Monday, September 12, 2011

Nothing like a 101

My journey to photography was a little odd.
The  years was an on/off interest to learn the basic and the control panels.
I was never fully interested, I just listen but I truly appreciate great looking photos.
My husband whose addicted to taking pictures of our kids constantly request my assistance to hold that off camera flash, set up the tripod, hold the reflector and occasionally do some make-up.

My interest in photography was way back girl scouting days. I would often go camping with my patrol. I would always nudge my mother to lend me her camera. Those days, it wasn't easy bringing one. The film is expensive and you never get to preview if the photos are okay. Often, my mother would allow me to bring it on regional the one I attended in Marinduque.
Our camping was set on that holyweek of 1991 or 1992. We were also attending the famous Moriones festival of Marinduque. I was amazed by the places of Boac, Gasan, and then the Fantasy Elephant Island. Is it still there? I wonder. I had pictures of those places....probably buried by several typhoon that I have experienced in Camsur. But there is one picture that I am trying to find out where it is now.....the picture of the man who portrayed Jesus Christ. Up to this day, his image is still vivid in my imagination. I was awed when I captured his face in pain at the cross and backdrop is the bluish summer sky of Marinduque. Everytime I come home to Camsur, I always searched for that photo. Maybe it was gone!
Sometime 2008 or 2009 my interest in camera was reacquainted when I was in the company of Maam Angie and Eye. Initially, they taught me how to use the light meter of my point and shoot to secure a good exposure. "Just make it zero!" (Of course they were referring while on manual mode, tweaking either aperture or shutter speed). Then make sure the composition is okay! Oh how well I remember those words of wisdom. Then the rest is history.

Fast forward....2011
On the ordinary days of weekend or weeknights...
My husband and I would  challenge ourselves with single light source photography.
Be it high key, low key, semi low key. It doesn't matter. It is often a mind boggling discussion of recent books of interest such as off camera flash, on cam, light and science hahaha alright not that nerdy!

I realized I have graduated from the "Auto" mode of my camera.
I guess it began when I sold my point and shoot and get stucked with D40.
Now I never use auto mode or scenes.
I use the built-in or off cam flash and the camera parameter to tweak it to give me an optimum exposure or images.
I still do not wish to upgrade....I am slow in tinkering the camera buttons and panels.
As an apprentice...there is much to, i haven't done fireworks and that famous bulb setting, panning shots and of course the wide angle landscape.

Here are few of my attempts to portrait or photo experiments (as I call it).
This was taken sometime June, while Luzon is swept by terrible typhoon "Frank".
According to news there were "possible" flooding in some area including our village hehehe. So while the house looks okay. I put on a quick make-up and a quick set-up for the lights. Thanks God we were spared.

I literally took this picture via remote trigger at the
setting of F4, 1/125, ISO400,50mm (fixed lens)
Single light source from our Flash SB-80DX (yes intended for the analog SLR)
we used umbrella, half open (with the black clothe on it). 

My husband took this one with practically the same setting as above.
I think we achieved only semi low key. Ahhh! I hate the shadows
under my chin....that's what you get for single light source.
 And then sometime July I guess. I finally had a chance to photograph my dada loves. When I posted below pictures in my facebook. I find it so funny to receive a message from our common friend saying that he looked like Jason Kidd, the NBA player. So I posted Jason Kidd photo alongside his....and got very few agreements hahaha.

The camera setting is F5.6, 1/80, ISO400,70 mm (fixed lens)
on-camera flash but uses the bounce flash technique
same flash  "jurrasic" SB-80DX (amazingly serves same
purpose as SB-600) 
Our daughter caught his attention while i was still on
the viewfinder. All i do is to click the shutter  using similar setting
The following shots were over the weekend. I was trying to do high key. My willing subjects were playful. Considering were frolicking around a small corner white wall. This time I used a fully opened umbrella, I removed the black clothe. There's a reflector on my left. The setting is common: f8, 1/70, ISO400,50 mm (fixed lens).

This is really funny! I was crawling in front of them trying to perk up
my son. I have to cut Dada because the farther wall on his back is red.

I love this shot very candid, but notice the shadows.  

To document that toothless grin! Did you see the catch light?

By the way, the camera used for above photos were from my husband not my D40. Lately I realized having buttons for the aperture is good unlike my D40 hmf!

P.S. I have extra copy of off camera flash in case you are interested to purchase it just PM me.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The song....LSS

LSS or the last song syndrome.....yeah this song have been playing on my head.
I remember I first heard it while watching the movie "Closer" in one of my sick leaves :D
Believe it, I rarely watch movie.
Though, the last one I watched was "Three Idiots" for practically three long hours (without sickness)- was a miracle according to my husband.
The movie "Closer" is a romantic drama film... I don't remember much of the story and dare not google it.
Because I hardly find it amusing though the actors were great maybe the story is too western for my taste. But what capture me in this film is the rhythm of the music that draws parallelism on the scene.
Well, I am no music lover. I was not blessed with the fact, it seems that this voice is going to be taken away for sometime ha! (as of the moment I am on voice rest). But I am proud to share that the rest of the household are music lover. My husband plays guitar, my daughter is our little belter and my son is studying flute and loves alternative music....though too young for Bruno Mars.
So to continue on the movie "Closer".....I've been humming this lyrics during bath time "I can't take my eyes off you" because that's all I know, it's stayed awhile in brain. So I thought that was the title of the song. It was only yesterday that I dared to google the lyrics of the supposed title that I thought. I'm thinking that my husband could play the guitar and he could sing it for me. To my surprise....the song with the title "I can't take my eyes off you" starts with "you're just too good to be true...." yes the song that made everyone swing and well I realized that was not the song (and that I'm old hahaha).
Finally, there is no other way to know the song's title if I won't google "Closer" and there you go..... the song was entitled "The Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice (an Irish singer).
And so it's the lyrics that I googled.

"The Blower's Daughter"

And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
Most of the time
And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her sky

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

And so it is
Just like you said it should be
We'll both forget the breeze
Most of the time
And so it is
The colder water
The blower's daughter
The pupil in denial

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

Did I say that I loathe you?
Did I say that I want to
Leave it all behind?

I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind...
My mind...
'Til I find somebody new 
Honestly, some of the lines of the song depicts how I feel....every time I looked at my daughter and my son. I hardly take my eyes off them. When my daughter sings her music....I'm her number one fan in that corner. I just sit there enjoy her singing. I am mesmerized by her voice. I can't take my eyes off her.

P.S. Perhaps I'll be updating this entry with her photos. We love photographing her.

Some of my daughter's video:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Running Blog #60

I used to write about my training run.
Usually after I ran...I would write about it. It's like sending a letter to a friend and letting her know about what went through.
My last running blog pertaining to training was more than a year ago.
Somehow, after experiencing full marathon I got jaded. Blogging about my training lost appeal.
But today is different. i ran alone, without music and without pain....wohooo the best day of my life.
Also, today's training was filled with so many thoughts in the span of 1 hour and 21 minutes that took only a short distance of 10 km.

What goes through my mind needs some rewinding as I type on the keyboard :-)
Finally, I am able to stretch beyond 8K. I know I did it because I can feel His presence. It's like He was there...listening maybe mocking at me and my childish acts.

  1. I thanked God because finally the last two Sunday service I saw the fulfillment of my heart. I finally saw my husband find it in his heart the presence of the Holy Spirit. My husband is not your typical catholic. I would like to think he go to church to fulfill a family activity and keep the relationship cemented. I have been praying for this since we got married....and finally I saw it in his eyes. I won't bring it up....maybe when he visits again this blog. My husband is a man of few words, the way he thinks remains a mystery. But I know as I stood up there and saw him finally recognizing what I was trying to tell him was a tremendous experience. Experiencing God in one's life is more than just an's always wonderful for the soul. 
  2. Another mystery of today's training is the drizzles stopped when I started running. I even forego my music because I thought it's gonna be a heavy rain....I remember, three years ago I would bet on the rain, it always stops on my training hour.
  3. I was also reflecting about what kind of parent I am to my children.The times have been changing.... I want to impart to them a strong value that would not rocked on moments of despair. Is sending them to catholic school the right way? I guess I prefer the old school. I have never pampered my kids that much compared to this generation. They have no facebook account, they do not play PSP- I hand it to them to use the movie feature and allow them watch their favorite cartoon....this happens occasionally when we are on the car, they don't have cellphone. I believe these things comes with age and responsibility. I will eventually allow them at the right time. My kids activity is limited to running, swimming, singing, playing with traditional toys and studying. I want them to experience what kids are missing today. The other day, I was demonstrating to them how we were playing "chinese garter"....I still can do it, the highest point in my earlobes while standing upright. When I crossed the chinese garter my kids were totally amazed. They didn't see other kids playing it at school or even in our village. And while demonstrating it, I realized the reason why we have no obese playmates then. Because, the game is really ab then were skinny, lean some muscled specially those who worked on the farm. Kids today have all the luxury around them....I fear that someday, they will be too fragile to adopt to the ever changing world.
  4. Ironman 70.3 Philippines....imagine I even dreamed of it this early morning that I was one of the spectator. Yesterday, as I was looking at the results, I can't believe the human strength can do. Pete Jacobs grabbed the title. I really admire those who braved it guys/gals are such a tremendous inspiration to mere mortal like me. 
  5. In two weeks, my pain is endometriosis have zero-in my cholesterol and thyroid. I resist taking medication....doctors insist I give another try. So last week I started on again with another medication. Hopefully, with lesser I feel like everyday I am on a roller coaster ride. Need to document again my food intake, my sleeping patterns and my mood swing...oh yes! even when I'm mad....I have to recognize if it's the hormone that's flaring up. As time passed, I realized that perhaps He was again sending me another mission or learning in this experience....perhaps, I've been too tied up on the process of curing that I forgot mercy and grace.
As I drifted in my thoughts, I realized I cannot run has to follow the prescribed increased mileage. I cannot go beyond 85% of my heart rate....I too I am fragile.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I didn't know my husband visits this blog.
When he first learned about this blog, he's actually swearing because he's got a lot of picture in here, and he's always mentioned in my post.
I just sweet talk him over the fact that after 14 years I am still in love with him. Lol! So I can't get him off my mind even in writing.... enough of the mushy me lol! Were too old for this.

I actually forgot about the blog....until husband reminded over the weekend while were relaxing in the pool of canyon cove...he mentioned about the blog. Maybe he missed my mentioning him in here lol!
It was in one of our conversation that he asked why from a blabber blogger to the silent one.
And I realized that I have no blog post for several months now.
Geez, it's all in the draft bin.
Oh! I haven't even published my third marathon story with the most popular race in town- Condura Run for the Dolphin.
And all other short races, in the past I would usually blog about it.
So where have I been?
I am actually emotional about it.
You know the road of life is extremely jam-packed.
I started out almost four years ago having they are first graders.
I thought while they are growing up....I'll have time for myself.
Ooops! I got it all wrong.
There is the voice lesson, then the swimming lesson, the endless projects and assignment, then workloads, cooking to make sure they eat nutritious food  and so on and so forth.
My kids also interfere with my social life. Often, they would not allow me or my husband on our solo events.
And also I am a constant referee to the cat and dog fight.
I thank God I'm a runner.....I endure this race so called life.

I celebrated my 34th birthday in the hospital, the only time to monitor those cyst and other blood chemistry.
Then before I knew it, my daughter's 7th birthday.
Oh! She wanted to meet Tinker Belle....and there's no other place to go but the closest Disney.
On her birthday I was having severe migraine. But how can I ruined that day?
So even with headache and photo-phobia.....go lang ng go! Photo ops din!

And then last weekend it was my hubby's birthday. Yeah, as mentioned awhile ago that was the time he bring up the blog. Maybe, he sensed that I'm overwhelmed and not having fun.
The hints: I rarely race, I don't write (that's what he thought), I don't upload pix in facebook, I don't logged much of my exercise in DM. Whew! He asked if I'm depressed. I guess he's worried having episodes of post partum depression...he is deciphering my state of mind.

The truth is I don't know anymore how to to sweet talk this blog.
Probably I'm not the same....I am marred with pain....I keep on enduring....I guess this mom  needed to redefine endurance.

And today another text invite about a blogger night lol! Well, Thanks TR it prompted me to visit my own site.

Well, honestly I haven't given up on writing. It's just that I frequented on another account or site called the 750words.
It requires 750 words per's got analysis about how your feeling about your write up and other cool stuff but it doesn't get published the way blog does.
In a way, it's a digital, secure, private. It is also a good tool to help one become a better writer. I am not sure with me. But it sure does help me identify what I am feeling mostly. And it help me keep up and finally bring acceptance of what's bugging me.

Since December 2010 I have been very emotional about my state of health.
Who wouldn't after a week of full marathon an elevated or out of boundaries blood cholesterol and thyroid felt that I don't have control over my health. Duh! What happened with that controlled diet, with the yoga and running, trekking and all other stuff that fits me to the generation "Fit".

You know how it felt like....a pang of frustration or some similar to betrayal. I am still lost to what I feel about my situation.
OMG, for more than a decade I am on strict diet. No pork, well I am not an all out vegetarian....but  I subjected myself to all strict diet even after two pregnancies because I know this is the right thing and healthy way to go.
But even after all the healthy and active lifestyle...I felt like getting an F on my blood chemistry score.

All the effort seemed gone awry.
How would you feel if you were on my shoe?

I was devastated.
I probably was not admitting it and continue life as if nothing happened as if I am unaware.
But then I needed to go on frequent leave from work, frequent visits to doctors, long queuing lines on doctor's appointment, blood extraction, more medication. Various pills for each symptom resulting to acne, mood swing, bloated mid section, water retention. It felt bad.

Maybe, right now I am able to write about it because I have come to accept the fact that perhaps those parameters will forever fail. And that my life is accompanied by these symptoms frequent mood swing, bloated, weight gain (which a lot of people insist is just my imagination)- i think this is secondary to the bloated feeling, the endless abdominal cramps....and so on and so forth.
Well, not to mention sensitivity to smell and chemicals urgh!

On the mood swing....I am completely aware of the side effects, I try to control my reaction. This is the reason I have fewer enemies than expected lol! But honestly, most of the time I choose to be silent or say nothing at all....sometimes, something comes out of my mouth that I rarely intend to say or meant. Those were the times perhaps when I'm feeling rebellious because for more than a decade I have been controlling my reactions....sometimes the shield crack down....and I feel nobody understands me because I don't have the physical symptom of illness. My vital stats are normal.

It felt as if nobody listens to me or even willing to help me.
It seems that my case is just a psychosomatic illness....they say that's all in your mind.
But hell, no I have been battling the pain since age 17 and to top it all....the worst it brought me is the infertility issues. Endometriosis or Endo as most of those sufferer referred it is a disease that is often misdiagnosed.
In my case, I knew I had it since my menarchy. But the management is only to deal with pelvic pain. It was only confirmed during a laparoscopic operation not intended for the endo but for the fertility work up.
The gyne cauterized the tissues after a few months post op we successfully conceived. Almost four years, I failed to detect that it came back.
What I did is to go on active lifestyle and in the processed increased my tolerance with pain.
It helped managed pain.
But fast forward today, I didn't realized that it will blow to this proportion.
Every month of migraine attacks one week before and after my period. Episodes of photo-phobia, sensitivity to smell, severe allergic reaction, gastric pain etc.

All this I have to endure....I swear to God I wish I am menopause so I need not to go through all of the above that associates with endo.

Endurance have brought me a different new meaning. It's not anymore running the marathon or trying the ultra.
Endurance to me is to be able to endure pain almost every day when the period is nearing.
It also means to be able to sustain moods despite headache, I can't blame other people for my misfortune.
It also means despite pain I have to fulfill my motherly duty to my children. Positive disposition in life is very important for sufferer of this disease. In this country, endo patients condition are not considered life threatening. In a country that believes women are designed to suffer while giving birth and on their monthly period as suggested in the bible....I guess prevention of pain is far from sight.

This is true, given that there is no research yet that establishes why endometriosis?
Given that men are not even affected by this disease.

There is no road to proper treatment for this disease.
And I felt alone in this battle. I have a competent doctor. But given the number of patients that she looks after have more severe case (such as infertility, pregnancy etc). I am often and I can sense that I am on the least priority.
In one of my ultrasound, a gyne commented that I was lucky to have two kids given my condition (well I have not even mentioned my other anomaly). Women rarely talks this condition, it's like's like you're weak if you cannot manage your monthly visits.

Today, I decided that I'll take charge with my health.
Yes, I stopped the medication for the elevated cholesterol and TSH.
Those failing blood chemistry are probably secondary to my endo.
I am not scared anymore. Besides my BMS is relatively low, my waist to hip ration is less than 0.90 and I don't have high blood pressure.

This time, I'll try to travel the road where there is no trail, where it is uncertain.
I'll try to listen to my body intently.
For now, I'll  hang on to prayers for guidance and a regular conversation with Him.
Are You listening? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reebok Zigtech Run

Hello there!
I have been in hibernation for quite sometime....
Uh-oh! it seems I completely forgot about blogging.....until two weeks ago, I received an invite for the upcoming race Reebok Zigtech Run.
So come monday night I zigzagged my way to The Fort for the (drumroll pls)....the bloggers night.
Honestly, I was overwhelmed to have met these fellow runner/blogger upclose! I used to seeing them on the road....or reading through their blog.

Thanks to Titanium Runner's invitation,  because  I got this chance to learn about the cool race that Reebok is launching. Gee, haven't been racing lately....due to my previous injury (though I was already cleared a month ago). I guess I am now ready to it was indeed timely.

The race date is on the 5th of June, it's a day before my this is kinda special for me. Plus this race is one of its kind because I have to scale the 15km distance with a vertical run on the ramp of the 5-level parking of CVC Law Center. So come on run with me....let's try what it's like doing a vertical run!

The bloggers' night was capped off by the raffle of one pair Zigtech shoes that Reebok has launched in the Philippines. You know what? I was lucky to have it.
Thank you Reebok Phils for the nice treat.....I consider this an early birthday gift.
I can't wait to try it on my feet :-)

Ciao! See you on the road.

With gorgeous  Vicky Ras
Bro J  and wife Baby

with the Running Atom and our host

TR & Sam

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hello 2011

This write up is a little too late for welcoming 2011.
But then, it has stayed in my draft for so long.
We have been very busy since the nanny ran almost cost me to losing a job, etc.....
The good  news is I found a new one....a better one and as usual were starting a relationship ....i just hope she stayed with us because the kids liked her and that is so important.
Whew! God has it's way to give you pleasant surprises....and that is how I try to look what is in store for me this 2011.

2010 looks like a wonderful running year.
This is the year I celebrated my 3rd year in running.
I am so proud I did a couple of marathon, several half marathon, some 10k, 5k and 3K.
I finished my first 1000 km after more than a year of trying.
And yet I feel guilty...because I know I logged a little less compared on my first year in running.
I missed those days when I just laced up and nonstop, run fast and careless about the time.
I guess when were getting old....time is the most precious resource that we have.
Well, I guess I'm jaded and growing old.

To summarize the learnings I had:
  1. Quality over quantity. I know that long distance run and piling mileage helps on the endurance of any runner....but then my 2010 runs prove otherwise. I ran at lesser mileage yet I managed to run a marathon. I guess the key is the quality of my training runs.
  2. Running just like learning is a continuous process. Not because I ran a marathon makes me a guru or a better runner to the other gals or guys....I have to train further and get to know myself better. It is through training run that you will get to know yourself better....quantity over quality.....make every training run a session to learn something- about your body, about your needs, the clothes you wear and your responses to weather.And it requires training to become a competent coach or a resource person (on the subject matter).
  3. Running is such a selfish sport....if you run fast  and then failed to train in two cannot replicate your previous performance. You have to continuously train aerobically or anaerobically to keep fit. I noticed, I always put that as a note on my dailymile. However, we cannot deny that there is a different kind of vigor when you resumed training after days of rest. 
  4. Our human body is very can adopt to a certain level of stresses. The key is to introduce it progressively.
  5. I read it several times that the bladder shutdowns when you start running. But it's not true for everyone.....perhaps specially for women with children. Sigh! my QCIM result could have been better if I give in to my urged :D At least, now I know what it's chances are I'll never wait on that next station.
  6. Trying on men shoes because your size is not available on the women's is such a bad idea. I remember I wanted an Adizero tempo but the largest size for women is 9 (I am typically size 10 for running shoes). The sales guys lured me to get men's size 8 (which according to him is equivalent to women's size 10)....I regret it the whole year....I  gave it a chance but is always a disaster. Lesson learned:Never let the sales guys sweet talk you that there is no difference. Well, there I know that women have narrower heel than men.
  7. My shoe size is 10....I tried 9.5 because I love the color of that shoes. I actually survived it with dead toenails :D Lesson, stick on size 10.
  8. In running, men and women becomes does not necessarily mean that the last finisher always comes from our gender :D
  9. There are fewer jerks in the running community :D we are such a happy group of people....perhaps because of runner's high.
  10. Running is the best way to combat stress....yeah, there were days that we are mocked. Hmmm but heres what goes to my mind when I catch them....those who mocked at me intakes a lot of gas in their belly such a fart idea hehehe.
Moving forward.... here are some of my 2011 outlook:
  1. Practice a little about barefoot running....assess what it's like. Besides our ancestors ran barefoot during their time....why should I shy away from this?
  2. Buy only what is essential. I admit I was disappointed with my GF405 and I do not intend to replace it with any other GPS watch (or as I call it disposable watch). Instead, I am now looking for a solar watch that could record my run time. The GF405 was expensive for a 17 months usage....not to mention the effects to environment. Our gadget should be durable enough to prevent waste. There is just too much garbage in this world....and adding our throw away gadget won't help....someday it would be very difficult to run if our world is too polluted.
  3. I am still perplexed with my blood chemistry. Anyways, despite disappointing results I will continue my choice of diet- complex carbo, high fiber, lean and white meat for protein. To explain a little my total cholesterol is elevated sigh! and to think my weight is 118 lbs.
  4. See a up with an endocrinologists to find answer on the perplexing blood chemistry.
  5. Embrace ageing....I am turning 34 this June....feeling oldie because the kids are growing so fast. But getting stronger like a teenager. Yes, I want to cope up with my kids hyperactivity :D
I was surprised to see this in my inbox today.....see I ran less managed to finish a marathon. I'm sure a lot of you can do better.