A Photography Journey: I Got Blocked!

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Social media has certainly made it easier for professional and amateur photographers to better connect with one another.

I am one of those amateur photographers who gets fascinated by browsing through the work of others. Hence, the inspiration to share my own.

I have recently joined an online photography community but got blocked without warning after posting just a few photos of my own. It was such a disappointment. It always takes me awhile to join a group that I like, that is why I found it harsh that I was dropped instantaneously. Just like that. What have I done wrong? I had to find out.

Okay, I defied the guidelines. Fair enough. In my excitement, I have skipped reading the  rules and regulations and got carried away posting my snapshots.

Rules are rules. I get it. But, maybe a reminder first before blocking?  Other administrators do that. They give a gentle reminder to those who have failed to comply and the member/photographer simply edited his post. It’s different for repeat offenders, of course. By all means, block ‘em!

It has been weeks since, but as of this writing, I am still blocked by the said online community. So, even if I want to, there’s no way for me to rectify my mistake.

I must admit though that being blocked taught me these lessons:  what  ‘street photography” is all about and to absolutely read and obey the community guidelines.

Have you ever been blocked? Just like that? Thoughts?

Here’s more of  my photography journey: Finding My Place

 

 

When Lightning Strikes Twice

Affirmative. It did. I have barely got back on my feet and started believing that things were getting better, when, like the first time, lightning struck without warning. Another shocking truth revealed. This couldn’t be happening!

This time, it was more forceful, more poignant and more painful. It totally knocked me off balance.

I thought of all the others who got hit the first time and have been trying their best to move on. They have worked really hard hoping for that light at the end of the tunnel. But, has the strike of a second lightning, a more disheartening truth, rendered those efforts useless? And I can’t help but ask: Was I taken for a fool that I didn’t deserve to know the absolute truth the first time?

I am not angry. I don’t think I will ever be. However, I am deeply hurt to the core of my being. I may have every right to be. Well, give me that, at least.

What now?

My heart bleeds. I’m finding it difficult to breathe. Nevertheless, I have accepted the blow and have resolved to bravely live with it. Now and then, I force myself to stop those tears from flowing because crying neither stops nor changes the harsh reality of it all.

You see, discovering a lie for the first time, becomes an impetus for a massive shake-up of your personal beliefs.

Being struck with another lie the second time around, your world crumbles and then buries you with it. It numbs and sucks the life out you. It can kill.

What keeps me going? Unconditional love.
It stops me from blaming anyone including myself. Stop the blame. Live the game called life.

It makes me sane and be understanding of why lightning hasn’t struck once but twice.

It keeps the suffering under control.

Whatever happens next, unconditional love is a weapon that I am unable to surrender to the enemy. I will fight with it, not just today or tomorrow but definitely for eternity.

What we do and use to make wrong things right

(alluded to one particular leader of a land who thinks he can do anything with impunity)

Diversion:
-Constantly making up excuses or alibis. The attention is now drawn from what is actually wrong to prove the truthfulness of the alibi.

-Inferring from someone else’s experience. But, what has been right for someone may not be right for another.

-Knowing but not straightforwardly accepting that he is wrong. He cleverly fights back by pointing out the opponent’s wrongdoing instead.

Deception: Lying is not telling the truth outright. To deceive is cheating someone with a fabricated truth. That is double jeopardy.

Revenge/ Karma: The notion of “an eye for an eye’…

Beliefs:

-Customs and Traditions:  If one can accept and adapt to changes of the times, then there is no need to justify a traditional practice.

-Ideology:  Whatever society calls it and however it is applied, it does not necessarily determine that what is wrong is right and vice versa.

Social Media Misuse/Abuse
When one resorts to spreading and using fake news. And using it further to proliferate a graphic image or an erroneous information about the purported enemy.

Charisma
Its power can drive supporters to blind loyalty and encourages them to acquiesce to any idea without reading between the lines. They would go as far as defending and shrugging off the use of foul and offending language. They would further tolerate inhumane practices.

When their enemy falters,  he is excessively mocked, bashed and taunted personally and via social media.

Keeping allies as close as possible and at all costs. Knowing full well that as and when needed, they can be utilised to propagate the same convictions as the charismatic leader.

White lies.

 Wanting total freedom where there is a total disregard for the law. Divine or human.

Slow But Sure

Catapult

Isn’t it somewhat scary being catapulted to the top or to sudden success?  in our careers,  in our wealth or in any situation?
The unexpected jolt can cause us to lose our grip. Consequently, a faster and uncontrollable downfall!
Wouldn’t you rather work and learn your way slowly but surely towards your goals? I believe that doing so will give one the ample time to hone the skills needed to reach them. We ought to take the steps and avoid being catapulted to the top by taking the lift. No shortcuts.

Catapulted into marriage? Nah. Don’t rush. Get to know that someone you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Regrets come last.

Catapulted to an idea or a belief? Think! Breathe! Keep calm. Your opinion matters. Make a choice. You don’t need to conform.

My Family Reunion

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Where? Pls follow the sign

It’s the dry season in this tropical part of the world. At this time, monsoon rains are raging somewhere. Schools (except some universities) are on holiday, too. What could be a more ideal time to hold a family reunion than now.  Therefore, you’ll find that in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines, a lot of Igorot clans organise such an important event during the months of April and May.

there is more to this than meets the eye

It should be a massive gathering for this Kankanaey clan that I proudly belong to. I am grateful to those who have painstakingly put this family tree together, which I’m sure took some years of research. I am now aware of my definite place within six sub-clans.
The sixth family reunion was held just a few days ago where it all started: Balakbak, Kapangan, Benguet in the Philippines. I am emotional as I write this because I wasn’t there. The one and only clan reunion I have ever been to was the fifth. It was a year ago when I flew halfway ’round the globe and took a grueling 10-hour road trip just to be there. I may have been half-asleep but immensely glad and proud that I made it.

Hometown Fortress, Dakiwagan mountain

Surrounded by the Hometown Fortress, my family danced, ate, chatted and took photos together. Just like last year but with more memories to look back to.

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2017

I  have no excuses for not being a regular attendee to my family reunions. But like many other traditions, it should not be allowed to die out. The sad fact though is that a lot of us either live far away or lead busy working lives in the city. So a big kudos to those who make it and try to keep the tradition afloat.

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2016

My family is important to me. Blood is the tie that that binds us. Reunions make the tie unbreakable.

Never Forget

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The view of the valley behind this memorial

We may forget about the structure and let it stand unnoticed but the reason why it was built must always be remembered in our hearts. We do hope and pray that such a disastrous onslaught of nature shall never pass its way again.


Photo credits: dehl