Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Siem Reap sketches

Last month, my mom, my sisters and I went to Siem Reap in Cambodia for some good ol' touristy stuff and girl bonding. We explored the Angkor Thom temple complex, took shelter in one of Ta Prohm's stupas when it rained, had our fill of buffet food, road a boat to a floating village, and saw Cambodian artisans hard at work.

We have more than 500 photos of the trip but I won't be putting them here (boo), as they're really very...touristy, and I've exhausted all my touristy energy when I uploaded them all on Facebook.

My film photos are taking such a long time to have processed now, for two reasons: one, I don't get to use up a roll as quickly as before; and two, ever since Digiprint has started closing its branches, I'm left with few choices. Go to Hidalgo to have it processed and scanned to CD, wait 1-3 hours (since I'm already there anyway, might as well wait), and pay a lot for one roll; go to TeamManila to have it processed and scanned by Digiprint, wait up to two weeks (!!!) for the CD and negatives, and pay around Php 500 for 4 rolls; or nothing. (Note: I used to pay *only* Php 250 for 5 rolls in Digiprint, and the CD would be delivered to me in 3 days' time.) Those are the two best choices I have at the moment. The last remaining Digiprint in the metro (that I'm aware of, at least), the one in Shang, is closed due to 'mall renovations'.

Really, you'd think that with the trend of 'going analogue' the hipster lifestyle has popularized, 'inexpensive' film labs would actually pop up here and there. But no. And right now there's nothing I can do about it.

Film photography frustrations aside, I decided to just make this post all about the sketches I made in Siem Reap. For a change. I wasn't able to sketch as much as I would like (it's really hard to sketch while walking around, getting herded by the guide around ancient temples), but I'm happy with what I was able to make. So without further blah, the sketches!

One of the concerns we had about our trip was "Would we be able to attend mass on Sunday?" Our flight was scheduled on Saturday night, and we didn't even know if there are Catholic churches around where we're going. Luckily for us, the NAIA Terminal 3 airport has an anticipated mass every Saturday at 5pm, thanks to the Our Lady of the Airways parish. We used to hear mass there before, when we had to pick up my mom from the airport.

After mass we went to have dinner in one of the airport's restaurants. Our budget flight offered nothing for free, so heavy meal it is. This guy was alone and looked like a regular brooder.

I get bored most when the plane is just sitting on the runway waiting for its go signal to start running--er, flying. Thanks to sketching, I had something to occupy myself with. And once I started, I couldn't stop.

I think it was a full moon when we left, and the night sky was beautiful with clouds and the moon shining over and through them. This was drawn shortly after takeoff; we turned around to our proper course and I didn't see the moon anymore.

I attempted to draw my mom while she slept during our flight. That's not really how her nose looks like--I blame turbulence.

Bayon Temple. I almost tripped on one of the stones while sketchwalking (literally) so I decided to keep my notebook for a while. "A while" turned into "the rest of the day."

The following day, I went down for breakfast early. There was a pool by the dining area, and it wasn't every day that I got to take my sweet time having 'breakfast by the pool', so there.

We would get to swim on our last day there. The pool allows swimming only after 10am, but since we would be leaving earlier, we asked the management if we could take a dip as early as 7am. They agreed! Thank you, Royal Angkor Hotel!

Monday morning was spent in a boat. We were heading to the Tonle Sap Lake to see the floating village. Muddy waters, but we could see people fishing with their nets. I was seated behind my sister. I really like the way I was able to draw the lifejacket, haha.

I do not know how to 'properly' draw water.

Along the side of the river are water level indicators. The area floods during rainy season, and our guide told us that when the water reaches a certain level, the residents evacuate but return to their houses (and their livelihood) when the flood subsides. "Like in the Philippines!" we chorus.

Back on dry land, lunch.

After lunch, we went to the Cultural Village, their version of the Nayong Pilipino. The village featured different kinds of performances, from dances to a wedding ceremony. The group that performed that day was amazing--they changed costumes so quickly, moved from theater to theater like the wind, and were tireless in their dances. 

At the Khmer wedding show, a group of musicians.

This particular performer is what we call "makulit"--he connects to the audience really well, and is very funny. We were able to have a photo with him and some of the other male performers. 

The 'house' over at the Chinese village. With bamboos, of course.

The most entertaining performance happened here, at the Kroeung Village. It was about choosing a husband. The cast was full of endearing and funny characters. And I suck at drawing people (moving ones at that), so house. And tree.

Never leave Cambodia without sketching a lotus, even if it's just the one on your breakfast table.

The sketch that I am proudest of is this one, the view from our hotel room. Proudest because I usually get bored drawing details (all those lines!) but I did my best, and there you go!

At the airport, preying on sleeping passengers.

To pass the time my sister read on her iPad; I sketched.

I was seated at the left aisle seat two rows behind. He was the only one I could comfortably see. For this sketch, I used the Akashiya Brush Pen Koto that we bought at the mall. Nice gray when wet!

It was a short, but sweet trip. I keep saying this, and I do mean it: I plan to go back, maybe for a week. I can still work while there anyway. I'd like to go on a bike ride around town, to the temples, have a picnic under one of the trees, have tea in one of the local tea shops, have a taste of 'authentic' Cambodian food (no more buffets, please), learn a few more useful phrases, buy more brush pens, and make more sketches.

Gotta save up for next year, then.