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Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Survived The Canon PhotoMarathon 2012 Luzon Leg

After much debate, I attended The Canon PhotoMarathon 2012 Luzon Leg at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort yesterday.

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It was a very tiring yet worthy event. I left the bus station at LRT-Buendia around 5:00 AM and arrived at the resort 7:00 AM. It was my first time at Villa Escudero and Canon Marketing Philippines Inc. made a very good job in selecting it for the venue. It was a very nice place full of flora and fauna, friendly staff and very nice structures and facilities.

The event started around 9:30 AM with a cultural presentation by Villa Escudero (Ifugao dance). It was followed by group picture taking and presenting the first theme for the photo contest. It’s a whole day activity divided into 3 themes for the pictures to be taken. There are 3 categories: Point-and-Shoot, DSLR and Video. The Video category will take 2 more weeks to finish but the event’s highlight was the Point-and-Shoot and DSLR categories.

Each theme was given 2-3 hours duration before uploading (submitting) the pictures and each theme was given after the previous theme’s time is ended. The 3 Themes for this year’s Canon PhotoMarathon Luzon Leg competition are:

  1. Structures are the meeting of shapes, lines, forms and towers when they touch housing dreams in their forms, playing tricks to imagination.
  2. The wonder of His gifts is abundant in this Villa. It is a sanctuary to the rich flora and fauna. Capture the spirit of nature’s many faces. Show the beauty of our Master’s creation.
  3. As light touches the horizon shadows and highlights dance. Capture this beautiful medley. As we witness the rich color of this world.

This event at Villa Escudero is the first of 4 Legs. The Visayas Leg would take place in Bacolod, followed by Cagayan de Oro and finally, Metro Manila. There is confusion whether the participants in the Luzon Leg can still join the 3 remaining legs since one person among the organizers is saying that it’s not allowed while another person is encouraging us, the Luzon Leg participants, to join the remaining 3 legs.

If I heard the speaker correctly, there were 300 expected participants in the Luzon Leg but only around 150 showed up at Villa Escudero. Those who didn’t showed up missed the goodies from Canon – a red T-shirt (I was expecting a polo shirt), a red cap, a red fan from Transcend, a magazine-supplement from HWM, and a lot of brochures from the sponsors.

I also heard that a day tour at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort cost P1,400/person. Wow! Canon also provided everyone a festive dinner and a print-out of 1 picture (letter-size) for the first 100 participants.

After the dinner, came a program which includes another performance by Villa Escudero (Pandanggo Sa Ilaw), bring-me game, raffle, Pinoy Henyo, dancing showdown (featuring Call Me Maybe) and the awarding of the winners from the DSLR and Point-and-Shoot categories.

Overall, I enjoyed my first Canon PhotoMarathon and I enjoyed my stay at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resorts. I would surely attend the next Canon PhotoMarathon.

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I’ll post more pictures of Villa Escudero soon.

Amazing Time With Sef

Sef and I watched Spider-Man at Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall last Friday. The event was sponsored by Nuffnang Philippines and Energizer. It was a great movie and is very true to the comic version of Spider-Man.

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It was my second time at the Power Plant Mall and it’s as elegant as far as I remember. It was the perfect venue for the showing of Spider-Man although commuting to the venue from Guadalupe is quite difficult. I don’t have a car by the way. I’m just an average Pinoy commuter. Due to the traffic in Guadalupe, Sef was a few minutes late to the movie.

We enjoyed the movie and the goodies from Nuffnang Philippines and Energizer – pop corn, soft drinks and a bag of goodies. I love the Energizer flashlight that they’ve given away to Nuffnangers and our Plus One – a flashlight similar to those being used by The Amazing Race contestants. Yup, it’s the kind of flashlight that you wear on your head.

This remake of Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield is more faithful to the original comic book character. His web shooters are his creations unlike in the Tobie Maguire version. The poses and web-slinging style of Andrew Garfield were very similar to the comics as well as his spider-sense. The costume that Andrew Garfield wore is sexier than that of Tobie Maguire.

The story is also faithful to the comics except for the part wherein he reveals himself to Gwen Stacy’s father. I haven’t read that part in the comics as far as I can remember. Also the part wherein Spider-Man’s father is best friend with The Lizard is also something new for me. I guess it’s the reason why the movie’s tagline was “The Untold Story” since it reveals a lot of information about Spider-Man’s father.

After the credits, there is a short video that hints there is a sequel to the movie. I just don’t understand if The Lizard is speaking to the future-Hobgoblin. After all, it was revealed in the movie that The Lizard’s human boss is the future-Hobgoblin. Let’s just wait and see.

Thank you Sef for taking the time from your busy schedule to watch the Spider-Man movie with me. Thank you Nuffnang Philippines and Energizer for such a wonderful event.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Canon PhotoMarathon 2012 Luzon Leg

I received a confirmation email this evening about the upcoming Canon PhotoMarathon 2012 Luzon Leg event to be held at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort, San Pablo City, Laguna this Saturday, June 30, 2012. The email said that my registration to the event was successful.

canon photomarathon 2012

The Canon PhotoMarathon is an annual On-The-Spot Photography Contest being held in key cities in the country.  There are 4 legs to this event – Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Manila. The first of these legs is the Luzon Leg.

I suddenly have cold feet in joining the contest because my composition is not-that-good-yet. On the other hand, the other side of me is telling me to participate for experience sake and to take pictures of the venue. I haven’t gone to Villa Escudero yet.

The problem is, I have a work schedule from Friday night 10PM to 7AM the next day. The participants to the event are required to be in the venue by 6:30AM this Saturday. Not to mention that after our Friday shift at the office, we’ll go straight to our Team Building in Batangas.

We are required to pay P1,000.00 whether we are going to participate in our Team Building or not. I’m not good at attending two events at the same time. If I decided to attend the Canon PhotoMarathon event in Villa Escudero, I’ll have to travel all the way to Batangas to catch up with our Team Building. That would surely be a pain in the butt and to my budget.

At this point, I’m hoping that my team mates at work would cancel the Team Building so that I could attend the Canon PhotoMarathon. We’ll find out tomorrow during my shift if our team building would push through or not.

Is anyone joining the Canon PhotoMarathon 2012 Luzon Leg?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Letter To Honza

Honza is a Czech friend of mine whom I’ve been exchanging emails for almost 3 years now. He’s a Caucasian guy around my age, PLU and currently teaches at a university in Prague.

a marsh land in czech republic

A marsh land in Czech Republic. This is one of the numerous pictures Honza is sending me for the past 3 years. He’s also a photographer.

Hi Honza!

How are you doing today? I hope everything's okay.

Chill out Honza. Don't feel depress. Also, don't be bother by age. If someone seems to be interested in you (who happens to be younger than you), just be friendly. There are some young guys who prefer older guys. If you're not that interesting, I doubt if he'll spend time talking to you. The mere fact that a guy is talking to you means that somehow he wanted to be friends or so. So relax, entertain those guys who strike a conversation with you.

You read an 800 page book? Wow. That's quite a book. I wish I could return to my younger self who's fond of reading novels and books. I haven't read a book in a year! The last book I read was the 6th book of the Harry Potter series. Internet access really is bad for reading. I felt that most of my free time is spend on the Internet and I have absolutely no time for reading. Whenever I read lately, I tend to fell asleep. I haven't finished the last book I've purchased -- The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. BTW, is your thesis in English? Hope you could send me a copy once it's finished.

I adore the pictures of the churches you've uploaded on Facebook. They're gorgeous. I envy your buildings because your power system (electricity) is laid underground, right? So your buildings are more picturesque since they don't have wires hanging all over the place. That's one problem here in the Philippines. We're a tropical country who's prone to flooding that's why our power system is overhead. Thus, most of our pictures of buildings have some wires in it.

BTW, Glenn broke up with me a few weeks ago. He said that I failed to pass his test or something. We know each other’s password in Facebook and we sometimes log in to each other’s account. I noticed that he's been chatting over Facebook to some guys and he's calling them "baby" (sweetheart or something). So I grab a screenshots of the conversations and sent to him. I asked for his explanation. He said that he's just testing me or something, if I'll get jealous. Of course I said I'm jealous because he's being a flirt over Facebook. He got mad about it and broke up with me in the end. He said he was just testing me and I failed his test. I said he did well with those test because it appears real to me.

Prior to that fight, we also had an argument on how I spend my money. I was not paying my bills for this cellphone company and he's worried about it. I said I'll pay it if I feel like paying it. I don't care if they cut my subscription or something. I feel like spending my money more on dates with him. He's mad about it saying I'm being childish for not putting priority on my dues. I said, I'm just spending money more on the things I feel like spending it too. I also said to him that he should not interfere on how I spend my money because even married couples don’t do such thing. This really made him angry.

So he broke up with me even though I said my apologies for not believing his explanation. We haven't seen each other for weeks now although we still send each other text messages. We're quite civil to each other nowadays and I miss him a lot but it seems he already moved on. The last time we exchange messages via chat, some rich guy is courting him and that he's still thinking on whether he'll say YES to the guy. So right now, I'm officially single but still feel sad about the whole thing. I feel sad that he broke up with me for such petite arguments.

Lately, I've been diverting my thoughts and time to photography. I've been attending a lot of seminars and I even join a local photography group. Next week, I'll actively take pictures of Araw ng Pasig (Pasig City Day Celebration). Photography is such a nice therapy.

Happy 3rd Friendship Anniversary Honza on August 17! Thank you for being my friend. BTW, I'll be publishing this email on my blog. Take care!

Elmer

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Photo Walk For A Cause in Binondo

I saw this poster on Ricky Ladia’s Facebook wall and I would definitely attend this event.

I’ve been to Binondo one or two times but I haven’t been there with my Canon EOS 1100D camera. It’s a great way to explore the Binondo area with fellow photographers and hopefully, Hindi Bawal Mag-Shoot sa Binondo.

See you guys there!

photowalk for a cause

Can’t Publish A Blog Post With Picture

For some reason, I can’t publish an article that contains a photo – even a single one. It’s giving me error “The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.”

Anyone using Windows Live Writer and Blogger? Anyone experiencing the same error?

Night Shots

I practiced taking pictures at night using my Canon EOS 1100D together with my Benro T600EX Tripod last night at Plaza Rizal. I was there around 12 midnight and it’s still full of people. It made me comfortable taking pictures.

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This is Guzman. A famous place for lugaw, mami, lumpia and other street foods. It’s located along Sandoval Avenue opposite Villa Alegre Subdivision.

I tried the Bulb Feature of my DSLR. According to the manual, it’s the best setting whenever we take fireworks or we wanted to capture the light of vehicles to have the “light-saber” effect on pictures. I actually got the concept and I’m pretty happy with the results. I can now take pictures of vehicles at night although I still need to do it in a very congested street for me to capture both the red and white lights. It would be very helpful if I could be on a higher elevation like a hotel or mall.

It’s been 6 months since I purchased my Canon EOS 1100D from SM Megamall and I can say that I know my camera better now. I’m also proud to say that I’m taking pictures using Manual settings 90% of the time. Right now, the things that I’m planning to buy, to improve my photo composition, are external flash and the umbrella with stand (diffuser and reflector). Other than that, I just need to take more pictures and improve my composition.

I actually made a promise to improve my composition first before upgrading my lens. I’m also planning to attend more photo contests, workshops and photo-walks. I also became a member of the Pasig Shutter Bugs – a group of photography enthusiasts in the Pasig area. I haven’t attended a meeting or workshop by the group yet, but I’m hoping that being a member of a photography group would further improve my skills. I’m also encouraging you, my readers, to give me feedbacks on the photos that I’m posting here on this blog.

With all the tips that I’ve get, I’m pretty sure that I’ll improve my night shots, glamour shots, and landscape shots. Give me 6 months more and stay tuned to this blog.

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Villa Alegre Subdivision, Pasig City

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Pasig City Museum

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Plaza Rizal

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The main gate of the Pasig Cathedral (Immaculada Conception Parish Church).

The Oldest House in Pasig City

Last year, when I took pictures of old houses along P. Gomez Street in Pasig City, I stumbled upon this old house at the end of the road. I thought it was just one of the old houses in this part of Pasig City.

I found out only today while surfing the Internet that it was the famed Bahay na Tisa – the oldest house in Pasig City. It was built in the 1850’s which makes it 162 years old this year. That’s a very old house.

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According to an article published in The Manila Bulletin Online, it was built by Don Cecilio Tech y Cabrera and has been continuously habited up to this day. It remains to be a private property thus no public viewing. I sure hope that one of the residents of this famous house would stumble upon this blog and gives me rights to take pictures or at least visit the interior of the house.

Unlike the usual renovation wherein a certain building or house somehow loses it’s original design, the Bahay na Tisa is a well-preserved house. I would definitely vote the Tech Family to a position in a Historical and Preservation Institute because they have preserved the original design and material of the house. It’s something that our government officials should learn.

For further reading regarding the Bahay na Tisa, please click this article from The Manila Bulletin.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

We’ll Be Watching Spider-Man This Friday

I’ve won tickets for two to a special screening of The Amazing Spider-Man this Friday at the Power Plant Mall in Rockwell. Tickets are courtesy of Nuffnang Philippines and Energizer. I’ll be watching it with my movie buddy Sef.

I’m a big Spider-Man fan and I also love Andrew Garfield. Who’s going to the same event? Let’s meet and greet :)

the amazing spider-man

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reviving Hidalgo Street As Photographers’ Haven

I purchased my Canon EOS 1100D last December 2011. Back then, I’ve already heard about the famous Hidalgo Street in Quiapo as the photographer’s haven. However, due to the stigma attached to Quiapo being a haven of snatchers, I decided to purchase my DSLR at SM Megamall. I am willing to shell out extra cash just to have the feeling of security during my stay.

I don’t know how and when the stigma of Quiapo being a snatcher’s haven begun. I also don’t know if the film Batang Quiapo have something to do with it. To a Bulakeño slash Pasigeño like me, when the word Quiapo is mentioned, three things comes to my mind – the Black Nazarene, manghuhula and mandurukot.

Last Saturday, a photography workshop and contest called Quiapo Goes Anime was held at the famous Hidalgo Street. It coincides with the celebration of Araw ng Maynila (Manila City Day) and I was an early bird to the venue so most of the shops are closed. Not to mention that the Barangay Chairman is very busy for the event and he’s making sure that everything is in order. That’s why I came with these pictures of a very clean Hidalgo Street. I had the feeling that I’m in an open-air Cyberzone and Hidalgo Street is indeed complete with all the equipment and gadget to a photographer’s delight.

I’ve Google some of the pictures of Hidalgo Street prior to the Quiapo Goes Anime and I can’t recognized the place! Take a look at this picture taken from I Heart Manila. I can hardly see the arch.

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(Old Picture of Hidalgo Street from I Heart Manila)

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I can finally see the arch! Taken last June 23, 2012 during a photo event.

Well, we Filipinos have a mentality and attitude called Ningas-Kugon. We’re good at the start of an event, advocacy, campaign and laws of all forms. The problem is, we can’t maintain the momentum. The challenge now is for the officials of Barangay 306 and the City Government of Manila to maintain the cleanliness of Hidalgo Street. I hope that they’re committed in promoting Hidalgo Street as a photographer’s haven.

In a few months time, we’ll see. I’ll go back to Hidalgo Street and take some pictures. I’ll bring an old digital camera (instead of the DSLR) as insurance.

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Officials of Barangay 306, photographers and representatives of the City Government of Manila. Blame them if they can’t retain the cleanliness of Hidalgo Street

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Well, the manghuhula are still there but they don’t harm anyone so no worries

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The Manila City Band

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Thank you SM Quiapo for the wonderful Marching Band

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Palm Reading. It’s more fun in the Philippines

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