I meant: what process in photoshop gives your photos that soft polished dreamy amazing effect? sorry!
That’s a rather flattering description of the way I postprocess my photos. XD I can’t give the step-by-step process exactly, but I play around with Selective Color, Brightness/Contrast, Curves, some fill layers and blending options. I hope that helps! :)
This was sort of a mini-college fair/concert. Was able to catch on a few performances from some of the freshmen blocks. I kind of wish there was something like this back during my freshman days.
On another note, I tried taking pictures purely for the sake of taking photos of performances like these. I may or may not have mentioned this before, but my ultimate waterloo is event photography. That coupled with nighttime spells my demise. So it’s a rather pleasant surprise that I was able to take a few decent shots from this night. :)
Warning: This photo of this glass of coffee on the left is deceiving. Unless you like wine-tasting coffee, then this isn’t for you. Haha.
After “ditching” (or rather, being ditched by) a workshop we were supposed to attend, my mentor-slash-friend-slash-ditch companion decided to traverse the vast territory that is UP Diliman. Had lunch at Rodic’s at the Shopping Center, checked out stuff at Diliman Republic (Will someone please get me the awesome "Akala Mo Lang Wala Nang Slumbook Pero Meron, Meron, Meron!" slumbook?), and basically rode the Ikot jeep 12363457354954 times. Visited the Fine Arts building (I regret not being able to take a single photo of the graffiti wall for some stupid reason, huhu) and the Bahay ng Alumni for the first time. This also marks the first time I had been disappointed by coffee I thought of trying out (Then again, I’m wondering if it has something to do with my tolerance for alcohol)! Ended the day by catching a flick at Shangri-La. Again, first time watching an animated film at the cinema. This day was totally a day of firsts. Despite slight disappointments, I can say I had fun. :)
Title of this post is in reference to a text message sent by the same friend mentioned above. :P
What started as something spur-of-the-moment turned into a really awesome experience. When Ate Nesh first contacted me back in August, asking me if I was interested in joining the J-Pop Singing Contest portion of the J-Pop Festival, I was surprised, skeptical even. I liked recording fancovers and doing JPop concerts in the shower, but I never really thought of joining actual competitions as I’m actually very shy and have a mild case of stage fright. At the back of my head though, I thought it wasn’t so bad trying something new, and so, given the opportunity, I decided to swallow my shyness and submit my registration form.
Days, weeks, and months went on after I submitted my form, and I had nearly forgotten I actually joined such a thing until I was tagged in a post saying I had gotten in the official list of participants. At the time, I was swarmed with academics and practically had exams almost every week. With final and removal exams happening a week short of November, I basically had no time to prepare. I thought about backing out.
Four days before the contest, I frantically started memorizing ayaka's “Okaeri”, practicing in the hallways during enrolment. A day later, I found myself making very little progress, singing the bits of lyrics I could remember rather miserably. That night, I casually mentioned singing Judy and Mary's “Sobakasu” instead to a friend, who asked me to sing it to him. After hearing the entire song, he told me it was the one.
I knew this song by heart, as I had been singing it since high school, but I had fears about singing it as it was difficult, execution-wise. Suddenly developing a hoarse voice on the day of the contest would be the end of me. And so despite having it memorized, I refused to sing it and only considered it a last resort.
I obviously had no other option left. I could either back out or humiliate myself in front of a huge crowd by getting off-key. Neither sounded promising, but something in me was reminded of that invitation back in August, and that back then it sounded like a good idea. I remembered the people who were genuinely happy for me upon finding out I had gotten in the official list of participants for the contest. They believed in me, and perhaps, it was about time I believed in myself.
Fast forward to the day of the event. Upon arriving, I already found a growing number of fans gathering outside the venue. Lining up and waiting for the organizers to start selling tickets almost took forever, but I guess it was a good thing because the nervousness hammering my chest soon began dying down, little by little. Perhaps it was the hunger mixed with fatigue, or perhaps it was seeing familiar faces reassuring me that everything will be fine.
Soon enough, tickets were sold, “gates” were opened, and guests started flooding into the theater. Participants were called to the backstage and right then and there I got the biggest shock of my life. As we were introducing ourselves to each other, we each found out the songs the other participants were going to sing. Right there I found out that another participant was going to sing the exact same piece as I was. As if that wasn’t enough to flip my stomach over, I also found out that she was contestant number one (as the one supposedly to sing first didn’t show up). It was rather freaky and funny at the same time, how two in nine people could pick the same song to perform on the same day. I felt my stomach churning. The little confidence I built over a few hours came crashing down. It was like a worst case scenario turned reality.
Nonetheless, the people I ran to told me I would do just great despite the situation, and I repeated their words as some sort of consolation. Soon, the contestants were being called over one by one to perform on stage. As my time was nearing, all I could pray for was to be able to sing decently. I came for the experience, after all. I wasn’t expecting anything.
As I ambled onto the stage, I vaguely remembered five years ago. There I was, standing on a similar stage, singing the same song. But back then, the audience were students who couldn’t give a damn about animé, and barely had any interest in Japanese music whatsoever. They were bored, almost expressionless as I sang my piece. Back then, I felt like a failure. And now, five years later, here I was, giving this another try. But this time it felt different. Hearing the people I knew (and even the people who barely had an inkling about who I even was) cheering for me put all my hesitation to rest. Earlier’s fears disappeared completely, and before I knew it, I was running around like I was doing my own concert. The notes I couldn’t hit perfectly during practices before came out effortlessly. My head began throbbing from adrenaline rush. But all I knew was that finally, I felt like I belonged here. This was my stage.
After days of hardwork over a t-shirt design became seemingly wasted, my awesome mentor and I decided to resume my training (read: spontaneous drawing sessions). By some odd coincidence, both of us thought of spending an afternoon at this quaint coffeeshop situated along Taft Avenue.
I first heard about it from some friends, and upon seeing photos of its quirky and absolutely adorable interior, was quickly lured in.
Seeing it for the first time only made me a very happy visitor. Lovely furniture and concept, from the random drawings on paper cups and writings on floorboards, polaroid photographs posted on walls and placed in between table surfaces, to the stuffed toys, robots, and wooden figures you can see just about everywhere. Compared to other local coffeeshops (which are overcrowded most of the time anyway), Café Noriter gives off a cozy atmosphere almost similar to home, probably owing to the unique pieces and mostly-personalized decorations to be found on display. Their coffee, either, did not disappoint. Being the traditional coffee-drinker that I am (as I like my coffee hot and bittersweet), I am pleased to say that they delivered just that. Aside from the slightly inappropriate choice of music (read: modern mainstream) early in the afternoon, I would say I definitely enjoyed my stay there.
It may not have been obvious with my previous posts, but I do have siblings, and one of them is Stephanie. I think she’s really very pretty, but she dresses like a guy sometimes (read: baggy shirts, jeans, and sneakers) and generally avoids very girly things. So imagine my thrill when she asked me to take pictures of her (with makeup!).
Both Adrianne and I agreed that she looks immensely like my mom during her modeling days. And while she’s still in jeans in these photos, I can’t wait for the day to finally take pictures of her wearing dresses. ♥
(On another note though, I haven’t taken pictures in ages and I think I’ve gotten rusty, so sorry for the quality!)
Yesterday, a whole bunch of my classmates and I decided to visit Mia, who was confined at home due to an accident she had encountered a week ago. She was in high spirits despite of what happened, and was surprised to see us. (Apparently, Yanna’s little mishap wasn’t enough of a hint to beloved Mia, who still hadn’t a clue we were coming, hihihi. ♥)
Events ensued on the way there: I ran in Olympics-fashion to catch a bus in the middle of Pedro Gil, a tricycle we were on broke down, and we almost got lost looking for Mia’s house (due to and was saved by Yanna’s pwnsome navigation skills).
We learned a lot from our visit, i.e. the fact that Mia is actually a math goddess, her “love life” from high school, and as part of my own realization, that college!Mia and high school!Mia appeared one and the same. (Talk about being youthful, hoho.)
Good news is, Mia would be returning to school come Friday. Boy, am I excited to see her again. :D
Conducted an interview for our HumDev subject early this afternoon. Members for the “normal” group were Mikko, Mia, Nicole, Lilbert, Jex, Rej (who unfortunately wasn’t able to come due to certain reasons) and myself. The interview went well (except for the fact that I seemed tongue-tied and stuttered during the entire thing), much to our relief. Good job, guys! :)
Apparently there’s this rage going all over the internet about this certain James Soriano. I chanced upon his name in a few comments on FB, and curious about what exactly he did for the notoriety he has now, I read the column he wrote for the Manila Bulletin.
I can’t say I’m enraged, actually. There is an ounce of truth in what he wrote, but it’s the delivery that caused all the outrage. Let his supporters call it a satire in all the poorness of a satire it was written.
But let me put it this way, to everyone who thought “It (Filipino) was the language we used to speak to the people who washed our dishes." or "It was the language of the streets: it was how you spoke to the tindera when you went to the tindahan, what you used to tell your katulong that you had an utos, and how you texted manong when you needed “sundo na.”" was derogatory, let me ask you… What do you think of a tindera, or a katulong (I prefer the term “kasambahay”), or a manong? What do you think of people who washed dishes?
To think that these lines were in any way discriminatory is an indication that you too discriminate these kinds of people. These are respectable lines of work, with which no one need be ashamed of. It’s only a shame that many of those who got offended were the very people who looked down at people from this segment of the society.
But let me return to the article, yes? “It might have the capacity to be the language of learning, but it is not the language of the learned." It’s a bit basic to point out, but what is being “learned”? In my humblest opinion, learning is not only limited to the classroom, or to the education system we’ve been provided with. Academic learning is not the only kind of learning there is. Learning can also be derived from life experiences.
Therefore, restricting learning and being learned to academic proficiency is not only a display of narrow-mindedness, but also of ignorance. (Everyone keeps on sputtering phrases from Rizal, but how about Bonifacio? He is the very epitome of someone who wasn’t very fortunate to receive an adequate amount of schooling, but is learned all the same.) In this light, the manongs and manangs may just be as learned as the university graduate, albeit differently, but learned still.
I’m not going to lambast on the author, as many have already done so. It would be like beating a dead horse; it wouldn’t bring about anything good. I would however, like to comment on the way he wrote his article. I’ve always sincerely believed that no one is as intrinsically evil as to call his brethren bad names—and I still very much hold onto this belief. If there’s anything Soriano is guilty of, it’s bad writing. There is no excuse for bad writing, and if a piece is vulnerable to misinterpretation, the blame lies on the author, and not the readers.
The column definitely could’ve been written in a less condescending manner, with a tone that did not reek of arrogance.
Why the Manila Bulletin even decided to publish such a tactless article is beyond me. Had they recognized its problematic nature (which was, by the way, quite evident) pre-publishing, this wouldn’t have ensued.
Of being judged. Of having my friends and the people I choose to be with be judged.
You have no right to judge me.
You aren’t God. Neither are you omnipotent or all-knowing. Yeah, your gut-feeling may sometimes seem right—but in the end, that’s all it is—a gut-feeling. And just because you think it’s always right doesn’t mean everything you say that comes from it is. You’re human. And naturally, you err.
And to believe otherwise is arrogance.
It doesn’t even matter (and I don’t care even) if you’re a relative or my mother. Just because I live under your roof or that you have borne me doesn’t mean you have the permission to just think of me as you please. Blood is not an exemption. Culture, either, is no excuse.
And how can you even compare me to someone so foolish, someone who has chosen to waste away? Have you even seen me in my moments of toil? Of course you haven’t, for those were the moments you had chosen to ignore and ignore completely. But, if I do end up the way you tell me I will (and so confidently at that), I hope you remember this moment, and how you have conditioned and groomed me into something you hated most.
You will probably never know me for who I really am, but rather, only for things you have come to believe that I am—misconstrued impressions, distorted perceptions, and pointless assumptions. And for a simple reason: you never gave the time to know me.
(Do you even know that the person you so vehemently judged was the one who helped me get through my second year in college, lending me books, a shoulder for support, and a heart unlike any other—none of which you gave me. But of course, you don’t know this fact because you never cared to know.)
When the day comes that I will prove you wrong, I hope you acknowledge your mistakes, I hope the truth slaps you hard, so hard that it stings.
I hope you read this one day and remember every word you’ve said, the things you thought I would become, and realize how fucking wrong you are.
I hope to never grow like any of you, and to think and judge the way you do.
My hand drenched in paint. That red/pinkish blob in the middle was supposed to be a heart, but fail little ol’ me. It just mixed in with the other colors. D: XD
Hands On!, the hand printing activity is an annual project by the CAMP Volunteer Corps, which aims to empower persons with disability, with heartwarming words and messages from kind volunteers.
Thereafter, we went to CCP to catch a film for Cinemalaya. Unfortunately, tickets for Curacha were already sold out, so we settled for a set of short films, the titles of which are:
Un Diutay Mundo (Ana Carlyn Lim)
Samarito (Rafa Santos)
Walang Katapusang Kwarto (Emerson Reyes)
Every Other Time (Gino Santos)
Nino Bonito (Rommel Tolentino)
My favorite out of everything in the batch was “Walang Katapusang Kwarto”, which was both so down-to-earth and entertaining. The spot-on camera angles and witty dialogue just won me over so easily. I especially liked the sudden twist at the end. :)
Anyway, late post is late. A week to be exact. Well, exams have apparently taken over my life, so yeah.
Who would’ve thought it began with a broken umbrella (only discovered upon leaving my father’s car that morning)?
A downpour on Taft Avenue would seem normal, almost too normal, too routine for people who trudged through its cold, hard concrete on a regular, even daily basis. But to a person broken down and in desperate need for hope, it was almost too cruel—walking alongside hundreds of people who neither cared nor were too busy with their own lives to be bothered of anything else—as the anxiety and the uncertainty of it all kept eating away slowly at the back of one’s mind. I realized how crushing it was to walk inside several drugstores and medical outlets, hoping against hope, only to leave disappointed, every time. The edge of my pants were already soaked in rainwater—my eyes stung, my feet ached, and my heart hurt. As if the world had conspired against me. The traffic lights changed from red to green. People continued to cross the street on the opposite side of the road. As reality would harshly put it, life still went on.
It would seem too unbearable—until you think of everyone else who lived in this rainy scenario everyday, permanently. The old man who sleeps in a makeshift bed. The child who walks barefoot on the streets, cold and hungry.
Terrible. Just terrible.
And there I was, thinking silently to myself as I choked in between tears, that I was, perhaps, the most unfortunate creature in the universe. I had lived and trod this storm for a day—while they had to live through it for their entire lives.
I finally found my most prized possession, the cause and product of my tiring search, in a slightly obscured store at the side of a small road, reached after travelling by train. It was past 9:30, the time for the start of our laboratory exam.
As my companion and I waited for the train that would take us back, the skies cleared just ever so slightly, and by perhaps a figment of my imagination, the rain seemed to have stopped. The fluorescent light from across the platform flickered.
We were running late, but I found I could no longer care. I had cried all that I could minutes earlier, much to the chagrin of my companion and his now tear-drenched handkerchief. All I could think of as I ducked into his umbrella was,
"I should buy a new umbrella soon."
(For the people who had asked me earlier if I was okay, thank you. I sincerely appreciate it. I’m okay now.)
It was my first time going to Enchanted Kingdom in like, several years, I had almost forgotten what it felt like strolling inside an amusement park. And somehow, I almost always felt tired, almost lethargic, and thought that perhaps, this was the effect of growing up. Suddenly, you feel like you have to drag your feet to get you to places, you tire easily and feel like you could just stay where you are and watch people passing by and feel just as content. I know that something has changed because things were a lot different when I was younger. I was tireless, and seemed to have an endless supply of energy, I could go on and on and on and still feel like I hadn’t rode on everything yet.
Until now, I still wonder why and how my parents have grown too old for amusement parks. Has it always been a matter of preference? Or did they, once upon a time, love it as childishly as I did, and eventually had just grown out of it?
It still has me thinking… will I grow too old for amusement parks too?
Classes ended quite early yesterday, so I decided to kill three birds with one stone: buying my exam clipboard, getting our babies at Blue Magic, and watching Eiga Sai.
I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but I’m not exactly a fan of ice cream, but since Mikko was, I decided to give it another shot. I ended up ordering their Oreo Cheesecake Blizzard (being the cheesecake fan I was XD), and it tasted pretty much like an Oreo ice cream, until I realized I hadn’t eaten the cheesecake bits yet. Haha. Cheesecake heaven~
Had to rush to Shang since I apparently took too much time looking for my clipboard and finishing the remains of my ice cream. Surprisingly, there was already a moderately long line waiting for us when we arrived. And I thought Wednesday afternoons weren’t such a likely movie day. Guess I was wrong. We ended up watching Eiga Sai’s "One Million Yen Girl", featuring Aoi Yu as the lead. I hadn’t anticipated that bit of detail though, since I didn’t really research beforehand, so it came as a pleasant surprise. I wonder though if I would’ve enjoyed the movie as much if I didn’t know any of the cast. XP I hope to catch Eiga Sai again next year, though. :)
So I was just reading around other people’s blogs, and read this specific entry about not being happy anymore. I don’t mean to give unsolicited advice, but somehow, in my idealistically childish way, I believe that when you commit to a relationship, you don’t only stay for the good times. You don’t love just to be happy.
Love, and loving truly entails suffering and sacrifice. And if anyone can’t bear the thought of that, then maybe that person just isn’t really made for love at all.
For a self-confessed animé fan, I’d have to admit that it took me so long to attend my very first convention. And yes, this is it, my first venture into the crazy world of animé conventions. I do hope it turns into a habit soon enough, as the wandering around is all worth it.
Anyway, my cousins and I attended ToyCon’s second day, with my sister Dindin, dressed as Amane Misa, my cousin Camille dressed as Hatsune Miku, and my other cousins Mark and Jaime dressed both as Uchiha Sasuke (but in their older and younger versions, respectively). Camille was almost an instant hit with the con-goers, with her tall and slender frame. I watched in awe and fascination as people lined up one by one to ask for a photo with her. Now I finally understood what made cosplayers so intoxicated with their craft. Their love for the character they portray is one thing, but the feeling of seeing other people appreciate the result of their hardwork is another. And perhaps, that is the most rewarding.
Another thing I just realized about conventions is that, yes, it actually is really tiring. I had always imagined that given the not-so-expansive nature of these venues, walking around wouldn’t be too much of a problem. But then again, it’s no joke to walk around in the same place for hours, with virtually no seats you could occupy, only stopping every now and then to pose, take photos, and chat with fellow con-goers. Makes me admire those who attend these cons in their high-heeled boots, pumps, or any other similar torture-inducing footwear. Such endurance.
Speaking of endurance, I have long been enduring my aching back, shaky legs, and stiff fingers for a while now. Hmmm, I guess this is the part where I retire and resign myself to slumber. Hoho. :D
Tip for people wanting to open up a business by offering personal services: If you can't even pick up a potential client's phonecall, don't even think of opening one. If you do, I hope your business rots and burns to hell.
Pissed off. Based from recent personal experience.
So as I was bloghopping, I chanced upon this article by Tim Rogers. Who he is, I don’t know, but there’s something about what he wrote on Japan that piqued my interest.
I love Japan. Well, not entirely, but I love their idols in wimpy boybands, even when they can’t hit a tune, or act to save their lives. I love how their music seems to be brimming with positivity, with songs about blue skies, friendship, and finding love. I love how their skyscrapers and cityscapes look like on postcards, how Tokyo seems to glitter at night. I would love to see cherry blossoms fall in spring.
And I think, maybe that’s it. Maybe I do love something because I haven’t been there, or I haven’t been there long enough to experience everything, good or bad, it has to offer. Maybe that’s why I hate the local mainstream, seeing telenovelas on primetime drama, or crappy, recycled-for-the-nth time-scripts on locally-produced, low-budget romance/comedy films. Maybe that’s why the idea of seeing independent and underground-produced material seems much more appealing. Because it’s not on the regular menu. It’s not something we’re used to.
I do think it goes the same way with visiting new places. Somehow, there’s this magical feeling of standing on newly-discovered land. Simply put, being a tourist. A tourist’s point-of-view is very limited, restricted only to the things he/she wants to see. Tourists only see the pretty things, the postcard-scenes, and wherever the tourguide leads them to. Maybe this is why when people start living in the world of their dreams, reality hits them like a ton of bricks, that maybe Fantasyland isn’t such a fantasy after all. Like everywhere else, there would be rude people, a suffocating amount of cigarette smoke, a missing item on your-much-needed grocery haul at the nearby convenience store, and maybe the very thing you like about that place would be the very thing you hate, in just a few months’ time.
And it’s not so hard to picture, actually. I think of people living and working in the US, and everyday life doesn’t seem to be too much like Disneyland, either.
Just received my books yesterday during the enrollment. There are still two missing from the set, but carrying all of them yesterday = TORTURE. My fingers started turning red after just a few minutes.
Somehow though, I felt a sense of euphoria, staring at my Form 5. This was the result of hardwork, months and months of trying to catch up with my regular blockmates, and surviving grueling final exams and sleepless nights during the summer. This was it.
This was what I wished for. What I worked for. What I prayed for.