National Museum

Better than going to the movies or spending time in malls around the city, this adventure was truly a breath of fresh air for me. Since we’re on sembreak and have time to kill, my friends and I decided to take advantage of National Museum’s free admission month. My friend, Mawi, also had to shoot photos for this article on Katipunan Magazine, so the visit was well worth the trip.

There’s nothing like revisiting my country’s heritage with a few close friends and my trusty camera–I’d definitely want to do this again soon! All photos taken by Kara Santiago; October 30, 2012 (Manila, Philippines)


I’m glad that I was able to shoot during our trip to the museum. Since my PCP plans have failed (the workshop’s apparently going to clash with three school days), I better brush up on photography by practicing as often as I can. Since I still don’t have the means to go on another wave of formal training, I will just have to make do with online tutorials and photo walks in my free time. Since the last official class I took was over a year ago with Sir Jimmy Domingo, I hope I find another workshop / class that will fit my schedule soon. I really, really, really need to work on my skills because I want to x-out ‘frustrated’ from ‘frustrated photographer’ very soon–or at least before this year ends.

Let’s go to the beach-each, let’s go get away

Last week, The GUIDON spent two days in Batangas for some R&R before the second semester starts. As I sit in front of my laptop and struggle to finish closing our October issue, I look back at that relaxing weekend and am reminded of why I do the work I do in the first place.

Great people who share the same passion–this is what keeps me going. The photos below were taken by Apa A, Ryan R, and Mawi D; Batangas 2012.

Thesis (almost) it

Thesis defense is in two days and I can’t believe that in a short span of time, I would have already completed the last requirement needed for the completion of my AB Communication degree. Since our research was about the representation of religion in Philippine indigenous ethnic groups, it required going on-site in a chosen community to apply the dynamics of photography and visual representation.

Drawing inspiration from ethnographic studies, we spent two days and a night with an Aeta tribe in Capas, Tarlac. The experience was truly life-changing and I promised myself that I would be back for my Nanay Josephine and Tatay Jesse in the near future.

The following photos are outtakes from the immersion / data-gathering visit Miles and I made last September 8-9, 2012 in Sitio Alunan, Brgy. Sta. Juliana. 

The 4×4 jeep that took us to the foot of the mountain and the carabao that carried our stuff along for us during the hike.
The girl in the middle is Anny, Miles and I’s foster sister during our stay.
The kids of Sitio Alunan who made the stay extra memorable.
Dreadlocks out of soft stems!
With the “Alicia Keys” of Alunan and Olivia, both of whom initiated and helped create the dreadlocks I had on that day. Don’t you just love their beautiful tresses?
The Manalo Family. We’ll be back, Tatay Jesse and Nanay Josephine! Maraming salamat po sa pag kupkop niyo sa amin.


Sitio Alunan is a small village atop the mountains of Tarlac and Zambales. Situated near the perimeter of Mt. Pinatubo, it takes roughly 1-2 hours to get through the lahar-stricken terrain via a 4×4 jeep ride plus another 45-90 minute hike to the village itself.

All photos from Miles Atadero.

Why don’t I own a tablet?

Answer: books

I figured that if I had an iPad or a Kindle, the environmentalist in me would promise never to buy anything that consumes paper ever again. That, of course, includes books. And while being recently dubbed ‘Amazon-literate’ has helped me add books to my collection, owning a tablet would just make me resort to hoarding e-books I probably won’t even read. Either way, I believe it helps me to a) control my lust for an iPad and b) save money because now I have a legitimate reason not to get one.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw an advertisement for the SF Public Library’s Annual Book Sale in Fort Mason. I wanted to go so bad that not knowing where the place was and having class later that day didn’t stop me from getting there. Over an hour’s bus away from home, getting lost, and having a vicinity official escort me to the place, I finally found Fort Mason– or should I say, heaven by the bay.

As you can see, it was in the middle of nowhere: (I was also freezing to death, by the way.)

But once I stepped inside, it was love at first sight.  Continue reading “Why don’t I own a tablet?”

Spring break

I’m finally on break and I’m more than excited to have a week off from the heavy academic load back in USF. I spent the first day with an afternoon at Ocean Beach and here are a couple of photos that were taken that day:

Needless to say, I think it is obvious enough that I’ve found what I’ve been looking for here in San Francisco. After almost a year of struggling through the “What’s next for me?” questions in life, I’m glad I came here to put the pieces back together. Life finally has taken that turn for the better.

Photos from Gracie Mendoza, March 9, 2012