Twenty Fifteen

I can describe my 2014 as smooth yet steady (with occasional bumps and detours, of course) both in my personal and career life. My photography and blogging were sidetracked immensely, and I’ve got to get back on track as it felt like I’ve lost a great deal of something in me. I am very optimistic with 2015 though (and everyone should too!) and will totally embrace changes in my lifestyle as long as I see them practical, logical, and most importantly – appropriate. I am now sitting at the edge of my twenties, I cannot lie about that (though I wanted to stop counting at 22, lol) and such decisions and happenings are inevitable. I’ve been a laid back dude all this time and there’s something in me telling that it’s about time I move out my comfort zone and expand my horizons. I’ve got high hopes for myself and my family this year, some are too ambitious, while some aren’t. And with that, I have listed some of my goals for this year! I’d like to keep this a part of my annual ritual so I may revisit the things I’ve planned and check if I was able to achieve them a year after.

1. I need to start drawing my Life’s Pyramid clearer with boundaries well-defined: Career – Personal Life – Business. I just feel like at this point in my life, establishing several sources of income is a must! Having a great career isn’t enough, earning monthly salary and being able to cycle it in such a way that the money I earned from my career generates another wave of income is what I utterly require. I want to establish my own camp, and with God’s grace, be able to transform it to a self-sustaining asset.

2. In connection with no. 1, I basically aim to even-out my liabilities column to my assets column. This one requires a lot of work, practical and imaginative thinking. Supporting a family and living in a costly environment will make this point even harder, (Err, I bought a brand new car to start-off this year’s liabilities lump!) but I’m not letting myself be intimidated by these factors.

3. Shoot More, Blog More! – last year was a deep dive to both my photography and blogging shindigs. I definitely want to keeping these wheels rolling this year.

4. See a better picture of what life is! Faith and Personal reflection, that is.

5. Travel! I know, I know. This will badly hurt my savings and will jeopardize my no. 1 and no. 2 goals. But local travel and road trips shouldn’t hurt that much, and I feel it will help my no. 4 goal too. In fact, I am very optimistic I can make this work on a regular basis. I just need to cut off my unnecessary expenditures!

So there we go, I’ll revisit this list by end of 2015 and see if I made improvements! Happy New Year, amigos!

It’s about T-I-M-E

I have almost abandoned this blog of mine, leaving it in solitude since early this year. Practically being swamped by other things (err, work primarily) and not being able to post [and share thoughts with you guys] is definitely a no-no. So, being one of the vicious frogs out there, let me renew the spirit of my pond and allow me to catch-up with you guys.

As some of you might already know, November is my birth month. And that being said, I have planned something personal to accomplish before letting go of this year. I’ll be joining again with people I have previously worked with to accomplish a personal photography project I planned for early next month. Yes, I have too much packed this month so I have to push it to December. More time for me to arrange and organize the shoot, and prep-up for the look-and-feel I want to accomplish. I would certainly need to let the creative juice run again on my bloodstream – well, it’s about time.

I will surely post the details here real soon! I’m really excited to make this happen, aja! :)

Welcome Twenty-Fourteen!

It has been a roller coaster ride for me and my family last year. We have been to several downward slopes that shattered our hearts deeply. My Dadu passed away last August after a long battle against heart disease. He fought hard, along with his ever-empowering faith to our Almighty God. His memory will forever be in our hearts – full of happy thoughts that we will cherish very dearly. After a few months, our close family friend, Kuya Diony as we call him, joined my Dad in Heaven. We will truly miss them, badly.

But life doesn’t just give sad thoughts, there were happy ones to be thankful for. Little Frog Prince Creative Studios was born last January 2013, hurray! Opening a window for me to express my love for photography, and giving me another channel to earn. I will continue to push LFPCS to greater heights, with the help of my photography peers and loved ones. I am still working on improving this site (more on this below) for me to share my wonderful journey of photography.

And so for 2014, I ought to begin my weekly photo-diary. Though this can be hard at times (as I am also working as a full-time Senior Software Analyst for one of the largest technology consulting firm in the Philippines), I will try my best to save stills worth sharing and upload it on my Flickr account. Eventually, that will be fully integrated with this site for seamless browsing.

Here are some of my goals for this blog:

1. Integrate my Flickr account for the presentation of photos.
2. Remove my Behance portfolio and transfer all to Flickr (currently re-working my photos).
3. Update the layout to be “responsive” (to non-techies, this means mobile-friendly layout for phones and tabs)
4. Integrate my Instagram for my casual photograph shares.
5. Be ACTIVE!

Let us all welcome 2014 with a bang! Happy New Year (of the Wooden Horse)!

Calaguas: A Simple Paradise

Calaguas

First off, I want to apologize for the lack of recent updates here in LFP Creative Studios blog. I just got super swamped with both personal and professional stuffs swirling around. We transferred to a new house (lovin’ it btw) and recent work changes that wholly ate up most of my time. Hmm, ok – let’s just ignore the fact that my last post was April lol.

I have been to several out-of-town trips recently: Bataan, Subic, and most recently, to Camarines Norte. The two former trips were just simple photo walks to see normal day-to-day sceneries and so let’s skip ‘em (honestly, they are just not-so-relevant anymore). What I want to share with you guys is this little island called “Calaguas” in the province of Camarines Norte. It was brought up by my college friend Miguel Paolo (who I came with during the Baguio trip early this year) and me being an absolute home buddy, didn’t have any idea what we may see there. With a bit of Googling, I managed to have an insight on what Calaguas may offer, and it got me so excited!
Everything was set, well, except for the weather. The day before the trip, we were actually thinking of rescheduling. All of the weather forecasts I checked showed 90% probability of rainfall in Camarines Norte, dimming the littlest hopes we had. But we decided to give a green light, hoping and praying that the sun will shine on the paradise.

We left Makati around 7PM in the evening after having a quick dinner. Originally, we planned to leave around 5PM but that day was just immensely plagued by traffic jam all over the metro. Not to mention my mobile phone got stolen the night before that, so I didn’t have any immediate means of updating them where and what time will I arrive at the meeting place – boo! But with a stroke of luck, all of us met as planned and continued with the journey.

We headed next to Alabang, Muntinlupa where we took a bus (DLTB Co.) going to Daet, the capital city of Camarines Norte. It took us about 8 hours and a humble P440.00 to get to the drop point and from there, rode a tricycle going to the fish port. All nine of us waited for our rented boat at the port, and while doing so, some of us (myself included) grabbed a quick breakfast (Rice porridge with egg on a rainy day is wonderful!) and the others went to the public market to buy food. Rain was pouring lightly when we got our feet settled on the fish port. The low gray clouds above the sky covering the sun scared the crap out of us! Imagine being stranded on an island with no cellular coverage and electricity, oh we can’t afford that heehee!

After about 45 minutes, our rented boat arrived. It was large enough to hold all nine of us plus our ‘bangkero‘ and his assistant. The boat ride lasted for about 1 hour and 40 minutes before we arrived at the island. Seeing all the other small yet beautiful islands during the ride was awesome!

The long stretch of white and powdery sand was named “Mahabang Buhangin” by the locals and arched right perfectly in Tinaga Island. This virgin paradise can rival that of white sand beach of Boracay, and the tranquility of Pagudpud. But I’ll let you guys decide through some of the photos I took during our trip. God is really good, the sun was brightly shining when we arrived at the island letting us do our chores quite easily! Thank you!

Here are some of the photos I took while in Calaguas: (You may click them to see the higher resolution version posted in my Flickr page)

Calm Waves

Bangka

Kubo sa Calaguas

Sunset Beach

Mt. Bagacay

Until next trip, thanks for reading!

Canon’s “Outside Auto” Site

Our good friends from Canon Canada created this cute yet very informative site that will teach people the hard basics of Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO: the Trifecta of Exposure. The site is divided into three parts, namely Learn, Play, and Challenge – beautifully crafted for anyone who wants to learn more about photography “away from the Auto” that most people use. It includes a petite Photography 101  that explains (albeit in a concise manner) Exposure, setting the mood, and selecting focus. Tips are also included in case you’re looking for one.

Canon

Play section lets you manually set the Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO and see how your photo will look like. The output will then be placed on the bottom timeline so you can have the opportunity to compare each of your shots. The challenge part is fun, I for one enjoyed it as you have to achieve the goal as fast as you can – Time Attack!

In my perception, Canon acknowledged the increasing figures of their entry-level DSLRs and so to give people who are just starting in Photography, they created such a site. So if you’re  interested, go ahead and visit http://www.canonoutsideofauto.ca/ now!

A Glimpse of Panagbenga

In line with my desire to begin travelling more and experience the beauty of the world as it is, I visited Baguio City together with my college peers last February 22nd-24th. Our main intention was to witness the Panagbenga Festival (Baguio’s Floral Festivity) and of course, pull ourselves out of the corporate scene even for just a couple of days. Chris and I went straight to Victory Liner Station in Pasay City right after work (Urgh, imagine us carrying our heavy luggage to office!) and met with the others around 9 o’clock in the evening. When our bus arrived, we occupied the last row and so all five of us were sitting beside each other (which I find really awesome!). We left the metro around 10 o’clock so everyone was preppin’ to get their sleep – Unfortunately, I was not able to get mine but that’s totally fine.

We arrived at Baguio City around 4:00 in the morning. Our bus stopped in the middle of the road after a car (a white Honda Jazz, if I remember correctly) bumped to our tail. Good thing we were already inside the city and lots of taxi’s were sprawling around, waiting for passengers like us off the bus. It only took about less than 20 mins to reach our rented Apartment in Kitma Village, (Good job Miguel for landing this simple yet comfy crib!) leaving us some time to get a rejuvenating nap.

IMG_4711

Click to view full size.

Our apartment is located at a very interesting spot, not to distant to the city proper. But the street going to the house is VERY steep, even the walkway to the apartment itself! We needed to catch our breath every time we climb up to the Village entrance. It is exhausting but FUN!

IMG_4708

Click to view full size.

We visited Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral (more popularly known as “Baguio Cathedral”) after a brief walk in Burnham Park. I wanted to do street photography but that was changed when a middle-aged man approached us offering an iPhone 4S and a pair of Rayban shades. I instantly knew those goodies came from “dirty” work and so we (Chris and I) skipped the idea of photographing the public. I cannot afford to lose my workhorse camera and lens just yet. Though I have a feeling that the man isn’t a Baguio native. I still adore the friendliness and hospitality of local Baguio people, they are simply warm-hearted people so to speak.

IMG_4758

Click to view full size.

IMG_4757

Click to view full size.

IMG_4756

Click to view full size.

We circled the city, shop for “pasalubong” and souvenirs on the stores. Though it showered a couple of times, that did not stop us from enjoying the view and climate in Baguio. I’m starting to miss the cold mornings there, but not the cold water coming out of the faucet! (Thank goodness, the heater somewhat neutralizes the temperature of the water in the shower). Our days were spent moving around Baguio, riding cabs (Mega Taxis as we put it in Metro terms) as we wait for the big day to come. Sadly, we do not have enough time to visit all the tourist spots – well, next time!

THE BIG DAY – Parade of Flowers

And so the big day came. We promised ourselves to wake-up early but we weren’t that “early” enough to catch a good spot. Natives and other tourists were already flocking the streets where the floats will pass by. I tried to squeeze-in between people to get a better view but I failed. But since I have this utter desire to get a clear view (by clear, I mean photos without heads), I went to a building and asked permission to the guard whose very kind enough to let me literally climb their building’s roof. I pinched myself on the grilled window at the third floor and climbed a ladder to reach the roof. The view is a lot better than what I have on the ground. I can see people from the start up to the end of the street. Unfortunately, being on an elevated space; trees, electrical posts, and wiring were blocking me to get a decent shot of the floats. I’ll upload the photos in bulk and place a link in here when I have time. Just to give you an idea:

IMG_4989

Click to view full size.

I should have coordinated with the authorities prior to the event to get permit to shoot. Oh well, I’ll do that next time! :) Overall, my little escape to Baguio is worthwhile. It gave me the opportunity to catch-up with my college peers and experience traveling to the northern part of the country. I just can’t wait for my next travel yey!

For the benefit of the readers, these are the people I spent this short break with:

IMG_4808

Click to view full size.

[From Top: Leonald, Em, Siegrid, Myself, Miguel, and Christopher]

Until next post, cheers!