Thursday, October 31

Swabeng Thoughts: 13th Month Pay - Save or Splurge?

It was 2008 the last time I received my 13th month pay while working in a call center. Fast forward today, its been almost 5 years and I couldn't hold my excitement in receiving my well-deserved extra pay. Well, I could have received it a few times but the last company I worked with doesn't have 13th month pay in their vocabulary.

Last 2008, I didn't splurge on my 13th month pay as I saved almost all of it to our wedding expenses at that time. Then a few years passed by, my wife was the one getting her 13th month pay while I just smiled and be happy for her (and for me too XD ).

In the next few weeks, the 13th month pay I'll be receiving will be a lot first for me again. First, this would be my first 13th month pay with my daughter and wife. I'll make sure their needs (and a few wants) would be satisfied first. It would also be my first 13th month pay that I'd be getting much than what I expected (hopefully) that not in my wildest dreams, I'm gonna get it. 

After putting most of my 13th month pay to my daughter's account, I'll make sure to get some things for myself from new clothes and shoes to new books.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 24

My Fifty Swabeng Bucket List and counting (Part 1)

Almost everyone has their own bucket list so why can't I have one too right? Though my mantra is still "Seize the Day", I guess It ain't bad to have my own list and some are still doable I believe with some luck on my side. 

Without further ado, here are my fifty swabeng bucket list. This list took 2 years on my draft as I keep on thinking and pondering what needs to be done. This would be part one as part two may come a year after or so. 

1. Visit all 80 provinces in the Philippines and spend 2-3 weeks in each province (Travel): Only a handful of travel bloggers have done it so far. I've read some tips on how to enjoy their stay at a certain province. While it may work for others, I have my own swabeng list. I just hope I could do this before I could barely walk decades from now. While most travel bloggers spent a few days (3-4) days each province, I don't think it would cover an entire province. That's why a 2-3 week for each province seems to be the best duration of stay.

2. Spend long weekends at some of the best 5-star hotles in the country (Travel): Seems pretty luxurious but this is doable as long as you know the right people as well as wait for the best deal to grab. Group-buying sites would be my best friend. 

3. Spend long weekends at the best Bed and Breakfast Botiques in the country (Travel): What makes it different from hotels are its (1) ambiance and the feel of staying home away from home and (2) its less crowded compared to staying in hotels. Plus there are more interesting things to photograph as well. Tagaytay can be a good start for me as I have to fully enjoy its cool atmosphere. 

4. Take Migmig to some of the best Museums in the country (Travel): As a lover of the arts and everything interesting, I wanted my daughter to be a better and more broad-minded person when she grows up. I just hope well-known museums won't be too strict on people with DSLR Cameras by that time. But then again, I may already have a smaller mirror-less camera by that time so I'm sure the security won't mind at all.

5. Get my own domain (Personal): Its a lifelong dream for me to have my own domain (website). I should have done it sooner but I need to fully understand the ins and outs of doing transactions online to prevent problems. Also, I have to learn more on HTML and some scripting as well before I could dive-in to this one.

6. Take my wife and Migmig to an Ultimate Taste Test and Yummy Eats (Food): I've been to 3 UTT's and 2 Yummy Eats so far and I never recall an experience that I went home unsatisfied. I just hope I could get my hands on a digicam (Canon G15 or Canon EOS-M) for convenience instead of my bulky 7D XD.

7. Enroll at a Food Photography Workshop (Photography): After checking 50 Feasts webpage, I had to include this in my list. While I've been taking food shots on my own with friends and family, enrolling in a formal would make me feel I've learned some more from the expert. Plus it add dimension on my portfolio as well.

8 Enroll at Sir Jo Avila's Advanced Photography Workshop (Photography): I've been a student of his since 2011 and most of my improvements in my craft was courtesy of him. Though he schedules his Advanced Classes only twice a year and its mostly on weekdays (nights) which makes it challenging for me to enroll. Maybe when I have the time (and enough funds), I'll take my Advance Classes from him as well. 

9. Attend open shoots at least twice month for a year (Personal): Well I really wanted to join openshoots with models as my subject for the longest time. Why? Because I wanted to further enhance my skills in portraiture as well as lighting and other things. What makes me hesitant is that my wife is not very much open to that idea. Aside from it costs money, she might get jealous (as if she has the reason to). I just need a little more convincing of her and I might tag her along so she can try hair and make-up.  My preference though would be paid shoots but I can join free shoots whenever the project is good.

10. Get a Smartphone, preferably an I-Phone 5 (Gadgets): I think now is the time to upgrade my 5-year old phone to an I-Phone (5S) and join the smartphone bandwagon XD. I know I would learn a lot from using most of its applications as people do rave about them. I'm hoping to have my own smartphone before the year ends. XD

11. Enroll at a Landscape Photography Workshop (Photography): Taking landscapes was my first interest when I grabbed a DSLR for the first time in 2008. Fast forward, my interests kinda take a few turns leaving landscapes behind. I've been stalking Chasing Light for quite some time now and I'm pretty sure once I got all the basic photography gear needed for landscape photography, I'll join in their class. Or, I could also attend Rolly Magpayo's workshop too so I could travel to some parts of our country as well. XD

12. Enroll at a Photojournalism Workshop (Photography): Since I prefer taking pictures of what's going on outside more, I was hoping I could enroll at The Philippine Center for Journalism, but then again, with a very limited budget, I can do some self-study from Facebook's Usapang Kalye (A group of professional and amateur photojournalists) This would really help me in documenting spontaneous events more and maybe I could get a job as a photojournalist someday.

13. Attend the Photoworld Asia as a Delegate (Personal): I've been attending the PWA for the past couple of years (except 2012) as a spectator which involves joining free shoots as well as do some canvassing on some photography gear that I want to invest in the near future. I don't know how much the registration cost as of the moment but one day, I will attend this event. XD

14 Get a smaller camera, say a Canon Powershot G1X/G16 and a Canon EOS-M (or Fujifilm X100S) (Gadgets/Photography): To complement my bulky Canon 7D, I need to have either one (or both I hope) for me to be able to free-up some space in my back. Plus the fact that DSLR's are pretty much hot to security people thinking its a tool for terrorism (WTF!), I really need these compact cameras for a more unobtrusive shooting.

15. Get a Life/Health/Travel Insurance for me and my family (Personal): Well where I work right now provides me Life Insurance not just for myself but for my family as well (Shouldered by the company). But what if I resigned from work or got terminated? That's the question I need to think about as if I wanted to pay for it or not.

16. Purchase a 3-Bedroom Condo Unit (Personal): I know this would be impossible to happen but I know one way or the other, we will get a new place to live. Then, we would move to a location near to my wife's work or near to mine.

17. Build/Buy a bookshelf (Personal): If only I have the skills of my dad in carpentry, this shouldn't be included in my bucket list. I already have the design in mind but I need to figure out what would be the best materials to use. Books are not a problem as I have more than enough to fill my soon-to-be bookshelf.

18. Enroll my wife in a Culinary School (Personal): The only thing my wife has missing is the ability to cook sumptuous dishes. Cooking rice and eggs won't count as I can do it perfectly since I learned cooking. I could enroll in a culinary school myself but I'd rather have my wife do what she's suppose to do; Cook.

19. Enroll in a Post Processing Workshop (Photography): I've been toying with this idea for the longest time now. I know I could get a lot of tutorials online but I believe nothing beats having a mentor that has a vast experience when it comes to editing his/her photos and who you can consult whether online or IRL (in real life). I'm thinking whether I'd go with Jo Avila or Rolly Magpayo but I'm sure I'll benefit a lot from either of the two. Wait, I'll add Amorsoloesque by Maricris Fabi Carlos as well as the guys from FPPF to my options.

20. Enroll at a Portrait Photography Workshop (Photography): With a lot of photographers offering openshots with editing on the side, it's really hard to choose especially for the budget conscious like me. Fortunately, I saw a few photographers whose credentials are more than enough. Looking at their credentials, experience and feedback, I may enroll with anyone of them or probably all (for me to gain more experience) XD. 

21. Take care of my dentures once and for all (Personal): Its been a lifelong saga for me on how to take good care of my pearly whites. I must admit that I inherit some bad habits from my parents and now, I'm paying the price especially with several bad tooth. Some can be saved but some are meant to be extracted. 

22. Enroll in a Culinary School (Personal): One of my past times when I'm home (back in San Pedro) is to cook. From breakfast to snacks, I make sure that the dishes I make would be consumed in no time. I wanted to impress my wife and daughter with my cooking and hopefully, expand my horizons and broaden my menu in years time XD. 

23. Attend a seminar on Financial Freedom (Personal): Since I've started collecting books that has to do with saving and investing, I've been wising-up and started saving money (for real!) for the rainy days. And its not my wife's savings but my own (or should I say my daughter's). I think I've spent close to 2,000 pesos for a couple of books and I'm still looking for a credible financial adviser. I've seen Francisco Colayco's website as well as a few others. I guess I'm on my way to financial freedom anytime soon. XD

24. Get an Educational Plan for Migmig (Personal): My dad kinda forgot to grab an educational plan for the three of us. However, with the recent turn of events that some pre-need companies goes bankrupt, it kinda make me hesitant to get her one. Anyway, I'd take this into consideration and maybe get one. 

25. Give Paleo Workout/Cross-Fit Training a try (Health): Uhm, for the longest time since college, I wanted to get back in shape. I mean, a lean, mean, fighting machine and not round as a shape XD. Being busy at work should not be an excuse for me not to give it some thought and regain my fittest form. What would probably hold me back would be the cost per each session and its availability. 

Note: This bucket is was more than 2 years in the making XD. Part 2 won't be that far behind. XD

Friday, October 18

Swabeng Thoughts: Getting an invite from PFW and its schedule next week

For the second time this year, I have received an invite from Philippine Fashion week on the 25th of October at 8:30pm. If I would confirm, I would be able to see the works of Albert Andrada, Eric Delos Santos, Jerome Ang, Jun Jun Cambe, Norman Noriega, Raoul Ramirez. However, being new at work, I have to pass on this event again with a heavy heart.

Its been two years since the last time I've attended The Philippine Fashion Week. I couldn't imagine how time flies so fast. After three albums, its still stuck at three, I wonder when I would be able to attend again. XD

Anyway, here is the schedule for PFW (Philippine Fashion Week) as mostly this is a by invitation only event.

Taken from Google

I wonder how long I have to wait before I could attend again. XD

Thursday, October 17

Oktoberfest: Your Covergirls this October

October is always synonymous with beer (Oktoberfest). But its also a good time to add up your collection (Men's Magazines). What to pick? Here are the options: 

1. FHM Philippines (Valerie "Bangs" Garcia): Bangs or should I say Valerie "Bangs" is now version 3.0 as they say she has already blossomed into a very fine sexy woman. Aside from that, she has a few talents to boost as I got to browse through my copy a few days back. 

FHM Philippines October 2013

2. Esquire (US President Barrack Obama): I don't know if Esquire is running out of babes to cover or what... Seriously, it would be much better if they have interviewed the US President than just getting a transcript. Oh Well...

Esquire Philippines October 2013

3. Rogue (Angel Jacob): I never imagined she would grace Rogue's cover this year (I was hoping she'd be on Rogue last year) but Thank God they did. ^_^

Rogue October 2013

4. UNO (Karen Bordador and Kit Barraquias): When was the last time Kit Barraquias posed on a men's magazine? Time can only tell plus I haven't seen Karen Bordador covering in any men's magazine either. So would you pick Kit or Karen? XD

UNO October 2013

UNO October 2013

5. Playboy Philippines (Jobie Quinn): After PMOY Billy and Sky, its now Jobie's turn to grace the cover of Playboy. I haven't bought a copy but I'm sure its pretty interesting. As usual, you can pick any of the two covers again. XD

Playboy Philippines October 2013

Playboy Philippines October 2013

Till November then... XD

Thursday, October 3

Swabeng News: Another photograbber by the name of Mark

No that's me =P

Its really embarrassing that there is another photograbber circulating through social media wherein this time, he grabs photographs from a famous Filipino Photographer. He doesn't just steal the photos, he changes the watermark as well and treats it like its his own photo.

Taken from facebook

He even got the nerve to post his Tesda Certification and brags that he is connected with the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF). If its true, does he really have to brag this? I even doubt the authenticity of his certificate. And if its real, then it should be revoked!

Taken from Facebook

Again, just like what happened on the last photo-grabbing incident, a lot of netizens (mostly photographers) were very irate and disgusted on this man's actions. Even the owner of the photograph was amused and puzzled as to what are the real objectives of this culprit. 

Honestly, its kinda embarrassing that we have the same name. But I'd rather take a thousand shots of my own to get the perfect shot rather than steal someone's work and credit it for himself. 

Would he apologize about this incident? He should be...


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