Special times

What a day it’s been! I thought I’d share a glimpse of that through a few snapshots. So my Lola (Grandmother) has just turned 75 today! And my family and I are just absolutely thankful that she gets to spend her birthday here with us in Syd, after we’ve been separated by distance for some eight long years because she now stays in the US.

Just like my family, my Mommy (that’s what we call her) isn’t very festive as well. When asked about how she wanted to celebrate her birthday, she really just wanted to celebrate it at home with us. No massive feast, no visitors, no frills whatsoever. She just wanted to spend time with us, and celebrate this momentous milestone.

During the day, she wanted to hear a mass (I know, I’m not even used to saying that anymore as I haven’t been Catholic for years now). I think this is her being traditionally Filipino, because if it is your birthday in the Philippines, you have to make sure you come to church within the day to say your thanks, and summon blessings and good vibes. That’s basically it.

And so, we went to St Mary’s Cathedral in the city. It’s one of Sydney’s most beautiful church buildings I believe. Like seriously, it’s so grandiose, so majestic. And it’s been my Lola’s favourite go-to since she arrived.

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Then we had a mini celebration at home. My Lola particularly requested my Pancit Palabok to be in the dinner menu, and so I tried my best to perfect the ever elusive recipe of mine.

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The ’75’ photo collage I conceptualised and created, made from (real) printed photos. It contains old and new images of my Mommy and our family. This really made her frisky! She loved it. It was worth the 3 hours of toiling, past midnight.

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How do I sum up the day? It’s pretty simple, nothing too festive or ostentatious like she requested. We just stuck together and had heaps of fun.

I guess we’re a family that do not really depend on material things to get happy and feel blessed. The most valuable thing we could offer each other and gift to each other is our time. And just being together overthrows any need for material stuff or lavish settings. We know how to be content with what we have with thankfulness and appreciation.

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It is also that time when we realise how important our Lola is, and how thankful we are that she’s been given another year to live, love and serve. Another year to be healthy, happy and favoured by our Lord. Another year full of grace and hope. That’s probably the most significant reason why we all must celebrate birthdays, however simple or grand it may be.

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In a new light

And so the time came that I wanted to invest (finally) in a pretty steep and interesting gadget. A few weeks ago, and just right before my birthday, I came across the Fujifilm X-Series cameras that apparently merges “traditional styling with cutting edge innovative technology.” Love how that sounds. But more than anything, it is the look and the physical design of the Fuji mirrorless camera range that got me—it’s chic, unique and relatively retro. And to be honest, I did not want to get a DSLR camera. Regardless of its prominent high-quality features and what not, it’s just too conventional, too conforming for me. georgina

Of course, I needed to spend some time researching; going to company websites and blogs; reading product reviews and related articles in order to make sure that it’s worth the spending. But hey, this post isn’t going to be a review. I’m not very knowledgeable of the ideals and standards in the photography spectrum. I just wanted a dang good camera that would please me and my love for taking and editing snapshots. I also did not want the frills of sophisticated professional photography–basically, the fuzzy stuff. I just want my camera to be modern and user-friendly; and all photos HD enough to be adored.

I was fortunate to get a very good deal online, and managed to purchase a Black Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera, which was just fit for my current budget. What’s ridiculous is that I’ve always wanted a silver one, but I initially thought that only the black was available in the store I got it from. To my surprise, I found out that silver was also in store and would actually cost a few dollars more; but this was after my package arrived. Bonkers! And truth be told, processing an exchange and/or refund is just never fun and convenient. So, what the heck. I’m keeping the black.

So far, so good. Loving the captured photos. Now, I am spending some time trying to learn the features of my X-M1. To date, I’ve successfully transferred my first few shots wirelessly from the camera to my iPhone through the related app, which just blew me away honestly!

And so, I thought I’d share my first few attempts with you. They’re just random snapshots; don’t expect too much. Colours have been slightly enhanced through helpful filters. Also, check out my gorgeous model, my very fine subject. He’s beautiful. Such a natural.

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