveys, make reports and present, etc., but the was things are going thus far, I feel that everything will turned out anything but daunting, scary, or plain boring.

I guess, that's it!


My Flickr Photostream:

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

I always like the rain; no one can see me crying
Click on the photo to be redirected to my photostream in Flickr!

Second night in a row that I decided to shoot macro with a reversed lens. I reverted back to shooting wide open and suffer the loss of depth of field, but at least, some parts of the shot are more in focus than my previous feeble attempt to shoot with a much smaller aperture in hopes to getting a better depth of field.

Anyways, I will have more time by next week to shoot macros as I am very close in deciding whether to get that focus rail or not. With that I have several options: first, I can buy the 160mm focus rail alone, as this may be enough for my macro needs; second, get the 260mm, the only reason why I am considering this length is that they price between the 2 lengths are not that astronomical; lastly, get 2 160mm rails, have one move forward and back, and the other moving left and right.

As always, I will ponder about this a lot more before deciding what set up to buy.

That's is all.

Keep shooting and never look back!


Monday, 22 July 2013

Spheres of Light and Waves

Spheres of Light and Waves
Click to go to my Flickr Photostream!

Very much out of focus, but what else can I do when I have been away from the realm of photography for quite some time. More of eons and eons ago. And I am using a reversed lens, thus losing autofocus. Also, being away so long, it have been even longer since I last tried shooting macro using a reversed lens, so I have already forgotten my techniques in focusing albeit using a reversed lens.


Anyways. That is all.


Enter the Ducky!

Enter the Ducky
Enter the Ducky!

Proudly typing on a Ducky DK9008 Shine II Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Keyboard with blue LEDs to match my theme on my PC.

I will write my personal review on this keyboard some time later; it may be a too late as the Shine III are coming out this September, but meh, whatever, I will still do it. LOL

That is all.


And I missed you so...

Bam! It has been like how many months ago since I visited this site let alone post anything!

I will, as I always have said before, do my best to update this blog of mine.

Just some quick updates on my life in general; I am currently in my 4th year in medicine which means I am a junior medical clerk, or in the olden days of yore, a medical clerk, and currently in my 4th month of what is to be a year of clerkship. I am also currently in vacation mode or so as I am in community rotation.

As for my guitars... they are collecting dust sad to say.

For my PC, I have upgraded a crap load of peripherals, software, and internal hardware. I am glad to say that I finally made a small home server to accommodate for my backups. The most recent purchase was a Ducky DK9008 Shine II Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Keyboard with blue LEDs... so recent in fact, that I just purchased it 6 hours from the time of this post (it is the factors why I wanted to blog tonight because it is such a joy to type on this keyboard!).

And as for my photography, I have been updating my Flickr every now and then, but no major events or creative shots have been taken as of late. I did, however, attempt to shoot some water droplets on a CD ala macro, but I am starting to think I should invest on a focusing rail to aid in my macro shots as I shoot with a reverse lens, on top of that, I can finally do focus stacking to make even more incredible high magnified macro shots in focus. Thankfully, I have 2 events in the coming weeks that I was asked to shoot. And since I am in community rotation in Arayat, I may be able to get good street photos, landscapes, and the like.

That is all for now... I will post as much as I can because I do miss writing blogs.