The Pavement: 3 Perfect Shots

Afternoon Scene #8 - I took this photo of a pavement inside a mall...

Same pavement, another shot…

Afternoon Scene #9
Afternoon Scene #10 - Interesting play of light and shadow on the pavement.

Overall, I wanted to capture a sense of motion when I took these shots one after the other. One pavement, three perfect shots, I hope.

Writing 201: Water Haikus

Haiku 1: Moving On

been a while since

I posted on my site

the Well runs dry…

Day is calm

The blue waters beckon

Pen in hand

Image Source

 Haiku 2: Freshness

Early morning dew

Saddled on life’s newborn leaf

Eaglet in the sky

    Image Source

      Haiku 3: Reborn

Heaven’s blessing

the Waters of Baptism

Soul’s new life

Image Source

 Today’s poetry challenge on The Daily Post’s Writing 201 involves writing about Water (prompt), and/or a haiku (form), and/or use a simile (device).

Love’s Fading Season

the Heart sees no reason

yet understands and answers

Life’s greatest puzzles;

Kindred spirits speak

a language that

goes beyond time and space…

Love's Fading Season...

We could have been

kindred spirits;

there was a time when

we were…

but you, just like the seasons,

have drifted away

into Winter…

Special Note about my photo: I was inspired to use this ‘photo failure’ of mine, a result of an out-of-focus shot…but seeing it still looked good , especially as a background, I decided to keep it in my files…and that was what I used for this post. I credit Photography 101 for all the creative tips I’ve learned from the team! Thanks and Cheers!

Silence’s Shadow

Who could ever live with

Sounds that mar the peaceful rhythm of the hours

just before the break of day?

Nary a soul perhaps

Except for one who

at times

seeks to hear again and again

the comforting echo of a

Song’s refrain…

if only to flee

the lingering

Shadow of silence…

Writing Prompt courtesy of The Daily Post’s Ebook: 365 Days of Writing

Through the Looking Glass…

It took me so long to come up with a response to this photography assignment: “incorporating glass into an image to add a layer of complexity.” Thus it was a blessing I and my family got to dine in a restaurant with this fascinating view of the outside…

Through a glass panel - The sharp lines and striking view of the buildings beyond, plus the soft twirls of the clouds in the sky, were made clearer by using more contrast and color saturation.
Through a glass panel 2 - same view but at a slightly different angle...
Through a glass panel 3 - I included more of the street below...
Through a glass panel 4 - stronger colors...

I never thought taking pictures through a looking glass can be interesting; now I’m hooked, thanks to The Daily Post’s Photography 101 course. Cheers!

Looking Through Natural Frames

Just a simple try on how to use natural frames for our shots…looking through these natural frames makes scenes more interesting indeed.

Photography 101: Clouds and Convergence

Clouds have always fascinated me…so here I put together different shots of them as I try to apply the element of convergence as a challenge…

Well, it has been worth the try, I think. Yet, better still if I use my digital cam next time, instead of my mobile phone, for a series of shots like these…


The Home That Nurtured My Dreams

“It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.”
Peter Buffett, Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment

My precious dear granddaughters, I write this to you so that when you grow much older you will have something to look back to, from your dear NaiNai…I remember when I was growing up as a child like you, I was as precocious as you both are today, and though I was really shy inside, mostly I was happy growing up in this house…home to me for almost 20 years.

The apartment where I grew up with my parents and eight younger siblings was a corner unit in the 1st building complex inside a huge family compound belonging to a clan from up north of Manila.

And this little space which my family occupied was home to me from the time we moved there shortly before I entered kindergarten until I got married. It was my home for 19 years, the home that also nurtured my youthful dreams.

It was one of those American style 2-storey apartment complexes designed in the popular retro architecture of the ’60s, and located in a quiet middle-class neighborhood. Most families here sent their children to the nearby Catholic schools or the pilot public schools.

Our front door opened to the main driveway, the right side of which, if you were entering the big iron-wrought gates, was lined with a variety of green plants and flowers, from the gate to the end of the long pathway. A tall fruit-laden star-apple tree also stood by the entrance, like a solemn guard.

From the kitchen, our back door led us to the small yard that laid between our building and the 2nd main complex where most of the family members of the clan lived in their own smaller units. At the tip of that small yard was my father’s garage. Hence, when he drove home each evening from office, he would have to turn left from the main driveway.

The yard and the driveway fronting our unit served as our points of connection with the other children in that compound.

Most interesting were all the box-like windows in the house, the type of which we could climb up inside, close the shutters, and viola, we’d be in our own little world, out there in the open yet safely enclosed within the house.

These windows. They were often the stage for my and my siblings’ imaginative wandering minds. 

Much like the houses of old, an enclosed staircase led from the 1st landing up to the 2nd floor, and this staircase was another favorite nook of mine, where I’d often write in my diary or create poems, or read books – books filled our home including the bathroom. But many times, dreamy me would just sit there on one of the steps, leaning against one side, my feet up on the wall, musing my hours away…

That staircase. My comfort zone where I was free to be alone with my thoughts.

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”
Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Our family unit’s focal point was the medium-sized living room where we had our family altar, the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the wall, hung over the corner table lined with statues of Mama Mary and St. Joseph, and other saints like St. Jude and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Yet in each room upstairs, smaller altars were enshrined as well.

Each evening, my parents would gather us all in that cozy space, in the living room, after my father had arrived home from office, to say our family prayers that would start with the recitation of the holy rosary, before we partook of our supper — one that often lasted an hour. Our family prayers were personal to us for they were composed by my parents.

Our family ritual. It was, until now even in our own homes, a ritual that has nourished our souls, our faith in God, and one that has marked us as a family.

Family meal times were also a time for sharing stories about our day, or quiz time as when my parents would check on our lessons, or just simply telling jokes. With a large brood such as ours, it was usually a time of mirth, playful bantering or at times – marked with petty quarrels that my parents would soon squash enough with just a simple stern look or a “ssshhhhh” from either of them.

The house where I grew up. The home that nurtured my dreams. It has helped transform me into the person I am today. Thus, so thankful am I there were those elements that cultivated my inter-, intra- and meta-personal relationships: with others (family & childhood friends), myself, and with God: the yard. the driveway. the windows. the family dining table; the staircase; and most of all, our family altar.

That house. My family’s sacred space. A special memory for me.

“When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love overflowing.” – sung by Diana Ross



The Natural World Thru An Amateur’s Lens

Here is my response to Photography 101: The Natural World

I thought it was just a leaf
Then the leaf moved and I saw a butterfly starting to flutter
The butterfly tried to flap its wings more, but rather weakly...
View of the morning sky from my yard...'twas a beautiful day...
One of my green plants - the roof from the neighboring house serves as backdrop...


A rustic scene: my green plant against an old structure...
My green plant from another angle
A closer view of my green plant still with the sky in sight
The leaves of the plant are in focus


Loving Me, Loving Mom, Loving God

Picture this: a thin, brown-skinned girl, not exactly kayumangging kaligatan but darker and taller than most of the fairer mestiza kids in that exclusive girl school, with thick white-framed eyeglasses, black hair pulled into a neat ponytail pinned with a big blue or black silk ribbon on top. This waif of a girl would also speak so softly almost like a hush that her teachers often coaxed her to raise her voice a decibel higher. She didn’t wear boys’ shoes as most of the girls did, and which she too wanted, but always wore her black mary janes to go with her bobby socks trimmed with lace. In other words, she was the 1960s’ version of a school nerd — the odd girl out, so she thought. (Now don’t get me wrong – but my being conscious of my brown complexion was only when I did not know any better; my mother would often tell me my complexion was something to be proud of; as I grew up, I disliked using whitening lotions and the like.)

And that was what made me so terribly shy in grade school. Dare I not join a group during breaks unless one classmate would call me in or was with me. And in the class, I’d often wait for the teacher to call on me to recite even though I knew the answers well.

Yet, in a strange way – my shyness would also lead me, at times, to venture out of my comfort zone, like playing alone in the school playground, or taking fun rides with other kids during our school fairs. Or signing up for a drum and bugle class, a singing group, and a painting class in high school. You see, I could never carry a tune, till now, and I could only splash a mixture of colors on my drawing pad – my idea of being a future Picasso or Monet. But I still surged ahead for I wanted to do these things.

I remember one talented young boy in that painting class asking me why I was there. He was right – I didn’t have the talent for drawing nor painting…so what?

The spirit of that young girl from way back still lives in me — as I pursue my passions with a mix of confidence, audacity and spunk. And that is what I love most about myself – because it’s what makes me unique, what gives me the courage to learn new things, cultivate new interests like blogging…a late bloomer in the field of writing.

That lakas ng apog  was sparked by my Mom’s own passion for living, for she indeed was a woman oozing with confidence and grit, inspiring in me and my siblings to achieve our goals, test new waters and scale the heights. And that is what I love most about her, my dearest Mom, even if she’s no longer with us. To her I will forever be grateful for this, and whatever I achieve, to God be the Glory!