Driving Again

Note: All the activities written here were done before NCOV-19 + lockdown.

(Hey guys, it’s been a while again. Whoops. Initially, when the lockdown was implemented, I thought I would have a lot of free time to actually update here, but I was wrong—haha! I’ll write more about that in the coming blog posts, but now, I want to share with you a little story + personal achievement that I did before the lockdown!)

After five long years, I finally enrolled myself into driving school again. This time, I decided to learn how to drive an automatic car (I learned manual the first time.) It’s funny to me to see my progress here because my first blog post on this blog was about driving school, haha!

Initially, I was nervous to drive again. I had so many thoughts circling my head: What if I cause a lot of traffic? What if I damage the car or accidentally bump someone? What if I forgot everything I’ve learned five years ago and make a total fool out of myself now?

All these thoughts kept swarming my head as I attended my first actual driving session—I was scared it would be as difficult as the first time I drove. I admit the first few sessions were a little rough. I was so used to all the foot positions (due to muscle memory/habit) of a manual car so much, that re-learning everything was nerve-wracking.

DrivingAgain1Outside the LTO (Land Transportation Office) to get a driver’s license application!

I had good days and bad days. The good days were when there was barely any traffic and the weather was great. The bad days were times when cars were all around me, and I felt claustrophobic, thinking that I would get squished on the road. At times, it was really overwhelming and I felt like giving up.

It was when I finally stopped thinking too hard about driving and stopped doubting myself, I realized that driving can be relaxing. I realized that driving is all about being in the present. You can’t think about on-road decisions that happened already once you get through it, and you can’t keep getting apprehensive about every move you make—it’s about how you react to what’s going on and trying to make the best out of every situation there.

After completing my lessons, I studied up for the licensing exam and went to the LTO a month after to take the test. After around 6 hours of waiting, I walked out with a driver’s license. Sure, I had several (and literal) bumps along the way, but I am proud to say that I did it! Yey!

(Sorry I don’t have a lot of pictures—but I guess, that’s self-explanatory, haha! Couldn’t really be taking a lot of photos while I drive, lol.)

‘Till the next blog post,
Sophie

 

PaperCon 2019 Haul!

Two weeks ago, I worked at PaperCon under Abbey’s booth with two volunteers: Trina (who so happens to be a friend from college) and Nice (a new friend, yey!) It was ultimately a rewarding experience—we had so much fun manning a booth and talking to the customers! Before it got too busy, I was able to take a couple of photos of the event:

It still amazes me that people lined up around 2-3 hours before the event itself to get a hold of the VIP ticket (which was limited to 200 only!) Salute to you guys for bracing the hot weather and standing up for so long, haha.

Just look at that line!

Setting up (a.k.a. the calm before the storm.)

At 10:00AM on the dot, the doors officially opened, and a swarm of people entered. We were selling stationery and books left and right, and we didn’t realize how much time has passed until one of us called for a lunch break!

Team ABC! (L-R: Abbey, me, Trina, and Nice + special mention to Auntie Z for helping us out!)

We took turns taking breaks and going around when it wasn’t too busy. Actually, before PaperCon, I already had an idea of what I wanted to buy (from stalking the online shops of each seller, haha!)—and I’m proud to say that I stayed within my budget. Now, on to my haul!

Cute PaperCon ticket!

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Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!

It’s that time of the year again – Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!

Just like last year, I went with my best friend Courtney!

We went on August 26!

I’d like to say that this year, I came more prepared (meaning, I brought more money – HAHA.)

When we go to APCC, we usually have three reasons why. First, the artists and their merch:

Just look at all those stickers!

Second, the special guests (guest artists or celebrities):

I wanted to buy an Artgerm print, but they didn’t have the design I wanted huhu.

And lastly, comics!

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A Thousand Words

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. While I might be a better writer than I am a photographer, I agree with this statement. If you’ve been following my blog (or even if you’re a new reader), you’ll notice that I love including photos in all my posts – I think it helps tell my story the way I want it to be told through photographs. I sometimes let the photos do the talking to get my point across or for appreciation’s sake.

In participation with the #VantagePoint project, I want to share with you some of my favorites photographs. (The #VantagePoint project is by a startup company called light.co and they sell these really awesome compact cameras, which is unfortunately sold out (for now). As part of their marketing campaign, they shared the #VantagePoint project with me, which is basically me sharing a photo of my favorite location and the story behind it – which is what I love doing anyways.)

Since I took so many photos over the year, I thought that I’d showcase my top three photos from my travels.
(Disclaimer: please note that these are the top three best photos not because of aesthetic’s sake, but because of the memory that goes with it.)

1. El Nido, Palawan (Philippines)

This place took my breath away when I was physically there. Without a word, I made my way to the front of the boat and bravely took my phone out (despite my fear of it falling down the boat). I made sure the lighting was just perfect and waited for the moment to capture it. I assessed the positioning and symmetry with the grids. I made sure that there were different kinds of action happening everywhere that would make people want to look at this photo again and again. This was the highlight of my trip.

2. The National Museum, Manila (Philippines)

It was Independence Day when I took this photo and I went to the National Museum (one of my favorite places in Manila) to celebrate. When I left the museum, it was really windy and I looked up to see several flags proudly displayed out in front. It was really sunny as well, so I squinted, aimed my camera at the highest flag, aligned it to my grid, and shot. I waited for the right moment so that all the flag would show it’s entirety. I loved how the blueness of the sky made the colors of the flag pop out! I think this photo shows peace and nationality together.

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May Update

Hello, everyone! Just wanted to share a small update! My third term in university just started two weeks ago, and I’ve been keeping myself pretty occupied lately.

First, if you noticed on my blog, I have a new tab labeled “Features (When in Manila)”. I’ve finally achieved my dream of being an actual contributor to a website/publication! I’ve published one article so far and there’s another one on the way! Thank you for all the love and support! I’m one step closer to achieving my dreams!

Second, I’ve bought/got some things this month and I want to share them with you!

1. Dog-A-Petreat’s Beef Heart Crisps

I bought a pack of beef heart crisps from this store, and my dogs absolutely love it!

Family photo vibe here – HAHA! (L-R: Archer & Luli)

I can see and hear them salivating and panting just at the sight and smell of these babies.

Archer takes the lead! Will Luli get a chance?

NOPE.

(But, seriously, dogs will go nuts for these things. I’m even tempted to try it myself – HAHA.)

2. Book Haul from Aklatan

Continue reading “May Update”

Coldplay Manila!

Several months ago, Coldplay announced that they’ll be having a concert here in the Philippines – as expected, tickets sold out right away, so even if you DID have the means to watch their concert, you couldn’t watch (and that’s already around 35,000 tickets)! My best friend, Courtney (whom you probably would recognize from this blog post) is an avid fan and was devastated when she found out that she wouldn’t be able to watch. As a supportive best friend, I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing – so I searched for every single contest for tickets available and joined as much as I could. Our last shot was Pepsi’s contest:

[Translation for international readers: “You still have a chance to win Coldplay Live in Manila tickets!” Don’t lose the chance to see and experience Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams Tour with #PepsiSnapAndSync! Record yourself on Instagram holding a Pepsi product while lip syncing the featured Coldplay song of the week, share and tag us! Submission of entries is until March 30 so join now!”] (Photo from PepsiPH’s Instagram.

I swallowed my pride and embarrassment and used my ~communication arts skills~ to good use and made the video (which can be viewed on my Instagram (@philosophieyu). We had so much fun making the video and after a few days –

(Photo from PepsiPH’s Instagram) (My name is Sophia YSABELLE Yu, by the way HAHA – not Ysabella!)

WE WON!

So fast-forward to April 4, 2017 (Tuesday):

(Yes, my face is having some problems right now – it’s been a really stressful term AHHA)

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Coin Flip – Short Feature Film

Hello, everyone!

For the entire month of March, I’ve been really busy with a new project:

(We held a film festival for our class!)

My groupmates (Dia Alvaro and Gia Ruiz) created a short film for our major, Video Production.

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Fully Booked: Children’s Books Galore!

Last month, my favorite local bookstore Fully Booked sent me a newsletter about children’s books followed by a link with their top ten recommendations (click here to read it)!

(Photo from Fully Booked Online)

At the bottom of the list, they announced that they were giving away specially curated sets of children’s books! I excitedly joined. They only asked for two things: one, to visit their Facebook page (which I usually do, anyways); and two, to leave a comment on their list answering the question “what is your favorite children’s book?” I answered from the heart and a few weeks later –

I won!

Continue reading “Fully Booked: Children’s Books Galore!”

Japan 2k16 Photobook

I know, I know.

I haven’t updated my Japan 2016 blog in a LONG time – but bear with me. I’m writing it slowly, and you should expect a post probably next week (if school work doesn’t drown me). In the meantime – I’m very excited to announce that for the past few months, I’ve been working on a secret project. I was looking through the past photos of my Japan trip when I was suddenly struck with inspiration – why don’t I make a photo album? 

So that’s what I did – I combined my photography, my brush lettering, and my photo editing skills together in one huge project.

It was a difficult process to choose only a hundred photos for the entire album – I distributed it to 20 photos a month (excluding the collages, it counts as “1 photo”) – but after much deliberation, I finally completed it. I arranged the photos in the order that it happened. If some photos don’t make much sense, it’s because it’s probably an inside joke or story. Maybe if I have the time, I’ll write about it in my future blog posts!

Without further adieu, here it is! The product of several sleepless nights, blood, sweat, and tears:

Update: I actually had this printed in hard copy via fotogra.ph! I highly recommend this company because the prices are really good, the service is speedy, and the outcome is perfect. Would definitely order again in the future!

[2018 Update: I don’t think I’d be able to ever complete the 2016 weekly Japan blog posts at this point 😭 It’s been too far gone, and I’m  trying to move forward and focus on things that are coming instead. I hope that you’ll understand! I kept the majority of my day-to-day life during my exchange program in a journal and I think that’s enough for me.]

Art Fair PH 2017

[Brace yourselves for a long post.]

Yesterday (February 16, 2017), I went to Art Fair PH! I’ve been wanting to go for years, but I never really got the chance to until this year!

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We (my aunt, her friend, and I) arrived early afternoon and was pleased to see that there was an acceptable amount of people – not too many, not too little.

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I’ll let my pictures and the art do all the talking. Enjoy this visual treat of what to expect in this year’s art fair.
Unfortunately, I didn’t capture everything, so here are some of my favorite pieces (plus my comments/insights):

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Bench’s collection!
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This one is so mesmerizing.
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I love how the artist played with shadows and dimension.

Continue reading “Art Fair PH 2017”