Month: February 2012

WordPresser goes on brave mission to overcome agoraphobia

Originally posted on The WordPress.com Blog:
For nearly thirty years, ArLynn Presser avoided leaving her neighborhood in Winnetka, Illinois, as she would experience debilitating anxiety and panic attacks when visiting public places and interacting with people outside her home. But once she turned fifty, the romance writer decided that she was tired of living in isolation, and ready to face her greatest fear. On December 31, 2010 she started a blog at ArLynnPresser.WordPress.com and wrote in her first post, “My New Year’s resolution is to meet every Facebook friend I have.” And so she spent 2011 visiting friends all over the world (and meeting some for the very first time). Her son Joseph accompanied her on the journey, recording video clips for ArLynn to share on her blog, which she’s been updating regularly since announcing her resolution on New Year’s Eve 2011. By the end of the year she had been to 13 different countries and met with 292 of the 325 friends she had as of January 1, 2011. “Without WordPress.com, this project…

Kublai's Art Garden at Kapatagan © Jojie Alcantara

Live in a space of thankfulness

“I live in the space of thankfulness – and I have been rewarded a million times over for it. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because what you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Use your personal power

“You are innately designed to use your personal power. When you don’t, you experience a sense of helplessness, paralysis, and depression-which is your clue that something is not working as it could. You, like all of us, deserve everything that is wonderful and exciting in life. And those feelings emerge only when you get in touch with your powerful self.” ~ Susan Jeffers Karina was one of Davao’s popular models a few years back before she successfully ventured into greener pastures to pursue a modeling career in Manila.  This was one of my early shoots with her back then.  What else can I say, she got in touch with her powerful self. 🙂 View more of my portrait shoot with Karina

Born unique

“All men and women are born, live suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about… We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.” ~ Joseph Epstein

Beautiful people do not just happen out of the blue

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross This old photo was one of my favorites, taken in Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Samal Island.  She (Sharon) was one of the models for the resort’s brochure we were shooting.  During one of the breaks, I asked her to pose for me playfully, and I disappeared behind her.  She probably wondered where I went because I didn’t take a frontal shot.

My magic lens

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours”. ~ Ayn Rand, Russian-born American Author If you think the swirly bokeh (blurred background for the non-photographers) on my image is way cool, wait till you see the other photos I took with my toy lens.  I ordered it on my birthday (January), was shipped within 24 hours, and I got to play with the stuff that most lomographers are similarly having a blast with.

In the soul of a child

“No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” ~ Emma Goldman, author This image won in two competitions, the other one on Pbase’ Show and Tell Competition with the title, Shy.  She is just one of those children who stole my heart while I was staying in the little town of Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. View more of my photos of the children of Cagwait.

Maej and Lyn in Malita © Jojie Alcantara

The one who cares

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey

Celebrate the differences

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”~ William Shakespeare Even if today is the special day of hearts, we also celebrate relationships with friends because love knows no limits, boundaries, gender, age and culture.  If I miss anything else, write me. Happy Love day, everyone.

A child’s sweet smile

“Children keep us in check. Their laughter prevents our hearts from hardening. Their dreams ensure we never lose our drive to make ours a better world. They are the greatest disciplinarians known to mankind.” ~ Queen Rania of Jordan When I chanced upon this child in the remote coastal shore of Tabina (Zamboanga del Sur), he had his back to me, sitting on a log, looking somewhat forlornly at the distant horizon.

Be curious

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down to your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” ~ Professor Stephen Hawking on his 70th birthday. BE CURIOUS. There is always something you can do and succeed at.  I can never emphasize that enough. This wonderful scene was captured early morning at sunrise in Bango Beach of Caraga, Davao Oriental.  This is one of the few beaches with accommodation in the remote municipality.  Turns out that the owner of this place happens to be a relative of mine (his family name is my middle name and we traced it to my grandfather’s line) and I happened to have plenty of distant relatives in this town. Sunrise here is spectacular as well.  Isn’t it great to live in a province?

Before the day begins

 “There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” ~ Jo Walton I captured this beautiful sunrise in Little Boracay Resort, Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur.  At 5:13 in the morning, its colors are still muted before the golden glow completely comes out. Excerpt from my article “Hidden Wonders of Sta. Maria”: There’s a tempting getaway from stress and urban hub in a matter of two hours or ninety six kilometers south of Davao City.  All it takes is a bus or private vehicle for a smooth and scenic ride to a little municipality called Sta. Maria in Davao del Sur. How do you know that you’re there? After a panoramic vista of Malalag Bay over a cliff, you’ll see their municipal building built strategically in front of a hill, with a fountain in the foreground.  Read the rest of my story here To know more about this destination

Two faces of India

“There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds… I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.” ~Keith Bellows, National Geographic Society I’ve never visited India before.  Yet.  It’s in my list of travel destinations, though.  When a group of students from India came to my city to study medicine here a few years ago, I had this wonderful opportunity of beautiful faces wanting to do portraits with me.