Shot with a Pentax KM Film Camera
Lens: 85mm Tamron
Film: Kodak ColorPlus 35mm
Last year, I made a big leap and decided to shift my focus from finding a full-time job to just working as a freelance photographer/graphic designer/social media manager. And I am very thankful to get to work with amazing clients that believe in my my creative vision. However, as I progressed on to my day-to-day life, I started to question my whole belief system and I started to doubt myself. I started to become restless and frustrated about the work that I put out. The likes, the views and the impressions of the work that I put out on social media seemed to matter to me more than ever, and I started to get anxious. I started to get insecure about the work of others, and I started to desperately look for something to cling on to to make me feel like I was on top of my game, creativity wise.
It started taking a toll on me, I became irritable and sensitive. I became sad.
I looked at my camera, and remembered what it was like to have my first ever dslr (her name was Penny, and she was bright pink! 😂), and I started to remember the freedom I felt when I was just shooting, not thinking about anything. I felt this peace, like everything I see on the viewfinder is just where they’re supposed to be. Those moments were when I felt most secure. I decided I want to feel that again.
I started shooting everyday, without any goal in mind. Whether it’s with my SLR or my phone, or my polaroid, I just had to shoot like I did before. I had to unlearn, and relearn my process. (I’ll post these photos very soon! Stay tuned for updates!)
And, maybe that’s the essence of why we create. Maybe it’s about unlearning your realities and re-learning through different perspectives and fresh new visions. (Wow, that sounded so corporate 😅)
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I feel like a cloud of dread, anxiety and dreariness has been hanging over my head for a while now. I’ve been trying hard to fight it from consuming my thoughts and emotions, but last night, I really couldn’t take it anymore. It took all of my willpower to get myself to sleep. I woke up feeling the same way. I lied in bed. I didn’t want to stand up. I had to shake it off, but it was taking me a while. I was starting to get a headache.
I looked at the window, and saw my camera sitting on one of the chairs below. I wanted to capture this emotion, I wanted to encapsulate this feeling in photos.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of self-conflict lately. I feel like I haven’t been forgiving with myself lately. I didn’t allow myself to become vulnerable, or to become less than what is expected from me. By force of habit, I beat myself up and ruminate over the things that make me imperfect. Maybe because I started to see myself through other people’s eyes. I started to become a reflection of what I think others wanted me to be, and again I lost myself. (Again)
I feel restless and I feel disappointed because I feel that this narrative has been said over and over again, and yet here I am, back to square one.
I’ve been putting of scanning the Polaroids that I have for three years. Since there are going to be a lot of big changes this year, I’ve decided to get on with it.
Some memories were particularly harder to see again, I’ve opted not to post them here just yet.
Me and my first SLR camera! (I named her Penny )
Roselle, Frances and Ate Carla at the Lincoln Memorial
Frances and I in front of Tita Baddette’s house in Alabama
Frances, Mom, Ate Carla and Roselle at the Bethesda Fountain, N.Y
Under a tree at Central Park
Mom and I getting our hair dyed!
Boracay, October 2015
First time climbing a mountain!
Location: Mt. Pinatubo
Plane leaving for the States
Last picture at my first job
Me and Nine
Michelle and I in Mt. Pinatubo
Our 21st birthday
Mon & Nina
Gijo, Frances and Roselle on our 21st birthday
Felice & I on New Year’s Day
Renee & I in HK
Ate Carla, Mich aand Ate Cc at Yehliu
(Will put this description soon)
Stargazing with Rowell
You were gone too soon.
I once came about an essay about goodbyes. She talked about how she wished everyone had a light, and how every time she saw someone for the last time, that light would shine, and they would both say their good byes and then part ways.
Depression was a battle I thought I had to face on my own. I thought that I had to keep it within me, because it’s too shameful, it’s too dramatic, it’s not what people want to hear. But, when you lose too many lives on this sickness, this battle no longer only becomes my own. This becomes ours. I have been very vocal about depression, and my experience with it, and to be totally honest, my diagnosis feels like a distant memory, and I’m just really thankful that with the support of my family, and through therapy, I am where I am now. So the moment I heard about the deaths of my batch mates, I was drawn back to my roots, to where I started.
Depression isn’t something that you can just turn off, or un-feel. Depression is like an allergy. It’s an imbalance in the hormones in your body. It’s medical and should be treated as such. It’s not a figment of one’s imagination, it’s not a state of mind. IT IS REAL. And it is something we need to battle =.
2016 ,for me, has been a year of loss and recovery; of change and acceptance. There have been some big changes for me this year, and I can not be any more thrilled about them.
Anyway, this year’s festivities were extra special because our cousins who live on the other side of the world (Coquitlam, Canada), came to visit.
Our mandatory annual holiday photo shoot taken on New Year’s Eve
When I was young I was always afraid of the loud sounds and the extremely dangerous fireworks whenever New Year strikes. I would cry and hide behind my dad, and he told me that the louder we scream, and the brighter the fireworks, the more bad spirits we drive away. And ever since then, I would scream at the top of my lungs and I would watch the fireworks as the lit up the sky; hoping and praying that the next year would be a great one.
At 12 midnight, we all shouted and screamed “Happy New Year!” and went around to make sure we hugged everyone and kissed everyone on the cheek.
We spent the rest of the night singing and dancing and drinking and being happy. It was definitely one for the books.
This whole holiday season was a great end to a year that was. I’m happy I got to spend it with my loved ones.
So here I am, at the airport about to leave Taipei for the 2nd time this year. This time, I traveled with 3 of my sisters. We had 3 days and the whole of Taipei to conquer and explore.
We had arrived in Taipei in the wee hours of the morning ( around 2am ), so we had little sleep and we were all very tired from the travel from Manila. As we were driving towards our destination, our very caring driver (Danny) stopped and allowed us to take a breather. This view instantly woke us up! (Well, the very very cold air also did a little bit, but this is maybe 60% of why I felt more energized.)
Our first stop was the Yehliu Geo Park. This day was the coldest and windiest day among the days that we were there, so because of this, the waves were extra dramatic, and the tides were extra high. I don’t think I could explain just how beautiful the scenery is, so here are the photos:
Our next stop was Jiufen. I didn’t take much photos because I’ve taken previous photos from this place (you can find them here.) I spent my time eating and looking around and taking pictures with weird signs.
That night, we also went to a railroad in Shifen (with actual working trains, mind you.) and released our sky lantern wishes into the sky. It was quite a site to see.
But of course, a day in Taipei wouldn’t be complete without visiting a night market. We were in the Keelung area, so we HAD to eat at one of their night markets. We ate noodles, sausages, taro ice, candied strawberries and more.
On our second day, we had breakfast in Yong Kang St. We weren’t entirely sure what we wanted to eat so we just lined up for random things. We had these Taiwanese savory pancakes for breakfast and had coffee at a nearby cafe.
We then visited Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and took a little break from all the walking. We sat down and took pictures.
We then went to XinYi road, went to the Eslite bookstore and then waited for the sunset to witness the Christmas lights along the streets.
We then went to Ximending to eat shabu-shabu and to shop a little. We also specifically looked for the Grilled Mochi that can be found there.
On our last day, we went to both the HuaShan and SongShan Creative Parks. I know “Creative Park” is such a general term, but both were actually old factories (beer and tobacco respectively), that were turned into spaces that allow people to sell or exhibit their art. In my opinion, the HuaShan one was more lively and more park-like. SongShan however was vast, and very comprehensive. It was more informative.
Photographed below, SongShan Creative Park:
After this, we decided to torture/challenge ourselves and climb the Elephant Mountain Trail. It was probably the steepest stairs that I have ever climbed in my life. The view was amazing though. Although, if you do plan on going, I suggest to go on a weekday or a non-holiday, because it can get a little crowded. There were long queues just for climbing on top of rocks to take a picture of the view. It got a little crazy, at one point, we couldn’t exit the trail because of the crowd.
Our last stop for this trip (huhuhu) was the Shilin Night Market. I’m just going to let the photos speak for themselves:
So, that was our trip! Short, but sweet. Thanks, Taipei. It’s been a blast! 🙂