when our family became eight.

It was a magical evening amongst the fairy lights. A wonderful night, with a breath of fresh air and a soft breeze.
It was the night my little brother became a husband and the night I gained a sister.

Photos by Sandro Paredes edited by me.

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when the fire lanterns became stars in the black sky

This weekend:
... I was a bridesmaid.
... And at the same time ran front of house for Pi Catering.
... I watched the red sun set behinds my friends as they sealed their marriage with their kiss.
... I lit a fire lantern with Cameron and sent our wishes up into the blackness of the sky.
... I savored the ocean air and sat around a bonfire with some of my favourite people.
... I watched my little boy wonder at the sand on his feet
... And became proud as he found more courage to sink his little head under the water.
... I remembered some of the reasons I moved back to Manila.
... But am now even more convinced I belong by the ocean and not in the city.
...This weekend.... It was hard to let go.

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diana, oh diana.

Okay, so it's been a complete anti-climax and I'm finding it hard to hide my disappointment. Is that bad for a film newbie? Out of sixty shots, only five made my heart beat a little faster.

Perhaps I rely on instant results.
Or maybe it's the fact that I trust editing too much. Or that I have control over every single photograph with my iPhone or DSLR. Or that perhaps my relationship with digital is pretty much set in concrete.

With that said, I think its time I buy the next roll and keep on going.... Maybe next time I'll love ten out of sixty.

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Thanks. No really.... Thanks.

Dear Universe,

You've played with my emotions these first two weeks of January, you really have.
Displacement. Inconveniences. Relief. Stress. Tears. Worry. Weakness. Pride. Love. Happiness. Confidence. Euphoria. Excitement. Sadness. Laughter. Warmth. Then of course messing with the little fella. That really wasn't cool. 

You see how you test me with all that you can possibly give me in just two weeks? If this isn't a black and white sign  of what you have in store for me then I guess I'm in for more surprises. But just know that I'm kinda emotionally tired already. What a way to pick at my feelings.  But don't get me wrong, I'm not mad. After all, you granted me an accomplishment. You granted me a goal that I achieved, you gave me determination, and you gave me a piece of something that I know is out there for me. It kinda rules out all the bad vibes you've been sending me. For the first time in years, I believe I got this. 

So please know that my thank yous have double meanings. Thanks for giving me a shit two weeks, I really didn't need it. But thanks for ending it with fulfillment. Now that was what I really needed. 

I get it. I do.
What do you think?  Reckon its time to give this girl a break? 
Just sayin'.

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And all it takes is saying yes.

Remember her?
She came into my life over a year ago and I hid her under a shelf when I had no desire to finish.

Two weeks ago, I said yes to participating in an exhibit with 46 other artists.
And all of a sudden, she resurfaced. All of a sudden, I was inspired to finish her.
All of a sudden last years goal of exhibiting my work is happening.

Things turn around when you least expect it you know, they really do.  Sometimes I just need to give
the universe a little more credit. And sometimes, it's just taking that kick in the ass by someone who
believes in you and saying yes.

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my two thousand and eleven

... I aimed to get a job but was left defeated and struggled to deal with the feeling of failure and 
disappointment when no one would hire me.
... I fell in love with old manila.
... I fell in love with instagram.
.... My husband took a risk and started his own catering company.
... I continued the struggle of trying to find my creative footsteps in Manila but found 
my fitness levels at a high with football and running.
... I saw my younger brother get engaged to the his ideal woman.
... I let go.
.... I sat with old friends in a West Hollywood cafe on a surreal Sunday in LA.
... My husband shot his pilot for his tv show.

... I fell in love with Mexico and the historic town of Guadalajara in just 13 hours. 
... I spent three days in Santa Monica, breathing in the ocean air, envisioning the rest of my 2011. 
... I bid my baby brother goodbye as he hopped on the plane to London to start the next part of his life.
.... But said hello to pushing onto new beginnings + pushing for new ventures.
.... I spent every week in LA for work, back and forth from Manila, allowing me to watch the 
world above the clouds more than I ever expected.
... I was hired for my first ever photography job to take photos of my city.
... I smiled at my goddaughter's first birthday but cried when they left the following week. 
... And cried even more when I realised my best friend was moving halfway across the world.
... I took Cameron to Hong Kong for the day and watched him wonder at being so high up in the air.
... I sought inspiration, sought answers. Struggled but tried to understand.
... Friendships were strengthened.
... I had a wonderful girls night in my last trip to LA for the year.
... I finally rode that cruiser down the coast of the LA beach. 
...I participated in my second August Break.
... Two contracts were signed for my design company in one day.
.... And this meant running around like there was no tomorrow.
... I finally felt like I was in my element, most especially in the hardhat and boots.
... I was in my first photoshoot with one my good friends.
... I finally felt like the universe was listening to me, just that little bit.
... my baby turned three.
... I went to my first real fashion show and sat in the second row.
... I got all dolled up for a fancy event.
... I went to my first Oktoberfest.
... I felt a defeat that I didn't expect, but challenged my pride and stepped up to defend 
... And in turn learned that you couldn't please everyone.
.... I joined Photo Meditations and learnt that self portraits can be so much more expressive and 
artistic than I could have ever imagined allowing my self-critic to shush it for awhile.
... I spent an evening with friends and a whole lot of grilled cheese for our grilled cheese showdown.
... I went to an Oktoberfest themed wedding.
.... Our catering company didn't expect the rush, the excitement, the exhaustion but 
we have been grateful for what came to us at the end of the year. 
... We had a wonderful Christmas.
... I stepped into my scary place and said yes to taking part of a drawing exhibit in January.
... And slowly I'm beginning to believe that my two thousand and twelve is one to look forward to.

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