Friday, June 18, 2010

Time to smell the flowers

Today is the first of my 12 day break from work. I'm home bound to visit my mom and then off to a photo workshop. It is time to smell the flowers again and it reminded me of my weekend jaunt at Singapore's Mandai Orchid Garden. It was a very scorching Sunday but still a lovely respite from my everyday view of steel and concrete.

I particularly found compelling the stamens of this yellow bell-shaped flower so much so that instead of taking a photo of the flower in its entirety,
I decided to focus on what's inside it. I shot the stamens sharp and rendered everything else soft.
The stamens seemed to be bobbing  their heads in agreement, calling and yanking me, the outsider, to look inside its throat. And when I did, It looked like there was light from within. What a bonus.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Michelin (wo) Man and birthday blues

I have known it for some time but it took photos of me taken by my weekend photo buddy who shall be known from hereon as Mr. Boy Scout  for moi to realize that I have unleashed the Michelin (Wo) man...yet again.  It's an ugly sight...a woman in her 40s with spare tires to boot.  Yes, I am one of those people with excess weight so much so that there could be two of me.

I have no one to blame but me, myself and I. The last yoga class I attended was in December last year and since then I've not done a single pose and I've been deluding myself that I'm just too busy to ooohmmm...  I have stopped living my yoga when I loved it so much I would practice two hours daily and could already do a decent handstand. In my desire to stay up late to process my photos, I've been drinking coffee and soda like there's no tomorrow.

Is my interest in photography to be blamed? If I'm to be honest with myself, I think I've used the latter as an excuse to let go of my lifetime battle against the bulge.  I've opted for the easy way out. Shame on me.

But this week I am turning a year older and since I'm given another chance to make things right, I shall fight the good fight. I will soon be back on the mat.  I shall channel Oprah and all the emotional eaters who came before me and managed to tame the beast.

I'm sorry Michelin Man...soon, very soon you'll be on your own.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

thursday madness

thursday is the day of the week where i 'm in a mad scramble to plan my weekend. it's the deadliest deadline to fill my weekend-to-do-list. many thoughts are running through my mind and the first ones that i try not to think about are the household chores. but there's just no running away from them...wash the dirty clothes i must, clean my desk (for the nth) time i must,  give the cats' litter box a thorough cleaning i must, buy my necessities at cold storage, blah blah blah...
the ones i really look forward to putting in my to do list are my photo projects...last weekend, it was a photo shoot with my dear friend's daughter.  about two weekends ago, it was a visit to a temple due to the vesak day celebration. some time ago, it was a trip to yogjakarta and another time a photo shoot in kota tua in old jakarta. the shoot with my photo instructor in malacca was lots of fun too because it was a food trip plus the value-added of taking photos. in singapore, i loved my first time to take photos of thaipusam (one which is not for the faint-hearted)  i still have many photo trips in my head - varanasi in uttar pradesh, palawan in the philippines, intramuros and downtown Manila, the serenity of burma, the windmills of ilocos... hopefully they'll see the light of  day. But until then, i guess i better stick to planning weekends on thursdays and preferably way before :)

Vesak Day

Vesak Day is celebrated by Buddhist around the world and is an annual public holiday in Singapore. Informally, it's called Buddha's birthday. This year, the celebration fell on the 28th of May. Huge crowds will usually assemble at various Buddhist temples around the city. Inside the temples, the monks chant sacred hymns while devotees bath a figurine of Buddha. This year, I decided to visit the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See temple in Bright Hill Road. I've never visited a Buddhist temple on Vesak Day and the devotion shown by many was just awe-inspiring. It was a happy sight seeing families praying together. Below are photos I took at the temple. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kota Tua, Jakarta

Just sharing with you photos I took at an old and abandoned building in Kota Tua, Jakarta. I love the juxtaposition of the beauty and the derelict.

What a Decade in Singland Has Taught Me

Ten years of working, living and breathing the air in Singland has taught me many things. Here are some of them:
1. Never underestimate the power of tissue. everyone knows how powerful a small pack of tissue is during lunchtime in crowded food courts in the city state. just put one on an empty table and voila, everyone respects the spot you saved.
2. As far as i know, there's nowhere in the world that citizens get a bonus for making babies
3. The nuances of adding lah, leh, mah, meh, lor in a sentence
4. Shallow breathing especially in confined, cramped spaces i.e. subway during peak hours
5. If you're stumped as to where to get lunch, follow the queue. The longer the queue is in front of a food stall, the more likely that the food is good.
6. Cars actually stop at zebra crossings to allow pedestrians to cross
7. A great airport goes a long, long way (tourism accounts for close to 5% of GDP, i think)
8. You can jog alone at night and still get home in one piece.
9. Food is love :)
10. When someone asks you at the end of the day whether you're ``going back'', he or she is asking if you're done for the day and that you are homebound.

My Jaunts at Night in Singland