KTRN: For visuals

My first camera, a Nikon D5100 which I still use to date, was bought by dad on my 18th birthday. I said scrap the big debut, I just want a camera. I wanted to capture real memories in the hopes to immortalize them.

When papa passed away, I learned that he used the last of his savings to buy me the cam which he couldn’t afford at that time. He relied on instant noodles for a whole month of trying to save up. Just for her baby girl’s wish.

i just realized that while I wanted to immortalize moments with my camera, at that time, I wasn’t able to take much photos of my dad. I failed my original purpose.

So now I try to the best that I could to document the places and people and instances that truly matter to me. Here I am, doing photography once more.

I hope that whoever comes to read and see my stuff would feel something for it. Feel happiness, or sadness, or anger even. These stills of life are supposed to move us.

— and yea those are my portraits; proofs that I am a real person and not just a bot! Haha!

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetIMG_3627IMG_5731

 

 

Sariling sikap wedding (in the time of corona)

Hello!

So Neo and I got married in the middle of a pandemic! After much back-and-forth, we FINALLY tied the knot. As expected, it was an intimate celebration, attended only by Neo’s family. Of course, protocols were STRICTLY observed. Thus it was a very unique one! Didn’t plan it this way, yes. But was it beautiful? Definitely. 🙂

So here, sharing some of our “sariling sikap” photos. Neo and I shot some of the photos. The rest were done by Neo’s sister. Sharing our suppliers with you as well.

Our rings: Princess Laura Jewelry

A customized mountain ring from our engagement last year and an unpolished gold ring for our wedding. Sayyyyy: uWu.

wedding-5wedding-9

Our cake: Lyssa To of Sweet Affairs

A chocolate cake with our favorite elements: the sea and the mountain. Broke But Laagan Reprezent. Haha!

wedding (2)

Our masks: Alexis Creations

It’s a touch of Zamboanga as the mask use the popular Yakan weave from the IP community in the city.

wedding-13

Special mention (because so many asked), my linen butterfly-sleeved top: Artisanat handmade on IG

I’ve already owned this for more than a year. As my friends know, I love this so much. I knew that when I bought it, I could use it for MANY occasions. Little did I know, I would use it for my own wedding too 😉

wedding-33

Last few details!

Hair was done by Cheska (let’s go pinterest! haha!)

Makeup and styling by yours truly. Thank you my MOH Kristine for suggesting that I order Clio’s street brick palette through Zalora. Best makeup investment ever, even for someone like me who does not wear makeup as much! The rest of the bridesmaids also voted on the looks too.

Setup: DIY with some help from our family friend, Sir Erwin.

Officiant: Judge Sheen Canete (who we booked with the help of our friend Donna Salih)

Online games: Planned and conducted on Zoom/Kahoot with the help of Val Vestil

So yep, there you go. All the essentials of a wedding in the time of corona. And oh, lastly, basta you are sure that the marriage is what you want, then go for it.

Hope this helps other couples still deciding on their wedding details.

Stay safe. Follow protocols. Hold your government accountable. And with much love,

 

Mrs. Katrin Arcala-Folgo

 

 

Pamulong sa atong gugma

Gadilaab, ang gugmang makusganon
dili mapugngan

wedding-37

Kahidlaw, labi na sa mga adlaw
nga kita magbulag

 

 

Apan sa kabalaka sa nagsamparay,
ikaw ang kasiguroan.

 

 

Sama sa huyohoy, na duyog sa pitik
sa atong kasing kasing,

 

 

Ikaw ang kalinaw na dili matupngan.

 

 

Ikaw ang labing pangandoy.

 

 

Ikaw ang alang sa ako, ug ako sa imo.

wedding-9

Kita, hangtod sa kahangturan.

Carmela Acena: Online shop scam

Sharing this short story of how I was scammed by an IG shop called @badassgirlph (now defunct) ran by a certain Carmela Acena.

On December 23, I ordered two disposable cams (@750php each) under their free delivery promo. I have checked with the seller ahead if she is able to ship on the same day as I would need to use it on the December 27-January 2 period. And she agreed. I tried paying via BDO but it kept giving me an error. So I paid via Cebuana and prompted the seller as soon as I could so she can ship it before cutoff that day. I sent her my delivery preference — PICKUP VIA LBC or JRS (exact branch indicated in my message).

After telling me that she will “already ship”, she DID NOT UPDATE on whether she has already performed the task, nor did she give me the shipment details (courier, est delivery time). Five days passed and on Dec 28, she asked if I received the item. I said no and that I would NEED the shipping details as I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO PICK IT UP. Again, no return messages after this.

I did not stop messaging her everyday. I also visited both branches I indicated as my pickup location in the hopes that the items have arrived. Unfortunately, these did not arrive in the December 27-Jan 2 period. I could also not track if it was in transit… AGAIN, I DO NOT EVEN HAVE MY TRACKING NUMBER (more than the week after the order was placed).

I was already accepting this as a scam until, on January 4, she messaged and apoligized. SHE WAS ON A VACATION AND WENT COMPLETELY OFFLINE. By this time, I have left the hometown and cannot pickup the package and that I would need to have it reshipped to my workplace. She apologized profusely and there I saw hope. She guaranteed that she will reship and shoulder the additional costs.

She was finally able to ship out by January 15 (Taal happened, ok understandable). The packaged arrived February 2 (tagal pa din). The twist — (1) She only sent me ONE camera (half the order) (2) The camera is NOT THE MODEL she advertised on her page (fujifilm).

I messaged her to ask about it. Then her shop account closed. Her personal account blocked me. I messaged her number, gave an ultimatum of until Feb 19 last week to explain. I fully believed it could be settled. Yet, no reply.

So here I am, posting this to remind sellers that:

  • You should be transparent in your transactions. What you advertise is what you should deliver.
  • Sending an item? Make sure to send the tracking number. Basic.
  • Gipit sa repeat delivery? You can always say — “can we split costs?” or “pls handle delivery maam” instead of just deciding to deliver less than the agreement. Kahit kasalanan mo, some people will still consider for you. I know I would have.
  • Do not underwhelm with the products. She delivered me a cam that is normally valued at 500-600 on Lazada. I paid 1500 for it. I just, wowwww.

And for everyone in general — (1) You cannot run away from mistakes and expect that you can always start with a clean slate because (2) unless you learn your lessons, your mistakes will always haunt you.

Carmela Acena, I know this won’t be your time yet. What is 750php anyways? But someday in life, when you get a professional job or career (she is still in college as of posting), you will deal with bigger responsibilities and YOU WILL MESS UP (we all do, that is life’s guarantee). BUT — don’t wait until then to learn the importance of OWNING YOUR WRONGS, MAKING UP FOR IT, AND GIVING OTHERS WHAT’S DUE TO  THEM. Because by then, it might be irrevocable.

 

scam

Carmela Acena scam for disposable cams: A warning post

Sharing this short story of how I was scammed by an IG shop called @badassgirlph (now defunct) ran by a certain Carmela Acena.

On December 23, I ordered two disposable cams (@750php each) under their free delivery promo. I have checked with the seller ahead if she is able to ship on the same day as I would need to use it on the December 27-January 2 period. And she agreed. I tried paying via BDO but it kept giving me an error. So I paid via Cebuana and prompted the seller as soon as I could so she can ship it before cutoff that day. I sent her my delivery preference — PICKUP VIA LBC or JRS (exact branch indicated in my message).

After telling me that she will “already ship”, she DID NOT UPDATE on whether she has already performed the task, nor did she give me the shipment details (courier, est delivery time). Five days passed and on Dec 28, she asked if I received the item. I said no and that I would NEED the shipping details as I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO PICK IT UP. Again, no return messages after this.

I did not stop messaging her everyday. I also visited both branches I indicated as my pickup location in the hopes that the items have arrived. Unfortunately, these did not arrive in the December 27-Jan 2 period. I could also not track if it was in transit… AGAIN, I DO NOT EVEN HAVE MY TRACKING NUMBER (more than the week after the order was placed).

I was already accepting this as a scam until, on January 4, she messaged and apoligized. SHE WAS ON A VACATION AND WENT COMPLETELY OFFLINE. By this time, I have left the hometown and cannot pickup the package and that I would need to have it reshipped to my workplace. She apologized profusely and there I saw hope. She guaranteed that she will reship and shoulder the additional costs.

She was finally able to ship out by January 15 (Taal happened, ok understandable). The packaged arrived February 2 (tagal pa din). The twist — (1) She only sent me ONE camera (half the order) (2) The camera is NOT THE MODEL she advertised on her page (fujifilm).

I messaged her to ask about it. Then her shop account closed. Her personal account blocked me. I messaged her number, gave an ultimatum of until Feb 19 last week to explain. I fully believed it could be settled. Yet, no reply.

So here I am, posting this to remind sellers that:

  • You should be transparent in your transactions. What you advertise is what you should deliver.
  • Sending an item? Make sure to send the tracking number. Basic.
  • Gipit sa repeat delivery? You can always say — “can we split costs?” or “pls handle delivery maam” instead of just deciding to deliver less than the agreement. Kahit kasalanan mo, some people will still consider for you. I know I would have.
  • Do not underwhelm with the products. She delivered me a cam that is normally valued at 500-600 on Lazada. I paid 1500 for it. I just, wowwww.

And for everyone in general(1) You cannot run away from mistakes and expect that you can always start with a clean slate because (2) unless you learn your lessons, your mistakes will always haunt you.

Carmela Acena, I know this won’t be your time yet. What is 750php anyways? But someday in life, when you get a professional job or career (she is still in college as of posting), you will deal with bigger responsibilities and YOU WILL MESS UP (we all do, that is life’s guarantee). BUT — don’t wait until then to learn the importance of OWNING YOUR WRONGS, MAKING UP FOR IT, AND GIVING OTHERS WHAT’S DUE TO  THEM. Because by then, it might be irrevocable.

Perspectives from the field — 09.19


There’s a love-and-hate relationship for people whose jobs involve a lot of fieldwork.

When lucky, we get to sleep at hotels we can only see on ads. We fly to some smaller island-province for a visit. In the evenings, we gather around with colleagues to talk about life and family. And the next day, perhaps a last minute shopping for pasalubong.

But lucky isn’t always the case. Some days involve a 14-hour bus ride alone; a peace and order situation in the area relentlessly bugging our minds; or maybe, a night on the cold airport floor. It can also be a twelve-hour stretch of bumpy roads, long walks, and raindrops on our heads. The result? Cramps, cold and flu.

Ask the veterans, too. They’d all pledge that a good portion of their lives as parents meant having to leave their kids behind on weekdays.

But why do we answer when duty calls?

… because on the field, we see the action. We get to ask questions to people on the ground. Most importantly, there we can listen. We see their true growth, or the lack thereof. And if given the chance, we experience a wee bit of their plight,  come out more knowledgeable of our craft, and sympathetic of their problems. The field, true enough, is our great teacher.

As I type this, my body rests after thirteen hours worth of travelling, gearing up for an FGD the next day. I don’t know if tomorrow is sunshine or rain, an NPA-encounter or a fiesta — but am always ready for the surprise the field always brings.

In photos:

By vehicle or by foot…

Geotagging and FGD-31Geotagging and FGD-22

Come rain…

KM Geotagging-26Geotagging and FGD-19

or shine…

The work continues.

 

Geotagging and FGD-23Geotagging and FGD-18

Documenting Tampilisan’s rubber areas

“Below these branches are the roots,” Ruben Tagapan said before slowly placing some fertilizers on the ground where he believes the roots are located.

KM Geotagging-24

“Sometimes, I let my nephews help me especially during summer when they have no classes. But please don’t tell authorities,” he added, feeling a bit anxious. “Bawal ba na ma’am (is it prohibited)?” I smiled a little before I explained that it isn’t child labor unless kids are taken off from school to merely work especially in environments hazardous to them.

Ah, malipay ra man pud sila muanhi ug walay klase (The kids are just happy to come here when they have no classes),” Ruben said.

His one-hectare area in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, is dedicated only to rubber. Being a farmer his entire life, Ruben said that he has planted all sorts of crops. But since 2010, he started planting rubber despite not knowing where to take his produce. “Na-uso man gud ma’am, nisunod na lang pud mi (It became popular here so we just followed what others did).”

We visited his farm on a warm summer day as part of our project’s geotagging initiative in Zamboanga del Norte. Because of the scattered location of each farmer-partner of Project ConVERGE, it is difficult to monitor the real scale of the outreach. Moreso, some data on the interventions and its recipients tend to be lost along the way.

The province of Zamboanga del Norte believes that being able to document the farms through a geotagging app enables them to record all areas of concern. Aside from location, key questions include the provisions given to the beneficiary. It helps allocate resources better with data collected and stored.

According to app developer Engr. Noel Credo, they have patterned their geotagging system to the one created by a separate DAR project called iTEMA. However, due to limited resources, the unit did not buy a separate program but instead used free versions available for minor tweaks on Google Play.

“It’s a fairly easy to use program that can be utilized by the management and the staff. Here, we store data on location and even include information on farm operations. It’s a one-stop for almost every data we need on the farmer-partner and his/her farm,” Credo said.

While a low-cost app, it has already generated information which can prove valuable to monitoring and evaluating farms from far areas, such as those owned by Ruben.

KM Geotagging-21

To Ruben and his co-farmers, it may seem as just another day on the field with visitors from the project. Yet to the implementers, it is another day to not only meet with their partners, but to also make sure that their businesses are doing well. And if not, appropriate action may be done in the future through results of their monitoring effort.

KM Geotagging-7

Tapping success

Details on the monitored areas are here: http://bit.ly/2Zi2gFT

 

#ThroughWindows

It helps to list down what we can thank for each day. Some days are grand – we thank heavens for job promotions, approved proposals, negative diagnosis.

But other days are minute: the smell of champorado for breakfast, a full eight-hour rest, a good seat on the bus.

This is for the latter, the little triumphs amidst the big and blinding. This is for the short pauses which allowed us to breathe. Despite the chaos of the world, in our hearts were calmness as we stared outside our windows. This is for the great mundane.

Today, I‘m grateful for the perspective. 😌

 

dark

i literally googled “how to keep my creativity” in an attempt to push me to write.

our creativity stutters every now and then. sometimes, our flow is no more.

but i guess we only need to keep pushing and amassing the many inspiration just around us, waiting to be engaged.


 

i thank Artu Nepomuceno, my favorite photographer, for keeping me inspired. he may never know me, but it is enough he led me to take photos this day.

here’s my artu-inspired set.

 

APPLE STREET (3 of 7)-2

 

 

APPLE STREET (2 of 7)-2

Hannah blooms

This is my first pre-debut shoot, and my client and friend, Hannah, wanted to go for the garden theme.

I dare say this theme speaks a lot of the subject, who, in silence, blooms beautifully like a flower. Coupled by the words of Zenkei Shibayama , here are my favorites from the set:

“Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;

creative concept 1

Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,

blue CU

The world of the flower, the whole of
the world is blooming.

This is the talk of the flower, the truth
of the blossom:

creative concept 3 lips

The glory of eternal life is fully shining here.”

film full body series-3