Jedi's Pre-debut shoot photobook spread
View the photobook live here.

What happens when you get to work with your best friend? A duo of passionate women who aims to unleash the  beauty every woman possess.

Photography: Me

Hair/Make-up: Dang Villanueva (a.k.a neurochiq)


Image

What do I like the most about this photo? EVERYTHING.

1. For being able to freeze time through photos and making people realize/ feel they are beautiful
2. working with one of my closest girlfriend since high school, Dang.
3. For doing what I love to do the most, Photography.
4. Bonus: I get paid for it.

Now, that’s what you call–  blessed.

 

Mi Amore

28Feb12

As I station myself on the driver’s seat, turned on the engine followed by the stereo, queued  a disc labeled ‘MIA’s first CD’, I stare blankly  at the dashboard, thinking “So this is how it feels like”.

This is how it feels like, to see yourself fast forward to the dreams you’ve mind mapped since you were a kid.

This is how it feels like to own something bought by years of hard work.

This is how it feels like to have something  that comes with legal papers upon buying, complicated yet fulfilling because you know you are mature enough to deal with legal ownership.

This is how it feels like to have a baby, even if she doesn’t seem to be perfect, she looks the most beautiful in your eyes.

And this is how it feels like to finally have a four-wheeled vehicle,  proud, blessed and excited to start new life adventures.

————

Mi Amore (a.k.a. MIA), as I baptize her, because of her fiery red color and if that wasn’t enough, the fact that I did acquire her on Valentines Eve should put justice to her name.


  1. Hostels are one of the friendliest places on earth
  2. Chileans look cute when they “Sing and dance” ( at the same time and in Spanish)
  3. Manila is not what you think it is. It has an inner beauty hidden that you have to discover within the streets of malate, makati, cubao and taguig.
  4. Manila street food (or street food in general) are not meant to be clean, but if you insist, Go to Mercato Central.
  5. People’s aura and laugh are infectious so you better watch out who you hang out with.
  6. “Too nice” people still exists and some are disguised in faux mohawk and tattoo covered sleeves and legs.
  7. Keeping ‘Hakuna Matata’ in mind works, singing it, twice  effective.
  8. Happy people live longer, so if you want to grow old, you already know what to do.

Going Solo

01Feb12

Friend: Fascinates me you traveled alone.
Me: You know what’s even more fascinating? It is when you go solo and that big Guy up above sends angels to journey with you.

I think that’s the beauty of solo traveling, when you get to meet strangers, converse and exchange beautiful “life” stories.

Backtrack three months ago,  I booked myself a ticket  ‘Manila- Kalibo- Manila’ (taking advantage of the season’s seat sale) without even thinking what I’m about to do and who I’m going with. Fact: Kalibo is my ex-boyfriend’s hometown so I have to admit the place is pretty familiar but, going there without my him for the first time would mean something else. Sure, I booked the tickets without even thinking where to stay, who to go with and whereabouts. But ‘what the heck’ I said to myself,  I’ll do it.  Made a note to self to attend the festival for 3 days and head to Boracay for an overnight stay on the beautiful island, alone. “Freedom!”

I have attended Ati-atihan for 2 years already and this year   I have to admit is somehow different, mainly because 1. I am not with my ex-boyfriend 2. Without him around, I was partying with his crazy (and I mean that in a good way) friends.  3.  5 strangers made my journey interesting.

Simone, 28, English girl, passionately teaching children in China.The last day of the festival was the most outrageous one. Everyone is expected to attend the town procession, dance and drink like crazy. So I did.  I was dancing in the middle of the street, with some of my friends, while S approached me, and said ‘Hi’, followed by an introduction. Instantly, felt at ease with each other, danced our hearts out doing salsa along the streets of Kalibo. Each other served basically as a dancing partner, exchanging stories in between kicks, salsa and the beat of the drums behind us.  We  then agreed to meet to Boracay the next day and ironically felt like we were 2 long lost sisters who got reunited with each other. Too much similarities from strong belief in woman power, love for sunsets and reggae.

Jeff, Half indian, half English, freelance engineer . As we were dancing along the streets of Kalibo, S and I spotted a tourist guy coming from nowhere dancing in front of us, automatically became friends , exchanged contact numbers, and to cut the story short, agreed to also meet in boracay the next day.

Two  local boys
, 18, 21 –  I decided to take the van ride to Boracay alone to be able to have some “Me” time before Simone arrives on the island. At the van, I was seating next to a teenage local boy who surprisingly offered me 4 things 1. a smile 2. free boat ride ticket 3. carried my heavy bags  4. pay for my tricycle fare. That instantly boosted my Boracay trip,  and from that moment knew it would certainly be good. No doubt.

AB– 23, South African , currently based in Korea, English teacher. Simone and I were supposed to share a room however , due to unexpected circumstances and miscommunication, we didn’t. Instead S got a bed from hidden youth hostel and there we met AB. He joined the sunset walk with us, which led to a “talipapa” dinner with the rest of the grp (S, Jeff and me) ,  drinks  after, Sisha  session and life stories in between to cap the night.

I must conclude, my first solo travel was an accomplishment. It was like taking a plunge without knowing how to swim. Scared for a while, but definitely did not last because the Big Guy up there has it’s own ways to send beautiful angels to journey with — to make beautiful connections that hopefully will spark a lifetime friendship.

ps.  Last Saturday night, I met with AB (together with Erica [his colleague]) before he left the country, introduced them to Central’s notorious “Bad Trip” drink and a taste of what Manila nightlife has to offer. Next week, Simone is staying in MNL as well for a week before she flies out to China.  Already making a list on how I’m going to make her experience how fun and crazy “legit” Manila life is.  *all smiles*


Hala Bira 2012 from Karen Anne on Vimeo.

Because I feel that this festival is underrated  and definitely could use some free promotion. The product upon realizing that I need to do my part in educating the people about its beauty. Filipinos must be proud to have this festival around. Go watch. Definitely More Fun in the Philippines.

 


So I just got back from my to Ati-atihan Kalibo – Boracay trip and guess what? I’m inspired and planning more trips this year! Having a mental note of all the trips I’m looking forward to, I realize I need to have it documented, well for the benefit of my *uhm* bad memory

  1. February – Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Clark Air Base Pampangga
  2. March – Malasimbo Music Festival, Puerto Galera
  3. May – College Group Camping, Venue: TBD
  4. June – A pre-birthday *semi* Solo Trip to Beijing!
  5. July – Family OOT (since my dad is coming home from abroad), Boracay
  6. September / October  – Singapore

I don’t know how I’ll make it with all the expenses but, I just feel like I have to do all these trips to get some inspiration and keep me going with my “creative” jobs! Plus probably take pictures along the way! (see how creative people have lots of reason to travel??? *giggles*)

Now tell me, what are your travel plans for 2012???


First

06Jan12
Another milestone to my photography (slash) design journey. My first event coverage as the main photographer (and no longer a back-up) *Confetti!*  Add to that, my very first photo book design! I guess the first one would always be the hardest but the most fulfilling of them all. Ecstatic and most grateful with the opportunities that are coming along the way. Blessed beyond belief!
ps. Hire me! *giggles*
Photography and Book design by: me

Finding more fulfillment with things that are not commissioned a.k.a. self declared projects. Experimenting with facebook’s cover photo+ a new primary photo . A digital Chalkboard/Shout out board!! How you likin’ it?

Disclaimer: Family and friends, expect my cover photo to change from time to time. I’m currently enjoying writing in this chalkboard plus the fact that I don’t need to get my hand dirty (at all) *giggles*


Sorry if this blog is somewhat turning into a self help resources dump of some sort, but just have to continuously remind myself with these things

Lifted from here

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.