Tinted Photographs (What a Lame Title)

Since we kinda lost our internet connection for about two weeks, I took that tw0-week-with-no-internet break as a chance to sort all of the stuff I have in my computer because they are the main reason why the computer’s so slow.

I also took the opportunity to play around with Adobe Photoshop. I really want to learn everything a person should know about Photoshop just because I consider the mastery of PS as a talent.

So I took some of the photos from my drive, opened PS, experimented with the tools and adjustments and played around with all the Actions I have downloaded beforehand just for the sake of killing time and maybe learning something from trial and error.

I am also posting this because I want to post something and I have nothing else to post . I tried my best to be relevant by writing something about the RH Bill the other time but I failed. I am easily distracted by trivial stuff I stumble upon the internet. I don’t have my copy of FHM May 2011 yet  (and I’m still thinking if I should buy one) so I can’t do my so-called monthly review of the magazine.

And as much as I want to give my photos respective titles, I can’t. I just can’t. I find it too disturbing. HAHAHA. And if you wish to suggest titles for the photographs(GOD bless you if you are reading this), feel free to leave comments, OK?

I would also love to specify the actions and adjustments I applied on each photo but I can’t remember. There are no steps in making random stuff, right?

So here they are.

Yes, that’s a giant spider. The one we usually see atop electric posts – with nylon-like web.

A flower whose name I don’t know.

It’s really fun to take photos of ants at work. Plus they love the camera – and your body if you are not careful.

This fruit’s shape reminds me of something. No, I’m not telling what.

Wala. Macro lang ng gate sa sementeryo.

Oh, it took me forever to edit this. Labor of love. It’s a plant growing from a crack on the wall of a cemetery.

Taken from a moving vehicle. My favorite. I gave myself a pat on the back for this.

aaaaand the dirty finger..

Cracks in my Reflection

Holy Week. Time to reflect. And since I’m not really into doing things just because they are traditionally done in this certain time (hippie me), I will just post random realizations I made in the past. It’s good to live by with some of your realizations just to keep you grounded, or just to remind us ‘Hey, you’ve been there. You know how it feels.’

(Most of the realizations I made happened last year, a year when I went through a lot since it is during that time when I talked to my self a lot.)

#1 Respect is something you gain. You cannot ask people to respect you just because you want them to.

There are certain factors which dictates how much respect you ‘deserve’ to get – age, background, status et cetera. But I realized that I can’t respect others just because these factors tell me to do so. I’m not saying that I would be disrespectful to people I don’t feel like respecting, it’s just that i cannot give them the respect they think they deserve.

I have realized that it is easier to give the respect a person deserves rather than giving them the respect they think they deserve.

#2 Your life, your choice.

I mean everything that happens in our lives is our personal choice. We choose to be happy. We choose to be sad. We choose to get hurt. We choose to hurt somebody. Outside forces play a factor in our decision-making, but it is always our choice that matters. We can also choose to let others decide for us. It’s our choice.

Say you are going through rough times, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we feel sad or down, we can choose to feel otherwise. It’s your choice if you want to feel terribly hurt after a heart break, but you can also choose to move-on and be happy.

When you have come to the realizations that it is your choice that really matters, it would be easier for you to get into the bottom of your problems and solve it. Easier because you don’t have to blame…

#3 Quit blaming.

This realization pinches my heart every time I think deeply about it.

I have been in a situation wherein a lot of people are involved. It is complicated and I took most of the impact it made. It is always easier to point fingers during those times and say “Hey! I’m going through all of this because of you. It’s all your fault.” But no, I decided not to look far and blame everybody else with all the troubles I have been through.

Instead of holding grudges and keeping hatred, I tried to look into them. I tried to see through them. I even tried to situate myself in theirs and tried to understand their disappointments. Yes, everybody has their disappointments and once you realized that they also go through pain and hardships, you would realize that they are also like you.

When you start seeing the disappointments of others, you can compare them with yours and soon you’ll realize that at some point, everybody is luckier than everybody else.

#4 ALWAYS keep a strong relationship with our family.

Our family loves us beyond any love that there is. They are the people who would accept us and all our facets. They are also the same people who made us who we are.

One of the biggest decisions I made is to give up a lot up things just to keep our family. I have to step up and be the bigger man. I have to broaden my mind and strengthen my defenses just to solve problems we have.

I chose to fix something that is permanent and ditch out something that would eventually fade. I did that because I know that at the end of the day, it is my family who would embrace me despite all my disappointments and hang-ups.

#5 It is fine to have regrets.

Maybe you’ve heard a lot of people say that they have no regrets, I am not one of them and I feel no shame.

I believe that it is better to acknowledge your regrets because you will learn something from not experiencing something. And it’s always fun to leave some things unexplained and unknown.

Live with your regrets, not in them.

#6 Not everybody matters.

We cannot choose the people who would come and go in our lives. It is not like accepting and ignoring friends on Facebook. But what we have control with is the people who would make an impact, people whose words would affect us.

I’ve learned that not everyone we know has something good to say to and abut us. I decided to filter out those who matter to me and those who didn’t. It’s like having an automated filtering device inside my head which functions whenever I hear a thing being said about me. Whenever someone insignificant says something bad about me, I’ll just let them be because they don’t really matter to me. It’s also for saving myself from too much negative stuff.

I also try not to explain things to everybody because some people don’t need explanations, they just WANT them.

#7 Nothing is more discouraging than unappreciated sarcasm.

But it’s fun at times.


They say that once you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go but ‘up’. Then I realized that there are more important things than going up and staying on top.

It’s sad to think that I have to learn things the hard way, still I learned something. I was given a chance to see things in a bigger picture. My failures have opened my eyes to see the other side of things.

I know that there are some things I failed to write, but I guess some realizations are better left undocumented because there are some things in life that cannot be put to words.

And to make up with the lack of inspiration on my post, I’ll just add some of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, Tuesday with Morrie by Mitch Albom, which accompanied me throughout my journey to seeing things in a greater perspective.

“What if today were my last day on earth? … the culture doesn’t encourage you to think about such things until you’re about to die. We’re so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks – we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing? … You need someone to probe you in that direction. It just won’t happen automatically.”

“… detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience *penetrate* you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you *fully*. That’s how you are able to leave it.

Take any emotion – love for a woman, or grief for a loved one…. if you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails.

But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. … I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.”

“Same for loneliness: you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely – but eventually be able to say, ‘All right, that was my moment with loneliness. I’m not afraid of feeling lonely, but now I’m going to put that loneliness aside and know that there are other emotions in the world, and I’m going to experience them as well.”

Goodbye, Daddy

It has been months since anything ‘big’ happened in my life. When I say big, I mean something that would change the daily (boring) routine I follow.

It’s the evening the 19th of this month when my ‘it’s just another day’ outlook was shaken by a big news (No, I wasn’t excited about the super moon).

I was a bit worried that evening because my tatay, who usually goes online early evening everyday, was not yet messaging me. I was worried because there are still dangers after the Japan tragedy. It was around 11pm then when tatay messaged me. It turned out that we really have something to worry about that evening. His message read, “Wala na si daddy.”

Domingo delos Santos, or ‘Domeng’ is my paternal grandfather’s older brother. He is the eldest among 4 children of our great grandparents. He is everybody’s ‘daddy’. He is loved by everybody in the family.



Family gatherings would never be the same without our beloved Daddy Domeng

Being the youngest in our family, I (admittedly) have the least emotional attachment with most of our relatives. I was the less known by most and oftentimes mistaken as my older brother. But Daddy’s family is different. Our family is closer to them compared to others because my tatay is so attached with Daddy Domeng.

I honestly feel a little aloof and uncomfortable whenever I am in the presence of some relatives but that changes whenever we are with Daddy.

I look at Daddy as my true grandfather since  both of my real grandfathers met their inevitable endings earlier than we wished they did.

My emotional attachment with Daddy strengthened as the years went by. He’s always the one who asks me ”Kamusta kayo?”, “Anong balita?’ , “kumain na kayo.” whenever we meet. Simple gestures like those made feeling comfortable with him and his family easier.


One of my most treasured memory of Daddy was when they attended my high school graduation. My tatay was the one who suggested that we invite Daddy during that day. I would never forget the smile he wore whenever he accompanied me to the stage to receive awards.I remember how my tatay relayed to me how proud and happy Daddy was during my graduation. That made me love Daddy more.

He was also there during the time when our family hit rock-bottom. We knew we can tell him everything without any fears of being judged. We knew that he’s always there to listen and to care.


The moment we first visited him after his passing, I can’t help but get teary eyed while I was looking at  him through his casket’s glass. I was thinking, visiting their house would never be the same.

I would always remember how he listens attentively to every story we share. I would always remember his being appreciative of whatever we give him. I would always remember his smile when he gave him a copy of our picture during my graduation. I would always remember the concern he showed our family when we needed it most. I would always remember how he loved the chicharon we always give them whenever we visited them. I would always remember how sweet a husband he is to his wife, Tita Toneng. I would always remember him as he is, the loving and ever-caring Daddy Domeng that he is to everyone in the family.


Daddy Domeng, we will surely miss you. Salamat po sa lahat ng bagay at ala-ala na iniwan nyo sa amin. Salamat sa pagmamahal at pagkalinga. Hindi po namin kayo makakalimutan. You will be forever in our hearts.