Puerto Prinsesa adventure

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMe and my high school best buddies were used to going on an out of town (even out of country) travel at least once a year. The past travels has brought us to different ASEAN countries like Thailand, Hongkong and Macau which were all very memorable.

This year, since our barkada celebrated the oneness of 2 of our closest friends we decided to travel with them to Palawan. This is our first time to travel to Palawan so we expect it to be an adventure. And I wasn’t wrong, it was indeed an adventure for them and for me especially.

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Lens Talk in Boracay Island

Amazing, Awesome, Magnificent, Mesmerizing, Captivating, Enchanting, Lovely; those are just few adjectives to describe this beautiful island which captured not only the Philippines’ but World’s view.

Situated in the town of Malay, Aklan province in Western Visayas, Boracay Island is indeed a paradise every Filipino should see. Boracay can be reached through Kalibo Airport then bus ride to Caticlan port and lastly a boat ride to the island or via Caticlan Airport and then boat transfer to the island.

With no more words to add, just hear what the lens have to say about this enchanting island.

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Lens Talk with Mark Joseph Santos and his devotion to the Black Nazarene

Yesterday, millions gathered again at the streets of Manila to celebrate the annual feast of the Black Nazarene.

After the mass held at the Quirino Grandstand and officiated by His Emminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle which was attended by at least 300 thousand people, the image of the Black Nazarene was then transported to its official home, the Quaipo Church. Authorities have estimated that some 9 million Black Nazarene devotees joined the “Traslacion” of the Black Nazarene from the Grandstand to Quiapo church. And among those people who joined the procession was my colleague and one of my good friends Mark Joseph Santos.

Mark is a photo hobbyist and a self-confessed Black Nazarene devotee. He started his devotion to the Nazareno in the year 2002. It was his father who influenced and introduced him to this devotion. And for 11 years now he continues to join the annual festivities of the Quaipo Church. Ask when he think he will do this devotion, he said, as long as he can he will still go to Quaipo and join the Traslacion because this devotion helped him to deepen his faith in God and it is also his way of giving thanks for all the blessings and to ask forgiveness for all his shortcomings.

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Sa Dulo ng Paglalakbay

Ang pagkamatay ng isang tao ay hindi dapat kinakatakutan bagkus ay dapat pinaghahandaan. Dahil gaano man katagal at kalayo ang ating nilakbay, ito ay darating at darating din sa huling hantungan.

Kuha ang larawang ito sa Manila American Memorial and Cemetery sa Lungsod ng Taguig noong Hunyo 16, 2012. Naisipan namin na pasyalan ang lugar na ito kasabay ng pagdiriwang ng kaarawan ng isa sa mga kaibigan na kasama namen noong araw na yun.

Ang larawan na ito ay aking lahok sa Saranggola Blog Awards 4 sa Kategoryang Larawan (Photoblog).

Lens Talk with Quincyjohn Yap Tampo

After featuring sir Wowie Pacsual on the first edition of Lens Talk series, here’s another photographer who amazed me with his captures. I also got to know him through the Pinoy Photography FB Page who eventually became an addition to my friends list. Lens Talk series on its 2nd edition presents Mr. Quincyjohn Yap Tampo and his works.

Quincyjohn or Quinkoy as he is fondly called by his friends was a graduate of Bachelor in Elementary Education. After graduating he worked as a technical assistant to a sociologist for the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction project and then to an economist for the Mindanao Basic Urban Sector Development Project in partnership with DILG in the many parts of Mindanao. He also became a research supervisor for a sociologist from Lichel Technologies, Inc in Pasig City. But since he was pretty much attached to his family and he missed their home, he left Metro Manila and decided to teach in a local college in their area. But then since all these past employments have some association with photographing people and events, he realized he was missing something out. And so he decided to go full-time in photography.

Quinkoy started taking photos in college when he became the Editor-in-Chief of their school publications. He was still using then a film-camera and when he realized they need to go digital he requested a compact digital camera from the administration and fortunately was approved. And that’s the start of his delight at taking photographs of people and events.

His primary influence in photography was his grandfather Mr. Eddie Yap, who was his constant adviser on what photos to take and how to take them. But now since he’s into wedding photography, several photographer/artist here and abroad are influencing him like Jasmin Star, Dane Sanders, Jeremy Cowart, Jose Villa, and Jesh de Rox. Locally he admires the works of Dino Lara because of his accurate capturing of emotions, Oly Ruiz for his skewed angles, striking poses and post-processing, Nelwin Uy for his film photographs and timeless color, and Paul Vincent for his awesome strobist lighting techniques.

To know more about Quinkoy, I had a chance to ask him some questions and below is the transcript of our conversation.

Me: I know that you’re into wedding photography, why did you choose to specialize in that field?

Quinkoy: There are varied reasons but there’s one that I want to tell you. In the earlier years of my life, I lacked confidence. I can’t get along with different people so well. I often isolate myself in gatherings. I get insecure. So when I discovered wedding photography through a friend in the industry, I found out that this could challenge myself to overcome my lack of faith in myself. It indeed helped me through.

Me: Hmm Ok, so what is your most unforgettable wedding coverage so far?

Quinkoy: I guess the most unforgettable wedding is yet to come for YAP PHOTO. I often remember almost all the weddings I’ve covered since we started, because each wedding gave us uniquely wonderful couples. Each wedding covered gave us priceless learning lessons needed to push through. Each wedding covered was a stepping stone towards gaining more experience and knowledge to be even different in the industry. So I’d say, almost all those weddings we’ve covered so far are remembered because of that thought.

Me: Aside from wedding photography, what other field of photography do you like and would want to explore?

Quinkoy: I got frustrated for not being able to photograph people, food, culture and the places that I’ve been to, thus, I really want to do some travel photography if given a chance.

Me: Oh yeah it’s really nice to take pictures during travels because it will always remind the memories you had in that specific place. Ok another question. I know that you are still single now, when your wedding day comes, who do you want to take your wedding pictures?

Quinkoy: That I can’t answer for now. It would depend upon the budget, I guess. But I can wishfully say I would want either, Oly Ruiz or Nelwin Uy to photograph my wedding.

Me: Nice, who knows in the future your wish might be granted. I can see that for now you’re really enjoying your photography stint, but if you will choose a different career with no association to camera what would it be?

Quinkoy: I think I will finish my Masters degree and teach really few subjects in the College of Education of my Alma Mater. Few since I don’t want to be cooped in the four walls of the room. And I’d still do small-time business ventures. My brother and I desires to have a Play Station gaming in the city and a coffee bar with books for rent.

Me: Very business minded indeed, good to know that. Ok cameras and photos are very important parts of your life now, if it comes to a time that you need to save 1 thing from fire (God forbids) what will you choose to save, your treasured photos or your treasured camera?

Quinkoy: Oh, that’s tough! May God forbid. It wasn’t easy to accumulate these gears! I don’t have the luxury of resources to purchase them all over again, one by one. But anyway, I’d rather rescue my photos. They’ve been giving me bookings. I can just rent gears though and with God’s grace and the support of my family, I can purchase the gears again.

Me: That’s a tough choice, but I would agree, the memories captured in a photo cannot be replaced. Ok, let’s go down with the last question, I know that you are really devoted to photography so I would like to know from you what do you think is the best thing about photography or what do you like most about taking photos?

Quinkoy: I see photography as a ministry. A ministry of somehow bringing happiness from people’s faces through immortalizing their moments. During Christmas, our church and us in YAP PHOTO have a collaboration to bring indigents together. We provide food for the soul, give them gifts for the season and take their family portraits, print and give it to them for free. We don’t know if they have experienced that in their whole life and who knows if they have a family picture posted on their wall that could somehow remind them that they could smile despite the vicissitudes of life. It’s a great time and it’s precious.

Me: Wow great to know that photography for you is not just a hobby, not just a job, but a calling. A photography with purpose to make people happy through their photos. Thanks for the time and good luck.

After we knew what Quinkoy have to say about his photography. It’s now time for his photos to do the talking. So below are some of his captures, let’s listen to what his lens has to say.

For more of his works you can visit his website www.yapphotographyblog.com and his Facebook page www.facebook.com/yapphoto

Sunset by the Bay

In my more than 2 decades of existence in this world, this is the first time that I saw the famous Manila Bay Sunset. Known around Asia (or even the world) as the most beautiful sunset spot, I finally got to experience its beauty. Indeed it was really an awesome view that every Pinoys can be proud of. The sunset view of Manila is another attraction we can market why It’s More Fun In The Philippines.

So now, hear what the lens has to say about sunset by the bay.

Lens Talk about Visita Iglesia 2012

Another fulfilled journey this year was my Visita Iglesia experienced. It took me to 3 different provinces close to my heart, Cavite, Manila and of course Laguna. A tiring yet humbling experience walking the way of the cross and during this journey I also let my camera talk.

So here’s what it has to say, listen as my lens talk about my Visita Iglesia experience.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish
Rosario, Cavite

Located in the town of Rosario, Cavite, it houses the image of their beloved patron saint Nuestra Señora Virgen del Santissimo Rosario, Reina de Caracol. Their feast which is celebrated every October includes the “Caracol”, a ritual dance-procession done in honor of their patron saint.

St. Mary Magdalene Parish
Kawit Cavite

Situated in Kawit, Cavite, this church is considered as one of the oldest churches in the country. It was said to have been built of wood in 1638 and in 1737 its cornerstones and present structure were constructed. But due to some strong typhoon it was damaged in 1831.

The church was first handled by the Secular priests in 1786 and then followed by the Recollects in 1894. There are stories attributing that the installation of St. Mary Magdalene as their patroness was because Kawit then was considered as a Red Light District, thus in bringing back the townfolks to religiosity the Archbishop of Manila ordered to place St. Mary Magdalene as their patroness.

Shrine of Jesus The Way The Truth and The Life
Pasay City

Located at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, this church is a project of the late Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin. It also house the Pope John Paul II Youth Center which is a dream of late Pope John Paul II expressed during the World Youth Day celebration in 1995. The church was dedicated and consecrated on July 9, 1999 by his Eminence the late Cardinal Sin with then Papal Nuncio Antonio Franco. The land and the church building was donated and built by Mr. and Mrs Henry Sy of the SM Group of Companies.

Nuestra Señora de Remedios Parish
Malate, Manila

Also known as the Malate Church it is also considered as one of the oldest churches in the country is the Malate Church. It was the Augustinian friars who established it  on September 8, 1588 with the image of Virgen de los remedios being brought from spain in 1624. The church has gone also to many calamities and destructions caused by eathquakes and war.

At present the church is being managed by the Columban fathers who took over from the redemptorist fathers in 1929.

St. Paul the Hermit Cathedral
San Pablo City, Laguna

Known also as the San Pablo Cathedral of the Diocese of Laguna, this church was first established in 1586 by the Augustinian friars. Its present structure meanwhile was constructed in 1714. It has the simple neo-classic design on its facade with a 4 storey octagonal bellfry on its side. And is has notable Romanesque touch by its large dome at the back end of it.

The Church is dedicated to St. Paul the Hermit who is its Patron Saint.

St. Bartholomew the Apostle Parish
Nagcarlan, Laguna

This Baroque style tiered wall church was first established in 1578, at that time it was still made of light materials though the supervision of Fray Tomas de Miranda. This present structure which is made by bricks and stones was constructed in 1583 via the helm of Fray Cristobal Torres. In 1781 it was damaged by fire thus making it reconstructes and erecting another structures with the addition of its muslim inspired crenellation bell tower.

This church is dedicated to St. Bartholomew the Apostle.

St. Gregory the Great Parish
Majayjay, Laguna

Declared as one of the National Historical Treasures in the Philippines by the National Historical Commision, Majayjay Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Dedicated to St. Gregory the Great as its patron, this church have gone though different milestones and controversies.

The church was first established in 1571 by the Augustinian Missionaries and was made of bamboo. It was damaged by fire thus several reconstructions of church was made in 1576,1578 and 1606. The present stone structure was built in  1616 (which according to stories was done through force labor of the locals) and was finally completed in 1660.

This church also became controversial in the late 80′s and was in fact featured in several documentary reports by ABS-CBN when the townfolks charged then Parish Priest Jack Diaz of selling the antique pieces of the church which in the end seemed to be forgotten.


2012 Philippine International Pyromusical Competition Experience

Last Saturday I had the chance to watch this year’s 2012 Philippine International Pyromusical Competition in Mall of Asia Pasay City sponsored by Close Up Philippines. I together with my friends (Ate Mhay, Rex and Angel), joined the jam packed seaside area of the Manila Bay to witness the showcasing of pyrotechnic expertise from the competing countries. And hat night, it was China and Netherlands schedule to impress the judges and the hundreds or even thousands of spectators.

The show started a bit late due to some physical obstructions near the barge. China presented first whom I expected to be good since they are the reigning champion in this competition and they are known in the world in terms of fireworks because they are the one who invented it. But sadly I didn’t like what they showed. The whole concept for me is not appealing and not very entertaining. I was not impressed with their theme of story telling about the legend of fox princess who turned to be a woman (which sounded like the story of My Girlfriend is a Gumijo). The music was also not very impressive, it was for me a little bit boring. There were a lot of gaps in between the fireworks display and musical accompaniment thus creating dull moments in their presentation. The only thing that I liked about their presentation is the ending where they showed different colors and the music became more upbeat. But in terms of the totality of their presentation for me it was somehow disappointing.

The Netherlands came after about an hour of break. This is a wow performance, I didn’t expect Netherlands to put a show like that. For me theirs was the better presentation that night.

At the onset, they’ve already captivate the audience attention with their upbeat music which garnered loud cheers and applause from the spectators. They’ve perfectly created a nice story out of the music that they’ve choose to play in sync with the fireworks display. People can’t help but to cheer many times with they way Netherlands executed its music and prytotechnic skills. Who would not be entertained by Adele’s Set on Fire and Van Halen’s Jump and towards the end of the presentation was Sarah Brightman and Andreal Bocelli’s Time to Say Goodbye.

With their performance I think Netherlands should be one of those in the front row for this year’s grand prize. Great musicality,  great colors, great pyrotechnics, I voted for Netherlands on that day.  This coming Saturday it will be Canada and Australia’s time to showcase their talents. Will be looking forward again this weekend for another night of great lights dancing over the sea.

For those who also want to have the Pyromusical experience you can still go to the Mall of Asia until March 17, 2012. Ticket prices are 300 for Gold and 100 for Silver. But Close Up Philippines is giving 50% discounts on gold tickets and free silver tickets just buy Close Up products in exchange.

For more details on how to get the discounts and free tickets please visit this Close Up Philippines Facebook page.