FROM LONG AGO

film diaries

I love you
in a sincere way,
that makes me love you
despite the scars
and flaws.

— May 01, 2013

Amidst the darkness of the world,
there is a flicker of light,
right there in your heart.
Do not let it die,
but make it ablaze like fire.

— August 18, 2013

What if the day you only have is today?
Would you do things differently?
Maybe you’ll climb a little higher,
walk a little bit slower.
Love more, and breathe.
Breathe deeper.
Take every second in.

— September 15, 2013


Underexposed photos from my second film roll, and some spilled thoughts that I found in my writing notebook. I dare not call it poetry, what I have written is still a far cry from it. These words have been hidden for so long, to the point of expired emotions that came with it before; time to bring it out to the light.

MUSEUM HOP: NATIONAL GALLERY, SINGAPORE

museum hop, travel journals

Twinning places. Got this idea from a trending Facebook post; Pose in the same place when you don't have a photographer with you (or too shy to ask other tourists). Twinning places. Got this idea from a trending Facebook post; Pose in the same place when you don’t have a photographer with you (or too shy to ask other tourists).

Our tour guide, Jane, explaining the history of the place. I didn't want to bombard my previous post with too much photos, so here are the rest of the details and paintings that caught my eye.  Our tour guide, Jane, explaining the history of the place. I didn’t want to bombard my previous post with too much photos, so here are the rest of the details and paintings that caught my eye.

Untitled (Can we be ironic?), Simryn Gill

Untitled (Can we be ironic?), Simryn Gill

Mythology: Return History's Whore, His Mother, Cesare Syjuco (Philippines)

Mythology: Return History’s Whore, His Mother, Cesare Syjuco (Philippines)

Various collage works by Milenko Prvscki. Since I'm exploring the same medium, my eyes are easily drawn to these kind of artworks.

Various collage works by Milenko Prvscki. Since I’m exploring the same medium, my eyes are easily drawn to these kind of artworks.

The Ceiling, China Collage series by Roberto Chabet

The Ceiling, China Collage series by Roberto Chabet

The writings on the wall. Found artistic wisdom withing the walls of the museum's library.

The writings on the wall. Found artistic wisdom withing the walls of the museum’s library.

Spotted a Juan Luna! Apologies if my camera phone can't do justice to España y Filipinas.

Spotted a Juan Luna! Apologies if my camera phone can’t do justice to España y Filipinas.

Various Chinese paintings by Wu Guanzhong

Various Chinese paintings by Wu Guanzhong

We were quite running out of time so I wasn’t able to take note of all the artist’s name. But I hope I my low-tech phone camera was able to give even just a little bit of justice to these works of art (let me know if you have tips and tricks on capturing images in low light, or how to take better shot in museums). If ever you’ll travel to Singapore someday, this place is worth visiting. Allot half of your day for this if you want to go all through the galleries and exhibits, because the place does not disappoint in its hugeness.

OF REBUILDING AND RESTORATION

in my life, stories of faith, travel journals

We were right on time as we entered the National Gallery of Singapore, as the receptionist told us that there would be a free guided tour of the whole place that would begin within five minutes. We didn’t hesitate to join, after all having someone explaining the details of the place and artworks were a better option than going around like headless chickens.

History is something that I’ve always been interested about. That’s why while I was listening to Jane (our museum guide); I can’t help but be fascinated on how the Singaporeans were able to preserve their culture and lineage. But I was a bit guilty as well that I came to know a lot of facts about Singapore’s history, and not being able to dig deeper on our country’s own.  I made a silent promise to myself that I should explore and discover Philippines the way that I desire to roam other countries.

What impressed me the most was how the restoration and rebuilding was made for the National Gallery.  Originally, it was two separate buildings which was not of the same height and age, which made it more challenging to be joined together (I’m sure the architects and engineers out there can fully understand). Jane mentioned that it took five years for the establishment to be completed. She showed us photos of how it was before, and the rubble that it was during the rebuilding, it was indeed a far cry on how outstanding it is now.

Do you have those little moments of grace and wisdom? When you hear that still small voice, whispering in your heart, “I am not yet finished in your life. This isn’t the den.” When you’re just walking through a museum, but God gave a different revelation? His grace and wonders can reach us in different ways.

During that moment, I was walking through egg shells. God must have felt my frustration in every honest prayer that I have cried out to Him. Lord, when will the pain go away? Will anything come out of these rubbles? It has been too long. It is too late? I badly want the cries of my heart to shake the heavens. I was an impatient girl demanding for answers.

In the middle of the National Gallery, while standing in between two magnificent work of architecture, He quietly answered, “I am still at work.” It took years for places like these to be rebuilt, for it to become like new again. How it was before is just like how our life seems to be during the progress – a mess. Yet it doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work, or he isn’t moving. There are instances we do not see, but he’s putting the pieces back together. Through this season, I have learned to see situations in a different perspective.

“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated, they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” – Isaiah 61:4

Hold out for healing.
Hold out for the rebuilding.
Our timeline can be different at times, but He is at work – both in our hearts and lives.

NOTHING PLACES

film diaries

“Nothing Places” in which one could be assured of complete privacy, we agreed that we never would look at the marked-off zones, that they would be non-existent territories in the apartment in which one could temporarily cease to exist…it seemed necessary, because there are times when one needs to disappear…and sometimes one simply wants to disappear.” Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

When my words fail me, I borrow from others and hope that they won’t mind. Today I owe my words from Jonathan Safran Foer (all the words above are his). I’m currently reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and there’s a narrative which tells the story of a man who lost his words, slowly, one by one, until he can’t speak no more. I’ve been wanting to write, but right now I am like that man. I wonder if it’s because life is passing by too fast again that my hands can’t catch up in writing down the words, or maybe I’m not yet ready to let the paper bleed. So for now, I leave you with film photographs arranged into a digital collage.

FILM DIARIES: WHY FILM?

film diaries

Partly out of being an old-soul, partly out of sentimentality, and maybe partly influenced by the Wild We Roam videos I’ve watched on YouTube, I bought a film camera. Funny how I seem to be holding a piece of history on my hands. There was an expired film that was sitting in my cabinet for a year now, perfect to be used for a beginner like me. Not much will be wasted if no good shots turned out.

I tried to learn about aperture and shutter speed, those nitty-gritty technicalities that is easy to overlook when using our smartphones. The first real lesson that film taught me was to focus–both literally and figuratively—on the subject, in the moment.

Dana Roberts has perfectly coined the words on why it’s interesting to take on film photography: It all just begs you to slow down, to focus on the moment at hand, and take it all in and then…the most important part…to stay present. No checking how the photo turned out, no re-taking the selfie, not even the need to see how many likes it got. Nope, a film camera gives you the luxury of hoping that you captured the moment and letting that be enough.

Then, there was patience. It took a month for the black and white film to be developed, to say that I was excited to see those 36 shots was an understatement. I was like a giddy child on the counter, grinning from ear; those were the only negatives that I anticipated in my life. I was simply glad that there was more than one good shot among them. And yes, these first few photographs were more than enough to keep me going.