Sunday, December 2, 2012

Instagram and 8tracks

I know it's been a while since my last post and I've been promising on getting things done but alas, my work and personal stuff has been eating my time lately. That and then some.

In the mean time, care to follow me on Instagram (username: Wheres_Janey )? Oh and 8tracks as well! I love doing mixtapes, I could also use it for future jam sessions with my friends.

I've lots of blog posts to publish soon so please please bear with me and enjoy my snippet photos on Instagram and tunes on 8tracks :) Don't worry I still shoot film (I have loads of undeveloped and developed rolls) and I am very excited to share my photos and stories to you SOON!

Instagram username: Wheres_Janey

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Potful of Rain

We just experienced one of the year's first tropical storm here in suburbia land. Here's a little video vignette to soothe the spite of rain.


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 Images and videos are NOT to be printed or used without my consent. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Them College Days I

Of football fields and library caf├ęs.



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Weapon of choice is my Konica C35 and a roll of Kodak Profoto iso100 negative. Images are NOT to be printed or used without my consent.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Journeying James Visits Ilocos Norte

I remember the first time I read Journeying James' blog. It was back in 2011 after my ex-coworker introduced me to Manila's renowned travel bloggers that I caught site of James' infamous catchphrase: "Spend Less, Travel More." Being the skeptic person that I am, I instantly arched my eyebrow. You have got to be kidding me.

James' arrival at Samtoy Books

I was hooked. I read his blog for hours on end. While traversing the snakelike EDSA via a sardine-packed MRT, I keep reciting his blog entries in my head. Is this guy for real? A budget of Php500 for a short vacation? On and on I asked these questions and by the time I was back home I kept "thumbing" through his blog looking for answers. On the same day that I quit my job, I bought maps, a new pair of rubber shoes, made a never ending list of things to bring along with me if I were to go someplace. Just in case. Too bad my bank account screamed HALT! before I could even leave the house.

Journeying James at Samtoy Books

Come January 2012, I met James. He was part of a Familiarization Tour here in Ilocos Norte. I just had a new job a few weeks prior. I approached the poor guy wide-eyed, on the verge of screaming. This dude is a god-damn rockstar in his own right. Long story short, I got him to visit Laoag City, Ilocos Norte again as part of his ISANGDAAN Challenge last February. Boy was I stoked.

James enjoying a contemporary Ilokano staple - Pinakbet Pizza, and Chicken Pesto

Of course I just had to interview The Journeying James, albeit my first time doing this (hey, I tried). Read on!

*Do you listen to any particular genre of music when you travel? Top 3 artist / band?
James: Yes I do, as a matter of fact. I mostly listen to Stereophonics, Coldplay and Jack Johnson.

Me: (*Brofists* upon hearing the name of Jack Johnson.)

James: He’s really good. His songs are truly laidback, can’t get enough of him! Best there is!

Me: So true! Me and my workmates went to this public resort once during summer. We had no choice but to sleep outdoors inside these small cottages near the beach. So you had to imagine we were partly sleeping under the stars! I had to whip out my mp3 player and started playing Jack Johnson songs under the starlit sky and my God, I was happiest human there was!

James: Hehe, I do that most of time especially when I use my hammock outdoors!
*Books you take along with you?  Titles? Favorite author? Inspirations like Chris McCandles? Jon Krakauer? Zapp family?
James: Hehehe truth be told I’m not really a book reader! I’m mostly into watching movies though. I hope that one counts haha!

Me: It is but understandable. I wouldn’t carry books with me with that regular-sized backpack, I’d rather get a hold of extra stash of biscuits in there. But when I was about to leave for Singapore to look for work, I took at least three of my favorite books with me. I guess when I anticipated that I was going to be there for a good amount of time, I need to have my supplementary fiction.

James: I could start up with a few, but I have to be really focused on the Isangdaan Challenge right now.


*Top 5 things you always have in your traveling backpack?

James:
Hmm… One would be my camera (points to his awesome Lumix GF series camera), my goggles, my ever trusty sarong (at this he started giggling), travel notebook, and of course a water bottle. Never leave home without a water bottle, a forever must-have!

*Ever tried couchsurfing?

James:
Yes indeed! It saved me a lot of money whenever I travel abroad. Pros would be the free lodging of course and learning a deeper sense of your host’s culture. You get to meet more people too! I encourage my friends to try it.

Me: Are there any setbacks? Or like when the host would turn out to be a complete douchebag?

James: Surprisingly in my case, I haven’t experienced a particular problem with the host or his/her family. Everybody’s been great so far. Although I had to admit, it does get a little annoying when they start to tag along during my supposed to be solo trips. At first I’m adamant but it really helps when you also have company to chat up with and at the same time is a local at the place.  So generally speaking, in the end everything is totally awesome.

Me: Hmm… I’ve been meaning to try it sometime especially after attending a travel talk from Kuya Robert (Art-is-Kool / Papemelrotti pioneer) and Kuya Jethro’s (Van Gogh Is Bipolar / travel photographer) travel group. But at the same time I can’t help but get a little worried.

James: Of course it helps to take precautions. In your case, you should be extra careful. The thing is, check your host’s background, and inform the closest people you know where you are, who your host is, you know, get facts. And just keep it cool.

James wanted to see the city's Campo Santo or local cemetery.

*Why travel in the first place?


James: For one, I have this constant thirst for adventure. I think it will never stop with going to one place. This is my passion, to discover and at the same time to learn something new by simply traveling.

*What are your goals in “ISANGDAAN”?

James: (He smiled a very wide smile.) Now we’re talkin’! Hahaha…  I’d like to see it as a personal journey in discovering oneself, to thoroughly test my limitations and to stretch those limits. Somehow I’d like to invest my personal experiences with these travel adventures and relay them to my grandkids, something intangible. A bit farfetched, but I really don’t see myself being this guy who gets up to work every single day just to be confined inside a big box. Not everyone can do it, partly because they like to be in the comforts of their home, work or even status. But in my case, those times when I know I gained more knowledge instead of that something tangible like money, I feel more empowered; more in line with myself. It’s not easy, sure, but think of all the experiences and stories you yourself could relive! Plus I also want to promote cheap travelling in the Philippines, it’s something of a dream for me to personally take a go on it and it IS extremely possible. 
Masyado bang mahaba? (Was that too long?) 

Me: Haha! I don’t mind, I specifically bought a new notepad for this!

Laoag City, Ilocos Norte Public Cemetery
James delighted with his new find - the cemetery's chapel

*Any obstacles or trying times so far? One sample.

James: Today’s my 9th day, so far so good! But I admit I have to travel within my set budget which is Php500 per day (roughly $11.70) and it is not easy, especially whenever I look for places to stay. (When I interviewed him this was way wayyy back in February. Work’s a beach.)

*Do you have a daily mantra to get you going? Most inspiring thing any stranger had ever said?

James: None haha! (He flashed another wide grin.) But whenever I look back on all the obstacles and hassle along the way, I merely smile and mutter, “It’s all part of the journey.”

*What was your family’s response when you decided to traverse the whole country during the ISANGDAAN? Did they give you a positive/negative reaction? Most inspiring thing they said?

James: Sakto lang. I was prepared when I told them for they will bombard me with lots of questions like “Why?” “Okay, pero bakit?”. And sometimes I would get answers as simply as “Sige ingat. (Okay, take care)” “Pasalubong ha? (Don’t forget to take home mementos.)” Their reactions can really be funny most of the time.

Considered as one of the Philippines' oldest and most intact cemetery chapel.
I only saw the interiors once, it smelled musty like old books.

*Do you buy keepsakes or souvenirs during your travels? 


James: Before during my short travels, I used to take home with me key chains from places I visited, anklets, whatever wearable trinket there is. Now since I can’t take home everything in this small backpack (believe me it was really small) I just have locals scribble their town/city name on it. Saves a lot of space!

*Are you planning to make your own travel log about your past whereabouts? A coffee table book perhaps in the future?

James: Yes! Hopefully lots! I’m mainly thinking of a coffee table book with the photos I took!

*I have to say, curiosity bites and since we were on the topic of “limited backpack space", do you pack laundry soap with you? 

James: I do carry with me the powdered kind because I do my own laundry.

*Can you give us a particular place where you like to go back to from time to time. Why there?

James: Hmmm…. (It took a while for him to decide on this one.) I have to say Palawan. Puerto Prinsesa particularly.


*What have you learned or observed so far in your ISANGDAAN trip?

James: There are mainly two things:
1) The Backpack (yet again!)- Oftentimes, we carry too much stuff. Stuff we don’t really need and in the long run would bear us down on its extra weight. It’s just like in life; we carry too much unwanted baggage. It is high time to pick only the stuff that really matters. Unload the rest.
2) On people – Those who do not have much, share the most. I’ve been in a situation wherein I had to look for a cheap place to sleep, and a good Samaritan in a guise of a tricycle driver, offered to take me for a ride to the police station so I could stay there for the night (for free)! Really, these are the people we should be thankful…

James maneuvering my Fakkenflex TLR Camera

*Quick! Give us the top 4 things that’s on your mind right now!

James:
Hmmm… (He pondered on this for a good 5 seconds.)

Me: Just say whatever you’re thinking right now. (I’m into lists, I base my whole life on lists. You should see my journals.)

James: Okay let’s see. (1) Publish a blog post, (2) I’m having this slight fear for my ISANGDAAN Deadline, (3) I want to make a cool film/ video of my trips, and lastly, (4) My Sagada itinerary.

Journeying James Pagudpud-bound!

(Head over to his blog and find out more about his ISANGDAAN CHALLENGE!)

 Thanks Journeying James for your travel guidelines and insightful stories. I hope you can drop by again very soon! :)


P.S. I should've posted this a long looong time ago, but like I mentioned, I am now a regular employee. As much as I wanted to do this sooner, my job demanded most of my time. I promise to post everything as early as possible. Ayt?

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Weapon of choice is my Olympus mju and a fresh roll of Centuria DNP iso400 135mm. Images are NOT to be printed or used without my consent.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Migdal Bavel

 
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"Behold the Tower of Babel,
out in the glare of white sheet,
bold and brash like a winged sepulcher.

There it is!
Defiantly perched, full of pride.
Signaling the fall of man's might.
~

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March 2009, a few days after the failed assault of a cab driver who tried to run off with most of my stuff, I decided to go out on a photowalk with some friends to calm my nerves. We went to check out the Quezon Memorial Circle which was right smack at the center of the infamous elliptical road in Quezon City (I'd like to call it the "merry-go-round road" by the way). I have been living in Metro Manila for quite some time but I was never been to such national landmarks. My reason? No time at all. If given the time, I would be broke. Give or take, either which. 

The Quezon Memorial Shrine is dedicated to the Philippine's second official president, Manuel L. Quezon. A sarcophagus is located inside the shrine which houses the remains of the former president. Quite visible from a few kilometers afar, the first thing you would notice would be the monument's three vertical pylons which represents the three main geographic archipelago of the Philippines (namely Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao). With a height of 66 meters (Quezon's age of death), the massive tower is surmounted by three mourning angels holding a wreath of sampaguita, the national flower. 

The snippet poem I made above was a direct homage to the biblical passage of the Tower of Babel. Ironically, Manuel. L. Quezon has been dubbed as "The Father of the National Language" and the Buwan ng Wika (Month of the National Language) was therefor wholly dedicated to him and that particular title.

"Looks like Isengard," used to be my initial reaction every single time I pass the elliptical road.

"...except for the Art Deco angels."

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Weapon of choice is my Diana+ Edelweiss and a roll of expired Fuji RMS slide120mm. Images are NOT to be printed or used without my consent.