Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The sweetest things

It's 2AM on Christmas Eve and I'm still up. Working. I don't think I have worked this late since...I don't even remember anymore. See, I'm trying to finish work for some clients (including those that have been delayed due to my week-long "leave") before I officially start my holidays. Truth be told, I am starting to get a bit stressed out. In times like this one, I've learned that it helps to focus on the little things that make me happy. Right now, it's the decaf Peppermint Mocha that Pete bought for me on his way home from his office Christmas party, and chatting online with an old friend whom I haven't seen in years. It's also thinking about moments like last night when I was wrapping Christmas presents for Pete and he was writing on greeting cards and we had one of my all-time favorite movies "Love Actually" playing (Love and Christmas, the two main themes of the movie, are two of my favorite things in the world!:)).

The past couple of weeks haven't exactly been the easiest ones for me. But I've learned that life is so full of reasons to be happy. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to find them, but they're always there. So, this Christmas, I hope everyone finds his or her reason for happiness. Even if it's just a cup of expensive latte or a nice feel-good movie.:)

And since every post is better with photos, I wanted to put these up. Last weekend, I went home to my parents' house to find this lovely gift basket waiting for me. A client whom I haven't even met in person yet (she's based abroad and her event is still in February) sent me this when she found out about the "incident". It's the sweetest thing that anybody who doesn't know me personally has ever done for me. Thank you so much again, Judy! You made me feel so special.:)

Merry Christmas, everyone! Cheers!:)

P.S. Check out the interesting marks on the apples. How'd they do that?:D

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I just had what is medically termed as early pregnancy loss. In keeping with the light and happy theme of this blog, I will not go into the gory details. Although, there isn't much to tell really. Everything happened so fast. Tuesday evening last week, we were ecstatic about seeing that second purple line. And by Friday morning, I was on the ultrasound table and the doctor was explaining to Pete what it was they were looking at on the monitor and how the miscarriage will proceed from then on. Poor Pete was like "Eh?"  the whole time we were in that room, and when I looked at the print-out of the scans later, I understood his confusion. All I could see were blurry noisy monochromatic images (not the type of photos that I can appreciate, that's for sure). But in the middle of all the mess that were my insides was a tiny speck. The embryo--the baby that never was. (I find that objectifying it makes it easier to talk about.)

I feel fine physically. I think I'm now well enough to do normal everyday chores, but just to be safe, I am following my doctor's orders to stay away from stress just for a few more days. And this includes not working for the rest of the week.  Emotionally, I think I'm doing much better than I expected. I still think I need a few days to relax and clear my head though. I actually didn't plan on going online at all because I get stressed out easily by the smallest things these days. (I was just over at Facebook, and just reading through other people's posts already stressed me out.) Because of this, I've decided not to check my emails at all. So, if you emailed me in the last few days (or if you know someone who is waiting for a reply from me), please give me a few more days of peace and quiet to be able to fully recover. I have some shoots this weekend and I am going to be back 100% by then. I promise.

One thing I learned from all of this is how lucky I am with my clients. I know I have said this many times, but I really do have the best clients. The first day that I got the "symptoms" and the doctor told me I needed to go on full bedrest for at least a week (which, I just learned, literally meant I had to stay in bed), I started texting those clients that would be affected. I knew they would understand, but what I didn't expect was the genuine concern, the empathy. The "I totally understand what you're going through." Even the "Let me give you my OB's contact number." So, to everyone who sent messages, THANK YOU.

While I'm waiting this tragic episode out I get bored a lot so this morning, I took out my camera and took photos of the only thing in the house that reminds me of this jolly season.

I hope everyone is having a better week.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Joseph&Christine + Dana

I've been doing quite a number of family portrait sessions the past few weeks. This was one of the first ones I did at the start of November. I photographed Dana's 1st birthday party a year ago (it's one of those events that I haven't been able to post yet.:D), and last weekend was her 2nd birthday party. Unfortunately, I wasn't available to shoot her party this year.:( But I'm glad I was able to meet up with the family again for this short session. Oh, and there's a new member coming soon, and I can't wait to see the little one in a few months.:)

Dana is such a lovely little angel. But don't let her innocent little face deceive you. She is sooo full of energy that we couldn't get her to stay in one spot during the first half of the session. She enjoyed walking and running around that we could barely keep up with her. I didn't really mind because it's when kids are having fun that great shots happen.:)

Here are a couple of the first few shots from the session. The family wore shades of purple, and Dana's dress was just so pretty!

We tried taking family photos early in the session but we were only able to get a few shots in before Dana wanted to go exploring again. At least we got some beautiful shots.:)

Another family shot.

And there she goes...

Finally, Dana got tired and had to take a little break. I took that chance to take close-up shots of her.  She's so pretty, isn't she?

Love her cute expressions here.

Cute little feet.:D

To get her to stay on the bench, I actually asked her yaya not to put on her shoes yet so she wouldn't try to get down. Heheheh.

She was only wearing her socks.:)

One of my favorites.:)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mishy: 1st birthday party

October 25, 2009
Adriatico Place Residences Clubhouse

I haven't been back in Tacloban in two years. But being at Mishy's birthday party felt almost like being back home even for a few hours.  When Mommy Darlene emailed me many months ago, she mentioned that she grew up in Tacloban and lived very near my old school.  About a week before the party, when we were emailing about the finals details, she mentioned that most of the guests would be coming from Leyte and Samar.  True enough, Pie and I felt like we were attending a clan reunion.  It felt good listening to the authentic Waray conversations going on all around me.:)

Here are some of the photos from the party. 

It was a luau-themed party. Everyone wore floral tops and some of the kids even wore grass skirts.  They did add some "Waray touches".  They had two whole lechons flown in all the way from Tacloban (Yes, nothing compares to lechon from Tacloban. Hehehe.), which they ate with gaway (that's gabi in Tagalog) and they had gallons of tuba (coconut wine) going around. ;)

The Party Boosters team did the colorful balloon decors.

A closeup of the colorful cupcakes.

The party was held at the clubhouse of a condominium building which was in an open space at the sixth floor.  We were blessed with a bright and sunny weather that day, so when the light was just right, I asked the family for a short pictorial.

I loved their matching outfits!:D

Darlene told me they have very few good photos of Mishy because she never likes to be photographed.  When I saw that she liked being on this thing, I asked them to just leave her there for a few minutes.  After a while, she was enjoying herself so much that I knew we had great shots coming.:)

 My favorite!:)

Finally, we had to take her off of the ride.  She wasn't too happy about it, but at least we got some more shots from different spots.

And then it was back to the party.  I caught some kids getting their face painted in one corner.

Loved the little umbrellas on the iced teas.:)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Marco Emmanuel: Baptism

October 24, 2009
St. James the Great Parish
Alabang Country Club

Sometimes we get too caught up in the small details that we forget the main essence of a baptism.  Manu's baptism, however was all about welcoming him into the Christian Community.  It was a simple yet beautiful celebration with close friends and family. The ceremony was very solemn, but the party afterwards was also filled with fun.

The priest who conducted the ceremony was a long-time friend of the family. This was evident in his short talk before and during the ceremony.  It made the baptism very personal.

Only immediate family members and the god parents were at the ceremony.

This is Mommy Ysa.  She's so pretty, isn't she?:)

 We were able to take a few family shots before leaving the church for the reception venue.

I love the flare in these next two photos.  I would have wanted to take more photos but Manu was already getting fussy.

Simple but elegeant details!

This baptismal gown is decades old. It was worn by all siblings on Manu's dad's side, and now it's being passed on to their kids as well. It's still looks immaculate. And the lace details are timeless.

The cake ensemble.

These cutes bottles of fresh milk were given as favors to the adult guests.

Everyone wanted to get a glimpse of Manu.

Another cute shot of the celebrator.

When most of the guests had left, we tried taking a few more shots of the family.

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