a place in the world

Posts tagged Writing

Life / Portugal

swift fly the years

Cais Sodre, Lisbon

There is nothing like being transported in a new place that makes one acutely aware of all life’s possibilities, like – I could make a life here. 

Lisbon was a surprise, in a really good way. I read one post from a random blogger who found it charmless and lackluster – I beg to disagree. I keep saying this to anyone who asks – it is a severely underrated European capital. I did not have the time to explore the country, but I am pretty sure the rest of it is just as great. Porto, Alentejo, Arrabida, Obidos, Setubal, Madeira… one can keep dreaming.

Because of my “age”, my growing responsibilities, and life in general, I only planned for one “big trip” this year, but I will end up taking four– two of them are unexpected work stints. It is a good surprise and I am not one to pass an opportunity to be in a new place, but sometimes my reserved, introverted self cannot cope with all the changes. Time does not stop when I am away and loved ones are making plans, moving on. This is difficult to admit, but I would rather stay this time for fear of missing out.

In other news, this year’s Big Trip is coming up in a few days and I hope it will be transformative in the way I expect it to be.

Have a good day and a good life, my friend.

Laos / On the Road / Vietnam

On The Road: July 2015

Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos

Checking in from the Hanoi Noi Bai Airport en route to Manila. I spent a few days in Hanoi (Vietnam) and Luang Prabang (Laos), and their respective environs. Both proved to be equally memorable places for entirely different reasons.

This ends my “big trip” for the year. I try to see one new country each year and I’ve been trying to do that since 2006. I hope I am driven enough to attempt this for the rest of my life. I meant to set a “30 before 30” goal but I am past that age now, and yet I have barely covered 30 countries. Yes, I know sometimes it is not about crossing off items from a long list.

I spent a day in an elephant sanctuary in Laos and I must say it was really something special, and I am still thinking about the elephants several days later. I’d volunteer if I had the time or means. After a friend’s recommendation and some research, I’m glad to have chosen a particular elephant camp that truly cares for the animals and customers as well. I hope to write about it one of these days.

Life / Writing

Sweet November

November has been incredibly good too me. For the longest time I have been feeling like a rotten person / daughter / employee / friend / relative / sister (and so on), that looking back at my good fortune these past few weeks I feel like I don’t deserve any of these things.

Life / Writing


I started having cloudy vision early last night, while still at the office. It’s such a horrible feeling because you feel like you’re going blind. I was trying to read from my computer and the blurriness made me feel so nauseous. Apparently it was yet another migraine attack, which I thought I already outgrew around six years ago. Fifteen hours later I still feel woozy. I hope it really is just a migraine attack.

Life / Writing


I still have a backlog of pictures I’ve been meaning to post here. However I haven’t been motivated enough to sort through my files and write the accompanying text, tags, html code. The internet has changed my habits and shortened my attention span so much so that I cannot even sit through a 90-minute movie or finish my ever-growing reading list.
I’ll try this once more.



I stopped writing because it made me feel vulnerable. That’s why I posted photos instead.
I’d like to try to do more definitive posts to come with the pictures this time.
It’ll take a while to backtrack, though.


top of the morning

SCHMAP.COM is great for those who are planning to travel to European or North American cities. It’s a downloadable dynamic application which integrates maps, hotels, restaurants, tourist sites within your chosen city. I’m in the photo credits in the Prague Schmap guide, and the funny thing is, I’ve never even stepped outside the city airport.

Photography Peeves. I don’t claim to be good or educated or whatever, I just love looking at interesting and beautiful photographs. Photography has replaced what blogging used to be, everybody wants to be a photographer, everyone wants an SLR, or the latest point and shoot jampacked with features you probably don’t even know how to use.

“If only I had a better camera, I would take better pictures.” I repeat again and again, your camera does not matter! It can only do so much. You can even take good pictures with a cameraphone. A friend used to shoot lovely images with an old 2.1 megapixel camera. Another uses a rickety plastic camera and expired film. Don’t think owning an SLR can entitle you to a photographic license. You just need to know what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps the most important rule is simplicity. Shooting a scene with a lot of things going on is to be avoided; once you have that down pat, you’re on your way to improvement. No “busy” pictures with no focus on a subject. Composition is everything. You take that out of a technically strong photograph, and it’ll be reduced to a waste of digital space.

“Trying Hard To Be Artsy Shots.” Dark and blurry pictures, inappropriately underexposed / overexposed, weird camera angles with no subject at all. I don’t get this. If you’re going for unusual, “artsy” shots, you have got to make it work and not leave your audience with these thoughts– “whatthehellisthis.”

People who got the goods but don’t deliver. You can buy (and brag about) all your latest equipment but still produce mediocre or worse yet, substandard output. That’s such a waste of tens of thousands of pesos.

People who get into it just so they can shoot and consequently, mingle with fine photogenic specimens of humankind. Revealing photos bordering on sleaziness. When an artist does it, you can tell that it is devoid of any malicious intent.

Digital purists who scoff at postprocessed photographs. Photoshop, Picasa, The Gimp, iPhoto etc. are there for a reason.

That’s a lot of work-induced angst right there. Carry on. 🙂