Monday, October 13, 2014

A day in Central Park/ Poet's Walk

Manila will always be home but I can't deny that New York has a soft spot in my heart. Sure, NYC can be stinky, the people rude, and the cost of living unrealistically high, but it's got its moments. 

It's been a while since I last went out and explored and I did so one weekend when I was feeling down. I wen to central park and it was wonderful. The leaves have started to turn and the air was cool but not chilly.

I came in through Columbus Circle, ate some dogs wrapped in pretzel. I was a dollar short and was about to return my water when the vendor told me that it was fine. See, there are nice people in this city! On a weekend, the park was packed with tourists, families, and children! I try not to take pictures of children in playground to avoid prison.

I miraculously found my way to the poet's/literary/shakespeare trail. It's probably my favorite part of the park because of the long line of trees forming a canopy.  Under the canopy are people reading, playing music, blowing bubbles and dancing! There was even an area for roller blades. A couple of guys were playing violin. This curly haired boy was playing songs by Adele and Taylor Swift on his violin. He was amazing and I stayed on for about half-an hour just listening to him play while i read a book. 

I also went by the Bethesda Fountain but that place is always packed. I moved to Sheep's meadow and lied on the grass until it started getting chilly and I knew it was time to leave. On my way out was a band playing more music. Perfect way to end a perfect day.

Pictures below, as always:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gail in NYC - MOMA and Central Park

Gail was one of the first (if not the first!) people I met in college. I was this shy, scared little boy from the province come to live in Manila by myself. And I was glad to have met someone like Gail who was truly nice and welcoming. 

We hadn't seen each other in almost a decade so I was really glad to tour her around NYC even though the list of places she wanted to see was exhausting on paper and deadly in real life. haha. Fine, it's my fault for wearing the most uncomfortable shoes. 

But we made it! First stop: MOMA and Central Park!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Juls and Annie!

We haven't had a Pinoy party in a long time so I was really happy when Juls and Annie threw one for their 25th birthday! Yay. It was good to see friends again and eat tons of food and just laugh. A lot. Then laugh some more. My mistake was drinking without any food in me. So, I barely remember taking some of these pictures. Fine, most of the pictures. haha. Everything was kind of a blurrrrr after the first hour. Hahaha! But still! fun!

Can I just say, ang init! haha. Nay, minsan lang to, hindi po ako alcoholic! hahaha.

Of course this happened. Why are you even surprised?

Tons more pictures after the cut!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pinoy Boy in the City

I started this blog as a place to store and dump my pictures. And sometimes it still is, but that's beside the point. Along the way it became a place where I could post my pictures publicly, which, I thought, would then encourage me to take better pictures. And later, I found a blog format that allowed me to tell stories through the photos I took, a sort of extension of my creative writing days when I used to weave fiction.

Inevitably, this blog, without me noticing it, has transformed again. Inevitable because I've been moving through doors, phases and places this past couple of years and transformation comes with stepping through doors, whether we realize it or not. I want to say that this blog is changing because of all the growth that's been happening to me and in me but "growth" would be too presumptuous, and in many cases, plain lie. So let's stick to the word "change." I'm changing and so is this blog.

I moved to New York a couple of years back to study Economics and International Development. Back in the Philippines, I've worked in the non-profit sector for a long time, but I felt I needed to go back to school and equipped myself with skills and knowledge to actually be able to serve better. It's been a year since I finished my MA in Fordham and it looks like I'm going to be here in NYC for a couple more years to learn a little bit more about being in development.

And as I come to terms with being here - and yes, it's taken me this long to come to terms with it because I miss our ridiculously large and numerous malls, the smell of taho in the morning, the sound of the Selecta ice-cream bike in the afternoon - I've also learned to grow fond of this City. Don't get me wrong, Manila will always be number one for me, but New York can be very charming in the way that some  mannerless, rough, rugged but pretty people can be charming after you spend a few weeks with them trapped in an elevator with nothing but alcohol for drinks.

And knowing that I won't be here, surrounded by lights and subway grime, forever I want to capture this City in my own way. Whatever that means will unfold in the days to come.  This may also be a long way of me saying that I'm changing the name of this blog. Atleast for now.

And in keeping with the photo blog theme - here I am in Grand Central. Grand Central is probably my favorite spot in the City because I love people-watching and great architecture and GCT certainly has those. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

San Fracisco at Night

First part of this trip is HERE.

We only had one day in San Francisco and I wish we had more. I was super exhausted but I couldn't rest when there was so much of the city to see. So I decided to walk around some more.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

MET MUSEUM with Ma'am Rica

I've been to the MET Museum almost ten times and I don't think I've seen everything there is to see. It's huge. It's one of the few things that make me a little jealous of Americans and their first world money. And so I was glad when Ma'am Rica said she wanted to see the MET again. We looked at the Egyptian exhibit and ALMOST bought jewelry.

First part is HERE by the way.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Missing Winter

I know I spent the last few months complaining about how cold it was and here I am posting about missing winter. But can you blame this boy from the tropics where it's always sunny and warm even when it's raining. Man, has it been hot or what. It really is the city of extremes when it comes to weather. 

I found these pictures lying around in my hard drive. It's also been a while since I've seen most of these people and these pictures are a good reminder of how it can be to hang out with them.  The day started with me meeting Chinno and Kathy in Grand Central. I haven't seen Chinno in 10 years so that was awesome. 

And then I had lunch with Aisa, Annie and Chuckie then met up with Neil in Central Park just to roll around in the snow! I keep forgetting to make snow angels! Warning, long post ahead.

Zsazsa in NYC

These days I've been blessed with friends visiting from everywhere. Someone up there must know that I'm homesick and Jollibee is no longer enough of a cure. This time, Zsazsa dropped by! She was my co-worker at Pathways to Higher Education. It's this great non-profit organization that helps marginalized but deserving kids get access to quality higher education. I haven't seen Zsa in over seven years. She's been in Philadelphia for over two years and it's only now that we've had time to finally meet up. Why it took us so long is a wonder to me because this visit just made me remember how much fun hanging out back then. We ended up visiting the Bronx Botanic Garden which is pretty all year around. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bea in Boston Part 2!

I felt that this particular trip to Boston was a little bit more relaxed since we've already seen most of the tourist places and there was no pressure to run around and see everything. Bea is also a good travel companion because she's very chill and just wanted to walk around the city.
So the fun continues!

Part 1 is HERE

Ma'am Rica in America Part 1

Ms. Rica Bolipata-Santos comes from a line of very famous artists in the Philippines. Today she is one of the most important writers/essayists and is head of the Ateneo University Press(naks!) But for many years she had always been Ms. Rica, my teacher. She was my very first teacher in Ateneo and, being a boy from the province who wrote nothing but cheesy love letters in high school,  I owe much of the confidence I gained, and badly needed, throughout my college life, to her. She wasn't just a teacher of English, she was a teacher of life. And this is why I probably took 18 units with her, because it was from her that I gained so much passion, not just for literature, but for living. The kind of living, which rests on arms that reach out to the highest of heavens and the lowest of earths, arms that unfold to embrace and welcome but also fold to rest and protect. 

Living in the moment, living for the moment. 

So imagine my excitement when she told me she was coming to NYC. She brought with her a suitcase full of memories and insights. And silliness, of course. Lots of fun, senseless, meaningful silliness! And also her wonderful sister, the oh so talented, Ms. Plet Bolipata-Borlongan.

We picked them up from the airport and welcomed them with flowers and the most excited of hearts!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cardinal Tagle visits Fordham University

The Archbishop of Manila, His Eminence Cardinal Luis Tagle visited Fordham University to receive his Honorary Degree. Of course, Filipinos all over the city came in full force to welcome and celebrate mass with him.  Some of us helped out in the mass and the coat check. And when we got bored, we did what we do best - pose.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Anna's Birthday at Grill 21

I've always been very resilient when it comes to homesickness. I think it comes from being an only child raised by a single parent. While my mom was away working, I would spend hours playing clay and watching TV. In the beginning, of course, I used to cry a lot when my mom would have to go to work. But in time, as with many other things in life, you get used to it. Which is why, I think, it wasn't very difficult for me to join JVP or study here in NY.

But, you know, there are just those days when there's nothing I wouldn't give up for a sniff of dirty Manila air. And the closest I can get to home, other than coming home to relatives in New Jersey is eating Pinoy food. And so I was a very happy kid when Anna said she would be celebrating her birthday at a Filipino restaurant so her husband's non-Pinoy friends can try Filipino food.

They served lumpiang shanghai as an appetizer. And they kept the supply coming! I don't think I've eaten that much lumpia in my entire life. Thank you Anna!

Anna looking good here!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visit

Every year, come spring time, I always make plans to see the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. They're supposed to be amazing. And every year my laziness and aversion to huge crowds win over and I end up staying home, eating Chinese food and binge watching survivor.

And so far, every time I miss the one in D.C. I end up going to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden just to be able to say I took pictures of cherry blossom trees There's not a lot but that doesn't diminish their beauty in any way. 

And for the first time in five months, I'm wearing shorts!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bea in Boston Part 1

Boston is, I think, next to Manila and New York, my favorite city. Sometimes, I think I like it even more than New York because it has all the convenience of a city but in a package that's small enough to be tranquil and stress-free. Thus I was very happy to be back in Boston for a third time, this time with Bea, who was on vacation from her amazing work in Kenya.

As with other blog posts, don't expect any of the pictures to be in any sort of order. Life is random! and so is this blog. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

At the Whitney Museum

Knowing that you'll be at a certain place for sometime can make one lax about exploring. When I wen to Barcelona, I only had 3 days and so forced myself to get out of bed and to walk for hours. I made sure to see every major tourist destinations. Here in NYC though, knowing that I would be here for quite a while, I haven't really been going around much. How many weekends did I tell myself that I would go out to see this or that only to end up staying in bed and on the interwebz, telling myself that there'll be other days. Thus, it took me 3 years before I finally set foot at the Whitney Museum. 

Man, I should have done this before. Also, I wish I took notes and could tell you who made who, but I can't. I just took pictures of artworks that struck me the most without even thinking that I would someday blog about them. My bad. Maybe next time!

Deer Sweatear

For Christmas, I got a deer sweater. It's ridiculous and I love it! haha.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Campos Thanksgiving

I'm not really big fan of Thanksgiving Day because I wasn't born here but still it's one of the holiday's I've learned to look forward to every year because I get to hang out with my family. We would always go to my uncle's house upstate New York and essentially do nothing. It would be 2 days of sitting around, watching TV and stuffing our faces. Also shopping in the outlet mall nearby. Hooray for American consumerism! :)

My nieces have also grown a lot. Look at Kylie!

And Alyza! She was doing some baking.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sight Seeing in San Francisco or that time I pigged out on dumplings

I only had one day in San Francisco after Anna's wedding but I loved every minute of it. I was exhausted from taking thousand of pictures the day before but how could you not take shots of this lovely, lovely city. It really was more chill than NYC. Well, I think any place is more relaxed than NYC. But San Francisco has an atmosphere that makes you feel like you're walking around in your own living room. A sun drenched living room.

The bridge, of course, was magnificent. That red is really perfect against that blue.

Oxfam, Pepsi and Fall

Spring is finally here. That was such a long winter. Growing up in the Philippines, I never understood why Americans on tv liked talking about the weather. And now that I've spent some considerable amount of time in the US, I get it. The weather is such a big part of one's life and it can change drastically in a heartbeat.

But these pictures are from months ago when fall was just beginning. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Belgian Fries in the East Village

I'm a big fan of fries. I mean, who isn't? I've given up rice and chips in the past but I don't think I've even thought about giving up fries!

Anyway, there's this great place in the East Village called Pommes Frites that's all about Belgian frries. And they have all sorts of dips too!

ME waiting for fries.

This has nothing to do with fries.



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