Wednesday, January 30

Marein 365: Week 8 (Day 50 - 56)

Day 50: At 11:00am, she's still sleeping, just like her mom. XD

 Day 50

Day 51: She looked puzzled with what she saw.

Day 51

Day 52: I almost forgot to take a picture of her that day that I had only this one. XD

Day 52

Day 53: Making faces again as she looked at me. XD

 Day 53

Day 53: Making faces while she looks at her mom. XD

Day 53

Day 54: Imitating Ninoy Aquino. Baka daw sya na yung next sa 500-peso bill. XD

 Day 54

Day 55: She ain't knocked out yet.

 Day 55

Day 56: Finishing up her bottle of milk. I hope within the next few years it won't be a bottle of beer. XD

Day 56

Day 56: Ahhhh! One bottle of milk down. XD

Day 56

Eight weeks down, Forty-four more to go. XD

Sunday, January 27

The Week That Was (January 20 - 26)

Sunday: Got up at almost 7:00am and I went online to edit some backlogs for posting. Good thing I got to post a few before Migmig got up and decided to have a daddy-baby bonding time. Then by noon, I left to attend the FHM Autograph Signing with Marian Rivera as their covergirl. When I got to Robinsons Galeria at 1:30pm, the line was already long so I had my lunch first before joining the crowd. By the time our magazines got signed and had our photo-ops, I chill at Serenitea and shared our stories and catch-up with one another. I bought some "pasalubong" from Cinnabon before going home. I was able to spend the rest of the evening with them before going to bed. 

Monday: Got up at 7:00am as I celebrate my birthday today. Well nothing special about it except that I'll be a year older XD. I went online for a short time before I took a bath and got ready to meet my mom at SM Mall of Asia as I take Migmig with me. We left home at past 9:00am and got there an hour later. We stroll around the Hypermart while waiting for my mom as I looked for some good finds before going home later. When my mom arrived, we looked for a decent place to eat until we got at Burgoo. I used their calendar card to get a 500-pesos off on our food purchase. After lunch, I did some grocery before hailing a cab to go home. When we got home at 2:30pm, Migmig was still sleepy until we went upstairs so she could get some more sleep. Instead, I was the one who fell asleep as I got really tired from strolling the mall even for only less than 3 hours. We went down at 5:00pm and I got to go to church at almost 6:00pm to give thanks to our Creator for giving me another year. Its just an ordinary night for me as only my wife knows it was my birthday XD. I also got a text message about my next interview with company #2 at 10:00am the next day and I prepared for that day. 

Tuesday: Got up early at 6:00am as I have a scheduled interview with company #2 at 10:00am. I wasted no time in getting ready and made sure everything is set. By 8:00am, I left home and took the LRT to Cubao. I grabbed a planner from CBTL for my wife to use (I'll write a blog about this). With LRT's queue so long, I took the bus going to Makati. I got late only by a few minutes before my interview started. It was an interview with the IT Supervisor as he gave me insights on how their IT works. With their schedules and shifts he asked me if I'm okay with that and I said yes. After the interview, I went to the bank to do some transactions when I missed a call. It was company #2 that called. Thinking of what would it be, I return the call and they asked me to come back for the exam. I got back and they asked me to go to their quarters to take the exam. Most (or most probably all) of their workstations are Macs and I got my baptism of fire to use it the first time. They gave me a two-hour exam that I got to finish within an hour. It was a tricky and challenging exam but nonetheless, I answered all questions. After the exam, I went to Glorietta to have lunch there before finally going home (I made some stops at Gateway along the way). When I got home, Migmig was fast asleep but got awake when she heard Nanay's voice as she asked me a question. For the second day, my daughter was the one who put me to sleep before we went down at 5:00pm. The rest of the night was pretty much the same except that I got to edit a few photos of the event I attended last Sunday. 

Wednesday: Got up at almost 7:00am as the weather was still chilly. My wife got up early and got ready for work as I uploaded some photos I edited the night before. I even had a haircut before taking a bath. By noon, when I opened the laptop, it didn't boot properly and it took me to the recovery page. I tried repairing it (with the knowledge of losing all my files) but it gave me more problems. Nanay mentioned that Migmig opened the laptop as she tried to unplug its power source (its already been unplugged  from the extension socket). I did my best to keep calm despite my daughter's mischievousness that its becoming a habit day by day. I didn't scold her as she doesn't even know what she's doing yet. I had her put to sleep at 2:00pm as I started sorting some stuff before someone called me. Its a company that I have applied with and the conversation was pretty much okay except for the salary offer. Its way too low from what I used to have. Migmig got up with that noise and unfortunately for the third straight day, she slept for only less than an hour. Well I did my best not to scold my daughter for a day's mischief that she made. She's only a child and more importantly, our baby that has no knowledge of what i right or wrong. By 5:00pm, I went to my wife's office together with our laptop and showed her the exact problem. She was already in contact with Asus' technicians and I got to speak with her as well to elaborate the problem were having. I left her office early to be with Migmig and spent the rest of the evening contemplating on the amount of files that I may lose. 

Thursday: Got up at 6:30am but I went back to sleep since we have a dead laptop which I can't work on this morning. Then I woke up at 8:00am while my wife and daughter got up after. I wanted to have the laptop fixed as quickly as we can so we could start back working. Migmig and I went to SM Megamall and arrived there a few minutes past 10:00am. We went to Aseanic first to have the laptop checked which happens to be that no one knew the people we spoke with yesterday and pointed us to ASUSWorld. We showed them the exact problem before they pulled-out the hard drive for back-up. I went to some but they don't back-up data. When we found the store that can back-up our hard drive but it seems that our hard drive cannot be detected anymore. Well, I had no choice but to accept the fact that some of my shots (and documents) will be lost forever once OSRI (Operating System Re-Install) has started. We had lunch at Yabu and tried one of their new dishes. I didn't like it that much as my mom's version is a lot tastier. We went back to Asus to give back the hard drive so they could start to do the repair. We went out to stroll some more but my daughter fell asleep all of a sudden. I went to Mondo Juice to spend the next few hours there as they have a quiet ambiance plus a wider couch where I can put my daughter there. I just read some magazines to kill time and used my wife's tablet that is beginning to be mine and Migmig's. My daughter got up at past 3:30pm which was a good time to feed her some snacks. By 4:00pm, we went back to ASUSWorld to check the laptop and it was already fixed but all files there (not backed-up) were lost forever. I checked my external hard drive to see how much files I could still retrieve and so far, I have a lot of things to do. We took a cab going home and got home at past 5:00pm. I left home again at past 6:00pm as I attend FBW's dinner at Napa in Tomas Morato (I'll write a blog about this). When I was about to take photos of the food and the ambiance, I forgot my CF card with me. Well my Thursday is really bad and I hope I could get this over with. The dinner was great complemented by good company as I got to catch-up with some of them. I took a cab home and went online for an hour before finally calling it a day. I just hope that this would be the last time I'd be having a bad and stressful day. XD

Friday: Got up at almost 7:00am and I started working online but I have to start from scratch as most of my files were deleted (never backed-up). Two of my most important files were deleted which were my updated resume and my updated gant chart. I don't mind losing other files but I got depressed losing those two. Migmig got up early at past 8:00am and she started her day. By noon, I started using the laptop again and this time, I installed an Anti-Virus Software as well as some requested by my wife. Internet connection keeps on dropping-off that made me a bit upset. I got to sort some files from our external hard drive and transfer some of them to the laptop (mostly pictures) for me to edit within the next few days. As for my two beloved documents, I have to start from scratch and mack it up on my USB Drive every often. I think I need five 32GB USB thumbs and another three 16GB CF Cards for redundancy and more storage in the future. Then by that time, I can save up now for another 1TB external hard drive. to make sure that incident will never happen again. Good thing my baby slept a little longer this afternoon  that  gave me enough time to do some things I need to do. The rest of the day was pretty much okay as Migmig was pretty mischievous until bedtime. 

Saturday: Got up at 6:30am as I started to go online. I tried installing Adobe Reader X and (XI) but I'm having problems completing it. It may have something to do with our internet connection but hopefully I could finish this. Migmig got up early so I took her down for her to have breakfast. Then after her bath, I went out to go online before going back to have lunch. I took a nap together with Migmig and we went down at around 5:00pm. I made sure she got her snack and milk so she don't get hungry. Then we went out to visit Nanay and for my baby to have ample time for exercise. She even got to play with someone her age and she seems liking it. When we got back, it seems that she got hungry again so she had dinner with me on the same plate. I went online again for almost 2 hours before going back and went to bed late. XD

Friday, January 25

Marien 365: Week 7 (Day 43 - 49)

Here goes. Hope you don't tired of looking at the same subject over and over. ^_^

Day 43: Taken a few minutes past midnight as she feels sleepy already. "Tulo laway pa!" XD

 Day 43

Day 43: A few hours later, she's ready to go XD

Day 43

Day 44: I think she saw something that got her surprised.

Day 44

Day 44: Doing her daily exercise routine.

 Day 44

Day 45: Feeding time. From that angle, she looked liked a baby boy. XD

 Day 45

Day 46: She looked at the camera before she sleeps.

Day 46

Day 47: Covered after giving her a bath. Hey! What are you looking at?

 Day 47

Day 48: Before the day is done, Mommy kisses her Baby goodnight.

 Day 48

Day 49: Time to go out and get some fresh air and morning sun. My mom-in-law carried her as she was having little tantrums when I carried her that morning.

Day 49

Week 8, coming in a few days. XD

Thursday, January 24

Swabeng Thoughts: Lost Memories and Making New Ones

As of this writing, I have already lost almost 300GB of files that are mostly composed of pictures and a few documents. Its an event that never in my wildest dreams that will ever happen, happened yesterday. We just had our laptop reformatted and restored to its factory default settings manually. Which means some of the preloaded software that came with the laptop was also gone. 

As I turn on the laptop yesterday (Nanay said that my daughter turn on the laptop and closed the lid), I noticed that it was going on a different screen (Windows Recovery). I felt there is something wrong with it. I tried doing a repair but it didn't seem to push through. I told this to my wife about this incident so she won't be surprised. Well, I can't blame my daughter as I guess she's very eager to learn a new things at a very fast pace. 

As far as I could remember, the picture files that I've lost would translate to almost 100 new blog posts (mostly photoblogs) and a few family shots that may not happen again. Even though I back-up my files on a regular basis, I got too complacent and didn't back up the last batch of photos that I took for the past 3-4 months dating from the last week of September until last week of January. Also, I've lost my updated resume and my gant chart both of them are up to date. =(

By the time I get back home (I'm online at a nearby cafe), my wife will be installing her own applications inline with her work. I'd do my part by tomorrow and make sure my daughter would be preoccupied with something else. Finishing my backlogs may slow down for a while as I make sure to edit all of the remaining shots I made before finally storing it to my external hd. 

I'm not new at this situation as I encountered a similar one a couple of years back. Its hard to get this over with but I know I would and I will make sure of a few things. 

1. Whenever I transfer files from my CF Card to the laptop, I'll make sure to create and save a back-up on my external hd (hard drive). I'll get a few 32GB USB Thumb Drives for redundancy which is better than being sorry. 

2. Though I can't recover some of my shots that has to do with special moments, this would be a perfect excuse to do it again. Plus I can re-shoot some of my stuff at home that I did before. 

And at the end of the day, whatever has lost can be remade though it may never be the same with the one you lost. Its better this way than wallow in pity and do nothing. 

Well, time to go to bed now. The past few days got really stressful and I need as much sleep as I can get. 

Wednesday, January 23

Swabeng Thoughts: FHM Autograph Signing of Marian Rivera

Finally! After around 15 months of being away from autograph signings, I was able to attend an FHM Autograph Signing once again. Since I got married, my presence in FHM's monthly event dwindled as my priorities have changed. Family and work are few of the reasons why I have to skip these events. Although I'm still updated on  whose who, its sad that I missed attending them already just like I missed some of my friends who attend this event on a monthly basis. 

As a birthday gift to myself, Last Sunday, I made sure I have time to attend so I could catch up with my friends and meet Marian Rivera in person. By the time I got to Robonson's Galeria at 1:30pm, I was stunned on how long the line was. The signing starts at 6:00pm but I already saw probably more than a hundred people waiting.  I joined the line at around 3:00pm after having lunch but the crowd tripled by that time and my friends were already there.

I never imagined this queue would be this very long. XD

I mean, I've attended autograph signings which we had to fall in a long line but this one really broke records (The previous signing last December 2010 was the longest that I've attended). And by 6:30pm, the autograph signing has begun.

While the event has started, I scouted the stage and we were surprised to see around 10 bouncers ensuring the event would be in order. I mean the queue was pretty much chaotic already as there are some people who try to budge-in the line and only one (staff from FHM) was making sure that the line is in order. For me, 10 bouncers is already an over-kill for this kind of event as they block most of the fans eye view of Marian. I suggest keeping the number of bouncers to a minimum inside the stage and send a few outside. We found out that 5 of them were actually send to protect Marian during the signing but still, its way too much that fans can't seem to interact with her no thanks to their (bouncers) intimidating presence.

Another thing that made the event so crowded is the fact that most people who attend are NOT FHM fans but rather more of Marian's fans. An FHM Autograph Signing is for mature audiences 18 years old and above yet I saw several kids falling in line as well. Not only that, I noticed some old women holding a copy of FHM but obviously not a reader of FHM. I guess people would really find ways just to meet and greet Marian Rivera in person. If its good for FHM (in terms of sales), I'd live with that. XD

This would probably be the best I could do (for now)

With how the stage was lighted, its a little bit hard on how you come-up with a decent picture. I mean I can use flash if I wanted to but I decided not to as my camera itself was pretty heavy (or because its been a long time since I've attended an autograph signing I forgot my settings already XD). I did only a few clicks as the event was really fast-paced to make sure all attendees would be able to see her in person.

Again, with close to a thousand (The most since December 2010) who attended the event, it would be difficult to build rapport with Marian. I remember that the only word she said during the event was "Thank You". I was hoping to have a few chit-chats with her but that didn't happened. I think each one of us spent only close to 30 seconds just to have the magazine signed and have a photo-op with her. That's the price to pay for attending an autograph signing with close to a thousand people. But for me, it didn't matter.

After close to 5 years...Finally XD

After our magazine got signed and had our photo-ops with her, we gather up and went somewhere to unwind and catch-up. For me, its the bond between friends that makes us attend an event like these (plus the fact were a group of photographers as well). By the way, sorry for the crappy shots as I guess I need to go out and attend events again. XD

Should I attend next month's autograph signing? Keep your fingers crossed. XD

Sunday, January 20

Marien 365: Week 6 (Day 36 - 42)

Again, these pictures were taken last 2011 so imagine how big she is now =P

Day 36: My baby is still sleepy.

 Day 36

Day 37: She still feels sleepy and groggy as she just got up again.

Day 37

Day 38: Marien: Mommy, I don't think its cold even if the air condition is on. XD

Day 38

Day 39: Taken a few minutes past midnight of Day 38. This is the usual time I take her pictures while she's fully awake at night.

 Day 39

Day 40: Shhhhh. She's sleeping so be quiet. XD

 Day 40

Day 41: After taking her out, I put her to sleep on our sofa. Then I saw a good angle showing my traits then "click"

 Day 41

Day 42: She looks at her mom probably asking what's for breakfast. XD

Day 42

Week 7, coming up. XD

The Week That Was (January 13 - 19)

Sunday: Got up at almost 7:00am as I started going online again for me to clear-up on some things. Then I went out to buy Sunday's Paper which I was able to read while Migmig was busy with her mom and her other aunts and uncles. At around 2:00pm, we dressed-up and went to Robinson's Galeria as my wife wants to upgrade her existing phone according to plan. We got there early so we attended mass at Edsa Shrine with Father Dave Concepcion was the one officiated the mass. After attending mass, we went inside the mall and went straight to the Sun Shop. As my wife had to wait for about an hour or so, we had our late lunch at Burgoo. Migmig was asleep during the entire lunch which my wife and I were able to do the things that needs to be done. We strolled around the mall and left there at almost 7:00pm. I went online that night before going to bed and call it a day.

Monday: Got up late at past 7:30am as I went online right away to do some updates. By 8:30am, I went out to do some bank transactions before getting back home at 9:00am. I took Migmig downstairs so she could have breakfast while I had mine. Migmig fell asleep at 2:00pm which gave me enough time to go online and update some of my backlogs. Good thing I was able to finish a few before Migmig got up and awake. The rest of the morning were spend downstairs as most of the day was pretty much the same with the rest. Since I didn't renew my contract, life here was pretty much a routine but still I didn't regret that move as I know something better would come for me in God's time.

Tuesday: Got up at past 6:00am but Migmig got awake so I had to put her back to sleep until she fell asleep at 7:30am. I went online and do as much as I could before she got up again at10:30am. Imagine, she slept again for 3 hours as I thought she won't fell asleep again. We went down to have some breakfast and after Nanay gave my daughter a bath, we spend more time upstairs in our room. She played but I didn't let her use our tablet as it may affect her eyesight at a very young age. She fell asleep at past 2:00pm which I fell asleep as well for about an hour before I got to my senses and went online until she got up. Then we had our late lunch again as I watch some TV while she's busy playing and keeping me on my toes. By night time, I went online again before calling it a day.

Wednesday: Got up at past 7:00am as the chilly morning preventedme from getting up despite setting my alarm at 6:00am. I went online right away so I could finish a few backlogs before Migmig gets up. She got up at around 10:00am as I gave her some breakfast to start the day. Pretty much the same, our activities that day revolves on just taking care of my baby before going online then eat then babysit some more. I also received a call for an interview the next day but the call got cut-off as my phone ran out of battery. I wasn't able to get the details that I need and I hope they would send me an SMS about it. By night time, I went online outside as I need a faster connection before going to sleep.

Thursday: Got up at 6:30am as I have a scheduled interview at 10:00am. I got to stretch some of my muscles before taking a bath and having breakfast. I got to leave home by 8:00am and I took my wife's tablet with me to keep me busy. I got to Makati at around 9:40am and started to go to RCBC Tower 2 by foot. When I got to the company for my interview, I noticed how clean and calm the place was, not to mention the large LCD monitors on each workstation. I wish I had one at home for editing purposes. I was handed a piece of paper to write something while waiting for my interview. I was asked to write two essays that has something to do with work. It gave me time to re-assess again my goals and targets for the year before I hand over my paper to my interviewer. My interview with her went well as the questions were pretty much simple and straight-forward. I left the building at 11:00am and head straight to SM Megamall. When I got there, I was able to claim my Coffee Book from Bo's (I'll write a blog about this) but CBTL's planner was currently out-of-stock. I had lunch at Masuki which I missed having a bowl of "mami" and their "siopao". I bought some pasalubong at Moshi Manju before arriving home at past 2:00pm. From there, I took care of Migmig and put her to sleep before I went online. The rest of the day was pretty much the same with the last few days still.

Friday: I got awake at 6:30am but my body seems to want some more so I slept for more than an hour and got up at almost 8:00am. I did some bank transactions that my wife requested the other night and got back a couple of minutes later. Migmig got up early at 9:00am as my wife left for work early at 10:00am. My daughter and I spent a couple of minutes downstairs before Nanay comes home and gives her a bath. Then we went upstairs for her playtime before putting her to sleep at 2:00pm. For the past couple of days, I've been having this "Blogger's Block" which is similar to writers block. I can't seem to complete some of the draft posts that should have been completed but I hope I could fight this and lessen my backlogs. Internet connection is pretty intermittent as its running really slow. The afternoon was pretty much slow except at night, I almost lost my cool when my daughter threw some tantrums again that seems to get the worst of me. I mean, I don't want to but my wife told me (and I should) double check on my temper. I went outside to go online and to cool down as well. Maybe that's all I need to cool down and keep my temper in check. When I got back, both of them were already asleep which gave me time to go to bed and joined them.

Saturday: With the chilly weather still in the Metro, I got up at past 6:30am even if I'm already awake at 6:00am. I was able to go online and update some of my backlogs. Thank God I was able to finish a couple of them before Migmig got up. And by the time she got up, we went to SM Centerpoint to have breakfast at Bonchon and bought some wipes for her before going back home at 12:00pm. I was able to put her to bed by 2:30pm and went online again to do some more posts. she got up at almost 5:00pm and she had her late lunch. We went out that night but I had to bring her jacket to protect her from the chilly weather outside. I let her play with her new friends for a couple of minutes before we went back home. For a change, I didn't go out that night to go online. Instead, I spent some time with my family before going to bed. But not without going online at the comfort of our bedroom. XD

Saturday, January 19

Swabeng Tips for a Balanced Life

While doing some rounds in facebook, I stumbled on this post on these tips on having a balanced life. As were more than halfway through this month, I'm sure most of us would be pretty loaded with activities and doing some of our 2013 resolutions. As they say "All work and no play would make life boring" 

Anyway, here are some tips for a balanced life which I got from (some of her posts are really helpful to newbies like me XD). Swabeng thoughts would be in Blue

1. Visualize Your Dreams and Goals: Take a few minutes each day to visualize yourself living out your dreams. Create a mental picture of your goals. Seeing yourself already achieving your goals makes the brain believe that it is possible. Doing this is also a fantastic stress reliever. I started doing this since December of last year and yes, it somehow makes my day less stressful. ^_^

2. Feed Your Body Well: Good nutrition can help prevent illness and disease. Make sure to have at least 5 serving of fruits and vegetables a day in various colors. Eating different colors will give you a multitude of valuable disease fighting nutrients. Also make sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water transports nutrients throughout your body, cleans out your body, and eases digestion. I guess I'll have to eat more fruits and veggies as well as lessen my meat intake too.

3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise: You’ve heard it before but exercise is a critical component to leading a well balanced life. Being physically fit gives you a positive outlook on life and reduces your risk of disease. It doesn’t matter how you get your exercise, it just matters that you get it on a regular basis. Make exercise a priority in your life! This is perhaps the key point that I should work on as hard as I can. I've been saying this to myself but the exercise I've been doing so far is walking.

4. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: It is important to step out of your comfort zone once in awhile. This will help you achieve personal growth and confidence. Face something you wouldn’t normally do and you just may surprise yourself and give your self confidence a boost at the same time.

5. Live in the Present: Force yourself to let go of the past and not to worry about the future. Live for today! Look at your life as it is right now and count your blessings. Enjoy today as it won’t be here tomorrow. I don't see any reason why linger in the past and assume the future. Simply enjoy the day and be as happy and productive as you can be.

6. Live by the Golden Rule: We all know the golden rule is to “treat others how you yourself wish to be treated” but how many of us actually live this way? Make a conscious effort to treat others well and to be understanding of other peoples feelings. The world would be a much better place if we all lived by this simple rule. If living simply means to live by the Golden rule, so let it be and lets see.

7. Have Integrity: This tip is as simple as this: Be who you really are. Live your life according to your own beliefs and you will have peace and harmony in life. Don’t let others convince you to be someone you are not. Be true to yourself. Well, simply life without any pretensions.

8. Expect the Unexpected: Learn how to deal with the small misfortunes that are inevitable in life. Don’t let yourself get stressed and upset over things you have no control over. There will always be traffic, computers crash, kids get sick, etc. Accept and realize that anything can happen and learn how to adjust your game plan. This tip is the one I like the most. When all things that are planned fails, be ready for your plan b or simply pray and hope for the best.

9. Know Your Priorities: Focus your energies on what is most important to you at the current stage in your life. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many major projects at one time. Trying to do everything at once is a recipe for disaster. And I couldn't agree more. I had to do some big things at the same time only to end up finishing none. Right now, I'm doing things one at a time. Though its a little more time consuming but the results would be more evident in the end.

10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude: As you begin each day, have the intention of making the best of it. Count your blessings and look for the good in your life every single day. Train yourself not to let things get to you. Realize that once you’ve done everything in your control it is time to let your life unfold. Nothing beats positivity and good vibes. Though I need a temper check from time to time to make sure life is as steady as it is. ^_^

Do you have other ways to live a balanced life? Please let me know. ^_^

Tuesday, January 15

Marien 365: Week 5 (Day 29 - 35)

There are days that some (or most) of my shots aren't good enough but I still have to capture it and make the most out of enhancing them in Photoshop. 

Day 29: She's playing at the sofa while her grandmom looks on

 Day 29

Day 30: She's enjoying the make-shift "duyan" her lola made.

 Day 30

Day 31: When I got home from work, she was sleeping soundly. She got awake as soon as I stuttered a word. Then she make faces again. XD

 Day 31

Day 31: With her mom and the cake come evening as we celebrate her first month.

Day 31

Day 32: Just got up from bed and saw she already looks forward to go down.

Day 32

Day 33: She really enjoys taking a bath as she looks straight at her grandmom.

Day 33

Day 33: Time to rinse-up and get ready for bed (again) XD. 

 Day 33

Day 34: After taking a bath as she dries up getting ready to get dressed. And Here we go again. Another of her make-faces. XD

Day 34

Day 35: Getting up in the morning? Nope! She's just stretching her muscles at past midnight. XD

Day 35

Week 6, coming up. XD

Monday, January 14

Good taste, great pairings with San Miguel Lifestyle Brews

Coming from a family of beer and hard drinkers (since 1900's), trying something new is not my usual thing. I'm the kind of person that is pretty much contented with my San Mig Lights (I'm a proud drinker since 1995) whenever I'm on a drinking session out in a bar or at a friends house somewhere. And whenever there is an occasion to celebrate (be it simple or grand), expect bottles and bottles of beer being chugged down.

One rainy weekend here at home, I give these new bottles (San Miguel Lifestyle Brews) a try for me to be able to taste and appreciate each one of them. It would be a new and different experience for me since, I'm spending most of my time home. With my family in the living room, the dining room was all to myself. Nothing was special that night except that its just me and three bottles of beer. XD

One word for these 3 bottles: Swabeh!

While most beer drinkers would match their beer with their favorite food, I wanted to see if they (SMLB) also fit with some of the basic beer-food available to the masses. 

The first one I tried was the San Miguel Super Dry Beer. The clean, crisp and dry taste makes my drinking experience something I look froward to. Though it has a bitter aftertaste that reminds me of another beer (San Miguel Strong Ice), you can smell its flavorful aroma bottle before taking another gulp (nevermind its bitter aftertaste). What did I try together with the Super Dry? The good old roasted spicy peanuts served on a platter which I bought at a corner nearby. The feeling was nostalgic when I had this combo as I recall the days when we go to an old beerhouse back in high school. 

The classic beer-"mani" combo

Next one I tried was the San Miguel Premium All-Malt Beer. Compared with the much bitter Super Dry, this one has a light and sweet taste that I think it could perfectly fit into any dish. Upon sniffing the bottle after I opened it, the aroma reminds me of San Miguel's Pale Pilsen which had influence me to drink early. I tried it with both leftover pork chop (pork rubbed with salt before frying) and some leftover baby back ribs and fries that I took home from the mall. Both of them tasted pretty well with the Premium All-Malt as it washes down the saltiness of the food I ate. 

With some baby back ribs

Personally, I like this pair.

Then finally, I got a taste of The Cerveza Negra. I've heard it from a few friends already as I had an initial impression that this is a ladies-beer for its chocolatey taste (as what a few people say). What made me more curious is that other say it can be paired with desserts, something that I find it hard to believe. By the time I opened my Cerveza Negra, and I immediately notice the aroma of roasted malt that had a hint of chocolate in it that was really good. By the time I give it a sip, I sense its bittersweet taste that complements the sweetness of the dessert I'm having which is a Banoffe Pie (my favorite). 

Care for some dessert and a bottle of beer?

One thing I notice though after finishing each bottle is that it got me full even if I haven't had dinner yet. Though for me, its a good thing just like the saying "Drink Moderately" as I keep my bottles to only three (given 3 Lifestyle Brews that I had). Three bottles is all I need to have this "Swabeng" experience.

With three more bottles left in the fridge, I'd definitely go for another set of food to pair with my new found friends beer.

Sunday, January 13

The Week That Was (January 6 - 12)

Sunday: Got up at past 6:00am as I went online to do some updating until 8:00am. Then I bought Sunday's paper and I was able to read all of them before Migmig got up. The entire morning was pretty much the same for the past few days as I was able to go online for an hour before I got back to have lunch. Then I joined my daughter for our afternoon nap and got up late in the afternoon. We did some grocery so we could go out and have some fun. I went online later in the evening before I went to bed to get some sleep.

Monday: Got up early so I could go online and update some of my posts. Migmig got up at past 9:30am and so is my wife. The morning was pretty much slow as I feed my baby some cereals for breakfast. She kinda liked it and I think she finished the entire small box. My wife wasn't able to report for work as she feels dizzy so she just stayed home. Nanay was the one who gave Migmig a bath. I took a bath after and spent the afternoon upstairs going online while my wife and baby had a long siesta. We got down at past 3:00pm to have lunch. By past 4:00pm, I got a call from the company I was applying for saying I have an interview tonight at 10:30pm. I was kinda hesitant to say yes as I don't feel well all of a sudden but eventually, I said yes just to get over with. Migmig and I went upstairs at 5:30pm so my wife could get her quiet time going online. I tried to get some shut-eye while my daughter plays with her mom's tablet keeping me awake for an hour and a half. We got back down at 7:00am as I got ready for my final interview. I had dinner first before leaving home at 8:30pm. I took the LRT2-MRT ride as I was hoping that Fully Booked at Gateway would still be open. When I got to Gateway, it was closed already. I arrived at Magallanes at past 9:30pm so I had to kill some time before going to the 5th floor at 10:00pm. The reception was packed with people when I got there but I just waited until 10:30pm. The helpdesk supervisor who interviewed me last Saturday was the one who led me into their room where I had a phone interview with their helpdesk manager based in the US. The interview went well though I felt I had some lapses on some of my answers. The helpdesk supervisor was somewhat pleased on how the interview went well. I left Alphaland South Gate at 11:00pm and went to Starbucks at Shaw Blvd. for some coffee and assessing what happened earlier. I was hoping I could buy FHM issue 150 at 7-11 but I couldn't seem to find one until I got home a few minutes past 12:00pm. I got to play my wife's tablet until I fell asleep at 2:00am.

Tuesday: Got up at almost 8:00am as my mom paid us a visit. By the time she have left, Migmig and I went to Nanay so she could get some morning sun as well as to get some exercise. When we got back, I made sure she had breakfast before she had her bath. By the time she fell asleep at 12:30pm, I fell asleep as well. We went down at past 3:00pm so she could have her late lunch. We went back upstairs at 5:30pm and spent the next hour and a half there before we went to Nanay at the stall. I grabbed some snacks at 7-11 and bought some marshmallows for my baby before we went back home at past 8:00pm. I went out to go online for an hour before going back home to call it a day.

Wednesday: Migmig got up in the middle of the night as she keeps tossing and turning on our bed keeping me and my wife awake for almost most of the wee hours. I got up at past 8:00am and went online to possible anticipate network cut-off due to the Black Nazarene Procession today. This would be the third time I'll be missing this annual event since I've attended in 2010. My wife and Migmig got up at past 10:00am which disrupts most of my morning activities with my baby. Nanay was the one who gave her a bath before she went to sleep at past 2:00pm. For some reason, I've been doing long naps in the afternoon for the past few days which should be used to lessen some backlogs in my blogs as well as post editing. When we got up at past 5:00pm, I gave my baby her late lunch. She was then hungry for milk which I prepared one on her bottle. Her uncle arrived a couple of minutes later and they went outside giving me some breather to relax and watch TV. My wife arrived home early which gave me time to go online outside early (I only go online outside if I need a faster internet connection). And for some reason, both cellphone and wireless broadband signal at home was working perfectly fine despite announcements of possible cut-off due to today's procession. I was suppose to sleep early but I had a hard time sleeping so I went online again to make myself drowsy before finally going to bed. XD

Thursday: Got up at almost 7:00am and I started to go online right away. I did some comment-exchange before updating some of my entries.My wife and Migmig got up at past 9:30am and our morning got busy all of a sudden. After Migmig got her bath, I took a bath as well to keep everything in place. Migmig fell asleep at around 2:00pm and got up at past 4:00pm which allowed me to go online and do some reading and stuff. When she got up, we went down to have lunch. I bought lunch outside as Nanay cooked string-beans (I have to lessen my beans intake to avoid joint pains XD). The rest of the afternoon was spent home before we went outside again to visit Nanay at the stall. My daughter played with delight before going back home at past 8:00pm I went out again to go online and had dinner at Jollibee before going back to call it a day. But I'm having a hard time again falling asleep so I went online for a few more minutes before going to bed.

Friday: Got up at almost 8:00am as my wife will use the laptop for her online work. Well I was suppose to get up early but for some reason I did not. I went down to do some dishes when my mom arrived. She was about to leave when Migmig went down as she got up early. She spent some time with her grandchild as I was able to do other things. I was able to put her to sleep at 1:00pm as I wanted to take my daughter out for some bonding time as well as do some personal errands of my own. It was a crampy FX ride to SM Megamall as I made sure my baby was alright. When we got to SM Megamall, I did some transactions before having my late lunch at Bo's. Migmig almost fell off the chair as she keeps on moving while sitting, something that I need to work on. After late lunch, I bought some magazines before heading to the supermarket to buy some beer but I noticed that people going in are wet so we had to stall for time for some more before buying my beer. We waited for our cab and got home at past 8:00pm with no traffic on our way. I quickly changed Migmig's diapers as it was pretty heavy already. I went out again to go online and had my quick dinner at Jollibee before going to bed. 

Saturday: For the nth time this week, I got up at past 7:00am missing at least an hour to blog a few backlogs. Anyway, I started updating some right away as well as adding up new ones making my backlogs break-even XD. I hope by February, I could start editing photos again for 2012 to lessen its backlogs. My wife and daughter got up at past 10:00am and we all had our breakfast by that time. I wanted to go online early but unfortunately, the shop was still closed until 2:30pm. By that time, I went out and online for 2 hours before going back home to take care of my daughter and spend some quality time with her. I didn't go out to go online for the night. Instead, I took some pictures of the beer I bought the other day as I'm planning to join this contest which I could win a 3 days and 2 nights stay at a five-star hotel in Manila. Migmig and I went to bed early at 10:30pm and hopefully, I could get up early this time. XD

Saturday, January 12

Swabeng Tips: Ten Ways to be More Creative With Your Photography

While doing my usual facebook browsing, I saw Sir Ruel Tafalla's Post on how to be more creative with your photography. After spending a couple of minutes reading and fully understanding the article, I see a lot of reasons why it should be shared with everyone especially to those who are interested in Photography. Anyway, here are some swabeng tips to be more creative with your photography. Some of my thought are in Blue again.

Everyone who has a DSLR or a point-and-shoot or the m4/3 camera wants to know how to get their camera off program mode and onto manual mode. Whilst this is important, as there are some great techniques you can use in manual mode, people forget about the creative side of photography and worry too much about the technical side. If I can recommend one thing it would be to spend 30% of your time learning about the technical side of photography and 70% of your time honing your creative flare. Below are 10 tips to make you more creative.

1 It's not all technical: When it comes to getting creative at photography don’t get too fanatical about the setting on your camera. A well thought-out photo in program mode is going to be much better than a photo that has been shot in manual mode but with less thought given to the overall photo. For me, its more of thinking outside the box.

2 Change perspective - shoot high, shoot low: So many photographers shoot at eye level, but things get really interesting when you change the height of the camera. Crouch down low and shoot up and all of a sudden you enter a whole new world. Also, try shooting at various angles for a different perspective. You may integrate this with the shoot high, shoot low.

3 Don’t have your camera around your neck: I am still amazed by how many photographers shoot with the camera around their neck. This is such a lazy way of taking photos as you are basically telling yourself that all the photos you are going to take are head height to the length of your camera straps. I wrap the strap around my hand and then hold onto my camera, that way I have full range of use with my camera. I can shoot at floor level or up high and I don’t have to be looking through the view finder either. Now you can take some really interesting photos from a new angle. Also it lessens the burden if you wrap the strap of your camera around your hand. Another option is save some for a camera sling like the R-Strap or the Q-Strap.

4 Sit and wait: It might only take a fraction of a second to take a photo but the waiting can take hours or even days. Wildlife photographers spend many an hour waiting for the perfect moment to take the picture. The difference between taking snaps and producing art is not rushing the shot and taking your time to think about each picture before you press the shutter release button. This is where the pros separate from the newbie trigger-happy. Most street photographers wait not only for the right moment but for the right light as well.

5 Limit yourself to only 24 shots: In the olden days you could buy films with 24 exposures on them, now you can take 1000 photos with digital cameras. If you limit yourself to 24 photos per day of photography you will be much more selective with your shots. This technique is great for 2 reasons - firstly it makes you think about every shot and secondly it saves you a lot of time when reviewing your photos as there are less photos to go through. I'm thankful I got to learn more through digital. But the point is avoid being trigger-happy and waste some space on your memory card. As an alternative, don't over do it or set your camera not to do burst shots (taking shots in succession).

6 Don’t rush your shot: Haste makes waste. Everyone is always in such a rush in today's world, but one time when it pays not to rush is when taking photos. By taking your time you are actually thinking about each shot and selecting what it is you want the viewer to look at. You spend more time looking at the angles, the light and the contrast in colours, which will ultimately improve the overall shot. Again, its all about getting it at the perfect moment. ^_^

7 Framing your shot: When you are out and about look out for interesting objects. Is there a sculpture or a window frame that you could use to shoot through to change the point of view and create a natural frame around your picture? By having an open mind and having a keen eye you can add a new twist to your photos. This is a good exercise to add to your skill and eventually to your portfolio.

8 Using reflections: Reflections are great as they add new interest to your images and help create depth and detail in your photos. Keep an eye out for reflection in puddles, windows, buildings, sculptures or indeed any shiny surface. This is a good example of #8 XD

See what I mean? XD

9 You tell the story: Being the photographer you are telling a story to your audience and you must communicate what is important in each photo. Where do you want your viewer to look? Is it in the centre, left or the right of the photo? Is the most important thing in the photo in the foreground or the background? What is it about the shot that you found interesting? You must tell your audience otherwise they will not make an emotional connection with your photo. Very well said. Create the shot, not a snapshot.

10 Think: Thinking is the most important thing of all when it comes to being a photographer. A great photographer is always thinking about the shot and what it is about the shot that makes it interesting. By thinking, the photo becomes much more than just a click of the button. Everyone can take a photo, but very few can take a great shot. Spending time thinking before pressing the button will develop your creative side, which will in turn show in your photos.

After reading and absorbing some of these tips, please close this page. Then turn off your PC and get your camera. Its now time to take pictures.

FHM and Me (My entry to FHM 150 contest)

Swabeng Disclaimer: This is my entry to FHM 150th issue contest where I hope I could win tickets to the FHM 150 party happening on the 28th of January. 

FHM Philippines and I have a history way back more than a decade ago (2000) when I was in college. I recall getting my first copy (FHM #4: Lene Nystrom) and after browsing through its pages (and finding out that Jana Victoria is indeed hot), I decided to look for other copies. I didn't mind getting hungry at times just to save up for a copy despite the measly allowance I’m receiving when I was still in school. I was able to get a copy of FHM #2 (Sunshine Cruz) and FHM #3 (Jennifer Lopez) but I couldn’t seem to find Issue #1 (Alicia Silverstone).

Life went on until I graduated and passed the board exam in 2001 while collecting FHM on a monthly basis. While I started working on earning on my own, my FHM collection grew as time flies, yet my collection was still incomplete without Issue #1. Almost a decade after I started collecting FHM, I got into several relationships which most of them don’t like the idea of me collecting FHM (sorry ladies, this one matters more than you do). Luckily I got married to my wife who likes FHM as much as I do and she understood that FHM is not just all about babes, booties and boobies.

Luck seems to be on my side when I was able to get the missing piece of my FHM collection, Issue #1. I didn't mind paying 2000% of its original cost as long as my hands would hold on to this very hard to find issue. I even wrote down a blog about it to show my appreciation to FHM and let the whole world know that my collection is now complete and still growing. 

The missing piece of the puzzle

I was also hoping my wife would give me a son so I could pass my collection to him. Instead, she gave me a daughter but it didn’t matter since she’ll inherit all of them anyway. And I hope she'd pass it on to the next generation so they would be able to learn and enjoy as much as I do in my lifetime.

I still continue to collect FHM (as well as its supplemental issues) job or no job and I do look forward to the next ten, twenty years or even longer.

Friday, January 11

Seven Ideas For Photographers’ New Year’s Resolutions

Just as I was about to retire for the night, I saw this from facebook and I know it deserves a spot here in my blog especially to aspiring photographers like me XD. Here are seven ideas for photographer's new year's resolution (my swabeng thoughts in blue).

1. Set some goals for your photography: Decide you will attend at least two workshops, or make a personal photo book project, or create a new portfolio, or learn how to print your own work, etc. Goals drive success. Probably I'll consider attending Sir Jo's Advance Class since I took my Basic Photography Class from him in 2011. I'm also considering building up my portfolio but maybe after sorting more than a thousand shots I made as well as what kind of genre I'll stick to.

2. Try to get some of your photography published: Whether it’s self-published, or published on someone else’s blog, or in a magazine, try to get something published. It will drive you to work harder on your craft and your vision. Maybe I'll attend some events for me to be able to submit my work and have them published on a magazine. Challenging but I hope I could make it.

3. Build (or upgrade) your own photo blog: Post your own photos on your own site and share the stories behind them. This will force you to make more photos because if you don’t, you’ll run out of blog ideas. I still have a lot of photos to edit first before I could share them (a thousand). XD

4. Go to photography meet ups: The networking is fun and the groups usually offer opportunities to shoot. If there’s one thing that each and every photographer reading this absolutely-positively needs, it’s more time using the camera. It always makes us better. Yet we fall victim to excuses not to get out of the house and go make images. I guess I should give some openshoots a try as long as I'm on budget and I would be able to have a perfect excuse to go out an shoot.

5. Give yourself a “self-assignment” or project: Make it color or form or people or things or wildlife or sports or whatever. Personal projects are usually where most growth happens in photography. But what project would I start with? Another Project 365 perhaps? I hope I could get my creative juices going. XD

6. Teach someone else how to be a better photographer in 2013:
No matter how new you are to photography you know at least one thing someone newer than you does NOT know. It only takes knowing one more thing than your student to make you a teacher. And most teachers agree that the best way to really learn a subject is to start teaching it. I should teach my wife the PROPER way of handling our DSLR so I could be the subject once in a while. XD

7. Make a promise to tell more stories with your camera: Document what’s happening to you right now because 10 seconds from now – it’s history. Make sure you record it and you do so in a way that someone who follows you can figure out what you were trying to say. Its easier aid than done as my Canon 7D + Canon 24-105 lens is getting heavier by the day. I just hope I could purchase a lighter digicam for me to carry all the time. XD

Any other ideas in mind? Please do let me know. ^_^

Thursday, January 10

Marien 365: Week 4 (Day 22 - 28)

Day 22: Before waking her up, I saw her sleeping on her side again. Taken at a lower angle

Day 22

Day 23: I got a bit bored on this one. XD

Day 23

Day 24: The first time I took her picture with the aid of external flash. And her mom DIDN'T liked it even if I told her I bounced the light from the flash to the ceiling XD.

Day 24

Day 25: She just got up and looked straight at me.

Day 25

Day 26: She's having a bad day. Period.

Day 26

Day 27: Mom and Baby Girl upclose.

 Day 27

Day 27: After she got her vaccine and cried her heart out, I see tears starting to fall from her eyes.

Day 27

Day 28: I tried taking a picture of her foot but its hard to get close though XD.

Day 28

Week 5 is on the way. XD


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