Sunday, December 23, 2007

Beruwela Coast

Kids from a nearby fishing village pose for tha camera in Beruwela, on the south coast of Sri Lanka:

This photo was taken in December 2004, about a week before the Boxing Day tsunami came in and devastated this country's shoreline. I hope these kids are ok.

These photos were taken on assignment for Spa Asia. The story never ran.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Flying Kicks

Martial arts class at Bantus Capoeira, near Orchard Road:

Photographed for Time Out Singapore Magazine

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Morning After

The kitchen sink after last night's supper/midnight snack/advanced breakfast/drinking spree:

Couldn't fit Anton's beer keg in the frame :)

Monday, December 10, 2007


Seen under the North Bridge between Clarke Quay and Boat Quay:

That's what I call piped-in music :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thru the Legs

Ooops, I meant lens...

David, a regular student in my photography classes, shows the great lengths a dedicated photographer will go to just to get that shot.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pugita Cooking Class

Here is the proper way to cook a pugita steak in just 4 easy steps.

Step 1: Buy a pugita from your local Tagbanua dealer. The freshest ones are those with skins that still change color - this indicates that the animal has recently died or is still dying.

Step 2: After cleaning the ink from the creature's insides, fill a wok with water and bring to a boil. Plunk the dead motherfucker into the wok. Make sure you have an ample supply of firewood.

Step 3: Boil for an hour, occasionally turning the thing upside down. When the water has boiled out, replace with 500ml of Sprite. Keep boiling until the softdrink runs out.

Step 4: Transfer to a plate, taking care to arrange the tentacles in an aesthetically pleasing manner. You are now ready to serve your tender juicy pugita steak. Pugita steak goes well with beer, suka and rice, and is best eaten with the hands.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rainy Tuesday

The recent typhoon (it was Mitag, I think) had me stranded in Coron on Tuesday. No choice but to hang around, nothing to do but take pictures of downtown:

It was a refreshing forced break, though. Coron is a small community where everyone pretty much knows each other. It's the kind of place where motorbikes and tricycles rule the streets, where smiles are met with smiles, and where people still walk around on afternoons chatting up the neighbors. It's my kind of place.

Tuesday night found me at the Coron community centre hanging out with the members of Tribu Calamianes, a local Battle of the Bands champion group. The band is composed of a blind guitarist, a sculptor, an ex-choirboy vocalist, a Glock-wielding gun enthusiast, and an award-winning photographer. These folks drink as well as they sing. Hic. Damn good company.

And Al, you rock!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fisher Folks

The day's catch for a Tagbanua fisherman in Coron Island:

Tagbanua boys man a little "fishport" at the seaside village of Cabugao, Coron Island:

Tagbanua fishermen typically stop here to unload their catch and have it weighed before they head to their homes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

San Agustin Church

It's nice to spend the weekend at home in Manila :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Same Same Same

Art mimics life at the Ta Prohm temple in Angkor:

Shot with a Voigtlander Bessa R & Industar 61 lens, + Era 100 film at E.I. 200.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Postcard Store

A young Cambodian awaits customers at her postcard store inside the Preah Khan temple in Angkor:

Shot with a Voigtlander Bessa L & Snapshot Skopar 25mm lens + Era 100 film at E.I. 200

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Same Same

...but different:

The Khmer woman vs the French woman. That's 700 years and a few thousand miles of culture apart. The image at left is an apsara statue from the Bayon temple in Angkor, while the image at the right is a wall carving from an old French colonial mansion in Phnom Penh. Funny how they almost the same, but different...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Money Trees

Money may not grow on trees, but on some days it seems the case in Thailand:

Villagers offer donations for the upkeep of the Na Phra Larn Buddhist temple in Koh Samui, Thailand. The occasion is a community event, with hundreds of locals turning out to pin money on the branches of these potted "trees". Traditional dancing is performed, followed by a solemn, yet rather festive procession around the temple.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Koh Samui, Baby!

A waitress prepares for evening diners at the Zazen Restaurant in Bophut Beach, Koh Samui:

This was shot on the last night of my Samui assignment, after a long month of shooting different locations each weekend. I'll be desk-bound for the next few weeks, but hell - I can't wait for the next overseas shoot... :)

Shot for Fah Thai, the inflight magazine of Bangkok Airways.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stories on Walls

Seen on the wall of an old French colonial mansion, just behind Sisowath quay:

I wonder what those Khmer writings mean. Placed against this patriotic looking sticker, one can probably say the graffiti speaks of love of country, or subversion, or politics, etc.

Or maybe it just means "bawal ihi putol titi".

Anybody wanna guess what these writings might mean?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Khmer Nightlife

It's a public holiday in Cambodia and the streets of Phnom Penh are jammed with locals going out and about:

The number of motorbikes here reminds me of Plaza Burgos in Vigan on a weekend night. Phnom Penh is just like Iloilo or Bacolod City - pretty laid back - except that the expat community here is quite large. In fact, the sheer variety of restaurants here is staggering. After seeing the killing fields, the S-21 prison and the Royal Palace, the next best thing to do here would be to eat and drink. .

The occasion last Monday was the coronation anniversary day of King Norodom Sihamoni:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Assignment: Phnom Penh

Thirty years ago, this would have conjured images of dusty war zones and killing fields, AK-47's and the Khmer Rouge.

Prison cells at the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh

Part of a journalist's time here might also be spent hanging out in a place like the Foreign Correspondents'Club (the FCC for short - and it's not the image posted above!). Though the current FCC along Sisowath Road only dates back to the UNTAC days in the early 90's, it isn't hard to imagine that its cream-colored walls oozing with colonial nostalgia dates back to the war years. Back in my hobbyist days, I would dream of hanging out in a place like this after a hard day of shooting, my cameras stowed nearby while having beers with fellow photographers.

Last Saturday I did just that. But the adventure feeling wasn't complete, though, because I wasn't photographing soldiers.

I was photographing fashion designers.

Romyda Keth, designer of the Khmer label Ambre.

But hey, this is a good thing for Cambodia. If a photographer still has to go here to cover war, a decade after order was supposedly established, this would mean that there hasn't been much improvement since then.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Thin Red Line

There's a thin line between brave and fucking stupid:

And I think I crossed it the other day in Cambodia:

My guide said it was perfectly safe. But maybe - just maybe - if there was a stray mine down there and I happened to step on it... I don't want people to say I blew my leg off for a photo-op. Man that was stupid.

But thankfully for me and that cow, there were no mines and we walked out with our body parts intact.

And now I have a fucking stupid photo that I'll tell my grandkids about. Hahahaha!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Puppet Parade

Backstage of a traditional Khmer puppet show in Siem Reap, Cambodia:

Shot on assignment for Bangkok Airways' Fah Thai Magazine

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back to Angkor

Here again amongst the stones, the ruins, the gnarled old trees

Local gardener at Koh Ker, Preah Vihear Province.

Monk and Bayon Temple, Angkor.

Shot on assignment for Siem Reap Airways' Sarika magazine.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Write it Down, Scotty

Tattoo artist Scott de Silva works on his human canvas:

Taken at Shark Tattoo Studio at Serangoon Gardens. Shot with a Panasonic FX-12.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mom, Mavi, Horse

My niece Mavi and her mom Viv at the Chinese Garden:

The horse doesn't have a name :)

Shot using a Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III for Asian Photography magazine.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Switching Off

Bali, beach and Bintang beer:

The nice thing about staying in the Kuta/Legian/Seminyak stretch is that you're never far from the water. Every afternoon the local vendors would set up beer stalls where one can kick back and enjoy the sunset. Sitting on a plastic chair with soft sand under one's feet and a (cheap) Bintang in hand, cool wind and the warm light of a fading sun in your face. And not a bloody cargo ship on the horizon. Can't have that in Singapore... :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bali Hai

More images from Bali:

Legong Dancer:

Ubud Streetcorner:

Monkey Forest Bike Road:

Stone Guardian:

Uluwatu Temple Devotees:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hi Bali!

Been here since Thursday night and am loving every moment of it:

A woman splashes water on a shrine during a purification ritual at the Agung family shrine in Denpasar, Bali.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What the... Noooooo!!!!

Why did you have to poke your head in there??? Why!?!?!?

I would have loved this photo but you ruined it!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shut Dat Bol

Jaworski takes a jumpshot, elbows out as Patrimonio tries to stop him:

Abarrientos runs past Meneses on the way to the hole... Alaska Milkmen up 5 points over Swifts Mighty Meaty Hotdog:

Norman Black of San Miguel Beer plans his offense against Purefoods Tender Juicy during the PBA Governor's Cup, with 3 minutes to go in the 4th quarter:

Samboy Lim skies to the hole through a trio of Ginebra defenders - lucky for him he wasn't mauled by Rudy Distrito:

Ooops, wrong league... these were taken during the Singapore Slingers vs. Melbourne Tigers game last Sept. 19, which opened the 2007 National Basketball League (based in Australia) season in Singapore.

The problem with basketball in this country is that the locals just aren't interested in it. Well maybe if you institutionalize wagering during games they will be. But those good old PBA games back home - I'm talking San Miguel Beer vs. Swifts (featuring "bwakaw" dunker Tony Harris), or even Crispa vs. Toyota - that was basketball madness. Hard to forget those Sunday nights when the TV would be turned on right after the family got home from church. That time dinner would be eaten silently because everyone was watching the game...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Samurai Jac

My assistant, Jaclyn:

She'll hold a reflector in one hand and a radio slave-triggered flash on the other while interviewing crazy ass hippie bums or monkey god-possessed priests, at the same time calling in pictures and fact checking dubious facts over iced neslo (??) and mooncakes. And she'll do it all over again, this time in Mandarin.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Bouncing Baby...

Leica IIIf!!!! Woohoo!!!

Got her yesterday for S$XXX... her brass is showing and her hooters - I mean her lens - is an Industar 50, not a Leitz. Her serial number states she was made between 1945-1946... that's plenty of history there.

Baby, you an' me gonna make beautiful pictures together... bwahahaha... :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Seen at the MRT:

Wonder what they're all thinking... they do look good together, don't they?


Shot with a K790i handphone

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Model Laugh

Good models are both amazing and strange. Tell them you want a specific emotion and and they'll turn it on, just like that:

It was a gorgeous laugh, but there was no joke, no funny situation, maybe no real emotion behind it. You can even direct the action itself - no teeth, flirty, friendly, whatever. It's pretty impressive how they let their faces and their bodies do the talking. Well they are models after all.

Test shot for Time Out Magazine, shot with a Kyocera EZ4033.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


My colleague takes a 5-minute breather:

I can't imagine Sabrina without her cigarette. Talk about serendipity - just saw her by that window with that lovely light hitting her face and thought this could be her in a 4-megapixel nutshell.

Shot with a Kyocera EZ4033

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Squid Rice

Squid ink risotto from La Nonna's Italian resto at Holland Village:

It's kinda like Hainanese chicken rice, except that its Italian, uses squid stock (not chicken stock), is black and is not served at a hawker stall. Ok, it's not so much like chicken rice. Either way its delicious :)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Morning Alms

A Buddhist monk begs for morning alms at downtown Sukhothai, Thailand.

Photographed with a Voigtlander Bessa L + 25mm Skopar lens / Era 100 film shot at E. I. 200.

Nothing very technical about this shot, except for the Bessa L's not having a rangefinder thus the need to scale focus. Otherwise it's be there at the right time - that's 7AM when the monks make their morning rounds.

I didn't shoot at E. I. 200 on purpose - I mistakenly left the ISO dial at 200 so I had to push-process accordingly afterwards. turned out ok :P