Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So what do you like taking pictures of? Ummm..... almost everything. One of my mentors--the 2008 National Association of Hispanic Journalist of the year, Mr. Ray Chavez once said to me, "There's a picture everywhere, it's just how you frame it." I love taking pictures of everything... and I wish I could shoot everyday, but I get caught up. But my passion never goes away. Sometimes it fades, but then it always comes right back around. Art and photography is what reminds my soul that I am alive. So I take any opportunity to shoot...

I've been shooting for my homies at Reignforest Collective, who have awesome parties and shows every month.

This is Feelosophy, they were amazing.

I like shooting portraits. Here is one of my friend Belinda, Nolan, and their princess to be Amaya.

I love documenting life. I love getting to know people, hearing their stories, and sharing their voices to folks who may otherwise not know what is going on. Photography is about light-- in so many ways.

When walking through my normal routine, I like to look around and capture moments that people seem to pass right by....

But I also love capturing personal moments in my life that hold a special place in my heart.

This month's cover of Juxtapoz features an amazing painter, Sam Flores, who said something I had to take note. "I think that's one thing I portray in my work, how people can go through a world so beautiful and not see any of it."

Paintings by Sam Flores.

Character Film

This was originally a 3 minute character film created for a class assignment, but later I turned it into a 7 minute short piece about my grandma. Something I wanted to share with the family who couldn't be there for her birthday. So, it starts off "journalistic," but ends as a personal piece.

At 92 from dee dee on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reminded why I love NYC...

Once again, looking through old photos and found photos from my NY trip with SJSU in 2007. I met some interesting folks....

Artists especially...




And then there was a group of jedi's... like serious jedis...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Old photographs...

So I'm sorting through my hard-drive, and found some photos I forgot about.

Here are some from the Diwali Festival in 2006. Looking back at these photographs, although I took them in color-- I was curious to see what they looked like in black-and-white. For some the black and white works, but for others the color works. They are all wearing beautiful colors, but I think my eye is inclined to black-and-white, what do you think?

Yeah, both my hard-drives are full, and my computer is getting full too! So I've just been looking through photos, and burning DVDs... honestly, its been tedious, but really fun for a person that has insomnia... i've been sleeping at 5:30am for the past couple of nights. A combo of jetlag and insomnia, I suppose...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Celebrating Life, Death, and everything in between

It's that time of year again... my favorite time of year... I'm not talking about the holidays, but rather the season of Fall. I know it started a while ago, but I really felt it when I was in Seoul, Korea. From the Philippines, I had a 12-hour lay over and because I flew with Asiana, got a complimentary "City Tour." The drive from the airport to this city is about 45mins, and throughout the whole drive, my eyes were drawn to the bright oranges, reds, and yellows that lined the streets. There's something about Fall...maybe its the intense colors that illuminate the streets and parks. maybe i like watching the leaves slowly fall and accumulate into a huge pile I could jump in. maybe because its a time of transition, from life to death, that attracts me the most...the beautiful obvious change. Whatever it is, I gasp in awe at its beauty=)

The tour took me to the Cho Kye Sa Buddhist Temple, which I must say, was my favorite part. I have been to a few Buddhist Temples, but this was the first service I went to, where it was a packed house of Buddhist monks, nuns, and attendees chanting. I don't know what they were saying, but the sound of the chants and the feel of the place was so relaxing.

So how was my trip? It was exactly what I needed to clear my mind. I got to see folks I have not seen in a while. I spent a lot of time with the family. From celebrating the Day of the Dead, to vacationing to Ilocos Norte, to visiting the new borns in the family, to celebrating birthdays of two important people in my life... it was a good trip. It was a celebration of life, death, and everything in between...

Photos of my cousin with her first born...

Ci-se, the cutest girl ever!

Chicken manok! mmmm.... sooo good!

Now, I am back in Cali, but this time with a solid goal in mind... well somewhat solid.

Monday, November 10, 2008

She's 114!!!

From KobreGuide to the Web’s Best Multimedia :


Gertrude Baines, 114, is the world's oldest person of African descent, the third-oldest person in the world, and the second-oldest in the United States.

When she was born, Grover Cleveland was president and the U.S. flag had 44 stars. She grew up in Georgia during a time when black people were prevented from voting, discriminated against and subject to violent racism. In her lifetime, she has seen women gain the right to vote, and drastic changes to federal voting laws and to the Constitution. She is even 8 years older than the centenarian voter cited by President-elect Barack Obama in his victory speech.

And now, this Los Angeles Times video shows Ms. Baines in her convalescent home, with bedroom walls covered with birthday cards from presidents and officials from years gone by, as she casts her ballot. The daughter of former slaves has voted only once before, for John F. Kennedy. This time it’s for Barack Obama.

Length: 1:47

Video: Sachi Cunningham

Saturday, November 8, 2008


So this is the moment I found out Obama won. I was in Baguio, and my sister and I looked at eachother and cheered, as we listened to the speech he was giving in Chicago.

Revisting places and people are reminders of moments of the past and feelings I felt during a time I felt was transformative. apply, apply, apply. It's all about applying what you learned to your present actions. But sometimes its easy to get caught up in the mundane and forget...

My sister asked me today, "What does photography mean to you." All I did was look at the ceiling, sigh, and said, "Aww...photography." I did not answer her question. haha... But in my mind I did.
It's my tool to communicate what I see,
my excuse to learn more about the world,
the capturing of moments,
It is the understanding of light.
It breaks down the language barrier,
It can reawaken emotions, or awaken awareness
Laughter, sadness, nostalgia
But what does photography mean to me? It is magnified moments of life.

and thats my story...
did i mention how much i love my sis =)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I miss shooting...

For some November 1st is La Dia de los Muertos, for folks in the Philippines it’s All Saint’s Day--different names but the same day that commemorates the dead, the souls, the spirits.

Yesterday, I accompanied my mom and grandma to Rosales, Pangasenan, their hometown province. My grandma wanted to visit my grandpa, who passed away more than 20 years ago, her only brother who passed away last year, and her nephew who passed away two months ago---all whom are buried in the same cemetery. Here in the Philippines, it’s a weekend celebration. Saturday is All Saints Day, and Sunday is All Souls Day. which is a big celebration where folks visit their family members who have passed, light candles, bring flowers, and sometimes sleep in the cemetery. There are vendors, a lot of food, and music---basically a party in the cemetery.

Everytime, my grandma visits her hometown, it’s always an emotional occasion. Her and her relatives hug for the first 20 minutes, and they catch up on who passed away, how they passed away, health, financial situations, memories, life….

I can’t even imagine what they are whispering about….

And Nanay got to also visit a cousin, Prosperro Bautista, she hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. It took him a couple of minutes to recall who my grandma was, but once he did, he pulled out the photo albums and the reminiscing began.

Time. My grandma’s cousin actually lives alone right now and has been for years. When we saw him, he was sitting on his front porch, next to a Christmas tree he decorated himself. He said his kids will be visiting in December, and he set up the tree early because it’s the one thing he really looks forward to.

It’s a trip how time can fly by so fast. I just turned 24 last week, and for me, birthdays are times for celebrations, but also reflections. I got to party it up with my friends, but I also did a lot of thinking of where I am now compared to where I was last year. This past year I traveled to a bunch of places, but I feel as if I am still in the same position. I have made moves, but I haven’t MADE MOVES. I’m a big dreamer, but I gotta stop dreaming, and get moving…. Make those dreams real.

Time flies. A whole year passed by with a blink of an eye. For my grandma and her cousin, I can't even imagine what the concept of time is to them...is time even relevant?