Grandfather’s Typewriter

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My grandfather’s trusty typewriter. It was precious to him. I saw him create countless documents with it in the years he was still with us.
Details show just how mileage his old typewriter has accumulated. I used a reverse ring to go closer as I do not have a dedicated macro lens.
If only I could turn back time, I would really spend days asking him about the stories and articles he made using his typewriter.
Rust has been there ever since I can remember, however, it has not worsened as feared. I also remember how hard it was to replace worn-out ribbons.
Each typewriter has its own unique character. My grandfather’s has something I cannot put a finger on. Still, the sheer number of years it has served him well is a bond between man and machine.

My grandfather did many things while he was still alive. He painted, he worked for the government, he inspected various livestock, etc. He also typed. Using his trusty Olivetti typewriter, all those documents, reports, drafts, and even a short story, were created with his deft use of this rather clunky looking machine.

The first time I saw him use it I was amazed at the speed of his fingers, pressing down all those keys, feeding paper on the machine, and back again. Each time I would hear a single ring-like sound, that would mean he has reached the right margin and he would then use his right hand to bring the page down one line.

It would have been better if I had a camera with me while he was still with us. I could have documented his dexterity with the manual typewriter. After he passed away, his typewriter found its way to my parents, and they too, have used it many times. Each time my parents would use it, I recall all those times I see him, on his work desk, typing words and enjoying every bit of it.




Heil? Hello! You shall return.
The view outside. It must have been a sight when the Japanese appeared on the horizon, knowing they are going to die at the hands of Filipinos.
The Filipino Soldier.
Malinta Tunnel survived the war. But Yamashita’s fabled gold bars are still nowhere to be found.
Artillery at Battery Way. These guns can hurl 11,000 lbs shells over 20 miles away.
I stared at it. No ghosts. Bummer.
Hey, take a photo of me too!
She came running and appeared into the frame at the right moment.
The Pacific War Memorial at Corregidor Island.



Three frames from my photo session with Kyrah Abad, at Pioneer Studios. The location was big enough even for a vehicle/car shoot, yet there was this separate area that had big windows, and where tools and other photography equipment were stored. We liked the aura there more than what we had using the strobes in the main studio, so we spent at least half of the session in it.

Sometimes, it turns out quite the opposite of how you planned it. And it’s perfectly alright.

A Russian Sailor


After looking at Russian naval weaponry aboard the Udaloy-class anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, I approached one the sailors. Aleksei, he says his name is. Looks Chinese than Russian.

Later on, I learned that he was from Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia—one of the coldest cities on Earth.



Two things changed in how I approach and do photography. Normally, I seldom take notice of changes, much less write about it, such as when I contented myself in using just one AF point each time I take a picture.

First, I have reached a point wherein I have confidence in the output of the rear camera of my smartphone. Before, I was really not liking it because:

• the resolution is paltry
• noise reduction algorithm sucks
• colors SOOC are utterly bland

Having a capable smartphone camera frees me up from the limiting physical factors that comes each time I use my DSLR. Of course, nothing beats the image quality, especially if paired with that sharp prime lens. Yet from a certain point of view, using a smartphone for photography is like that time when cameras like the D100 ruled the market—capable but not that much compared to film cameras.

Second—and this really surprised me—is all about post-processing an image to a style that I am not really familiar and comfortable with. Gone are details that would vie for attention. Instead, the color palette is simplified even further.

I’m spending more creative time on Snapseed than in Lightroom or Photoshop now, however I’m still fine tuning the post-processing workflow. There’s a bit of a learning curve here, and consistency of colors is something of an issue depending on how much you want to manage different screens.

Something minimal in front at Mall of Asia's seafront. The afternoon rain passed by, cleaning the area from dust.

Nevertheless, I am enjoying just how much freedom from weight a capable smartphone camera can give. Now if only it can produce 300 dpi images rather than 72 or 96.


Just a few more weeks and we’ll find ourselves blessed with another year. I think it could sound premature to talk about the 2018 when there are still plenty of left on the plate, however, the thought of given a new batch of 365 is an altogether a pair of change and constraint.

Today saw us have a meeting at the cafeteria wherein we were informed of what the news has been reporting these past few days about how our Company is bundling together its three traditional, consumer businesses into one super group. I believe it made perfect sense to do so—the public agrees too. Already, the stock price of one of the three companies has surged more than 20% in just a span of 3 days.

Well the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hours before the news services published the announcement, analysts I followed on Twitter already talked about how this move would allow the Company to unlock value. However, questions of organization and employment drowned out the upside of the move. Of course, it was just human nature to seek clarification on milestones such as this; and this afternoon’s meeting was simply what us employees wanted to hear.

As I am writing this, Salome is dumping rains outside. The tropical depression arrived a day after the 4th anniversary of that extremely devastating Haiyan, and is expected to strengthen once it reaches the South China Sea. This year has been relatively quiet so far as far as tropical cyclones in the Philippines are concerned—but that could change anytime since November has been historically the month where the worst typhoons come to pay a visit.

I’ve been told many times over that death is not the end, but only a transition. I want to believe them, however, to the best of my knowledge, no one has really transitioned and went back to this life to tell people how it was—well except for those who experienced near death experiences.

For some unexplainable reason, I find my thoughts standing on the precipice of sadness and the acceptance of it, knowing full well that there really is an end to everything.

I first learned of NDEs when I read the works of Dr. Raymond Moody many, many years ago. It really fired up my curiosity and in a way made me appreciate how fragile we truly are. The transition may take on different meanings, and each has his or her own way of dealing with it.

As for me, I sometimes wander in the landscapes of my thoughts about passing away and how, as an eldest child, should I prepare for the inevitable. Neighbors have passed away, and just recently one of our neighbors in the province did. For some unexplainable reason, I find my thoughts standing on the precipice of sadness and the acceptance of it, knowing full well that there really is an end to everything.

Venice Plaza

One of the places in Metro Manila that is unique is Venice Piazza Grand Canal Mall at the BGC. Essentially it is a Venice-inspired location right at the heart of Taguig. It certainly is far from the sophistication of Italy, but for a tropical location, the developer of this property has certainly pulled it off.

I remember it was a warm Saturday afternoon, and it was an exercise in finding something to take a photo of, given the crowd. This was one of the first few photos I took, using a wide angle lens.


There were also actors dressed in that distinctive European style. I knew at once I should have brought with me the 50mm. But using the ultrawide angle lens at 11mm, having to include the background made for more inclusive portraits.

The dusk sky and the warm white balance, paired with steady hands—camera shake can definitely ruin sharpness—made this shot.

Sometimes, just when you are about to go home, you see something that invites you to bring your camera out from the bag, and take a picture once more. I pushed the ISO, manually set the white balance—auto WB wipes out the golden glow—then took the shot.