Diamond Princess takes us to Malaysia (Kelang & Penang)

Hallu everyone! Finally an update on our Singapore trip/cruise which took place last February. Yes, this entry is almost a year late XD

If I remember correctly, we left off after our had just arrived in Singapore and we spent our day wandering around the Cloud Forest at the Gardens By The Bay (blog entry here). The following morning, we headed to the Cruise terminal to board the Diamond Princess

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After 5 cruises, I finally made it to Platinum Card status 😀

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This basically means I get preferred boarding (goodbye long lines) and free internet on the ship (hooray!)

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Ezra was really excited about being back on the Diamond Princess, since her last cruise was also on this same ship (Japan cruise blog entry here)

She was most excited about the buffet

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Her goal on the cruise was to fatten up (since she lost a lot of weight in the US), while my goal was to not eat too much XD

After lunch we took a nap, attended the safety drill then checked out the sail-away party that was happening on the pool deck:

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Ezra with her ice cream – still trying to gain weight

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*Near~ Far~ Wherever you are~*

We spent our first day on the ship relaxing and eating. That evening my parents and I went back to the pool deck to watch Dr. Strange on the big screen.

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(The vlog for this day can be found at the end of this entry)

The following day the Diamond Princess docked in Kelang, Malaysia:

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INSTABITS : December 2017

Happy 2018! This entry’s almost a month late but I was still on a vacation high up until a few days ago so I haven’t had time to blog (plus my laptop crashed the other day and I had to reformat it). Things seem to be in order now, and I’ve finally accepted that my vacation has ended, so I can finally finish writing my last Instabits entry for 2017.

WARNING : Photo-heavy post ahead :p

I ordered these Nestea Milk Tea powders from Lazada last month because milk tea is life ❤ My favorite is the Hokkaido milk tea, probably because it’s the sweetest of the three XD

I watched Coco last month (if you haven’t seen it I totally recommend you go and watch it because it’s a beautiful movie) and I wanted to do a Coco-inspired self portrait for my 52 week project, but I didn’t like how it turned out. Since I spent a lot of time doing my makeup I figured I should at least use it for an IG photo.

I won this adorable mug from our clan’s Christmas party 😀

I received a post card from Sir Taps last month. Thanks Sir! have Brunei in my collection now ❤

My Virtual Race entitlements arrived 😊 This is the first time they came in the mail (I used to get them through Raf). This was the first Virtual Race that I had a hard time finishing on time because a) I was super busy with the SFRC and didn’t have time to run and b) when I finally found time to run I injured my knee and had to finish the rest of the race by walking.

The following four photos are from our cell’s sem-ender/Christmas party which was held at our house:

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, people sitting, table, indoor and food

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, table and indoor

Thanks for a fun night girls! Sa uulitin! My Wii is working again now, so we can have game night at my place soon 😀

Surface Interface Research Group sem ender 🙂

Seoul Kitchen recently started serving these adorable hot chocolates  so of course I had to try it  ☃☕

Starbucks with C201 roomies (minus Maam Ianne). I drank a lot of Starbucks last month because people keep inviting me for stickers for their planner (since they know I don’t collect them). Then when I got to LA I ended up drinking even more because Ezra wanted me to taste all the holiday flavors so she kept buying them for me ❤

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Week 52/52 : Everything has changed, and yet I am more me than I’ve ever been

I made it! I almost didn’t think I would, but I couldn’t bear the thought of not finishing this project. I’ve been doing this for 9 years now (since 2009) and I’ve never not finished, so I wasn’t about to start now.

On that note, however, I would like to announce that this is my last year doing the 52-week project. I first started doing 52-weeks as a way to motivate myself to take photos and learn more about photography, back when I had my first DSLR and I was still experimenting with it (Canon Rebel XTi whooo!). This project forced me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I learned how to play with lights and shadows, how to utilize my environment, to be resourceful, and discovered the wonderful world of photomanipulations. I met a lot of inspiring people through this project, mostly on Flickr (shoutout to my Pink Tuesdays, Flickr Adiks and Filipina Flickrites friends!) During the first few years I had a lot of free time, and I was able to upload regularly every week. I was even able to shoot and edit 52-week portraits for my sister (which I really miss doing). However, these past few years I’ve discovered a lot of other things I want to try that is non-photography related, and I haven’t devoted as much time to this project as I would have liked. You may have noticed that my uploads have increased significantly during the past few days. That’s because I fell so far behind on this project that I had to practically post one portrait a day just to catch up. The 52-week project has been an incredible journey and 90% of the time I loved what I was doing, but it does take a lot of effort and there were moments when this project caused me great stress (mostly when I ran out of ideas for portraits). 2017 was an amazing year, packed with so many adventures and memories, and it seems like a great time to say goodbye to this project. I have a feeling 2018 is going to be even busier and filled with more adventures and responsibilies, but I welcome the challenge.

For those who are rejoicing about the fact that they won’t be seeing my face plastered on their FB feed from now on, I’m sorry to disappoint you but you’ll still be seeing a lot of me :p I’m not going to stop taking photos, especially not self portraits, I just won’t force myself to upload once a week (which I haven’t been doing anyway). I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. Maybe I’ll just post my portraits on Instagram, or maybe I’ll create a separate album on FB for them if I end up shooting a lot. Who knows. But I’ll definitely still be uploading them.

To end this, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me with all my past 52-week projects (alam nyo na sino kayo) Thank you for the support, critiques, and encouragement. Thank you to everyone who I managed to persuade to take my photo (I know I can be a bit of a control freak sometimes – I’m sorry if I made you take the shot over and over again :p). And thank you to everyone who shared this unforgettable journey with me 🙂

Thanks Kurt for the photo!

(Quote in the title is by Iain Thomas)

Week 51/52 : Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you

We visited the Natural History Museum earlier today. In one of the exhibit halls I found these huge windows. The sun was positioned low and we ended up with these great shadows. I figured it would be a nice place to shoot a self portrait. We had to be quick about it since there were lots of people at the museum today. Fortunately we were able to get a shot without anyone in the background.

Thanks Ezra for the photo! And for taking us to the museum! 🙂

(Quote in title is by Walt Whitman)

Week 50/52 : The things that make me different are the things that make me

I had a quick shoot with Kurt on Christmas morning right before our guests started arriving for our lunch party. I really wanted a photo wearing this outfit because my sister made the top from scratch. Between the two of us, I used to be the one who was more adept at sewing, but after she got married she had a lot of free time as a housewife so she managed to pick up some intermediate skills that I haven’t quite reached yet. I’m so proud of her 😀 She probably would have ended up making more outfits but eventually she decided she wanted to work again so she barely has time to sew these days.

Once again this photo was shot using my cousin’s Leica. It’s an amazing camera, although I haven’t quite mastered it yet. Which explains why this shot is overexposed. I tried to save it in post processing but you can still see some of the parts that was blown out. Also it didn’t help that the sun was a bit harsh that day, which made the lighting tricky to work with. Still, I really like how this turned out.

Thanks Kurt for the photo! More shoots to come!

(Quote in the title is by AA Milne)

Week 49/52 : Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud

Kurt took me back to Universal City Walk the other day and we had fun looking at the shops there. One of the places we stopped at was this candy store. I loved all the bright colors inside so I figured I might as well take a self portrait. It was pretty crowded inside so getting a decent photo was a little difficult, but I do like how this turned out.

Thanks for the photo Kurt!

Quote in title is by Maya Angelou

Week 48/52 : Tsong and Tsonggo

If you spend a lot of time on youtube you might have heard of Wil Dasovich. He’s a Phil-Am vlogger who recently found out that he has cancer. But the good news is that he’s almost done with his treatment and things are looking up 🙂 I’ve been watching his vlogs for a while now, and when #Wilodia came to existence I became an even bigger fan. I’ve been a fan of Alodia since 2007, so I guess it’s only natural that I would be excited to learn that two people I support found happiness in one another.

What does this have to do with this photo? The hat I’m wearing in this shot is actually Wil’s merch. He sells it on his website tsongandtsonggo.com (hence the title). This was so hard to get a hold of because they sell out in minutes the moment he puts them up! I had to keep refreshing my browser because it crashed constantly due to the large amount of people accessing his site after he announced on Instagram that a new batch has been released. But I persevered and managed to get my hands on one, hooray!

Week 47/52 : Feliz Navidad

MERRY CHRISTMAS! (It’s still Christmas Day here in California, so I made it, yay!)

I present to you my very first self portrait taken by a Leica O_O My cousin bought a Leica M10 recently and he gave me permission to play around with it. He even left it here at my aunt’s house since he knows I’ll be staying here and he wants me to make the most of it. I’ve taken a few photos with it and I love them all.

This photo was taken by my cousin (though not the same one who owns the camera) last night. I love the bokeh and the holiday feels of the shot, so I figured I’d use it as my Christmas self portrait 🙂

Before the day ends I would like to greet everyone a very Merry Christmas. May your holidays be full of peace and love.

“I bring you a gospel of great joy, which shall be to all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”
-Luke 2:10-11

Week 46/52 : In dreams we enter a world that’s entirely our own

Ezra and Kurt took me to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the other day. They have a year-pass to Universal Studios so they visit quite often. I’ve always wanted to see the place for myself so I was very happy that they decided to bring me there. Ezra even dressed me up as a Gryffindor so I could pretend that I belonged in that world. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any self portraits for my 52-week project while I was there since it was too crowded. I still wanted an HP-themed self portrait to commemorate the event, so I asked my mom to take some shots of me back home and whipped up this quick photomanipulation. It’s been a while since I last did one of these, so please forgive me if it isn’t perfect XD

Background stock : https://lindowyn-stock.deviantart.com/art/OMG-SNOW-EEEEE-71430524

(Title came from a quote from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Week 45/52 : Too cold outside for angels to fly

The girls and I had our annual Christmas party at Brinks’s house earlier this month. Once again her parents went all out with the decorations. They had a bunch of these fairy lights up in the garden so Brinks and I decided to shoot a few photos with her 50mm to get some cool bokeh effect. We would have taken more but it started to rain XD

Thank you Brinky for this shot! And thank you for lending me your sweater 🙂

(Quote is from the lyrics of A-Team by Ed Sheeran)