Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My days

Courage. Such a powerful word.

Different levels we use in different situations. I just wish that I could always wield the one I use with kids. It is so easy to tell them, without misgivings, things that should and should not be done.

How do we confront a friend who has chosen a path you know is not correct? How do you tell someone that you have had enough? How do you tell an elder person that he must change or else? How do you deal with your own hesitations and fears?

It is not a pill I could easily take. It must grow. Like a seed sprouting from the ground, it needs the hand of the Creator. But to lay claim to the nurturing rays of the sun, the sprouting plant must first rise above the ground.

- - - - -

It was the drop of water that caused the spill. The straw that broke that camel’s back. The end of the road.

And so I took the plunge. But not without a vest. Otherwise I would have drowned in my own tears.

The lap is not yet finished though. I need to reach the edge of the pool or the shores of the sea. To safety. Or what I think is my haven. I wonder where this swim would bring me.

- - - - - -

There are red days and yellow days. Always. In each and every month I encounter. The yellow days are sunny, bringing me sunshine smiles and tinkling laughter. The red days are hard. You travel down below. Can be for scientific explanations. Or for current situations. Sometimes, you don’t even know for what reasons.

I just thank God there aren’t too many red days. The yellows ones usually topple them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Humbling images

I knew that it is not as clear as crystal. Otherwise I wouldn’t have taken part of a class and learned from the expert.

I knew that it requires a new way of looking at things. Otherwise I would have just settled by fixing my eyes on books and become trigger happy until I produced something majestic. Simpler, it might be. If I had the time, that is.

But it was not as simple as pointing your camera and just shooting whatever image you want to capture.

It is not just point, shoot and voila!

It needs the eye, the hand and most of all the mind.

Terms such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO became comprehensible. But new photo words came into the picture. Focal length, white balance, depth of field, exposure settings as well as compensation, metering patterns, bracketing technique, etc.

There are rules that must be broken and new rules to go after : rule of thirds, 30/60, bird and worm’s eyeview, dynamic balance, center of interest, etc.

Then regard always the elements of design : texture, shape, color and line. These are just the major ones. There are others to consider.

Bear all this in mind : , make sure that you are correctly framing the image, with the correct shutter speed, aperture opening, exposure, do not forget the rule of thirds, nor the point of interest which must be the sharpest amongst all the images, and try to imagine how it will look like, then shoot. But wait.! Keep your hand on the shutter button! You might need to keep the shutter open, so that there will be a trail effect of light.

Then again, after all the learning, there is still the application

Sent to capture pictures of the world but with certain objectives to subscribe to.

I went out. Took images. Applied what my mind was able to retain in such a short time of training. Came back and presented what I had seen. I succeeded in getting some but miserably failed in others.

15 hours are not enough.

Skills learned are meant to be practiced and perfected.

Now everywhere I go, wherever I look, I try to envision what could an object look like from a certain angle. I reflect on how should I be standing atop a building or even lying along the street just to illustrate something unique about the image.

It is not easy.

It is humbling.

The challenge has not ended. I still need to leave my old mindset. Open my eyes and see the possibilities.

Disclaimer : All photos are the attempts of an amateur photographer. Please keep to yourself all negative comments. :- )

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Everything that could go wrong seemed to have gone wrong. The bride felt sick the whole day. The wedding ceremony started an hour late. And then before the garden reception began, the heavens just opened and it rained . Soaking wet tables and chairs were transfered inside a small cramped room. A perfect sunset reception became a cozy, dripping wet dinner. But the bride and groom remained unfazed.

Throughout the celebration, all that could be felt was the love between the happy couple. They were all smiles during what the bride declares as the happiest moment of her life. I was a witness to hurdle-filled union that is made more remarkable for the overflowing of love. I bid you both, Dave and Malou, God's guidance as you embark on this journed called marriage.

It seemed impossible. But I did it anyway. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I did the unimaginable.

I wore jeans during a wedding.

And thus, I think I will never criticize anyone who is seemingly dressed improperly. For who is to know the real reason behind such "unsuitable" clothes?

Weddings deserve a lot of respect. Wear the appropriate clothes. But things happen. Been there, done that. Now, don't judge!

= = = =

Are you happy? I could have said yes and it would have been a lie. Or saaid no but this would have entailed endless questions that I was not ready to respond to.

Another question, this time, my own. How do you reply to this question from someone who, in reality, is the cause of your unhappiness?

You don't answer.

You pray.

Pray that somehow you will find a way to have the courage to say the truth. If not to that person's face then to someone else who might have some power to control the situation.

= = = =

Another boss left. In the few months that I worked under him, I have realized and learned a lot of things. Not the intellectual kind but something more important. The experience taught me that it doesn't matter how high they may be on the ladder of the career life. Foreign or local. Man or woman. All of us are human.

I have learned to be brave. I have learned to dare. I hope I remember this.

I wonder what the new boss will bring.

= = = =

Who am i to judge? I may do the same thing one day. But I have to say I felt sad. So sad that I cried. I cry for the choices we make that we know may not be right but still we insist.

There are things that you hoped for, you expected, you prayed for. But to each his own. We make our own choices. Still I feel that in some way, I have failed.

I got reminded though. In this world, we think our decisions only affect us. Not true. Somewhere, somehow, someone is crying.

All I can do now is pray.

We may hope for the best, but what if we didn't do the best?

O God!

= = = =

The last few weeks have been filled with "little" parties for despedidas and birthdays. It was an expensive month. But then, who would exchange any amount for such a great bunch of friends? Only the insane would do!

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)