I have a YouTube Channel!

Three weeks ago, I decided to set up my YouTube Channel.  Clicking on the YouTube icon above will direct you to my channel.

So what do I have there? For now, I have three painting videos which you can follow to learn some of my techniques. This is my way of sharing what I know. This is also my way of giving back.  It was through a YouTube video that triggered my renewed interest in painting. I know that videos can be very helpful to others in pursuing their interests.  I know how videos helped me improve in painting.

In the future, I plan to include travel videos, recipe videos and just  about anything I want to share. I am still new to this and I hope I will be able to improve my videos as I go along.  Oh, there is so much to learn about making my videos better and I am excited to try them!  Please subscribe to my channel and let me know what you think of them.

These are the first three videos up on the channel. Enjoy!

OPPO F1s: #FeedGoals

When I signed up for Instagram three years ago, I had no idea it would grow this big. I was not even into it because I was more inclined to use Facebook. Lately though, I have been very active with Instagram compared to Facebook mainly because the pretty images I get from the feeds can truly make my day a lot brighter.  It is my happy place and I hope it remains as such.

I never really put much thought in what I share on Instagram until I found several feeds that are truly #FeedGoals. Look at these!

#FeedGoals

Notice that the first feed by @boywithhaemoglobin is all about architectural details which we sometimes overlook. These are things he noticed in the surroundings that might have escaped the untrained eye.  The second one by @studiodiy are pops of colors which can easily cheer anyone with a gloomy day. Are you not inspired by such photos?  I know I am.

So I have been experimenting on what I can do to my feed. I am all about art, travel, food and life in between.  One would find this set of photos in my feed whenever I am working on my art.

Art-centric feed

And when I am traveling, this is how my feed looks.

Travel-centric feed

My #FeedGoals would be to combine all my interests into one cohesive feed and do them instinctively.  I love feeds that tell stories like what my cousin, @kristineghia, and friend, @sandierpastures, do to their feeds. @KristineGhia often shares her journey with her faith, health and family. There is consistency in the way her images are presented. My friend, @sandierpastures, shares her journey with her kids in and out of Dubai where she is based.

How do I achieve my #FeedGoals?

  1. Finding a theme. Since I am into art, travel , food and anything in between. I need to find a balance between such diverse interests.
  2. Being consistent with the filters. It may take time to find the right kind of feel to the image composition that I like but once I find it, I should stick with it.
  3. Sharing the experience. Write the caption to tell a story of each image. This will engage followers into meaningful conversations
  4. Experimenting. I should always be inspired with the things I see around me. As much as consistency is important, I must not be afraid to veer away from what I am used to and try new things.
  5. Having fun. I may have #feedgoals to achieve. I need not stress over it. I will just enjoy Instagram and, surely, the experience would be more enjoyable that way.
  6. Getting a better device. I am thinking about the features of OPPO F1S.  It is dubbed as a selfie expert.  Although I do not need to pepper my posts with my selfies, I am assured I’d get a good one when necessary.  The OPPO F1s  has filters that will help me attain consistency in my IG posts.  The 13MP rear camera and 16MP front camera  make sure that I get crisp photos that are IG-worthy. These are ust few of the exciting features packed in one compact device! OPPOF1s is the perfect partner to achieve my #feedgoals.

More information on the device can be found on their website: OPPO Philippines. Do not forget to like or follow them on their social media accounts:

Twitter: twitter.com/OPPOPhilippines
Instagram: www.instagram.com/oppophilippines
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OPPOPH

Keep creating those lovely feeds!

Create. Post. Rinse. Repeat.

*This is a contest entry for Nuffnang Philippines.

 

#IAmUrbanBrave

It was two years ago when I was actively into fitness. I was a lot leaner then. But then I had to stop, I had a small health scare which prevented me from doing exercises. With my health challenges already under control and managed, I should be back to doing some exercises.

With summer slowing making its presence felt, so does regrets; regrets that the past months could have been spent on getting back in shape. The round-is-a-shape reasoning no longer held its water when I struggled carrying my weight around while traveling to Bataan last month . Climbing stairs, jumping to the sea and other activities made me realize I was not as agile as before. With another summer getaway planned for next month, I feel that I need to be more active. I know can still push to shed a few pounds before hitting the islands and soaking up the summer sunshine.

To enhance that fitness regimen and unleash that urban brave attitude, I am trying to push myself to start working out again. Fitness essentials from Urbanize can surely make the fitness journey a little better. Here are five must-have for the gym warrior I am working to turn myself into:

1. Popband

Hair ties with a pop of color put me in a good mood. I will need that before every workout. Plus, no more stray hairs! These bands are designed to be gentle to the hair. So no stress to the tresses! With every muscle contracted and stretched, beads of sweat may roll but my hair will stay in place and away from my face so I can focus on what is essential: powering up!

2. Hydrapak

I need to be hydrated before workout, while working out and after working out. I need this handy Hydrapak that is easily collapsible when I already consumed all the water I needed. This very light device can be easily packed for urban fitness on-the-go.

3. The Camo Seamless Tote by Focused Space


Gym bags should not be boring. This tote is the perfect go-to bag to pack my gym clothes and other essentials. It is non-descript so this can be used as a gym bag and transition to a regular tote bag. I can easily carry this from gym to lunch with friends and still look as urban brave as I can be- as if I did not struggle through crunches and lunges!

4. Lewis N Clark Packing Cube


I want to keep my things inside my gym bag as neat as possible so I can easily find what I need. This comes in different sizes to accommodate the different items I need as an urban brave individual. I see myself packing my cables and electronic devices to prevent them in a tangled mess.

5. The Qliplet by Lulabop


I do not need to call McGyver should I need help in carrying stuff around. I plan to start jogging (okay, walking) around the block aside from working out in the gym and at home. I need some nifty device I can hang in my belt to carry the Hydrapak, for example. This Qliplet is the perfect device for simplifying my planned active and urban brave life.

Let us hope I sustain this fitness lifestyle. Summer, here I come! How about you? What are you fitness essentials? Check out the Urbanize Facebook page and website. You may find what you need for your urban brave lifestyle.

*** This is a contest entry for Nuffnang Philippines.

10 Reasons Why Bataan Should be Your Next Summer Destination

My trip to Bataan is the trip that I am least prepared. My friend, Bam, and I only decided on the destination around a month before the trip. We bought the plane tickets a year ago in the hopes that we will be able to book a Batanes trip. When it was clear that the Batanes trip won’t push through, we were clueless where to go so we did not book other friends due to the uncertainty of the destination. Good thing, Bam saw two TV shows where Bataan was featured. We were finally convinced that Bataan will be our destination. We did not regret the choice. There were only two of us traveling- a contrast to our Coron trip where there were 14 us – so we agreed not fuss with the details. ‘Chill’ was our theme for the trip.

Bataan as a travel destination is very much under the radar. Had Bam not tell me about it, I would not have any clue. Because of this awesome trip, I am now convinced that Bataan is the THE travel destination for summer and you should go now while it is not yet swarmed with tourists. Here are the reasons why you should visit Bataan:

1. It is only three hours away from Manila. We took a bus from Cubao to Balanga City in Bataan. It was a smooth travel. The bus took a longer route by going through the towns like Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay. I think you would have a shorter travel time when you bring your own vehicle.

2. It has a functioning and well-maintained tourism center. Because Bam and I had no fixed itinerary except for the March 16 trip to Mariveles, we went to the Tourism Center to ask for guides and suggestions on where to go.

The tourism center also had this life-sized diorama depicting periods of history in Bataan.

3.  It is rich in history.  In 1942, an estimated 80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war during the WWII were forced to march from  Mariveles and Bagac  to Tarlac.  We commemorate their courage every April 9 which is known as Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor).  The day is also known as the start of the Bataan Death March.

You would see all these markers around Bataan.

3. The City of Balanga has a beautiful plaza. The buildings surrounding the plaza have this colonial architecture which gives this old world charm to place. The buildings actually housed the city hall, a hotel and a mall. Across the plaza is the St. Joseph Cathedral.

At night, the colorful dancing fountain lights up the place. Bam and I sat in one of the benches every night just to people watch and relax.

5. The Balanga wetland park is just a tricycle ride away from the city center. I was looking at some of the souvenir items and the refrigerator magnet that I bought had birds on the picture. We were told that those were shot at the wetland park. The wetland park is an area that hosts migratory birds. The place had view decks for those who want to watch birds.

These are the birds we saw from the view deck.

The park also has pathways inside a mangrove forest. We saw this as an opportunity to take our photo together.

The sun was about to set so we witnessed hundreds of birds flying towards the mangroves, their shelter for the night.

6. Mount Samat National Shrine is a quick jeepney and tricyle ride away in the town of Pilar. It is also called the ‘Dambana ng Kagitingan’ (Shrine of Valor). It is a memorial site for those who fought in the Battle of Bataan.  There is a huge cross and a museum in the site.  One can ride the elevator toward the arm of the cross and marvel at the surrounding views (which we were not able to do because the elevator was being fixed at that time).

7. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar brings you to a journey around the Philippines during the Spanish times. The resort sprawls more than 400 hectares with around 55 houses in the property. What the owner does is buy heritage houses in different parts of the country and restores the houses in this resort.

The resort had guides who explained the history of the houses.

We met a group of friends who were looking for people to complete a group of at least 5 in order to get the better tour package. Lucky for us, we got to avail of the package which includes lunch, calesa ride, boat ride and Hotel de Oriente tour (on top of the regular tour package offered).

I want to bring my aunts next time.

8. Mariveles Five Fingers is the Bataan’s best kept secret. I was not aware of the place until Bam pointed this out me. This is the reason why we wanted to got the Bataan. Bam and I are always in search for not-so-familiar destinations and this is right up our alley.


The place is called five finger because this is how it looks on the map.


They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So allow me to just let the photos do the talking.

And, Bam jumped off this 40-ft cliff. This is her 40 feet @40 feat! I have the video but it took time to load here.

We joined the tour arranged by Bataan Weather Page.

9. Bataan is very accessible. We all rode public transportation. We did not get lost. In fact, by the end of the trip, I have memorized all names of the towns in Bataan: Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay, Pilar, Bagac, Orion, Limay, Mariveles, Morong and Balanga City.

10. Bataan is away from traffic! When we booked the Manila flights from Butuan, both Bam and I agreed that we will go anywhere that is away from Manila. We both wanted to avoid the traffic which we did. Well, until the last day when to tried to catch the plane home, it was a stressful 2 hours for me trying to pray to high heavens that we reach the airport on time. I am making a mental note to get a new phone so I have Waze or can book Uber/Grab.

Apart from the minor traffic stress, we had a smooth trip. Indeed, we just chilled and relaxed. And I hope you will, too, when you visit Bataan.

A Traveler’s Wish: Sony Alpha A5000

The recent trip to Bataan made me realize how I need a lighter my camera. I own the smallest and lightest DSLR but it is still heavy. Its weight around my neck became uncomfortable after lugging it the whole day. As much as I love the multitude of functionalities of a DSLR, technology has improved the past few years that smaller cameras have caught up in terms of the quality of photos produced. I have been keeping an eye on the next perfect camera for me that is available in the market.

Me and that ubiquitous DSLR around my neck.

Here comes the Sony Alpha A5000.

Photo from Yugatech

 

The more I read about its features, the more I want this camera so bad. It has a 20.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and a high sensitivity ISO 100-16000. It uses BIONZ X image processing engine. These features may sound too technical. It only means that you get impressive images: beautiful details in true colors in whatever lighting situation. You get the perfect shot every time.

Since I am less technical when it comes to camera, these are the things that this camera has won me over. These are icing on the cake but since I love the sweet stuff, these features seal the deal.

1. Lightweight. The Sony Alpha A5000 is the world’s lightest interchangeable-lens digital camera. I think I have a penchant for light devices. So this is a perfect camera for traveling or just whenever I need to capture a moment. Weight is an important factor for me because I always travel light. I save money by not buying luggage space. It deters me from shopping when I know I have baggage weight requirements. I would rather spend my money on experience and capture that moment with a trusty camera than spend it on things.

2. Tiltable LCD Screen. Taking a selfie with a bulky DSLR is difficult. The Sony Alpha A5000 solves this problem.

3. Super solid grip. The camera is designed with the user’s comfort in mind. With a solid grip, it can be held ergonomically and comfortably in your hand. When you can comfortably hold a camera, you can prevent shaking when taking photos. Nobody wants blurred photos.

4. Full HD Movie shooting. I have been thinking of starting a youtube channel for travel videos and art tutorials. This camera will definitely help me get that plan into fruition.

5. Wonderful array of accessories. This camera is compatible with Sony’s wide range of e-mount lenses. This will definitely enhance my photography, giving it more options for creative pursuits.

Have I won your over my camera wishlist for this summer? Check out it complete feature from the Sony Philippines website.

***All opinions are mine. This is an entry to a Yugatech contest.

 

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