4 Ways to Gift Love

Now that it’s Christmas it is the season of giving gifts. Ironically, other people give gifts that hold no thought or just throw random things for the sake of keeping tradition. To say no one wishes for anything in Christmas can be highly doubted, though there are a few exceptions. Most of the time it pays to pay attention that maybe, what they wasn’t isn’t material goods but something out of the physical realm to be received. Other people feel alone though with a lot of items and tokens. So, one of the sure and best ways to make the Christmas warmer while getting big on savings is making sure you make them feel love and appreciated instead. So without further ado here’s a list of some of the ways you can definitely tell them “I love you” more than just saying it.

Give Time

I personally don’t like talking with my dad about sensitive issues. But when push comes to shove, I know it’s a must. Although counter intuitive at first that it may push me away, as his son, it actually has positive consequences. My parents aren’t the most eloquent person to communicate so you’d definitely feel the art of trying. Yes, at the start I feel like it’s a waste of time, but every after end of our discussions, I definitely feel the love because I know he got out of his way from his comfort zone to make sure I grow right according to what he knows is good.

Another alternative to this is to spend time outside of where you can be focused on in either a new or comfortable environment, take them on a wonderful journey in the season of lights and the breeze, it doesn’t give any memento to keep on your stash but the memories and the feelings definitely stay for a long time. I wouldn’t mind not getting a jacket as long as I have a hand to hold or probably a head on my shoulder to warm me up in the wonderful holiday.

Serve the extra mile

Yesterday, I didn’t have much to do other than to stay home alone and play my games but before I had the chance to, my mom asked me if I can go with her to a funeral. While this is coupled with the fact that I am having diarrhea matched with long drives on the road, I weighed in that moment that giving her time this December was heavier than my comfort. I was glad to take her places rather than letting her go alone in this horrible December traffic, if you focus on what was given rather than mere present like how you feel and what you want, it’s easier to accomplish the task with a cheerful heart. It’s definitely clear when you’re doing it voluntarily or by force, so take note of your mood. In the end, she really appreciated my effort even stating to consider it as a Christmas gift already. (Take note boys and girls!)

Communicate your story

Tell them “good morning”, “I love you”, ask them “how are you” and tell them what your life is like for the day or the week. People you love like knowing what you’re up to. Communicating is a constant process but doesn’t need to be every minute, but starting and ending is definitely preferred.  In the age of social media where it’s second nature to post short “tweets” and “updates”, to send one to your special someone shouldn’t be so hard. Worse case scenario is you’re posting on those sites and that’s where they get their update. Gist is to recognize them as an integral part your life. It is one of the most sought after feelings in this word to be recognized and to be anyone has a huge gap compared to being someone in your life. Make them feel they are part of your journey than just a spectator. To communicate takes less time but more thought on how you give the message.

Write words

A Christmas card is nice but to write on a photo is definitely on a different level. I am a firm believer in the power and authority of words to build up and tear down. Still up till today, letters are my favorite gifts to receive other than really expensive ones that fit my wish list. A photo encapsulating a memory with the recipient rather than a card really puts the thought at 99.9% while costing so much cheaper than what you possibly might have rushed for. Don’t write generic wishes, put your personality into it, be honest as much as possible and craft your words in the warmth of your relationship. Items may be wonderful for a time but wears out or shelved after sometime soon, but good words that make them feel will last forever.

Knowing their love language doubles the effect of what you do. It pays to know how they feel loved the most, so if you really want to go big, get them to take the test. It’s free online! To those of you who’s trying to save up on investments and for the future, trust me when I say: That when someone loves you, the greatest gift is to make them feel you love them back. Amongst all the gifts I received, the best ones I will treasure aren’t the ones I can hold, but the ones that encourage, appreciate and the one that holds thought to who I am to them.

Happy Christmas gift planning!


Beating Thought Paralysis

It comes of no surprise that the opposite to paralysis is action. Well, even against thoughts, action still beats the intellect.

Ever had the anxiety of sending an email or starting a long activity such as writing? Thought paralysis comes in two events for me, the starting of which when I plan to do something challenging or midway when I don’t have the momentum to ride on and finish till the end. When I get lost on a train of thought, I get ditched in a dessert of doubt. And doubt is what starts all of the inaction.

  • What if my work is not enough?
  • What if I get scolded?
  • What if my choice isn’t the right decision?
  • What if I don’t finish it?

These are few of the things that make me stop writing and just pass on to a non productive escape such as watching a video or going to social media. The thing is, the problem would never solve itself. It’s not going to get any better if you finish it now than later, especially when it’s a task that doesn’t need creativity or data, only a response from it’s conception.

If you’re having a hard time solving a multitude of tasks, I can relate to you. As someone recovering from a burn out and some lazy momentum: one way to have a steam going is to set 1 major goal and 2 minor ones for the day. A major goal is what’s going to take you probably 2 hours or more and minor would take you 1 at most. It is important that you feel a sense of achievement to get you motivated. To be clear, achievement is not solving a problem through underhanded tactics, that’s a cheap thrill. You may have the acknowledgement and attention now, but you definitely did not do anything good for yourself. Achievement is achieved through hard work and repetition, and do these things in repetition and the hard work and achievement gets addicting.

In the book 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins – a definite must read for people like me, if you’re in a moment where you seem like you’re avoiding a productive moment, count your way from 5,4,3,2,1 and just do it. Because in the end, some productivity is better than none at all. Trust me on this, there’s never going to be an end on the things you should do, what differs is only how much you are willing to do for the day.

5,4,3,2,1,  and published.

Returning back to Olympus

The Best Camera Is The One You Always Have With You


The first time I was introduced to photography, was when I was in college and learning about it. Taking photos weren’t a trendy thing yet, instagram wasn’t a trend and so were influencers and amassing a huge following; Cameras were still on high budget to purchase. After getting one as a gift for my studies from my dad, I dreaded the subject due to my misalignment with its art. I’m not the kind that likes studio shots but it is what we were made to learn. It was my most despised class in my course.

Of course the use of the camera prolonged further than just educational use. I was invited by my  dad everytime to bring it to our adventures. Whether it’s to go on a relative’s birthday, a local trip to the provinces of the Philippines or overseas. I lugged that mechanism around my neck trying to savor the trip both as experience as well as photos. After carrying it around in so many trips, I’d soon realized it was less of a token and more of a baggage in the way i intake moments. Not only does it keep bumping to my chest every single walk, I was paranoid that it would hit something and deform it’s function due to its size. Nothing about it entices me to carry it as a perk.

I left that camera to the dust as the rise of phone photography got into the days. My mom never needed high resolution photos, and we rarely printed one due to the digital storage capacity that’s trending in the way we save memories.


Fast forward to after graduation, I went into the mall to find the Olympus brand sporting a digicam sized technology but with lenses that can be swapped. This piqued my interest very fervently. The size of the body was smaller than my hand in terms of length and was so thin it would fit in my pocket jeans, it was crazily mind blowing at that time. I researched days for it’s top of the line model that fits my need, and then on October 2012 my posession of OMD EM-5 began.

Batanes – Shot with EM-5 Samyang 7.5 f3.5

Small, compact and hard as a tank, the OMD Em-5 could be used as a murder weapon and still take great photos. I have been through enough terrain to put it to the test and knowing me, I’m not the kind that’s careful with his belongings. Yet it still lives and breathe life to my vision, without a single hint of age in performance. The number of beauty i have captured, memories I’ve gathered and the smiles I’ve seen through the lens and through the preview of the photos is immense.

How did I do it? Simple, because I could take it everywhere.

As a prime user, I had the comfort to bring three lenses to my adventures without sacrificing space a DSLR lens would’ve taken. My favorite go-to’s for reference is the: Olympus 45mm f1.8,  Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and the Samyang 7.5mm f3.5. Because of the portability I easily had the option to switch based on the scene, if the background was beautiful a 7.5mm fisheye and if it’s a portrait moment the 45mm. If I’m looking for inspiration? The 20mm. The 20mm is a pancake lens: the compact size of it makes it so easy to put in a loose pocket or a bag without having to worry to bring it up fast to steal a moment in time.


Mt. Manalmon shot with XT-10 16mm

But then in December 2015, I was enticed to move at Fujifilm due to it’s larger sensor and it’s wonderful film filters, that’s so subtle, it’s magic. I thought I had the momentum going, loving in taking snaps and having some eye for beauty if not the luck for it. Generally based from my photos, you would see I favor the wide lens more than a portrait one, or even street. So I got the xt-10 and the elusive 16mm f1.4 with a friend’s help.

While I did love to carry it around the street taking photos of the people around and the moments, I slowly curbed into taking photos less and less. First, I was wondering if it was just me losing inspiration, I believed it is. With the mix of focus on work and some probable extended quarter life crisis, in about May 2016 I succumbed into passing photography as a phase.

That is, until I picked up my OMD Em-5 again.


After shooting with my old friend, I finally realized it wasn’t because I just lost it, but because I hated the luggage: the root of my bane for photography. Now, as the OMD Em-5 has too old features (cough Wifi live shooting) for me to work optimally, I’ve bought the PEN-F with the undeniable help of my brother Sean through words and finance. It was through his encouragement that I’ve taken the leap and I have absolutely no regrets about it. It pays to have someone who believes in what you can do with the right tools.

Shot with PEN-F 20mm f1.7

Maybe it’s my bad choice of lens for Fuji that really created the huge gap of experience. I honestly don’t know if getting the 23mm would make it any different. We’ll never know unless they sponsor me one. But don’t get me wrong: Fujifilm cameras are wonderful, if it works for you: I’m all for your preference. But get this, if it’s a camera you would rather  leave at home, it’s probably a bad one. For me and my type, the build of Olympus is definitely where my eyes and hands feel at home.

I can elaborate the specifications and all the comparisons but there’s a number of sources that’s already posted in the internet for your reference. After all, before I made this switch, I definitely did my study. If you have any questions, ask it in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer. I was pitting the PEN-F against the X100f and x70, but in the end there’s probably a huge unconscious bias for me. I would like to someday taste the fixed lens camera though, but I guess not today. Not when my hands do not have the Olympus brand in it’s fingers.




Developing Stock Photography

So as you all may know I’ve been into taking photographs for some time and I have gathered a lot of shots here and there that I’ve never posted from adventures with family and friends of which I thoroughly enjoy. Well rather than keeping it all to myself and either ending in the dustbin or just in a backup drive, I’ve decided to release and share it to the public and maybe it could help with some of your projects instead.

I’ve already bought a CDN to store my files so it doesn’t chunk my hosting with the MB’s of JPEGs straight from the cam, the site design is getting developed and my photos are getting organized. Images will definitely be given free of charge but I hope to place an option to donate so you can help with my initiative and also add to the collection if you want. I’ll be sure to give a link back to your site or email when it gets approved. :)

So here’s to a new project that makes me feel a little more alive lately.

In other news:

Last few days ago, was the first time I possibly felt a sleep paralysis: wherein my chest felt heavy and I couldn’t breathe in sync with my body. Arms can’t move no matter how hard I struggle and same with my eyelids. It has been said that the chances of experiencing that is increased when lying on your back. Well… I’ve always liked lying on my left side.