14 days quarantine and counting

When I posted last month the condition wasn’t so serious. Nobody thought it is going to reach where we are at today. We are now under quarantine because COVID-19 (or the Coronavirus) has become pandemic.

Lives have changed drastically. Globally. The statistics of those infected are getting scarier everyday. Some have recovered but it is very minimal number compared to the still growing infections. When this ends, nobody knows.

At the very least impact, Marcus has skipped the malls for weeks now. For someone in a wheelchair and already stuck at home not being able to step outside at least once a week is big deal.

His recovery from his cough that started last week of February was slow. Each day my wife and I prayed it won’t come to a point when we need to have him checked at the hospital for fear that he and us would be exposed to anyone who might have COVID-19. He was still coughing after two weeks but gradually lessened on the third. Thankfully, he is now well. In fact, last night I had him get back to doing hand pedals for his home therapy.


There are other changes in my routine too. Beating the clock, our company was kind enough to allow some of us to work from home for business continuity. I’m now sharing workstation (I brought my own PC from work) with wifey who has been home-based while doing freelance jobs for the longest time.

Facebook nowadays is also appreciated more. It has been the source of news and updates, good or bad, on the ongoing battle with the unseen enemy. With me getting more time to kill at home, I have become more active in trying to become relevant and connected. I haven’t done TikTok but so far a number are buying my wit. I should start giving top fan badges soon. I wish.

Like today a picture I uploaded on Facebook made our day. Wifey prepared a hearty lunch and she said it is pork katsudon so I took a picture of it and posted it on Let’s Eat Pare, a foodie group I’m a member of. “Katsudon daw sabi ni misis. Pumayag ako kaysa mapalayas ako sa bahay (Wife said it is Katsudon. I had to agree than getting kicked out of the house),” my post says. It really wouldn’t have mattered as I’d eat anything she cooks anyway though there are some I won’t and she knows it. For one, sauteed sardines with sotanghon. No thanks, I’d rather eat salt.

The post was meant to be a joke. I was so starved and so ready to dig in that I didn’t even take time to find a good angle. I just pointed and shoot but as of this writing it has breached 1K reacts with some commenting and even tagging people whom I assume are females or wives. Since I joined this group in 2016, this is the first my post surpassed 20 reacts. I’m now VIP, could now cut lines and get COVID-19 test kits. Oopps, another story.

Wifey’s home-cooked getting 1K reacts.


Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Playing Worms WMD next with Marcus.)


Should We Stop Shooting Our Children?

Vanity is my favorite sin. – Devil’s Advocate

Have you ever heard of KGOY or Kids Grow Older Younger? And do you know one of its causes? According to what the NYTimes.com article Why We Should Take Fewer Pictures of Our Children implies, the digital camera is to blame and I can’t help but agree. Shooting photos of kids has escalated from what was once just a fad to a regular sight. We see this almost every day, everywhere, any time: kids striking a pose in front of the camera whether in front of their parents or done on their own. It would have been fine if these are innocent poses but there are already those we see masquerading, unknowingly I hope, sensual or offensive gestures obviously influenced by what they see on TV or in print materials such as the glossy magazines.

Thanks (but not thanks) to the availability and affordability of gadgets, this addiction of kids to the camera in any form, whether through a mobile phone, a point-and-shoot, or an entry-level DSLR, became very irresistible. Plus the lure of social media, such as facebook and Twitter, or photo-sharing applications such Instagram and Flickr have made taking and posting pictures online a must-do activity for both parents and kids.

So is this frequent photoshoot of your kids destructive in the long run? Well, in my opinion, it depends – though for sure it’s annoying to some of your facebook friends if you keep on flooding their timeline especially with not so attractive pictures. For some, it’s one way of relieving the longing of their love ones who are away from them – like lolos and lolas. And for others, it could be another medium of boosting their child’s confidence. But whatever the reasons are, I acknowledge that it is about time we realize that we need to do everything in moderation including exposure of our kids to the camera. Let us make them live the moments without any worries if they appear good in the pictures of not. Let them be just kids, not little wannabee models.


Our own kid is actually among these little models. I still remember the night when we passed by Roxas Boulevard in Manila and we noticed Marcus, who was just barely 2-year old then, staying still and smiling at every headlight, and even lamp posts, outside our taxi cab. We soon realized that it must be because he thinks these bright lights are camera flashes that he has gotten used to seeing as we have been pointing a camera at him since he was still a small baby. His fascination with these flashes continued until about a few months after that but nowadays it has stopped. He has, however, transitioned to doing the check-chin pose and some other weird facial expressions. Ti abi.


Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Going to a car dealer to have our car’s headlight checked.)

Life is like a bullet

My recent obsession with photography got me back in multiply.com. Here I’ve learned some tips from enthusiasts who spent time, effort and money to satisfy their craving for at least one nice shot.

Re-visiting the site put a smile on my face when I saw the last photos I posted prior to the Basic Photography class. This set made me proud of my (dark) self. I call this one ‘Life is like a bullet.’ And here’s how the story goes.

Bullets have goals too. To serve their purpose they need to be fired–come to think of it, they’ll be the only ones who won’t raise an eyebrow in front of Donald Trump when he says, “You’re fired!”

The goal

The way into the goal must be identified.

The way.

Like people, some bullets are real…

The real deal.

.. And some bullets aren’t. They are the posers.


Unfortunately, the posers in our midst do have the same ambition like us. Sometimes they get in the way to reach our goal.

Ambitious guy.

And sometimes, they even find the gate ahead of us just a step short of achieving the main objective.

The interview.

Sooner or later though, someone will find out.


When the real deal takes over, it will make it to the headlines.


Photo Loco

Just like any other hobbies I previously had that once I had my mind set on it I can’t help but fidget to satisfy the urge. I’ve seen myself before running around the house like in a CQB setting. I’ve seen myself aim the fishing rod on an imaginary fish pond while I’m on the sofa. I’ve played badminton with my wife despite the low ceiling and short space at home. And right now, me and my IXUS are best buds. Photography is it.

After yesterday’s photography class closing ceremony, I’ve been seeing lots of things in a very different perspective already. It’s like one of those days when my mind is so full of things that I’d be walking almost absentmindedly while simultaneously running several tasks at once.

It was also yesterday when my addiction to shoot people, objects, and sceneries to name a few cannot be ignored. At one point, I caught myself talking with some of my colleagues but with my mind wandering around and wondering what angle I can shoot them to show their best side – not to be misinterpreted as if most of them hasn’t got one. Hahaha. Come to think of it, it’s a challenge of some sort.

I also had the temptation to spend some extra time at the parking lot after work, with the intention to capture car trail lights. I could have been seen crawling on the parking ground with my IXUS mounted on the 3-inch tripod and pointed at the parking exit. Good thing sanity and self-preservation prevailed.

Reaching home didn’t help either. I entered the gate with my mind thinking about how the gate grills will appear in the morning. And upon nearing the door with my smiling wife, made me recall if portraits are meant to be captured with an evaluative or center-weighted metering mode – although I know that she’ll appear good whatever the setting is anyway. Ehem.

That didn’t stop right there. Dinner did not escape my photo adrenaline rush as well. Imagine a 5-year old kid appearing to help arrange the table with nothing but play in mind. I was like that. Last night, the red table mats’ lines appear begging to be shot. The same case of curiosity with the buttered bread’s color and texture details. Of course, not shooting the mouth-watering pasta also made me feel guilty of foregoing an opportunity. Fortunately, I was so stuffed by the end of the meal that shooting the food morsels was spared.

table mat

I don’t know when this photography interest revival will end. But for now I’m just full of ideas that if I’d be left alone even at the parking lot, I’d be very busy come rain or shine. So to my friends, colleagues, web network contacts, please bear with me if I’d be speaking about f-stops, lighting sources, perspectives or resolutions in the next days to come. And lastly, expect me to be as pesky as a fly as I’d be all over you in the name of photography.


Stuffed from a good dinner, I pressed on with shooting my wife’s cross-stitch yarns – much to her annoyance.

stove flame
I ditched the brewed coffee over the instant Nescafe this morning just to see how the flames under the kettle will appear.

Never have I been so interested in cooking ingredients. This is an onion, right?

Mi loco.

Basic Photography Day 2: The Shooting Continues

I haven’t been so pumped up and so ready to go somewhere since almost a month ago. Today, after a short stretch coming from bed and a short prayer for a good weather, I was like an eager child waiting to be picked up at the bus stop for a whole day of an exciting field trip.

A quick peek outside from the bedroom’s window, the reddish dawn sky gave me an immediate confirmation that today we’ll have much sun to exploit with for our photography activity. My wish was answered as quickly as a shutter can sharply capture an zooming F1 car. Now isn’t that photography-speak already?

Topics for today’s session are exposure, shutter speed, exposure triangle and exposure meters just to name a few. And fortunately, despite the jargons and the technicality behind each topic, my tiny Canon IXUS 70 didn’t fail me. Every moment during the class, I discovered more capabilities of this small wonder. I began to suspect that it is an EOS in a small package. And as a matter of fact, I enjoyed using it during most of our activities, both indoor and outdoor.

So let’s get over with the chatter and more of the shutters. Here’s how my day went with the tiny Ixzy–my IXUS’ pet name.

Note: some of the images below were post-processed–cropped and/or enhanced to remove noise brought about by settings in the manual mode. Other than these, everything else is approximately 95% of its original form.

day 2 photo rivera
Mr.   Benjie Rivera showing a student the point-and-shoot’s useful features.

day 2 slow down
Slow sunny crossing. Abet with his Beatles walk.

day perspective
Boulders by perspective.

day 2 rough lines
Three elements. An experiment with lines.

cliche gumamela
Is there future in floral arrangement?

wet leaves
Wet and green. Dew drops captured during the morning photo shoot.

long leaves
Green long leaves. Another experiment with foliage and lines.

Framed macro. Experiment with macro and vertical lines.

umbrella hook
No wet umbrellas for today.

one cup
It started with one…

more cups
…and ended with three. All the coffee it takes to keep up.



pasta shot
The picture doesn’t not justify the taste. Wifey’s treat at home.

I Shot Several People

My enthusiasm with photography led me finally to sign up for a basic photography class as part of our company’s livelihood/upskilling program.

It’s been awhile since I actually got so interested again with our Canon IXUS 70 which by friends’ and some of my colleagues’ standard, having one is already considered Jurassic, reason I secretly kept my distance from this point and shoot camera. Another reason was because despite having much of the basic photography literature just within reach thru books (I’ve got a couple at home) and the ever trusty internet, sometimes the tips just don’t seem to make any sense to me. In short, I got bored.

But having no other choice other than the gas welding session which I have already signed up for, I decided to give photography another chance. I tried again today if my fate with it will once again develop.

photo image

The first day of the class with professional photographer Mr. Benjamin Rivera started late. But promised, he made up for it and when the session began I got so excited that I can’t remember dozing off despite some dragging moments in his lecture. I was either taking notes, or was tinkering with my IXUS trying to figure out what aperture, exposure value or focal length is all about. Of course, I shot several people with this tiny amateur’s weapon of choice–guilt free. So as they say that a picture paints a thousand words I’m ending the text with my some of my own shots.


want one
Am I ready to own one?

Cafeteria bananas.

Lighting techniques demo.

Attempt at sephia.

Light exposure
Long shutter game.

By the way, if my renewed enthusiasm with photography continues, I might once again frequently update my multiply.com account. And before I forget, I have several colleagues (contacts) whom I look up to. Check their multiply.com portfolio:

Dencio – http://dmbarbaira.multiply.com

Ronald – http://ronald1027.multiply.com

Abet – http://abet913.multiply.com