Casino / Lugsangan Peak

It was Friday night and I just got home from a long day at work. I was feeling tired but was looking forward to the weekend. I was lying in bed, browsing through Instagram again and if I remember it right, was badly itching to go hiking again.

I’ve been to Osmeña Peak a few times and it was barely a workout as you reach the summit in 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops. Lol. I wanted something more challenging, so I went looking for the other “peak” in Dalaguete, which I saw or heard of before.

Behold, at the opposite end of the long range of the “Chocolate Hills” of Cebu stands in great might, Lugsangan/Casino Peak!

As I was looking at people’s photos on Instagram, all the more that I wanted to see it for myself. I would have invited my friends here to join me, but knowing girls, it would take a lot and a while to convince them. I was imagining all the excitement and planning would eventually end up in them waking up late and the trip not pushing through.

So I texted the only other person I know who is up for spontaneous trips like this, my little, big brother. As expected, he replied with a “sige teh, alis tayo 4am“. Bilis kausap diba?

So after doing our thorough research on how to reach Casino from Osmeña peak, he picked me up at exactly 4am and off we went on a 2-3hour drive to Dalaguete! It was one of my last roadtrips of 2019 and boy just thinking about it now, makes my heart sink a little.

I was so excited to see what I like calling the “little Baguio” of Dalaguete at the foot of Osmeña Peak just because everyone is wearing layered clothing and bonnets due to the cooler climate. Plus, there is a vegetable marketplace at the entry point of the little town, which to me, feels exactly like Baguio!

We reached the parking area just a little after sunrise and registered at the jump off point. Took a selfie with the lovely ladies manning the entry point, peed and caught our breath. Forgot how steep the climb was to the jump off point. Lol. We opted not to get a guide because we were going for a more adventurous morning and because we were confident enough that the bloggers’ reviews and directions we found online would suffice. Plus, we could always ask the residents around the area for directions.

After having hot noodles for breakfast, we started our trek at the narrow road at the side of this little hut of tatay, whom we also asked for directions.

From the said little sari-sari store of tatay, you could already get a glimpse of Osmeña Peak.

It was no surprise that we got lost eventually! We had to go through what seemed like endless cabbage patches before we reached a little residential area that led to this concrete road. We had to go around this mountain on the background and took us another hour of trekking an almost empty road before we finally reached the little barangay where Casino Peak is situated. It was a very looooong trek, contrary to what we read online. But still, ginusto namin to eh. Lol!

When we reached the entry point, we were greeted by this lovely nanay and her kids who thought that we were vloggers because I was taking videos and was hauling a bag full of my film cameras. We rested for a bit inside the hut where we also registered and had a nice chat with the kind lady. Her husband, later on that day also helped us find a habal-habal driver who took us all the way back to the parking lot.

It was an exhilarating break from our routine and I’m thankful for the chance to do so. We were planning on climbing Mt. Apo this year. Unfortunately, it would probably take a while before we can do that!

Hoping that wherever you are reading this from, you and your loved ones are safe and well!

Shoot More People / part 1

I had the chance to have my films processed when I went back home last week for our company conference. I HAD to squeeze that in what little time I had between a dental appointment, meeting my long lost friends and of course, family time. As usual, I didn’t label my films and didn’t know what were to unfold. To be honest, I like it that way. It’s part of the thrill of film photography!

When I got them, I realized that 1 roll had photos from various trips around Cebu. Literally from all over! One frame was shot in Toledo, while the next one was from a trip to Carcar. I didn’t realize til then how long I take to finish a roll of film these days. Work has been taking soooooo much of my time and energy lately that I barely have any left for what I love doing. Sometimes, it hits me hard soooo bad that I don’t even want to pick up my cameras anymore.

Then, I saw these photos and I know, I’m in love all over again.

Most of these are street photos from my roadtrips and travels. Some were taken on random work days coz I have this rule to always bring at least 1 camera with me wherever I go.

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This kuya and the one beside him were two of the friendliest Cebuanos I’ve met! You’ll find them in the Carcar Night Market endlessly and cheerfully grilling isaw!

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This boy was diligently cleaning out the candle holders in the Simala Shrine in Sibonga, Cebu!

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On my early morning walk along Agoho beach in Camiguin, like in any island I visit, I saw this tatay along with several other fishermen, prepping their stuff before going out into the sea!

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When I wake up early on weekends, I usually go to Naga boardwalk to jog, to watch the sunrise, the rowing boat teams and sometimes swimmers who warm up in the calm water and of course, to take lotsa stalker-ish street photos!

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Sometime last year, I asked my brother to go with me and climb Casino peak/Lugsangan peak, a much challenging climb than the more frequented, Osmena peak without a guide (coz we were stubborn and frugal AF lol). It was a long trek from Osmena Peak, trudging through hectares of cabbage patches and rocky roads before getting to the summit.

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This was taken on CBTL’s closing time. Lol! I always wanted to have a photo of some sort. Something that you see on montages of artsy movies. lels

2FC013This was taken in Toledo, Cebu right after covering a doctor for work. Contrary to what others think, I love visiting out towns doctors because I find road trips sooooo therapeutic!

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Also taken in Cebu city during one of the festivities in Sinulog week! We loved this Sinulog Idol contender who sang a song from Hairspray (that night’s theme was MUSICAL). I have yet to look up that particular song. He had that Michael Buble vibe which was sooo lovely!

Posting part 2 in a few days!

Photos taken using Canon FTb QL with 50mm lens, Pentax Spotmatic f with 135mm lens and Kodak Gold 200 film

Xoxo,

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Black and White

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I did what I was so scared to do and shot on B&W film! It wasn’t always like this before because the only thing that intimidated me was the fact that there’s no way to check on my photos until after I finish a roll. Then again, people’s words can do so much as scare you shitless with their horrible stories that boils down to lack of mastery of the craft.

What I want to do is unlearn so I can learn for myself. Slowly, this process builds confidence in the craft and in oneself.

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This batch turned out great for my first B&W roll! I’m inspired to do another one before the year ends!

This film roll was processed with love by SUNNY 16 LAB! Will write about my experience with them on my personal blog!

xoxo,

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Mt. Pulag | Part I

I finally got our Pulag photos processed and words aren’t enough to express how I felt the moment I saw those oh so warm and golden snaps.

Without further ado, I give you my favorite photos out of the bunch!

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Just looking at these make my heart flutter in happiness. I was mostly looking forward to how the photos turned out and I must say, these definitely didn’t disappoint.

The mountain ranges drowning in clouds are as usual, breathtaking. God was so good to have blessed us with a perfect weather, thus the clear skies and the warm light that photographers would kill for!

Kidding aside, it was one heck of an experience! I wouldn’t mind doing it again!

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FOURtraits / 2

FOURtraits is a personal series I made up to feature my favorite portraits I’ve shot on film over the past years.

For this particular set, I got more more up close and personal with my friends and loved ones. I personally think that people are prone to vulnerability when they get their head shots taken, but I like how these photos also show depth and a more personal and clearer perception of the subjects captured.

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I took 2 shots of my sister on this same spot. I like how I looked like I was taking a mirror selfie on her sunnies and how I was able to get a pretty shallow DOF despite the harsh light and using what I believe is a small aperture. I love taking photos of my sister coz the camera loves her and because she’s got a great smile. Also, it doesn’t look like it, but she was standing on the edge of a cliff here.

 

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  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: Fuji Superia 200
  • Location: Monasterio de Tarlac
  • Subject/Model: my sister, Kat

 

 

Joey and I have kept in touch since we graduated and we go out to meet every once in a while. I remember getting a matcha frappe that day and braiding her hair before she went to work. I love how she looked so vulnerable yet so fierce even though she was so shy to get her photo taken that day. I mean, look at those eyes! They pierce right through me!

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  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: (expired- I think) Fujicolor C200
  • Location: Starbucks across MMC
  • Subject/Model: my college friend, Joey

 

 

This was taken on my brother’s one of many despedidas (going away party) before he left for Cebu. We had a simple lunch in a Chinese restaurant and he was showing off a loom band bracelet I made for him. I also took 2 other candid shots of him which I might feature along with other stolen portraits I took. He was so young then and looked so frail and slender, but he does look so much better now that he’s well-adjusted. Maybe I should start taking more portrait photos of him today!

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  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: (expired) Centuria DNP 400
  • Location: King Bee restaurant, Marcos Highway
  • Subject/Model: my brother, Jus

 

 

Last, but not the least, here’s an all-time favorite photo of my ex-boyfriend. I love how this photo evokes serenity, with the light blue water and his pensive look. I also love how good he is in posing for the camera. He really is a pro at this!

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  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: Fujicolor C200
  • Location: Laiya, Batangas
  • Subject/Model: my ex-boyfriend, Bri

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フィルムは死んでいません (Firumu wa shinde imasen) Part I

I couldn’t be more blessed to have been able to go to Japan and bring with me 2 of my favorite film cameras to document snippets of our trip. After all, Japan is home to the top camera brands in the world today, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that both electronics fanatics and film enthusiasts flock to Japan to hoard gadgets and of course films and analog cameras that are still made available to this day. To quote the Beatles, going to Japan also means bringing my cameras “back to where they once belonged“.

Unfortunately, I was short on films (and on budget), so I had to really work on choosing which images to capture and which ones to just savor in the moment. I brought 3 rolls of film and sadly couldn’t find time to go around Akihabara to look for the cheap films I saw online because I didn’t want to break away from the pack, but it was all good!

I only brought 2 cameras, my Canon Ftb and Olympus Pen EES 2 to which I’m really thankful for, otherwise, I would have been able to enjoy the trip only through the lenses (or should I say viewfinders) of my cameras. Plus, I would be lugging such tanks in my bag that would have added to the weight I almost couldn’t carry on my feet. So 2 was enough carry around, but I would definitely bring my Polaroid Land Camera on my next trip to Japan for sure.

For the first part of this Firumu wa shinde imasen (which translates to Film is not dead) series, I’m featuring some of my most liked photos on my instagram account, the Shibuya nightlife.

This was our final stop on our first day in Japan. We were so excited to finally experience what it was like to be in Shibuya Crossing, to immerse in the colorful Tokyo nightlife and to feast on their well-crafted and incredible cuisine.

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can’t exactly remember when and where I took this

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a 7-storey electronics store

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elevator selfie

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Japanese love their B&W ensemble

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in the heart of Tokyo

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FOURtraits / 1

Recently, I stumbled upon a forgotten portfolio I made early last year. There was a page where I put together 4 of my all time favorite portraits and boy, how I loved how they all looked together as a whole.

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Here are three of those portraits, except for the last one, which I replaced with an equally good one. I substituted the last photo in this entry because originally, I included a head shot, (also of my ex-boyfriend) and thinking about it, this other favorite portrait of him looks better together with the rest of the photos here.

I’ll feature the said head shot together with my other head shots in the succeeding entries for this PORTRAIT SERIES. Yaaaas! I’m making this into a series where I’ll be featuring my favorite portraits every week! I just couldn’t figure out a quirky name or hashtag (I’ll also be featuring them on my film instagram account!) for this though.

Anyhow, for the first entry, I give you, my all time favorite portraits of all time!

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Out of all the ones I took, this has to be the top 1. I guess it’s the combination of the lovely and shallow DOF (which makes her pop out of the photo) + the composition (with the almost symmetrical lamp posts behind and the lady reading behind her) + my cousin’s shy smile + and the soft and faded tones of the expired film that makes it stand out in my eyes.

  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: expired Kodak Color plus 200
  • Location: UST Quadri Park
  • Subject/Model: my cousin, Ysay

 

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Whenever I go out of the house, I almost always bring my camera(s) with me. Not only that it’s the first rule in LOMOGRAPHY, but also because you’ll never know when something photo worthy comes up. Take for example this one. We went to visit my other grandma in the hospital, when we saw this OOTD perfect spot in the parking lot. I didn’t get what I was going for exactly, but it did turn out pretty nice anyway. And it made it to my ultimate portraits list, so…

  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: fresh Kodak Color plus 200
  • Location: PGH parking lot
  • Subject/Model: my sister, Kat

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This one is a portrait of my brother when we came out for an early morning walk along the beach. Whenever we’re on vacation, I make it a point to wake up very early to catch the sun rise because it’s where all the magic happens! Haha! And I’m forever a golden hour gal!

**Fun fact: I submitted this together with a bunch of other photos to a film community on Instagram called FILM HABITS and they chose to feature this one.

  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: expired Fujifilm YKL 100
  • Location: Pannzian Resort, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
  • Subject/Model: my brother, Jus

 

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This last one I couldn’t help but moon over, not because of my ex (ok partly because he’s such a good model, pro eh!), but because of the warm lights and the bokeh! I don’t know what’s with me and yellow lights. They just feel more warm, thus very inviting.

I remember this one taken after we had dinner at the Chocolate Kiss Cafe. It was just a few metres away from the Bahay ng Alumni and I took a couple of photos of him, trying to see if despite the low film ISO (200), the biggest aperture and a slower shutter speed can compensate for the low lighting in the area and apparently they did! I was trying so hard to stay still because of the low shutter speed and I’m glad they still turned out sharp! Plus the bokeh are to die for!

  • Camera: Canon FTB
  • Film: expired Kodacolor 200
  • Location: UP Diliman
  • Subject/Model: my ex, Bri

 

So that’s it for my first entry for my very first FOURtraits. Yes, I know I’m trying too hard to make it sound witty, but I guess I’ll go with it and feature 4 portraits every week until I exhaust all portraits that I have. Can’t wait to feature the rest of them here! Yaaay!

 

Keep film alive,

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#FEETFIEPAMARS on FILM!

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It’s not intentional, but I realized I have accumulated so many feetfies that I decided to make my own hashtag, #feetfiepamars on Instagram.

Some were solo feetfies while others were with friends and family and even with my ex!

I am just so fond of taking photos of my feet and others’ that it has become a mandatory photo for my trips or anywhere feetfie perfect! Funny thing is, I never really realized I’m doing it until I browsed through my photos and thought, hey, I should compile all these stuff!

I even created an album completely for my film photos of my feet on my Lomography page! Crazy, right?

Here’s to more selfies and groupfies of my wandering feet and my loved ones!

 

Keep film alive,

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