Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Singapore Chingay 2011

If there's one thing I regret not doing for the past few years, it is watching the beautiful and remarkable Chingay Parade!

It is the most celebrated parade of the year where people from all over the world, people from different culture and tradition all march together to celebrate, Chingay!

Chingay is a hokkien word for the "Art of Masquerade"!

This year was the grandest with 8,000 participants coming all the way from Europe to neighboring Asian countires!

I'm not going to miss you anymore Chingay! I'll definitely be there next year!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rediscovering Singapore

Rediscovering Singapore during the Chinese New Year 2011 was the most amazing experience I have had in the past few years while working and living here. Perhaps, i'm a late bloomer. I don't know.

After 5 years, I actually went out and immersed myself in the Road Less Traveled Singapore during the Chinese New Year.

This is the time of year when Singaporeans will go on their much needed vacation either in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Europe or in the States.

A bustling country reduced to silence. Roads are empty and Shops are closed.

And it is for this reason that people leave and have fun elsewhere. And just like the many, i too thinks the same way. But not this year. Not this this year. I want to see what is in store for me when everybody leaves and very few are left to celebrate and welcome the Lunar New Year.

My journey was a re-discovery of what Singapore is all about! A culture that is intact. A culture that has never left the hearts of the Singaporeans despite the growing numbers of foreign workers and foreign immigrants. Western influence though evident in the architecture that has surrounded the Central Business District (CBD) and the fashion amongst the people, has remained a very conservative country.

Singapore is a fusion of 3 major culture. Chinese, Malays and the Indians. Nowadays, it is the melting pot of people across the globe. Americans, Europeans, Australians, Filipinos, Bangladeshi, Indonesians and Malaysians.

Come and journey with me as we go and discover Singapore in 2011!

The entrance and exit to and from the River Hong Bao are adorned by the beautiful Chinese Lanterns in Red and Yellow/Gold. Red is a significant color for the Chinese as it symbolizes Good Fortune and Joy. Yellow on the other hand represents Neutrality and good Luck.

A western woman is adorned by the richness of the Chinese Temple and its culture
Red and yellow/gold are the most favorite color for the Chinese.
Red is defined as Fire and symbolizes good fortune and joy. While Yellow/Gold is defined as Earth and symbolizes neutrality and good luck.
Chinese New Year is the time where families and relatives get together. After the eve, I woke up to a very silent country. There were very few vehicles on the road and the hawker shops were closed. But that didn't stop me from going out. I went back to River Hong Bao that night hoping for another Fireworks display, only to be disappointed while in the taxi -  I learned that there won't be any fireworks anymore until August for the National Day! I wanted to scream at myself for being lazy not to get the details. Anyway, i still went to River Hong Bao.

And I realized the reason why there aren't much people outside the HDB flats, it is because they are all here, including babies...

This is the SWING ride! I hate it. I experienced this ride in Enchanted Kingdom, Philippines sometime back and i swear, I will never ride on this ever again. It's just too much for me to be rotated in a circular motion for 3 minutes.

People awaits the sprinkle of Gold dust and numbers by the God of Fortune. It is believed that when the numbers lands on you, it is given to you by the God of Fortune. And these numbers shall never be revealed to anyone, else your luck is blown away.
Believers celebrate the return of the Chinese God of Fortune on the 4th day of the Chinese New Year. 

While strolling on the River Hong Bao, i was surprised to see a lot of people around the "God of Fortune" with their Umbrellas Inverted, hand bags open, and arms reaching out. Curious on what was going on, i stayed on for a while and see for myself...

All of a sudden, people were all rushing to one side and i had no clue whatsoever on what was going on. I just clicked and clicked until i noticed the gold dust / glitters flying off from the hands of the "God of Fortune" and they were all trying to catch it. And still, i didn't understand the whole idea of catching the glitters....i was thinking that it might be a blessing if you get sprinkled by it. 

So I continued clicking - I was telling myself I have to get this shot for this is real and yet unorthodox. At the same time, i was positioning myself at an area where hopefully i can get it too! Maybe there's some luck with it. There was nothing to lose if i was going to do what they're doing anyway! Albeit, I felt it was very superstitious. Something you'll only experience in developing or religious countries, but definitely not in Singapore! But then again, I was wrong. Totally. It's amazing to realize that even in a very modern country, some traditions are still there and it's intact.

It only lasted for a few seconds, and it was gone. And just like the rest, I was also looking at what I've got. Until i saw bigger glitters in circles and saw a number! Only then did i realize that they were actually not after the gold glitters, but the gold numbers! Overwhelmed by what I got, I guess I got like 8 numbers in total, a family who was standing right behind me was telling me to go and buy TOTO or 4D ticket! It just may be my lucky night! 

To cut the story short, i head on to the lottery and marked my numbers on the paper! I would be a hypocrite if i'd say, i didn't hope it will be true. LOL! After all, life is about Hope and Faith! 

After all the betting - i didn't bet much ok. I spent around $5.00. I was thinking that if you are lucky, you're lucky. And if it was indeed my lucky night, i will strike the 4D no matter how little my bet was! LOL And just like the thousands of people there with the hopes of becoming instant millionaires, I join them in the drink to say, "Better luck next time!" It was after all, not my lucky night. But i had fun! Experiencing it was awesome - though I think winning the 4D could have been a better experience! LOL

A contrasting scenario of adults patiently anticipating for the God of Fortune to blow the lucky numbers while this young girl is blown away by the sheer happiness of simply being there!

Children joins in the belief and collect the "numbers" that the God of Fortune has given.
The numbers when it comes to you is believed to be your lucky number. And people who gets this will queue to the Singapore Pools which is located 5 minutes away to buy their tickets for toto or 4D...hoping this number will strike and make them millionaires!

I believe that I was destined to witness all the wonderful traditions that I have taken for granted in years. This is my first Lion Dance experience. Though I didn't knew much, more so knowing why there is a crab there. 

These are the most common instruments used in the Lion and the Tiger Dance. They have cymbals and drums to keep the Lion dancing!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This was my first Pre-Nup photo experience with Butch and Diane taken at Chinese Garden, Singapore. It is such a joy to photograph people-in-love! Not that you seldom see that nowadays. In fact, i think more and more people are falling in love. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


When my MUA (make-up artist) friend, Mae Santos told me about this couple who wanted a different kind of engagement shoot - it thrilled me, knowing that this would give me the opportunity to try other things. So we went to Fort Canning Park to shoot where they have this cemetery. The couple being dancers, made it very easy for them to sway...so yeah, this is one of my favorite sets so far!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Taken at Lower Seletar, one of the best places to go to for engagement shoots. The sunset and sunrise is amazing - just like the couple.

MUA - Mae Santos


What can i say? I just love this album! We did 6 sets in 1 day roaming Singapore. To start off, we headed to Botanical Garden where we had 2 sets of shoot. We spent almost the whole morning at that huge, huge garden! 

Then we went to Boat Quay, Punggol and finally, Helix Bridge! 

I hope to have more shoots like this where spontaneity is the norm. Beautiful couple! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Visiting Siem Reap Cambodia was one of the most exciting and memorable experience I have had in my life. Not only for the Architecture that mesmerized me, not only the place that i fell in love with, but because I spent this with my sister Babygirl. I guess nothing beats the bond of sisters!

Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and the most beautiful architecture i have seen so far. Its style is a Khmer Temple Architecture that was built in the 12th Century. The place is declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its grandeur is beyond imaginable. And watching the sunrise was like seeing it for the first time!

Travelling to Siem Reap is a breeze. If you want to go for a cheaper accomodation, you can always opt for hostels in the city. When i was looking where to stay, we found out that most of the tourists just opts for this kind of accomodation. However, it was highly suggested and recommended that you stay at Western owned hostels. We did just that, and we're just as happy as the rest. There's really no need to go for fancy hotels because you'll be out most the time anyway visiting Temples, watching the sunset and sunrise, going for a drink and shopping, except maybe when you really do have the budget for that and you're travelling with kids.

If you're already there, don't miss visiting Tonle Sap. Tonle Sap mean Large Fresh Water River. It's a Floating Village where you will notice that half of the river is occupied by the locals and the other half by the Vietnamese. Everything from schools to churches are floating. It's a unique type of community where the main transport is a small boat.

We took Jetstar to fly us to Cambodia. There are many airlines that fly there, but if you're on a budget, Jetstar delivers!

Travel to Tioman Island, Malaysia

One of the best holiday ever! Tioman is beautiful.

We stayed at Berjaya Hotel for 4D3N. Staying there gave us the relaxation we needed after a stressful job in the City. The buffet breakfast is just fantastic! There are a lot of different resorts there...you can choose which suits your vacation best.

The part that you really wouldn't know what to do or where to go unless you google it, is visiting "Juara Beach"! You have to go there for the sunset and be blown away with its sheer beauty.

Going to Juara Beach means crossing the mountain as it is on the opposite side if you're coming from Berjaya Resort. And that means, waking up at 4:30AM to get there just in time for the Sunrise.

Getting a pick-up to get you there is not really difficult as the locals living around there can get you a good deal. But if you're not too comfortable with that, you can also arrange with the hotel.

Snorkeling is okay. But beware of the undercurrent as it can really be deceiving. Hold on tight to the ropes and make sure you put on your flippers so you don't get carried away just like what happened to us. It was very scary.

There are no straight flights to Tioman Island. The only way to go is by Ferry. To save you the hassle, it's best to go for agency package tours so they can arrange it for you. DO NOT FORGET to ask if they have promotions...:)

Travel to Batam, Indonesia

I've been to Batam, Indonesia quite a few times, and never really thought they even have beach resorts there. When my previous company said we will be having an outing in Batam, i sure didn't really expect much. Upon getting there, i have to tell you i was really surprised. It is beautiful!

If you wish to have a nice vacation in Batam, the Turi Beach Resort will provide you with a relaxing stay with nice view and nice food! They have a lot of beach activities like parasailing and jetskii. If you're travelling with your officemates, they can also prepare team building activities. The beach however, is not really as nice. So don't hope to see some Bintan type of beach. But then again, this resort should be worth your money!

At night, they have karaoke rooms where you can sing to your heart's delight. They also have a bar and billiard if you opt to just listen to some good music while playing pool. 

You can reach batam by ferry from Harbour Front. It is a 35-minute ride from Singapore. For promotions, you can try looking at Agoda, Booking.Com or any travel deals that can give you a nice discount.

Mi Hermosa Ciudad de Zamboanga 2010

These photos were taken on my most recent trip to my Hometown in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

I came home to celebrate Christmas with my Family after 5 years of celebrating it in Singapore. My sister was flying in too from Bermuda. The thought that we could all be together again and spend Christmas as one whole family was something i just couldn't miss. I will definitely not trade it for the world. 

During my vacation, i made sure i was going to move around and capture the soul of the City where i was born and lived for 23 years of my life. And yet, days wasn't enough. Vacation was over. Reality was back. 

Though i felt slightly disappointed, i was just glad i was there during the holidays. Being with family is the best one can ever ask for.