From The Digital Baul Part 4: Singapore Fling

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

Yep, you guessed it. I’ve dusted off more photos from the digtal baul. 🙂

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

These were taken on a brief visit to Singapore back in 2006. I posted these photos on my old Multiply blog; there were quite a few more of these but I can’t seem to find the others.

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

I remember it being very hot in Singapore during our entire stay, even though it was only a few days from Christmas. I also remember wondering where everyone was — the streets were eerily deserted — till my father introduced me and my sister to the air conditioned underground tunnels that Singaporeans use to escape the heat. No wonder the people in the few shops we passed were looking at my sister and me so strangely. They were probably wondering what those two crazy women were doing walking around in the oven-like conditions of a Singapore afternoon. Heh. 😀

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

A mosque in one of the older areas of Singapore. This was almost directly across from our hotel.

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

An abundance of buns.

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

Satay sticks.

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

The view from the Esplanade.

Singapore, 2006.

Singapore, 2006.

Another feature of the Esplanade, if I remember correctly.

More photos to come. Cue moaning, groaning, and grumbling here. 😀

From The Digital Baul Part 3: Would You Like To Ride In My Beautiful Balloon?

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Okay, I just completely carbon dated myself with that title. Haha. 😀

More from the digital baul/digital spring cleaning series. I found this series of photos that I shot back in 2010 at the Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival. J. called me at 1am and asked me if I’d be interested in joining her and her friend on a road trip to see the hot air balloons in Pampanga, but the catch was that I had to be at the meeting place in two hours.

Erm, okay.

But I figured, hey, why the heck not, since I hadn’t been on a road trip in ages. I took a quick shower, packed my bags, and ran out the door. I made it to the venue in record time, and after fortifying ourselves with fast-food coffee, we were off.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Clark in Pampanga used to be a US military base before Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, reducing most of the area to fields of lahar as far as the eye could see. These days, Clark is slowly being transformed into a tourist attraction, with its own international airport, duty free shopping, wide vistas, and the mountain looming over everything and everyone. The mountain feels like a living being, a heavy and forbidding presence even when you’re standing in the middle of a flat open field. Maybe I’m just not a mountain person; I much prefer the feel of the open sea.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

That said, Clark was the perfect venue to hold the festival, as the flat land made it easier to accommodate all those balloons.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga. Yes, that *is* a beer bottle balloon. 😀

The main event started at around 5am, with hordes of people jostling each other for space at the safety cordon so they could take photos of the launch. Luckily, we made good time and got there in time to find a decent spot to hang out.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

This flying barn was one of my favorite balloons that day. I like how it looks like it’s surrounded by its babies in this shot.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

And yes, it came complete with animals and a farmer, too. 🙂

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

The obligatory solo-balloon-silhouetted-against-the-dawn-sky shot. 😀

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

And lastly, my favorite balloon of the day. I must have taken more than a dozen shots of this one, trying to get a steady shot without a tripod. I think I ended up half lying on the hood of JR’s car to stabilize myself for this shot. The very hot and very dusty hood of JR’s car, I should say. Good times. 🙂

All of these photos were taken using my old Lumix TZ3, which was already ancient by the time my dad gave it to me as a hand me down. Most of these are also straight out of camera, except for one image which I cropped just a tiny bit. The details are a bit soft, but for an older model, it’s not bad.

From The Digital Baul Part 2: Black And White Conversions

These were edited late last year when I was trying out digital conversion from colored RAW files to black and white. I’m not that happy with the boat photos yet; I’ll try to work on them again when I have a bit of time to spare. 🙂

Detail, Vakul Weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Detail, Vakul Weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Ivatan House, Batanes.

Ivatan House, Batanes. Facade of a traditional Ivatan house.

Sabtang Plaza Entry, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Sabtang Plaza Entry, Sabtang Island, Batanes. The School of Fisheries in Sabtang offers very basic, dorm-style accommodations for very reasonable rates. Bring your own food as there are very limited options for purchasing food on the island.

Sabtang Port, Batanes.

Sabtang Port, Batanes. This was the view from our dorm room at the School of Fisheries on an overcast day.

Sabtang Port, Batanes.

Sabtang Port, Batanes. Taken just before boarding the faluwa back to Batan Island on an overcast and drizzly day.

Sabtang Port, Batanes.

Sabtang Port, Batanes. Taken just before boarding the faluwa back to Batan Island. Colored photo for comparison.

From The Digital Baul, Part 1: Vakul Weaving

My computer has been rather rudely reminding me that I need to do some maintenance and clean up; it’s been freezing up and refusing to budge if I have more than a few sites and apps open, so I’ve been digging through my digital baul* weeding out old files that I no longer need. I found a stash of photos from way back when Multiply was still a thing (remember them?), and I’m thinking of uploading them here to back them up. I’ll have to get permission from some of the people in the shots, though, so it’s going to take a while.

For now, I’ll leave you with this collection of vakul weaving photos, still from the Batanes collection. The vakul is a traditional headdress that the Ivatan people wear to work in the fields. The vakul is sturdy enough to keep them dry during the rainy season, and comfortable enough to keep them cool in the summer. It takes the weavers up to a week to make a single vakul, depending on its size.

*Baul is the Filipino word for a chest in which to keep one’s things.

Vakul Weavers, Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Vakul Weavers, Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes. It takes the weavers an entire week to create a vakul, a traditional Ivatan headdress meant to protect the wearer from the elements.

Detail, Vakul weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Detail, Vakul weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Vakul Weaver. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Vakul Weaver. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Vakul Weaver. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Vakul Weaver. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Detail, Vakul weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Detail, Vakul Weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes. The weavers use their feet to keep the vakul stable as it grows longer.

Detail, Vakul Weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Detail, Vakul Weaving. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes. The weavers rub two strands of string on their thighs to combine them and make them stronger. It’s painful and painstaking work akin to waxing the same spot on your thigh over and over again. Every. Single. Day.

Unfinished Vakul. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Unfinished Vakul. Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes.