Friday, November 16, 2012


Hello, blog.

It's been a while.

What have I been up to? Well, October was the busiest month of my unemployed life. I copy-edited a journal and organized a national anthropological conference in Cebu, and when I got back I got swamped with post-conference work: making the participant directory, making receipts, listing new members...and I'm not even finished (I still have tons of liquidation to do). I've been elected Secretary of the organization again--

--and one of the 'requirements' was that the officers have a degree in anthropology, or at least studying it, or actively involved in anthropological work--

--and I don't have a degree, I'm now on AWOL status in graduate school, and I'm not involved in any anthropological work whatsoever--

--but then nobody else wanted the job (who would? It's voluntary, takes up a lot of time, and is lots of work)--

--and so they decided I could keep the position, because I could do it, and I was free to do it (I don't have fieldwork, I'm based in the country, I'm a 30-minute ride from the "home base" of anthropology in Luzon, I have all the time in the world)--

--I'm thinking of sticking it out until October next year, when the Board elects officers again. 

Oh well.

Sometime during the conference I got to chat with some of my classmates about academic life, how I've lost an appetite for finishing my master's. They encouraged me to finish, even giving suggestions on topics and advisers. I got to thinking to why I wanted to have a degree in the first place: I wanted to teach. For a time I didn't want to teach anymore; the academe didn't seem to be the place for me, after all. And then somehow I thought I wanted to teach again, considering the 'fun' classes my classmates were conducting: Bodies, Senses, and Humanity for one. And then there's this little niche in anthropology that hasn't been fully explored in the Philippines, and one of my classmates thought I could really focus on it. I've been skirting around the idea--how will it be 'accepted' in an academic community such as ours? I had doubts, but a few hours of internet research later, I was convinced. I could focus on it. It's right in my alley. Easy, right?

The thing is, I don't feel like doing my thesis now. Maybe sometime in the future, and I know I might probably end up going back to square one in graduate school, but what the heck. Not now. Now I want to explore other opportunities--I'm still young, after all--and I don't know, maybe I just want to prove to myself that there's plenty more that I can do outside school. Maybe I obsessed on the idea to teach too much to actually see that a lot of other opportunities have been passing me by, opportunities that would allow me to make more use of whatever skills and 'talent' I have.

And so, changes.

I've decided to become a writer.

Okay, that sounds funny. Or pretentious. Let me try it again:

I've decided to write for a living. 

Too stupid? Noble? Okay, how about:

I've decided to turn my words into cash. I've decided to live on phrases. Very specific phrases, actually. 

I've decided to offer my soul to the god of SEO.

It's not much of a surprise; I have been writing and editing articles on the side, anyway. My first job after college was magazine work. I did write reports and edit manuals in my past job. I can write well (or so my friends say). It would be pretty easy for me. Me writing for a living isn't surprising, really. I just happened to surprise myself, because I never thought I would take on writing to be my bread and butter.



I've been thinking about this blog too. Maybe it's time to be quiet here for a while. Perhaps a new blog is in order. It's like turning over a new leaf: whatever helps you change things up, do it. One of my former professors changed his nickname and announced it during our general assembly. [Sometimes names don't fit us anymore.] When I was asked my nickname (or what I wanted to be called) at my new job, I said Lauren, because it still fit, and I like my name. 

But this blog.

I think I'll stop coming here for a while, see if I miss it, check to see if it still fits. Maybe it's time to close this book and start a new one, yes?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

on film: a day at the park



a month ago, at the quezon memorial circle. walked around, had some malunggay tea, rode a bike. the rented sidecar cost us a hundred pesos for an hour's riding. not bad. wish the bike path's longer & wider though.

photos taken with my Canonet QL 17 GIII rangefinder.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

on film: Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental

Last weekend's plans were completely trampled by the bane that is Philippine Weather--it rained all night on Friday, bringing floods to different parts of below-sea-level Manila, and the city woke up to find several slippers, rubber boots, and trash a-floating. Saturday classes were suspended, point-and-shoot film cameras were put back in storage, and dogs and cats cuddled closer to their humans. 

The usual.

I had plans to go to the 33rd Manila International Book Fair at the SM Mall of Asia that Saturday, as well as stroll through a few camera stores in the area. On Sunday, the last day of the book fair, it was still raining. 

Oh well.

Anyway, to somehow bring a little glow over the sucky weather, here are a few film photos of our stay last August in Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental. It's almost been a month but I still haven't forgotten how beautiful the beach is--fine sand and crystal-clear waters.

Camera: Superheadz Usagi Camel Wide-angle film camera
Film: Fuji Sensia 200, cross-processed

A small fisherfolk community.

The beach is perfect for surfing and skimboarding.

Sunrise at the Pacific.

Rocky part.

Waiting for the waves.

A friend prepares her surfboard. Camera bugs document.

Took a dip, lounged by the shore.

I'm a water babe; unfortunately I can't stay in seawater for a long period--I get some sort of skin allergy. My neck and face start to redden up and itch horribly. When this happens I take myself out of the water, rinse up with fresh/tap water, wait a few minutes for the itch and redness to go away, and then back to the water I go. Haha.

Shots from my Snapsights underwater film camera:

Okay, I think that's enough warmth and sun (and feet) for now. I hope the rest of the month's weekends have better weather. Lots of stuff happening in the coming weeks. :)

Hoping to see you again soon, beach! (In another part of the country, perhaps.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

on film: Kadayawan sa Davao

Last August, I went with a couple of film-loving friends to Davao City for the Kadayawan Festival. The three of us brought 13 film cameras and almost 50 rolls of film. Nobody wants to run out of film in the middle of the festivities!

I was happy just to be able to take photos outside my house. The self-imposed house arrest limited my photographic subjects, as those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram know. My posts are 95% cats and dogs and 5% random household items.

Anyway, here's a photodiary of sorts of our adventure that is the Kadayawan Festival of Davao, using my Canonet QL17 GIII rangefinder.

Saturday: Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan (street dancing competition)
We didn't head off to where the performers did their thing in front of the camera--instead, we went to the the 'tail' of the parades, to shoot some candid and unguarded moments.

After the streetdancing we headed to Aldevinco to buy some souvenirs.

Off to lunch.

Sunday: Pamulak sa Kadalanan (flower float parade)

After the float parade, we sneaked in The Marco Polo to use its facilities.

And away we went again, this time to meet with some travel bloggers.

Sunday night was spent at one of the local watering holes.

Kara and Erick, film bugs.

The travel bloggers were awed at our cameras, and wanted to try.

I took this photo of James (Journeying James), 

 who took this photo of Marky (Nomadic Experiences).

Erick, Kara, Marky and I were bound for Mati for a couple of days after the weekend.
I used a different camera for that trip, and I'll share the photos in the next post.  :)

We spent 8 days in Davao, shooting and eating and walking around and meeting up with friends.
I also have some digital shots but I would really have to say these film photos are closer to my heart.

A little more eating when we got back to the city, and then, just a little too soon, it was time to go home.

Until the next post, then.