Monday, July 28, 2014

Singapore Sling (A fling with SG's colorful store fronts)

I've only been to Singapore once. That was back in 2010 and it was for a class field trip in college. It was fun because I was with my friends and 90% of the time we were just shopping. I never thought I would want to go back, since I felt like that was all there is to it.

 Being a small country, having this mindset is inevitable. You can go on a drive and already see the entire city. And since I've always been the type to trek through unknown streets, eat weird street food and explore messy night markets, Singapore fell flat on my "adventure" meter.

 Fast forward. 4 years later. Singapore trip. For free. Awesome Tour Guide. Film Camera. So that happened. Our awesome group and I was brought to streets I've never seen before (or knew existed) and for a while there, I felt like I was in SG grounds for the first time.

 Here are a few surprises I enjoyed in my 4-day adventures or shall I say, re-adventure in Singapore captured in film.

Ann Siang Hill's charming bar fronts and back alleys. Usually visited during night for drinks and casual partying, the hill is also worth a beautiful day time walk. 

Haji Lane's colorful store fronts and funky boutiques.

Of course, there's China Town.

Tiong Bahru. This neighborhood is somewhere I would want to live. It's small and it tries a little less to be hip. It naturally showcases some of the best bakeshops in the country. (the photos aren't film but from my iPhone)

Bras Basah Complex, Bain Street. Popular among the art students, this center is filled with services like film processing and book binding. They also have specialized book and arts and crafts stores and is home to the famous Basheer books. I stumbled upon a cute little shop called Cat Socrates. (Photos taken with an iPhone as well)
So basically, this trip was an unexpected rainbow. Singapore proved to be a bright side after all.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Half Vigan

I say half because that's what my camera managed to expose - only half of a photo. I guess that's the tricky part about film, you're never sure what you're going to get. But what I did get, I loved. So posted here are some of the photos taken during the trip that still managed to make sense despite the blackened corner.

To begin, Vigan was mostly warm and brown.

The famous Calle Crisologo was lined with vintage finds and Filipino weaved products.

Kalesas lined the streets and they smelled like horse poop and wood combined. Weird but slightly charming. (Hey I'm being honest here.)

I always find it cool how some places have a distinct color palette to it. Vigan is brown, (red), blue and yellow. Just like this photo.

And of course, what would a Vigan trip be without riding a Kalesa with your awesome family. (cue charming horse poop smell)

All photos taken with a Ricoh Film Camera.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A taste of Greece

If people were to ask me where I went this weekend, I would say Greece. But then that would be a lie, so I guess I'll just say I went to paradise.

It's a long drive from Manila. Roughly about 5-8 hours depending on the traffic. But the new TPLEX highway eased the car fever with it's beautiful view.

We arrived at sunset and stayed at a villa facing the ocean. 
The architecture was Greek inspired like all of the other houses in the resort. 
The lobby was a sun kissed Greek paradise. 

To make most of the sunset, I went out and shot flowers. 

The beach wasn't much but it was enough to make the kids smile. 
Thunderbird Resort, Poro Point La Union. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Coffee Shop Rape @ Subspace Ortigas

While most people are busy partying at the shores of Boracay, E and I decided to spend our city holiday slumming it in a nearby coffee shop. 

The result - a photo raping session using nothing but an HTC camera.

We also devoured their Dark Chocolate Mint drink.  (it's a must-try)

"I'm always pretty happy when I'm kicking back with you."

True story. 

Space Coffee House
Unit 103, G/F Emerald Tower, F Ortigas Jr Rd
Pasig City

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Love at first strum

I first picked up a Ukulele at the tail end of 2011. I did it out of sheer curiosity and the hopes of finally finding that one instrument I would caress for the rest of my life.

Just like most love stories, it took me a long time to find my perfect fit.

I spent my childhood flirting with a number of instruments. At grade school I did the obligatory woodwinds. I mastered playing "Every step you take" on the bamboo flute and did "Silent Night" on the recorder. At high school I jumped on the bandwagon of guitar strumming girls. That turned out to be my biggest infatuation. I learned a few songs, memorized a few chords and did a few gigs but somehow I was stumped. Without good plucking skills and having zero knowledge of complicated chords, I was nothing but a half baked, punk-looking guitarist. It's like going to a gymnastic class but never learning how to do a back handspring. Heartbreaking.

Piano didn't work out either. The bongos and kjon were fun but fleeting. The egg shaker was well, an egg shaker. So there I was left with nothing but a voice and the occasional table beating.

Through the years I realized that I failed because I didn't try too hard. I quit easily and jumped to the next thing when it became too difficult. That was a hard lesson to learn and something i regret to this day.

But the positive part of me, the one telling me to always look at the bright side is saying that maybe the reason why I haven't found my match is because the right one hasn't come along.

Accompaniment in its very essence, is a sound that compliments you. It's not forced into the picture. Rather, it eases into your music, rides the waves of your sound and brings out the best in your tunes.

That's what the Ukulele did for me and it brought it's magic into my life at just the right time. It didn't come when I was a copycat teenager, trying to do the perfect "Paramore" or when I was shouting the deadly "Whitney's and Mariah's" It came when I finally figured out my style, when I stopped mimicking the standards and started searching for my own sound.

The Ukulele brought out the best in me, it gave me a personality - something I could call my own. It gave me the freedom to play with sound and not be restricted by the formula. It made me feel like we were one, a partnership brought about by the strumming of four strings.

Now I can't part with this little instrument despite the difficulties it takes to master it. Because for the first time in my instrument failure of a life, i'm actually willing to try. Now, I'm willing to learn.

You see love and instruments have a lot in common. Once you find the one, things change, you change and it becomes clear to you why the others didn't work out. :)

(Here's a photoshoot of my Uke and I by a friend of mine for my Flight of Fancy Summer Series)

Photography by : Chesca Agoncillo
MUA: Kelsey Cheng
Location: Alexandra, Pear Drive 

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Taste of Summer

This summer I'm releasing a series of songs that will remind you of sun, sand and fruit shakes. 

I'm definitely stoked for this. 

Wait for it ;)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tunes from the Bright Side

A few tunes I've skipped on sharing.

(Youtube dump on its way)


Bon Iver. Birdy. Brilliance. Beauty. Badass.

Close your door. Shut your windows. Sing this alone in your room and go nuts.

My dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room.

An homage to my favorite band of the year. :)

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” 
- Fiedrich Nietzsche

Monday, March 25, 2013

The sole of my shoes: HaniSideWalkArt

New shoes have clean soles. 

Used shoes have ratty black soles. 

My soles are messy,
colorful and slightly chalky. 

HaniSide WalkArt at Upper West Side, Manhattan

Fly to the Bright Side

In Tolkien's words, not all those who wander are lost.