Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's a 1 and 6th Monthsary Surprise: Photowalk with D5Klub

An entry during FEB. 27, 2011:

Gummybear: A Photowalk has been one of the things that ranked high on our "things-to-do-list". So when Butterfinger found out that the D5Klub will be having a photo-walk in Quiapo and Binondo, he didn't hesitate to sign-up. Great timing too! Because on that same day, was also the day of our 1 and 6th Monthsary. Another extraordinary experience for both of us. :)

It was amazing because we met a lot of photography hobbyist, and wow, they were awesome. One good thing that I loved about it, is that we were equal. Just do photography that's it. You're not an executive or a student there. You're a photographer.

Gummybear's best shots:

Butterfinger: It was a great learning experience for both of us. It was the first time that we got to meet other enthusiasts like us, who love photography. Our dear members of the D5Klub were all very accommodating, and great people. That, for me, was the one of the key elements to the success of the photowalk that day. Everyone was trying to help each other, and no one was bossy or trying to stand out. It was also our first time doing street photography, which was the theme that day. 

We learned a lot that day, and met great new friends. We had a blast with everyone and hope that we can go on another photowalk soon!

Butterfinger's best shots:

There are a few things that we would like to remind you if ever your would decide on joining a photowalk:

1.) Be SAFE.
-Not everyone is kind and courteous. Take caution and be aware of your environment, especially because you are carrying your hard earned gears and camera. Being in a group helps a lot.

2.) Wear something COMFORTABLE and APPROPRIATE.
-Some photographers make the mistake of over dressing. Remember, your going to walk for hours, carrying a pretty heavy camera, and maybe even under direct sunlight, so save yourself the trouble of fumbling with your clothes, it shouldn't take you away from experience.

3.) CHARGE your batteries and EMPTY your memory cards
-I know, I know, everyone know that! Yeah, but everybody mostly forgets of this detail, and that means no more photowalk for you! Don't let a suddenly low battery or a suddenly full card ruin your photowalk, plan accordingly.

4.) Bring WATER.
-Trust us, you'll need it. You wouldn't want to become dehydrated and faint in the middle of the shoot.

5.) Have an OPEN MIND
-You'll be with a variety of photographers if its a group photowalk. With different people comes different personalities, and different personalities sometimes clash. So don't be that person who hogs a spot, and is more interested in belittling your fellow photographers with your self proclaimed fame. Learn from each other, you'll be surprise how much you get in sharing. 

-If you consider yourself as a photographer, you should also have the proper attitude and manners of one. Be polite and courteous to the people you meet. If someone is talking, listen. If the subject is in an extreme state of being, don't just stand there and take photos like he/she is modelling, if you feel the need to, just take a shot and move on, remember #1.

 7.) Don't "Spray and pray"
-Try not to "Spray and pray" as Jared Polin of said. This is when you burst shot everything, then just looking for the best one after. Try to feel the moment, practice composing your shots, think and feel before you pull the trigger. 

8.) Have FUN!
-Why are you doing this in the first place? To have fun! To be happy! Because photography, like any other passion or hobby, brings happiness to ones life.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Celebrate Valentine's Day in Clark, Pampanga

Gummybear: Ever since it started, Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark, Pampang was something I really wanted to go to. Before, I was trying to inquire how much will be the expenses to go there so somewhat I might able to pull it through. Well, I never got the time and chance to be there until now. :)

Gummybear: This cute prince of mine, had this BIG surprise for me and that was to bring me to the festival. But he had some difficulties making it happen, that's why he already spilled it to me beforehand, and so I could also ask my Dad's permission to go there. He honestly told me that he can't afford it if we're the only ones to go and he really want us to go. So, he told me his plans in order to make it work and it's to invite people to fill in the car so the gas expenses and toll will be more affordable. It's a win-win situation eventually.

Butterfinger: Yes, it was really hard trying to pull things through. Like  roller-coaster ride, it also came to a point that I wasn't sure it was going to happen, but God is on our side and I knew the Big Guy up there won't leave us hanging. He sent 4 more angels to help!

Gummybear: Paulo and I together with his sister Tinay and our dear friend Ruth with her co-workers, Marvs and Elaine, had our awesome road trip to Clark, Pampanga. Wow, I tell you it was my farthest road trip with him and friends and I knew it was destined to be FUN!
Gummybear: We arrived at Clark around 7am and we had a hard time going to the parking lot. We noticed that a lot of people already parked their cars beside the highway so we also decided to park it there even thought it's a 15 minutes walk to the entrance gate. Exercise is goood in the morning, ayt?
Butterfinger: TTRRRRAAAAFFFIIIICCCCCC!! But who can I blame? We knew there would be traffic, but not like this. We even saw the balloons floating away from afar as we waited in traffic for an hour or so. It was torturous to watch them fly, while we were stuck there with the other hundreds of people waiting. Grrrrr... And once we got there, no more parking! So a "leisurely" walk was in order.
Gummybear: Once we're near the gates, airplanes we're already doing their tumbling in the skies and wow! hot air balloons were soo adorable. We paid 150 php for the entrance tickets. They were 3 hot air balloons used for free rides but I doubt that you can ride it within the day because a lot of people surely will try it. I really wanted to try the hot air balloon but we might never make it that day because of the long line. It's sad but I know there were a lot of things to do and our schedule was also tight because aside from the event, we're going to some places in Clark. So, we decided to just roam around the field and we saw a lot of picture spots. "Syempre, pa-picture naman kmi.."  There were lots and lots of booths but we didn't visit each of them because of the intense HEAT! Thank God, we had umbrellas but we really couldn't enjoy with the umbrellas on because we wanted to run like kids there. :) The food there was so expensive, I remember asking how much the mountain dew bottle was, and it costs 35 php, double of the normal price so my advice is to bring packed foods and drinks if you're on a tight budget.
Butterfinger: Another though, bring water! If you also want to save up on beverages, bring your own canister. It was really hot out there on the field, and though there were many stalls selling food and drinks, bringing your own makes it more convenient than falling in line and waiting for more than 15mins. Also, put on sun screen, you'll be scorched if you don't. If we could have changed something that morning, we could have gone earlier that morning, so that we could have seen more of the balloons up close, and to avoid the horrid traffic.

Gummybear: Butterfinger and I brought our kite, lovingly named "Clark" after the the venue, so that we could try and fly it there. Our teamwork helped a lot in order for "Clark" the kite to fly as high as we can. We used all the string it had and so, it was an awesome feeling. I love flying kites. Everyone took turns flying "clark", our friends felt the excitement. :) "Saya noh?"

Butterfinger: "Clark" was originally a surprise from Gummybear last year, and lets just say that we had good times flying it before, and now more than ever, this is the place to let it soar. And to tell you the truth, I honestly think that we were the highest flying kite on the field, not to mention the most unique. =P

Gummybear: Around 10pm to 11pm we decided to go because we're going to eat our lunch in Aling Lucing's Sisig. Ya, that's right the famously known sisig house. My advice to everyone is you better reserve early at their restaurant so that you'll not experienced the fate we had waiting almost two hours for our order to be done. "Grabe tlga!" My Butterfinger was pale already because he hadn't taken his breakfast. The moment we heard the sizzling sisig coming near at our place our jaws just dropped. Eventually, the moment we're waiting for came, the sisig was AWESOME! It tasted somewhat mix kinilaw and sizzling sisig. I love kinilaw, that's why I love this magnificent creation. I didn't notice that I ate a plate of sisig. I was just munching on it all. We ordered 4 plates of sisig (175 each) and 9 cups of rice and it cost us 700+ php. I rated it 5/5.

Gummybear: After that, we proceeded to Paradise Ranch. We were surprised that there's a farm existing in that place because we thought it was already a dead end or another barrio but not a farm. It was somewhat a Nayong Filipino kind of farm because aside from the awesome animals, they also have a miniature section of Baguio etc. We paid 100 php for the entrance, it already include the 30 minutes tour around the place with a guide. I forgot the name of our tour guide but he was the best tour guide ever! He actually accommodated us for almost 1 and half hour. It should be 30 minutes right? He's so passionate with his job. Eventhough, we always asked him to take pictures for us, he did it willingly. It was a refreshing experience! The place was perfectly made and definitely great if you want to just unwind for a while, not thinking about work stress etc. :) I definitely recommend this place. 
Butterfinger: One thing to watch out for if you want to go here, rough roads lead you up a moderately steep climb up the mountains, sedans might have a hard time plowing through, but I think there was a shuttle that could take you there from the Clark area. And even though I was really beat, the fresh air, the great view, and the most amazing companions gave me the strength to go through, and a kiss or two from Gummybear always gives me hope. Paradise Ranch lives up to its namesake. By the way, there are cottages for rent here, just inquire with them. I believe the have bargain prices if I'm not mistaken.

Gummybear: We've done fun things that I never could've imagine doing, like feeding fish while riding on a bamboo raft. We also fed the ostrich too which happen to be Butterfinger's worst daymare. He didn't actually knew that his afraid of Ostriches until that time. We couldn't stop laughing at the same time supporting him. It was so memorable. :) There were also famous celebri-birds like Hedwig and Ibong Adarna that wowed us too! Hoped that they could give us some autographs. ;)

Butterfinger: We thought that Paradise Ranch would be like other "zoo" places,   but this place definitely is in the upper ranks of great places to visit. They have a butterfly sanctuary that is vibrant and full of beautiful, yes you guessed it, butterflies! They even have an area were in you could literally see the different stages of a Butterfly's life.  Gummybear and I found the places very serene and romantic, if your the nature walk kind of person, this place is heaven, aahh, I mean paradise.


Gummybear: It's really hard for me to go but we needed to go home. Before we went home, we stopped by Oriental duty free to buy somethings then went home. Butterfinger thank you soo much for this wonderful experience you gave me. Without your idea, this will never be possible. I LOVE YOU SOO MUCH! Just wait for my 1 and 7th Monthsary surprise. :)
Butterfinger & Gummybear

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A taste of "authentic turkey" @ Jacob's Shawarma

Butterfinger: Ever wondered where did the very delicious Shawarma came from? We see great varieties and a lot of stalls selling this non-native dish, and they sell like pancakes. But did you guys know that Shawarma originated from the Middle East? It also has a lot of names like "Gyros" in Greece, and "Döner kebab" in Turkey, with both roughly meaning "to turn". Yes, there is a lot to learn from this great food. And what more could you ask for than to partake on a truly authentic "Döner kebab" right here in the Philippines.

Enter Jacob's Shawarma, also it was Gummybear's foodie treat!

 Gummybear: I don't have any idea that there's a version of shawarma in Turkey. So, definitely it got me curious when I saw this place in Metro Deal.

Butterfinger: The place is in the heart of Ortigas, just behind Robinson's Galleria. It's a hole-in-the-wall kinda place, but the moment you enter you can see and feel why this place is the real deal. Turkish ensembles welcome you to a place even a native of Turkey can call home. You will be given a sneak peek on the history and culture of Turkey, they even have a wall with a large map of the country. On the other side, you'll notice a dedication wall, and on it writings of famous people that gave their thumbs up to the great food. Mind you though, from my observation the place can only accommodate about 20-25 people, so you may be waiting to be seated on peak hours. Luckily, we got there at a good time when people already had lunch. :) And the owner, Sir Jacob Cortes, the man himself, was there. By the way, he is the face that's on the store's logo.
Gummybear: I love the Turkey-ish feeling of the place. It made me feel that I already visited Turkey. I also liked the wall which few celebrities wrote on it. :)  

Butterfinger: Now, the ultimate taste test. Will the food live up to the hype, or will this just be another Shawarma. Let me tell you now, even before taking one bite of the Döner kebab, we already knew this one's special. From the preparation the shawarma looked awesome, with a lot of ingredients going into the pita bread itself. And to think that their shawarma is 12 inches long! Yeah, you heard right, foot long shawarma goodness. :)

Gummybear:  That's right Butterfinger, based on the size, you'll know that it was worth your penny. We're not just talking about the taste yet, and if we include that. It was bona petite!

Butterfinger: It was delicious! Gummybear and I both ordered the beef and lamb combo, and we also had a chicken kebab on the side, which was also prepared the same way but the slices of meat was replaced by chicken kebab.

Butterfinger: Yummy yummy yummy! It did not taste like any other shawarma I've ever had. Their shawarma was really packed with the beef and lamb, no tendons or hard to chew parts like other shawarma's. Plus, the combination of the vegetables inside really compliments the meat. Also, the pita bread had this really nice crunchy outer layer and very soft inner layer. You have the option to chose whether you want it mildly hot, or really hot, depends on your mood. hehe, or your tolerance to spiciness.  They also have this lime juice bottle that brings a bit acidity to the meal, which is really nice. The chicken kebabs was a good twist on the shawarma style, substituting kebab meat to the thin slices of meat, but none the less, also really good! More please!

Butterfinger: They change their choices of stuffing from day to day, this is to diversify their take on shawarma, so that the customers don't get bored of the usual beef and lamb. Tuesdays and Fridays are Beef and Lamb combos, Wednesdays is fish day(Salmon), and on Saturdays through Mondays are chicken days. Don't worry, they are open 24/7 to  cater to shawarma cravings. Price per shawarma goes around 150Php-200Php depending on type of shawarma. They also have the Turkish dessert called Baklava which we'll surely try the next time we go. Not bad huh? For a satisfying, not to mention the best authentic shawarma in town, go to Jacob's Authentic Döner Kebab

Many thanks to this nice man, Sir Jacob Cortes for the great service and food. And my Gummybear, for this nice foodie escapade! ÜÜÜ

Gummybear: It's my pleasure Butterfinger! :) *yabang face*

Butterfinger & Gummybear