Ink Stains and Photos

A story lover's memoirs and photo blog. :-) #Dumaguete #Manila #StreetPhotography #Psychiatry #PopCulture

Sugba Lagoon, Del Carmen, Siargao

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Sugba Lagoon, May 11, 2017. 

 

Was in Siargao, Surigao Del Norte for a week. It was absolutely beautiful over there.

The takeaway lesson for this trip was that, if you say yes to an invitation, you just might get the surprise of your life…and a positive experience to change your heart for the better.

🙂

#JusticeForDrey

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dr-drey

Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas, 31 years old,  a native of Aklan, was shot to his death while riding his motorcycle from a medical mission held in Lanao del Norte. He was in the Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program and he had decided to stay in the area after his tenure. He allegedly came from a medical mission in Sapad, and was on his way home when he was shot by an unknown assailant. Efforts were made to take him to the hospital, but he was dead on arrival.

It was initially hard to get in touch with his relatives because he was deployed in a far-flung area and since his phone was locked, no one could get a hold of his immediate family. I can only imagine how they must have felt when they got the news of his demise. It is one of the terrible things that you hope you never get to hear.

—-

I’ve never met him, but he came from the same medical school I was from, and he was friends with many of my friends. Still, it does not diminish the fact that he’s gone, and too soon. Here was an idealistic young man who thought it best to serve in marginalized areas, and in the heat of the moment, he was gunned down like any other common criminal.

No leads on who did this, so far.

The Department of Health condemned this, and many netizens have taken to social media to talk about it and air out their grievances.

The gravity of the problem didn’t hit me until I was able to see, and write about it. And even talk to my DTTB friends who had been there. These guys are modern day heroes. The struggle and threat to life and limb is definitely real.

—-

March 6, 2017. Wear black for Drey. Wear black for Justice.


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The Silver Lining

For the longest time, I had feared having my days die out slowly… softly into oblivion.

That wasn’t the way I had wanted to go,  of course.

Anything; with a bang, with drama, was a better ending that dying, forgotten.

Keeping a blog was one of those things I considered doing long-term so I could assuage myself of the fear of possibly dying without ever sharing anything of use to the world. Now, the world will not suffer from the lack of my sharing anything, but it is essential to my heart and well-being that I do something about this.

Many times I have little blasts of interest and frissons of passion which bring me here to type again, and share my life. It has been a struggle lately. My day job has been taking up a lot of my time, so that when I get home at night, I am overwhelmed and would much rather just work out a little and go to bed.

Perhaps it is different, nowadays. I have the desire to write, of course, and I am not at a lack for stories. However, the part where one sits down to actually write is actually the hard part. I am so easily distracted, because there are more things happening than I can accommodate salience…

Today, I received some hallelujah signs… My friend Mandy posted a link to a John Steinbeck gem of an article, and @dragonflylogic101’s comeback piece. 🙂 Both of them contributed to the gentle “push” to get on and write my life out again.

Thank you, Ladies!

——

“…where the silver lining starts to show…”

I had a good day at work today…

I can’t go into detail about my work, but it would suffice it to say, that at the end of the day, I am so glad I put in the work for these people that I’m helping. Today was a good day for them to check on them, because I was reminded once again that although I only get to help people one at a time, the hard work we both put in made a huge difference in their lives and in that of their families.

It is times like these that I feel extremely grateful that I get to do what I do for people.

Time, effort and dedication brought this into fruition, and I am always grateful.

—-

And thus ends today’s bid not to drift off unnoticed into oblivion… You will be seeing me more frequently here, starting today. 🙂

 


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The rains have come

August 21, 2016.

It’s been raining all over the Philippines these past few weeks, but my hometown has only had its share (and it has been quote continuous). It let up a few hours ago, so I was able to test my new GoPro Hero 4 (Silver) outside.

I had won it in a raffle, and although my first reaction was one of…calm, because I had my biases against it. You see, most of the people I know who’ve used it, use it for selfies, or for group shots… I’ve never really seen people use it for anything else. Also, it didn’t have a lot of information with regards to my favorite genre of Street Photography.

However, because things happen to me for a reason, I decided to shut my mouth (effectively) and try to explore what it could offer. I’m definitely glad I did.

The GoPro Hero 4 Silver is one powerful little camera stored in a hard, almost indestructible case (ok, I exaggerate, but there is a reason why people use it for underwater shots and extreme sports…it IS that durable.)

I know that most people would mount it on a monopod (or selfie stick. :-)) and take pictures with it while viewing photos on their phone. I didn’t want to do that, of course. It just wasn’t…ergonomic for me.

Boy and Girl on the motorcycle. August 2016.

What I did instead was to take it out of its kit mount and put a cord through the remaining holes and put it around my neck. I did that because it made it much easier for me to keep my hands free and to “shoot from the hip”. 🙂

The pictures on this post are some examples. I’m not all that good yet, but I think that the GoPro’s compact size, powerful capabilities and adaptable settings give it a considerable edge for a photographer, when it comes to those shots were you have to do some quick thinking and carpe diem. 🙂

(Also, I shot using the 7MP medium format. It lessened lens distortions and allowed me to tweak considerably during post-processing.)

Middle-aged couple holding hands.

 


 

  Sunset after Mass. August 2016. 

 

 


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Cupid wants his arrow back

When I listen to a  song with this cadence, there is a tendency for me to just sit still and stare off into space.

“Lost Stars” is such,and  it  happens to be one of my favorite tracks on the movie, Begin Again. I watched this movie, with a former significant other a year (or two) ago, and I wanted to watch it because of the low-key setting, the simple story line, and the music. Mostly for the music…it was what drew me to watch it in another city.

It starred Keira Knightley, Adam Levine (already a big pop star) and Mark Ruffalo (fresh from his Hulk stint). It was a love story, yes, about how people change and how you eventually have to be true to yourself in the end.

It was a very creative endeavor, and they made music that was unconventional. They made use of great songwriting, acoustic elements, and recorded around New York City. It was my kind of music-making and artistic expression.

In the movie, Keira’s character wrote this song,  Lost Stars as a gift to her boyfriend. She sang it quietly, as a ballad. It was vulnerable and very honest. He took it, but he made it into something that “the audiences loved” and reveled in the way they lost themselves when he used his falsetto.

It was actually the turning point, and the end of what she had always thought. He had promised her that he would perform it as it was meant to be performed in that tender, gentle tone. However, at the end, he forgot himself…and changed it for other people. After that, she was able to finally say goodbye.

I listened to this while I was riding in a public vehicle. This is always best for me, thinking amidst the chaos, being able to detach just so. In that state of semi-detachment, I am able to discern and think about the things that have happened to me recently. In this state, I am neither angry, nor sad, nor frustrated.

I am merely listening to the story, and making it my own.

#

 


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Living forever

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“Letters to A Young Poet”,  is a collection of ten letters written by Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) to Franz Xaver Kappus(1883–1966), a 19-year-old officer cadet at the Theresian Military Academy in Germany.

It is one of my favorite books. I have read it many times through and it has always been timely. Although it was written in 1929, almost a century ago, the lessons and musings gleaned from its pages remain  relevant…

Relevant, to a young woman who has just finished a very long career as a student…or a young woman who was on the brink of a new and scary life adventure…or a woman who wanted to forge out a career for herself. Most especially so for a young woman who had recently had her heart broken (but not quite), and was searching for a stable hold with which to weather out the emotional storm.

(All of these young women, are myself, at certain stages in my life.)

I did not come by reading Rilke by accident. No, it was more different story than that. At the time, I was with a young man, not much younger than myself, who I believe, loved words…

I loved stories, and I coaxed him shyly to tell me one, and on cue, this was the book that was nearest to him. In a voice that soothed my soul, he read to me the first chapter of the book.

It was a letter that talked about why one must write…a topic that was very dear to my heart…

“You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.

Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

He might not have known it then, but my whole being was absorbed in that moment. That one time when he spoke, his words…Rilke’s words, touched me, and touched my heart. It was an unintentional caress, a balm for my soul. And in that moment, I knew that he, the boy,  would live forever…in my writing, my heart. #

 

 


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Photo: Vintage Cameras

leaving

Leaving. March 2012.



Is film photography dead?

I’m sure it is very much alive…just not here, where I’m from.

These photos were taken a few years ago, while I was still living in Manila. I had been told that in my hometown, they still had those machines that printed from film negatives.

Ironically, they closed down a year before I got back, and the only ones in our area was in a photography shop in Colon area in Cebu.

(Currently looking at places online…will update soonest!)

Love,

 

S.