Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Surf's Up!

For the boy and all those waiting to meet and ride their own wave. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Life By The Sea Temple

Though Tanah Lot Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu sites in the island of Bali, it is also quite the tourist spot. The temple sits on a large formation on the coast of Tabanan. It is one of the seven sea temples around the Balinese coast and is by far, the most photographed. Legend has it that the temple is surrounded by poisonous sea snakes to guard it from evil spirits and intruders.

I really don't have a good photograph of the temple itself. Perhaps because of it's many tourists that mar the setting. I, being one of them.

Against a stunning backdrop and obvious commercialism, there is however, pockets of magic. Nearby, locals, young and old alike, traipse through the coast during low tide to gather seaweed -- for the dinner table, perhaps, or as a commodity to trade in the market. Shallow pools are everywhere for you to dip your feet in, play with the tiny fish, or try your hand in in seaweed harvesting.

It's an entirely separate world from tourists, yet it exists alongside it.

One of the temple's guardians having a nap.

The entrance to the temple itself is guarded since non-Hindus cannot enter. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Early Morning Walk

It was pretty early out and I decided to walk around this village a few miles shy of Mt. Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano. I was going uphill and this elderly woman was walking down, presumably to make her way to the town market. I saw her already when I looked up and she was walking the steep slope down. I thought she looked quite regal as the early morning sun cast a soft glow on her face. She ambled down in a faded yet still beautiful green floral dress which I imagined shesewed herself when she was younger. We both smiled and called out "Selamat Pagi!" She, on her way down. I, on my way up.

As I turned around to watch her, a tiny vision of my future flashed before me. Someday, I will also be this woman. Out on a beautiful day, on the way for melons or pears or cabbages. My face will be lined with creases from years of laughter and from sorrows overcome. My gait still spry despite the years. I will return to a house, nearly topsy turvy with books and toys and the sound of my children and grandchildren playing and arguing and making up. There will always be a kettle boiling for tea.

I smiled to myself and thought that despite everything, I know I will be alright. I called out goodbye and she waved back and watched me make my way up towards the sun and trees.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sunday Brunch

Guess what came with my brekkie tray this morning! Marc insisted on being a pirate.. I insisted back that I should be a ninja next time on Legoland weekends. Although, I must admit the girl mini-fig was rather cute, so I guess it's ok.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Strange Cities:Views From A Hostel Window

The first thing I ever do after getting into any hostel room is open its windows... well, if there'd be any, at all.  Spread out below me would be new territory waiting to be walked in and to get lost in. It could be priceless, downright strange, or I could be staring straight into another wall.

... and much like Forrest Gump's proverbial box of chocolates -- you never know what you're gonna get.

Vientienne, Laos
taken with redscale film 


Hanoi, Vietnam
taken with Fisheye 2 on bulb

Northern Thailand
taken with cross processed medium format Fuji Velvia

Lama Island, China
Bangkok, Thailand

Kalankichok, Nepal

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ooops... I Did It Again (Or, the Tale of the Little Anarchist)

I didn't know when I started feeding my own inner anarchist. Well, not anarchist anarchist, mind you. I haven't burnt a flag nor taunted a police offer nor as much as hurled a cherry bomb (Okay, I take that back, I did hurl a tiny explosive, well more like a very small firecracker, really, onto the jeepney of an annoying neighbor with my cousin when we were about 8. The girlish scream of the blasted, pun intended, 18 year old bully, and the gravel crunching stepping on brakes was all we needed before scampering off laughing into the safety of reeds and bushes to hide), so no. Not yet, at the least, no. Though the idea sounds awfully tempting.

After the cherry bombing incident, there were tiny acts of revolt, neo-vigilantism, pseudo-Project Mayhem-ing  Fight Club style that ensued in my lifetime. There was the case of the missing Christmas gift put under the University's tree which I left for anyone who wanted it in the nearby park. Then there was the put-pocketing phase where I nearly gave away all my tiny toys to unsuspecting people who's only (mis)fortune it was, was to have their bags open for a goody drop. Or that time when I didn't have enough money to leave a tip for that very nice waitress at that Thai restaurant; all I could leave was a Post-It note with a crayola drawing of an orange dinosaur that said, "Orange you such a dear that I could give you a much deserved pre-historic cartoon than a few pennies." I fancied myself as that mysterious force, not exactly like Batman or Santa Claus, that left things oddly (mis)placed, humorously and perceptibly skewed for the rather astute.

Once a few weeks back while browsing in a rather large bookshop with more sections I could dream of, I stumbled upon a book on Muammar Gaddafi at the biography section. I thought aghast, while it was indeed and technically a story about the life of this Middle Eastern mad dog, shouldn't the book be better fit in the Crimes Section of the bookshop?

Ah! Indeed the spirit of tiny anarchies was alive that afternoon. I pulled out copies of Gaddafi's books and discreetly deposited them where it was apt (behind some Agatha Christies, actually). This could be a much better alternative to book burning, now isn't it? Well, it didn't really liberate Tripoli, but at least it's one stone hurled against a tyrant from this side of the world. Feeling rather pleased, I picked up a Jane Austen book and hightailed it out of the bookshop.

Weeks later, I went back to the scene of the so-called crime to see if my crime was left unsolved. It was cleaned up. No Gaddafis no more behind the Christies. A shrug, then off to the Biographies, pluck out the same book plus that of Hugo Chavez's and then to the Crimes. I'm sure the guy watching me from the surveillance camera was scratching his head and thinking of the futility of my so-called anarchism. Well, in my mind's retortive mouth, I'll keep doing it until people get the message and will do the same thing. Heck, they can even pick up Paris Hilton's book and put it on the Crimes row. Didn't she get busted for drugs? So that counts right?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not Even The Trees

Did a bit of walking in order to do some writing. It was a fine, gray day, damp with a threat of rain and cold enough for me to wrap a scarf around. I almost wished there was a nearby moor where I could traipse in and yell, "Heathcliffffff!"

But no moors. Just naked trees slightly swinging against the somber sky.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Today Is A Fairy Tale

If only all shoe stores would have these, I'd be the happiest gnome on earth!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Tired Feet, Cold Feet, Brave Feet

I do believe I could be a real freak sometimes. Well not really. Some people do this too, you know, take stupid pictures of their feet. Heee...!!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Day To End All Days

I've seen many a beautiful, soul-hurt, breathtaking sunsets in my life. Today's, just as lovely.. certainly one that will be a favorite memory. I hope in the end of (my) days, it would be just like today's. That kind where the sky subtly shifts, throws shadows, and then burns the sky quietly in pink, then orange, and explodes in magnificent shades of yellow until it peacefully fades away into night.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Life As A Stray Dog

My grandfather once told me that dogs can't see color. I felt kind of sad. I can't imagine not seeing color. Color meant so much life.

So I pretended I was a stray dog and roamed around for a bit.

Friday, July 08, 2011

"You're so different."

I don't know why I get that all the time. I always thought I'm just like everyone else. I like dogs, bungy jumping, the smell of baking bread, caffeine, books, photographs like most people.

I guess maybe I'm just everyone's recessive trait.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Swirling Through Pinholes

With my new Diana Mini hanging jauntily around my neck, I stepped through my front door with much vigor like Don Quixote taking to the windmills.

Anything that moves, sitting still, or just about anything that's within frame could be a masterpiece. The thing with pinhole cameras, you really don't expect much and you'd be lucky to get good enough shots in a roll.

So after standing giddily at the Fuji film shot to get my scans, I was quite surprised to find that most of my shots turned out to look like watercolor amateur paintings! Blurry, wavy, and less than perfect, this must be what it's like to capture a dream.


Hammocks are made for lazy afternoons like this.

One of the biggest sows I've seen so far.
Double exposing a playful puppy with some flowers. A poppy then? Hah!
Ati dancer at the Baragatan Festival 2011.
Another costumed wonder. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life In 50 Hours

Life is made up of moments and just enough film to capture it.

Lazy afternoon spent in Nagtabon Beach -- a secluded stretch of white sand and pristine waters an hour outside Puerto Princesa, Palawan by motorbike.

Writing my name on shores is a compulsion. Perhaps it's the knowledge of tides and how they take everything back to sea.

Stuffing backpacks in the shadows.

Slow boat ride to Mangingisda Port.