Taking in and giving something.

I was trying to post some new images but felt the need to do something instead. last night, I heard a news that a friend's daughter is not feeling well. I was saddened by this news. I know how close my friend is to her daughter. She means the world to her right now. We're ocean and miles apart. In the end, I decided to offer something to her that I've been practicing recently during my personal quiet times - Tonglen meditation.

Instead of wishing for my own benefit, I take in the suffering of the people I know during inhalation, visualizing their pain and suffering as a thick, black, murky cloud and I am inhaling it all to go inside my body. Then during exhalation, I am sending their way health, peace, happiness, and tranquility in exchange. I hope she get well soon, my friend. You know how much I value your friendship. Not a lot of people knows me, so what? What is more important for me right now is to give them something I can offer from the heart.


Rizal monument at sunset.

Being late, this was the shot I got. Not the one I hoped to capture but I'll accept what I can get any time of the day. I did not know it was Jose Rizal's birthday when I took my photowalk. No wonder the monument had a lot of flower offerings and no one is allowed to go near. I'm probably about 30 meters away from the monument when I took this. This shot is a tight crop from the image I got. My deep respect to Dr. Jose Rizal, one of the brave ones who used his pen and intellect to serve as an inspiration to us all Filipinos.


My Own Little Place in the World.

This is still a part of the images I captured during my personal photowalk somewhere in Malate, Metro Manila. I was trying to walk faster because I know that any moment soon, the sun would be setting and I will miss the shot I visualized concerning Jose Rizal's monument in Luneta. With too many people in the streets of Malate, I don't think I can make it in time at the monument. I was a little bit disappointed to myself for not coming earlier and anticipating the traffic. However, I believe there are always opportunities available even when you least expect it.

That's what happened to me in Malate. I saw her (or so I thought)  sitting like this in front of an antique shop. What made her so interesting while I was trying to frame the shot is that she did notice my camera and simply smiled back at me. Without saying a word, I signaled using my hand gesturing a number one telling her if I can take one shot. She nodded and so I aimed my camera and captured this.

I was satisfied with the shot I got. When I saw her still smiling back at me, I told her if I can take one more shot and she obliged. I went closer for a headshot. I wanted to capture that simple smile up close. When I got the shot, I was so surprised when she talked back at me and said "Can I see?" It was not the question that surprised me. The person I thought was a woman was a he! I heard a low voice but cheerful. I gladly showed him the two shots I got and personally spoke to him and said "Thank you very much."

A simple person, and yet even from that short encounter, I never felt any vibration of pity or regret regarding his social status in life. What I felt is actually more of acceptance, of surrender, that somehow, in this life, he was able to accept life like that. This personal photowalk seemed more like a personal education about life for me rather than a simple desire to capture life using my camera. I hope that I will have another time like this soon, on another place maybe?

Sometimes, to cope up with life, a rest is all we need .

This man was sleeping not too far from the old woman I saw. A lot of memories ran into my mind when I saw him. He reminded me of myself when I was still a teenager. Unable to cope up with the pressures of life, I ran away from home and walked aimlessly on the streets of Manila. Without any idea how far away I was from home, with the day getting late and no money in my pocket, I looked for a safe place to lay my head on the cold, gray pavement on the corner of a street. My mind and my body was so tired to continue walking. At that moment, I let my body rest, unmindful of the busy life that surrounds me. I wonder if it was the same with this man. Is he sleeping in a public place because he has no home or this is home for him? Questions that I have no answer of. Thank you very much for viewing.

Nikon D70, Nikon 50mm f/1.8D lens, ISO 400, f/2.8 at 1/100 second.

Can you take a picture of me and my little brother?

I was photographing the old woman on my previous post when this little girl approached me and said ". . . Can you take a picture of me and my little brother?" I gladly said yes. She walked towards the city bench, put her brother in her arms, and point his head toward the camera. After I took two shots she asked me "Can I see our picture?" With a smile on my face, I accessed the display button on my Nikon D70 and showed her the shots. She smiled and said "Thank you!" and left walking along with her brother towards the other side of the road.

In here, she was kind enough to allow me to guide her with the pose that I like. Personally, I was humbled by the character of this girl when I met her. She did not ask for any money about me taking pictures of her and her brother. She merely asked for a picture and it was said in a very calm and respectful manner. In the back of my mind, I have this feeling that somehow, there are people who can literally show their old soul better than the rest of us. I hope she'll be glad once I gave her the copies of these images. Thank you little girl for helping me learn another great thing about life with your character and smile.


... Can I have this moment just for myself?

I took a personal photowalk along the Malate area in Manila hoping to take pictures of some interesting subjects and places. On a small street near the Malate Church, I saw this old woman sitting on a public bench. That serious look on her face caught my attention. Without being intrusive, I slowly walked my way close to her and when she was at the range where my 50mm lens would frame her just right on my cameras' viewfinder I took a shot. I knew that she's aware of my presence but she did not make it a big deal. When her eyes met mine, I smiled at her in a way that without saying a word I transmitted by thought the idea that I want to say "Thank you" to her for letting me take a picture that day.

Click on the picture to view it larger.

Yay! A blog of my own!

I'm so happy that after so many nights of hesitation and too much brainstorming I finally have a blog of my own! Since life is so fleeting, I always want to capture or record life as it is with my camera and share it to people close to me (and future friends, too!) But most of the time, when me and my camera won't make it outside I also want to share the thoughts that I have about living life in general. For sure, this blog would change from time to time as I gain new knowledge on how to make this better. Thanks for some people who brought me inspiration to make this blog a reality. :)