Sunday, December 31, 2006
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May 2007 bring you and your loved ones more joy, prosperity, peace, and love!
Friday, December 29, 2006
ON JOSE RIZAL'S DAY
This is an abstract of the huge oil painting that hangs in the stairwell inside the Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago in Intramuros. I have no idea who the artist was because the piece of paper that might contain its title and artist was scotch-taped at the bottom of the painting’s frame, which was too high to be read. They should have created a bigger framed version placed at eye level to inform the visitors of the painting’s artist, including a bit of its history and attribution.
There wasn't anyone on the second floor while I was there one morning so I took a quick shot of the painting with my Canon IXUS65 point & shooter; a guerilla-style photo shooting, mind you. The photograph at the bottom, however, was taken outside where picture taking is not prohibited. The statue is supposed to depict the late night stroll that Jose Rizal was allowed to enjoy at the eve of his execution.
Much has already been written about Jose Rizal so I decided to just post these two photographs as a tribute to his great thoughts and works. However, the only thing that puzzles me is the day we, as a nation, celebrate his greatness -- on his death, instead of the day of his birth.
Found this old portable Underwood typewriter at a thrift shop, Housing Works, in the Chelsea section of Manhattan one Saturday morning many years ago.
I’m not much into antique-ish objet d’art or furniture, though I’m a big fan of mostly turn of the century mission-style furniture created by Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as those bronze lamps with stained-glass shades by Louis Comfort Tiffany. However, their prices, if one could find one up for sale, are too prohibitive for common folks like me. The most prominent collector of such items that I know of is the infinitely rich film director Steven Spielberg.
When I first saw this Underwood typewriter at the thrift shop, I was immediately reminded of the Remington typewriter that my father bought refurbished in one of the office supply shops in Binondo when I was young. He urged all my older siblings to learn how to use it. Our eldest sister, Fraulein, made it fun by holding contests on weekends — who could type the fastest with the least errors and without looking at the keyboard. Eventually, once they were done or whenever no one was using it, I would also learn how to use it on my own, though I never learned to do so as properly as they did.
Unlike today when every kid knows how to use a keyboard due to the advent of personal computers, during my youth, not too many young people knew how to type; giving rise to the thriving typing service outfits in and around the university belt. My typing skill, though no more than 35 words per minute at its fastest, served me well. When I started looking for a job to help defray my living and schooling expenses in New York, I was often offered a job as a clerk because I knew how to type; sparing myself the boring menial jobs available to working students. My brothers who learned to touch-type received even higher starting salaries.
The reason I had this Underwood typewriter sent to Manila was to someday donate it to a local thrift shop, the way its owner before me had done. However, I am yet to stumble upon a single thrift shop in Manila, but I’ve a feeling one might soon open. Incidentally, Housing Works, like all thrift shops in New York, is a non-profit organization which allocates its earnings to AIDS research organizations. The other thrift shops in New York benefit the poor, terminally-ill children, fire victims, and various medical research endeavors. Those who give items to these shops receive a tax-deductible receipt for their donations; whereas, those who buy from these shops are able to acquire some good buys at rock bottom prices.
I wish there were indeed similar establishments here in Manila to benefit calamity victims such as those in Bicol whose homes and livelihood were totally devastated by the typhoon Reming. But then again, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
FORTUNE AND MEN’S EYES
It is one thing for a woman to accept a marriage proposal from a rich man, but another altogether for a financially-strapped man, under the guise of true love, ensnare a woman’s heart basically for her money. Women are highly intuitive by nature; thus, eventually would get wind of their husbands’ original intent. If inauspicious, rest assured, the culprits are bound to experience a series of repercussions peppered with spite; first and foremost of which, entails the subsequent withholding of what was once a generous allowance from her bottomless coffers.
In the business arena, seasoned players avoid men of such reputation like the plague. They reason that if these men could toy with women’s emotions, they could just as easily manifest their unscrupulous thoughts on any business dealings.
I’ve met a couple of such characters since moving here in Manila, and true to form, their ill intentions would somehow surface to overwhelm whatever good they have in them. They almost always appear oblivious to the fact that their grandstanding only reveals the inner turmoil that they struggle with. But what’s even more astonishing is that most of these men are engaged in certain professions geared to enhance and/or protect peoples’ overall well-being.
Notwithstanding, to these misguided men, I have nothing but prayers that they soon find the inspiration to correct their erring ways; hence, put into good use the intelligence that God has given them. And in so doing, participate in the evolution of our nation’s spiritual maturity; thereby usher in more good people and consequently, a darn good government.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
CHRISTMAS DAY PHOTOS
Christmas is the most magical time of the year for both young and old alike. Aside from the array of fattening but sumptuous foods, the excitement of gift-giving, and warmth of the presence of loved ones, it is the overall sense of awe and wonder amongst the children that best reflect the true essence of this grand holiday.
Let me share with you some pictures that I had taken at our humble abode yesterday as we celebrated Christmas Day.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
For this Christmas ...
Wishing you and your family abundance and joy!
Baywalk, Roxas Boulevard
Manila - 12/06
Friday, December 22, 2006
EXPLORING SAN ANDRES, MANILA
This is the photograph I had submitted as my entry for Canon’s Shoot & Run’s Splendor of Manila category, which made it among its top fifty entries; whereas, the one immediately below was for the Faces of Manila. In all honesty, I was surprised the former was chosen to be included in the top 50, for there were far more superior shots by the other photographers.
Except for the top photo that was taken at Roxas Boulevard, the rest were from the San Andres area of Manila. I truly appreciate its residents for allowing me to hang out with them, as well as take pictures of their jovial faces and colorful neighborhood. Thank you!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
THOSE BEHIND THE WEDDING SCENEI took this picture during the latter part of Canon’s Shoot & Run event. My shooting buddy and I were walking from Palacio de Manila heading south when we passed by Malate Church and came upon this wedding, which was about to begin.
This photo was taken quickly without any preconceived intention; a spur of the moment kind of thing because in just another second or two, the bride began to march down the aisle.
Later that day, back inside the event venue, a newly-found photographer friend advised me that through the magic of Photoshop, those hands that were included in the frame could be eliminated. However, at home, I thought that the hands and shadows play an integral role in the overall composition of the photograph. So I decided to leave things as they are.
Weddings are invariably big time productions whether realized or not. Besides selecting the church, reception venue, and service providers (caterer, band, video crew, photographer, make up artist, hair stylist, seamstress, tailor and etc.), there is also the task of coordinating the time and date of the wedding itself so as to assure the attendance of significant family members, friends and guests. Suffice it to say, weddings are emotionally draining and stressful; therefore, choosing the right people to become part of one's production team becomes even more important, for they can help provide a seemingly flawless presentation. And this is why the wedding industry constantly thrives despite a bleak economic condition.
Personally, I grew up despising weddings. I would much rather attend a funeral if given a choice.
You see, as far back as I can remember, at least once a month, I had a wedding to attend to as a ring bearer. It wasn’t because I epitomized the picture perfect image of a ring bearer; it was simply political, meant to please my parents more so than anything. And if my parents were asked to sponsor the marriage, rest assured, I would be the appointed ring bearer as well. I never liked the entire setup because a Sunday spent at a wedding meant a day less for playing. On the other hand, at funerals, I could at least play with my cousins the whole afternoon. But at wedding receptions, I was expected to act like a grown up gentleman; never to soil my spiffy white shoes and shiny satin outfit with a gigantic bowtie.
On top of all that, I also have an aunt who, if she were still actively creating wedding gowns today, could easily give Vera Wang a run for her money; her creations were truly outstanding. She has two daughters who were very cute and doll-like (when they were young); hence, often asked to be the flower girls. But how I found myself in the picture as ring bearer when she has two sons of her own puzzled me. Last month, I finally mustered the courage to ask her — if my two cousins as flower girls and I as ring bearer — were part of the package deal that she offered to her wedding gown customers. She gave me the heartiest laugh I’ve seen from her in ages.
I was tall for my age and at 12 I stood almost as tall as some grooms or their best men, but that didn’t stop people from asking my parents to have me as their ring bearer. Although my two cousins had retired as flower girls, I was still quite in demand. I must have been the only ring bearer in the annals of wedding history who was already going through puberty. I started to get paranoid. I was afraid that I was fast becoming a wedding tradition — the generic ring bearer for everyone’s wedding. And that silly white costume was making me look more like a dreaded apparition; worse, a court jester. I had to do something and fast.
The only solution I came up with wasn’t nice, but I just had to do it. At this one wedding, I hid the rings in my pocket. When everyone was getting frantic looking for them, all I said was that I was handed the pillow and didn’t notice if the rings were there to begin with or not. But in the end, I felt so bad for the bride who was about to cry so I pulled the rings from my pocket and handed them to her. Everyone heaved a sigh of great relief. However, much to my dismay, no one berated me for my antic; in fact, they seemed even amused by it. Someone mentioned that I had actually done a good deed by lightening up the situation which was getting overwhelmed by a group of sobbing ladies.
On the way to the reception, my father put his arm around my shoulder and whispered, “Don’t worry. No one’s going to make you a ring bearer anymore.” Thank God! After that summer, I was heading for high school.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
THE CHILDREN'S PARTY AT HIDALGOThis is a traditional Filipino game played mostly by children at parties and fiestas. The idea is, while blindfolded, to take a swing with a wooden stick at the hanging clay pot which contains candies and coins. The odds of successfully smashing this clay pot is often against you, but nonetheless, virtually all kids will gladly stand in line for a chance to do it.
As a participant, you will be blindfolded; gently guided to get a sense of the distance; made to feel the hanging pot with the stick (as in this photo); and then led back at the start of the line. However, to lose your bearing, before given the go signal, you will be made to turn a full circle or two. Then you are on your own towards the hanging clay pot full of goodies. You may rely on your gut feel or listen to the conflicting coaching of the boisterous crowd.
By the way, does anyone remember the name of this game?
This was one of the many fun actitivites that awaited the children of Hidalgo Street yesterday at a street party hosted by the Hidalgo Business Organization. It was coordinated by Mrs. Huang, president of the Federation of the Philippine Photographers Foundation (she is in the last picture below). A magic show enchanted the kids well into the night along with lots of food for their delight.
As it turned out, this recently tranformed photographers' haven section of Hidalgo Street near the Quiapo Church also became a joyful playground for the area's children even if for one day, yesterday.
Below are some pictures from the party. For the most part, I purposely configured my camera’s settings to reflect the excitement, though they may appear blurry.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
THE STREET MECHANIC
A common sight in Metro Manila is that of mechanics performing automotive repairs right on the curb.
Came across this sight last Saturday while gallivanting on the streets of Manila during Canon's Shoot & Run event. This was actually my shooting buddy's choice of entry for the category of faces that is unique to Manila. I took a photo of it as well but for my own collection; however, the point of view I used was from the other side of the mechanic, which was against the light. I also used a flash unit for flash fill effect.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
CANON’S SHOOT & RUN EVENTIt was a wonderful event blessed with great weather that was attended by about three hundred photography enthusiasts vying for almost half a million pesos in prizes. The main subject was the City of Manila and its people.
The event began with the usual registration at 9:30 am. Each participant was handed a Canon bag filled with goodies — red cap, white T-shirt, energy drink, and a copy of People Asia magazine. Everyone was required to wear the shirt and cap imprinted with the Canon Shoot & Run logo during the event.
Promptly at 10:30 am, after a brief opening statement by the president of Canon Philippines, our first assignment was announced — to shoot a landscape that depicts the splendor of the City of Manila. We were given about three hours to accomplish this task; after which, we returned to the venue, Palacio de Manila, to download our single photo entry from our camera’s memory card into a designated laptop station. At 2:30 pm, we were given our second assignment — to shoot a portrait of a uniquely Manilan face.
Since I have a Nikon dSLR, I knew my prospect of winning is nil so I simply regarded the entire event as a fun opportunity to hook up with fellow photography enthusiasts and trade some pointers. Logically, it would be silly of Canon to spend all that money only to award prizes to photographs taken by those with their competitors’ cameras. Nonetheless, I enjoyed every minute of it.
At the end of the day, with everyone’s second entry downloaded into the awaiting laptops provided by Acer, there was a free buffet and some live music provided by Snare A. Mata and her band. There were also an ample supply of San Miguel beer, but much to my surprise, didn't see too many taking advantage of the free offering; I guess most were driving home. At around 9:00 pm, the winners were announced. The winning photos truly deserved their prizes, but personally, I feel everyone came out a winner for having enjoyed such a friendly and festive occasion provided by Canon.
Here are some pictures from the event:
Friday, December 15, 2006
Her name is Jessa, age seven; my niece’s youngest of three children. They spent the weekend at my mother’s house. On Sunday morning, I set up my camera on its tripod and asked her to sit on the wooden bench while I tinker with the settings. I told her that unlike the point and shoot camera that her mother has, this one requires a lot of time to configure. It was a lie, of course; a mere diversion to get her as relaxed as possible.
She was quite animated as she told me about their upcoming Christmas party in school. But when I inquired if she had already asked something special for Christmas from her Papa, she suddenly became pensive; directing her gaze at a far distance. I then snapped this picture.
Jessa didn’t have to tell me what she really wants; it’s obvious. I’m sure if she had her way, more than anything in the world, she would want her Papa back with them as it used to be during the past holidays. You see, her father left for Saudi Arabia only two months ago to pursue a higher paying job. It was a way for him to secure a better life for his family.
During this holiday season, I’m certain Jessa is not alone; thousands of other children in Metro Manila share Jessa’s deep longing for a mother or father who is currently abroad. Unfortunately, lacking the necessary wisdom because of their very young age, they are unable to make sense of it all.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
A GOOD NIGHT
I was having a tough time decompressing last night from a hectic day so I took my camera and shot some low light still life compositions in my room. After a couple of hours, my mind and body had relaxed enough to call it a night.
Incidentally, as I was preparing this entry a while ago, the final half of the movie Dolores Clayborn was on TV, and although I still remember vividly its story line, I had forgotten how beautifully shot it was, especially the scene with the total eclipse of the sun at the backdrop. It was a star-studded film, but my favorite from the entire cast is Cathy Bates; a truly remarkable actor she is. Playing the role of her husband was David Strathairn who also played the character of Edward R. Murrow in a film directed by George Clooney, Goodnight and Good Luck.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
INTRAMUROS IN BLACK & WHITEThey are picking up my laptop anytime Monday or Tuesday; not for yet another repair job but for a complete refund. That means that I may not be able to post any new entries until a couple of days; need time as well to get used to the new laptop and configure its settings for my personal use.
This brief break from blogging will also provide me with the opportunity to attend to any errands left that I must do before Christmas. There are also some balikbayan friends who will be arriving in a day or two whom I‘d like to spend some time with before they head on towards their respective province.
Gosh, time surely flies; in only a couple of weeks, it’ll be 2007.
Friday, December 08, 2006
They have got to be among the best kutchinta and sapin-sapin in Manila. It used to be I had to wait until going to the provinces to get a taste of really tasty traditional local merienda foodstuffs. However, nowadays, I can just head on over to Dolor’s Kakanin shop in Banawe Street in Quezon City to fulfill my craving. There was a time when we have to drive all the way out to their main store in Malabon, but since opening a branch nearby, buying from them has become a lot more convenient. They also make home deliveries.
Their products are unarguably far superior than those at the public market. Other than kutchinta and sapin-sapin, Dolor’s also offers kalamay ube, kamoteng kahoy, mais, pitsi-pitsi, pansit Malabon, rellenong bangus, and tinapang bangus.
575 Banawe at N.S. Amoranto Street
Telephone: 731-4352, 743-7947
19. Gov. Pascual Avenue
Concepcion, Malabon City
Thursday, December 07, 2006
A LOVELY DAY WITH FRIENDS
I’m sure everyone would feel the same way I did yesterday. After seeing Sidney of My Sari-Sari Store once again and Jeff of The Dubai Chronicles for the first time — both have been blogosphere friends for a year now — indeed, it seemed as if I had known them all my life, which makes spending time with them in person even more special. We were also joined by Orly, Jeff’s friend from Saudi Arabia who also happened to have hailed from my father’s province of Zambales.
We all met at eleven in the morning in front of Quiapo Church yesterday. We stayed within the vicinity of the church for a good hour or so — taking photographs and trading technical notes about our Nikons. When it comes to street photography, I have to admit that Sidney, Jeff and Orly have a way with people; able to subtly coax them into agreeing to strike a pose for them. On the other hand, I had to piggyback on their charms if I wanted to take some people shots.
We then headed to Manila’s Photographers Haven — Hidalgo Street. At one of the photo equipment and accessory shops we walked into, Jeff had to contain himself from buying more accessories than he had planned — a typical bug that afflicts most photo enthusiasts.
Sidney and I only purchased a mini bag of silicon gel to put inside our camera bag to protect the camera and lenses from harboring fungus due to the local humid weather. I did price some accessories, though, which I really needed.
From Hidalgo Street, we headed towards Plaza Goiti (now Plaza Lacson) in which the guys had fun taking several pictures of the plaza itself, as well as the two calesas and their drivers. Sta. Cruz Church and its plaza were next; afterwards it was on to Chinatown. Before reaching the eatery at estero, we looked for Melai’s mother who works in the area to introduce ourselves and take some pictures to send to Melai later on. Unfortunately, much to our disappointment, her mother wasn’t there yesterday.
We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the estero, but were too starved to think about taking some pictures of the food before feasting on them. We were halfway through them when Jeff remembered to pull out his camera to take a couple of shots.
After our hunger was satiated, what came next was an extended discussion on culture of the countries that we all have lived at besides our beloved country of birth.
It was absolutely an exhilirating day with good friends; something I truly needed in order to recharge my spirit.
Thank you, Jeff, for the wonderful T-shirt from Dubai; thank you, Sidney, for the wonderful book on Photoshop CS2; and thank you, Orly, for joining us and making it an even more engaging get-together!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
There are those who claim to have fared badly after having encountered certain people with wicked intentions. However, in fairness, only those directly involved would know the real truth behind such interaction. But in the end, the true victor is the soul who fights for what is right and moral; the ultimate judge: not his peers, but God.
I had come to this conclusion after many discussions I had with my brother, Taba, about why bad things happen to good people. At all times, he would always say, “there’s a reason for it.” And supposedly, those bad things are not necessarily due to the universal law of cause and effect; rather, a lesson to strengthen the soul. As the old adage goes, “circumstances don’t make a man; they reveal him.”
Taba (which means chubby in Tagalog) was the sixth in our family of eight kids. Three years after he was born my sister came in to this world; then the next year was my turn. Thus, there was a four-year gap between us. He was to become my confidant and best friend; and I to him. Unfortunately, he passed away about four years ago. I miss him to this day.
One day last week during the late afternoon, the scent of sampaguita permeated the entire living room. At that exact moment, my mother’s assistant (or household help) was walking by on her way to the kitchen. I suspected that she might have just dabbed on a newly-purchased perfume, but she was quick to deny it. She did, however, acknowledge the strong scent of sampaguita that she, too, could smell at that moment. Nonchalantly, she surmised that it was probably my brother Taba who was making his presence felt. I had also intuitively thought of the same, but I went back to what I was doing without saying anything more about the lingering scent.
A couple of minutes later, the phone rang. It was the lawyer for the multinational firm I was having a dispute with. He called to say that his client was now willing to unconditionally resolve my complaint. Immediately after hanging up the phone, I thought my brother’s presence was somehow meant to remind me that things have a way of working out for the better, especially when one upholds what is right and moral. Come to think of it, in the end, it is God who is the ultimate witness to our every thought and action.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
ON STILL LIFE
Bananas & Dalandan
The definition of still life in the realm of photography means an object or group of objects that are arranged as a pictorial composition. And the rule of thumb is simplicity. What I like most about still life photography is that I can practice it at any time.
I have about a dozen shells which I had collected from the beaches of Subic, Zambales. For this shot, I picked-out two and placed them on these pebbles which are sold at any garden supply stores. These are often poured on top of the soil of various potted plants to make them look more attractive. I grabbed a couple of handfuls of these pebbles and spread them on top of a picnic table. I then put these two shells on top as my still life subject. This photograph and the one on top used only natural and available light.
The Photo Book
This book on photography I had recommended to fellow members of an online camera club. I thought the best way to do so was take a picture of it to post along with my recommendation. For this particular capture, I placed the book on top of a wooden decorative platter and photographed it by just using a single desk lamp.
Monday, December 04, 2006
I was going through a sort of quiet desperation in my photography workshop during the past two weeks; particularly with our weekly portrait assignment. For the most part, no one was interested to become my subject of study, except for my mother who did it because she probably felt bad for me. However, she proved to be a difficult model; I don’t blame her, the bright sun hurt her eyes.
On the other hand, I do all right with our other assignment — still life. I immensely enjoy its entire process, including hunting for objects in the house and out in the yard to use in my composition. And in the past two sessions, those I had submitted generated valuable critiques and recommendations on alternative points of view from our instructor, Ador Pamintuan. Where I was having major problems with, undoubtedly, were in portraiture.
Everyone else in my workshop seems to be having a wonderful time with both the portrait and still life assignments as evidenced by the photos they have been submitting. There is even this one guy in class, Sloane, whose submissions are consistently evocative; not to mention that he only uses a point and shoot digital camera. And last week, he topped off his past submissions with photos using an alluring model whom I immediately suspected as a professional; however, she turned out to be a regular person, but the way Sloane composed his photographs made her look like a seasoned print model.
As I drove home last Saturday, it dawned upon me that perhaps, I might have been approaching the subjects of my portraiture with the same demeanor as with the inanimate objects of my still lifes; that to succeed in capturing a good shot involves developing the rapport with the subjects or models.
And as luck would have it, I was given that opportunity. My college age niece was at the house visiting my mother with her entire family when I got home. And when she told me that she is still going out with her boyfriend for more than a year now — he subsidizes his college expenses as a runway model — an idea suddenly struck me. I told her that if she weren’t doing anything the next day to come back and bring her boyfriend so I could use them as my models for my final assignment submission due this coming Saturday. She was excited to do it. I guess, it was her way to realize a secret longing she shares with many teenage girls; that is to lead a glamorous life of a model.
She returned early the following day with her boyfriend in tow. I purposely took my time in setting up a makeshift studio area. I wanted them to lose any jitters and acclimate totally to the environment. When I announced that we were ready to start our shoot, they were both feeling comfortably relaxed and raring to go.
My niece knew nothing about modeling, but her boyfriend was able to coach her with ways to project certain emotions or attitudes. Although she proved to be a quick study, her younger sister (in the second photo) seemed more comfortable and a natural in front of the camera.
It took many shots before I was finally able to draw out from them certain moods I wanted them to convey; one of which was reflected in the photo above. When I was framing this shot, I used as inspiration one of my favorite songs recorded by Shirley Horn entitled, Estate (summer in Italian). If somehow you can get a hold of this recording (or the version of Joao Gilberto’s), you will agree that this song would make an ideal soundtrack for this portrait.
For this Saturday, the photograph I will be submitting was inspired by a song written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Like a Lover, but the version recorded by Sarah Vaughn; not by Sergio Mendez and Brasil 66.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
A THOUSAND BEARS FOR THE KIDS OF BICOL
Although Typhoon Reming changed its course and veered away from Metro Manila, the southern provinces, especially Bicol was once again severely hit. Undoubtedly, it must have been another horrific and devastating experience for its residents; worse of all, to the children.
Cathy’s post today is about her concern for these children which prompted her to raise at least a thousand bears to send to Bicol in time for Christmas. She believes play and toys are effective tools for children to heal from shock and trauma. She claims that "stuffed toys have been known to be effective comfort givers in times of extreme stress and fear. To children, stuffed animals are more than toys, they're imaginary friends who are always ready to give comfort or play. They provide a certain amount of security in a sometimes scary world.”
Won’t you please help Cathy raise a thousand bears for Bicol by December 15 so that she can send them out in time for Christmas. She is making arrangements with an NGO in the Albay province to distribute the bears on Christmas day.
You may send the bears to:
A Thousand Bears for Bicol
41 Milkyway Drive
Blue Ridge, Quezon City
If you belong to an organization with a box of at least 30 bears or more to donate to this cause, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a pick-up.
Thank you and God bless!
Friday, December 01, 2006
BOWL OF PONKAN
I purposely stayed in the whole day today. I was afraid to go out thinking I might get stuck in some flood while driving around the city due to the impending super typhoon. However, no rain ever developed until the late evening, but it wasn’t at all as ferocious as predicted; at least, not yet. But then again it supposedly had changed its course away from the metropolitan area. I am praying that it would also veer away altogether from our southern provinces as well. The folks in those areas are barely getting over the havoc that Milenyo unleashed. And the last thing they need is another one, especially now that the Christmas holiday isn’t too far off.
So I spent the whole day practicing the various manual settings of my digital SLR camera. I used whatever I could find as props; among which was this bunch of what I initially thought were dalandan. At first glance I thought, they had only another day or two before they get tossed into the garbage; that is, if no one ate them. However, my mother told me that these are of the ponkan variety from Taiwan. And that they are fresh, though they look old. And unlike the dalandan, the skin of this particular ponkan variety is not completely green all around; it has pale yellow in some parts which makes it appear old.
So I tried one. The skin is surprisingly thin and quite easy to peel off; however, although plump and juicy, it just isn’t as sweet as those Navel oranges from Davao or Florida. And speaking of Davao, by the way, its sweet grapefruit is now plentiful in Manila.
Anyway, for the picture above, I simply placed the bowl on the floor so it could be illuminated by the nearby table lamp. It was all about artificial lighting today, but still no flash unit (I'm done with assignments using natural daylight only). Nonetheless, it was a lot of work; I took many shots using a combination of desk and table lamps with all sorts of items as props.
In the end, it's this photograph of a large bowl with ponkan in it which turned out to be my favorite. I guess it's because it conveys a certain provincial feeling; reflecting my thoughts and prayers for those folks living in the provinces within the peripheral path of the incoming typhoon.