Life in Film: Volume 01

 

I remember picking up my first disposable camera last 2014. It was something that would be least noticeable in a sea of items inside a crowded souvenir store in Kyushu, south prefecture of Japan. Nevertheless, I picked it up, played with it, and I’ve found myself snapping away in every trip I brought my camera.

Years later, I still find myself buying a few disposable cameras here and there, and it’s always surprising to see the different shots taken, the immortal memories, and all that grain. Graaaain! 😀

Today, I’m sharing a photodump of my favorite photos from 2015-2017, from my two disposable cameras. Plot twist: I completely forgot where I brought my Kodak. I just know my Fujifilm one contains all Tokyo photos from my recent trip.

Below is a repository of dailies, snippets from travels, and accidental photos that I forgot I took. Nevertheless, enjoy!

Always making art in transit

Denmark and Finland in snaps

Commute lyf~

Two of my favorite people <3

Fundamental fix!


Light source: T-site’s photogenic restrooms

Coffee and shopping errday

Of flower park visits and Wisteria ice cream

Neighborhood sightings in Tokyo

Remnants of summer in Balesin Island

Always my favorite view. Can’t believe it won’t be the same anytime soon~

In case you’re asking:

  1. I buy my disposable cameras in Singapore and Japan. Popular brands are Fujifilm (also Fujicolor, which is more expensive but photo quality is better) and Kodak.
  2. I have them developed at YKL Color Laboratory in Sto. Domingo Avenue, Quezon City. (It’s inside Wonder Photo Shop) I also have it burned into a cd so I can access the digital files.
  3. Do know that disposable cameras are “disposed” after development. So no attachments.

Hope you enjoyed this photo diary! 🙂

Abbey

Summer, So Far (+ Faves Roundup!)

Way back in my younger years, summer always had to make sense. Mostly because as students, it was a way to unwind from the daily grind of going to school, accomplishing homework, and making sense of a well-balanced school life. I was always making art and “playing outside” with my neighbors, and we spent our summer doing Mother’s Day plays and baking, and all those fun things. Fast forward to growing up years—after my thesis defense in college, I spent my summer interning, working on freelance projects, and eventually landing my first and last corporate job.

These past few years have been entirely different though, and I’m very well assured that they will always get more interesting as every year goes by. One thing’s constant though—I find myself working on very important projects at the first half of the year. I wonder why…:P

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about work, so let me just slip in and share some snaps from my summer (so far) this year. Enjoy the photo diary below! Also, keep reading because I’ll share some of my favorites (podcasts, books, films, you know the drill) at the end of this blog post. 🙂

Went to Hong Kong during the Holy Week! Not much has changed. I always like how busy the streets are.

Me time at Cafe Mido~

Love how they preserved the cha chaan teng style interiors. Also, nothing like good ol’ milk tea and toast. And some writing.

ABCoffee? Lol.

Hong Kong was a nice breather. I was feeling out of myself already (see: previous post) for the past months and I just needed to wander elsewhere, far from home. It was nice also that I got to spend it with my family, as I always travel either alone or with a friend. 🙂


The week after I returned from HK, I attended to a few things: a shoot for #ABCReadSearch and the media launch of my new book, Hand Lettering A to Z. So grateful for National Book Store as they are exclusively carrying copies of HLAZ in their stores!

Above: my proud mommy moment 🙂 It takes a while for me to appreciate whatever I put out (imposter syndrome I guess) so it was nice to celebrate the release of my new book!

Thanks to the fun bunch of students I got to teach during the launch!

Hand Lettering A to Z is available at National Book Store here and Amazon here.


The week after, I left for a week-long trip to none other than Tokyo, Japan. Again???? Yes, I go to Japan every year. Hahaha.

KOniSYwa! Koko makes the best puns. 😛 Also makes for one of my favorite travel buddies, good friends, and achis. <3

(That’s our “coffee while chika” photo, by the way. Selfie sticks are cool.)

This particular Tokyo trip is one of my favorites, because we visited so much places in a week! Art museums, bookstores, coffee shops, and if that isn’t enough, we went to see flower gardens and Mt. Fuji outside of Tokyo! Not to mention our excessive craft shopping (I even bought wood planks, WHAT) at our favorite stores. No regrets! More on my next En Route post.

If anything, I’ve been to Japan seven times already and there is always, always something new to discover in this country. I can’t wait to be back soon for *work stuff*, fingers crossed!

I’m so so happy to be reunited with Kaila as well. We met up last Saturday and spent the day doing our usual life talk sesh, had purikura shots, and explored Nakano and Tokyo with Koko. So. Much. Fun! <3

Kaila has been one of my OG friends since college. She’s always been a constant source of positive energy (#LDRfriendship y’all) and we’re both Capricorns, which explains how much we get along together (about absolutely everything). So happy to see her after so long!

Check out her vlog below for some clips of our fun day together!

Also: watch until the end and see our funny antics while taking photos of the rainbow ice cream in Nakano. LOL.

So much for going abroad to and fro; I’m looking forward to my La Union trip this month! It’s mostly for work but hopefully I get to spend quality time wisely while I’m there. 🙂

Since we’re here, thought I should share a few new things I’ve been consuming lately! Needless to say, my taste has changed. LOL. But I guess that’s part of me maturing into a new person. Let’s leave that topic to another post, then. Hahaha.

THE SCHOOL OF LIFE (YouTube)

Always been a fan of Alain de Botton (On Love is my favorite book!) so The School of Life (which is run by Alain as well) definitely adds to one of my go-to resources. I love watching their videos on YouTube which run from 5-10 minutes and talk about everything from relationships (important!) to work and to self-care.

Check out their YT channel here.

ROOKIE (Podcast)

Rookie magazine in podcast form? Yes please! Tavi Gevinson totally rocks this as she interviews amazing people in various industries. My favorite episode is “Never Settle for Less” which guests the two ladies from Another Round. I love how they’re very open to talking about not just creativity, but also mental health awareness. Also: love the Life Skills part of every episode!

Check out Rookie’s podcast here.

ADULTHOOD MADE EASY (Podcast)

If you’re like me who is still in a love-hate relationship with #adulting, this podcast is for you! Haha, guilty of listening to episodes about relationships and dating (lol because I am uneducated) and things like career changing, handling money in your 20s, etc.

Listen to Adulthood Made Easy here.

HAPPIER (Podcast)

Best known for her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, tackle about daily issues and finding happiness in this podcast.

Check out Happier’s podcast episodes here.

PERSON OF INTEREST (Series)

Me, watching a crime-drama? Yep, it’s real. Lol. I was convinced to watch this after a friend recommended it to me, and surprisingly, I’m hooked. Something I like watching when I want to deviate entirely from creative work because the cases really get me thinking, and I get transported into another world. Also: their soundtrack is amazing (Intro by The XX wew and many more) and love the quotes in every episode (I took notes because #readsearch lol).

GIRLBOSS (Series)

Despite lots of people disliking the adaptation of the book, I actually liked this! I’m reminded of my early days as Sophia was struggling to build her online business, and telling people it’s an actual business (been there!). Except I’m not as mean as her, I think. Haha. Britt Roberson totally rocks all the outfits, and I love Sophia and Annie’s friendship. Goals!

Lastly, a roundup of films I loved watching this first half of the year!

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging: The ultimate coming-of-age flick especially for teenage girls. Also, Aaron Johnson is swoon-worthy, aaagh!

20th Century Women: A beautiful look inside the lives of three women in the 20th Century. Annette Bening was amazing!

The Pursuit of Happyness: A reminder that persistence and hard work is always key. Loved this film so much, even if it was so heavy, haha.

The Cutting Edge: You’ll get kilig with the love-hate relationship of the two mains, promise. Also, always love watching ice skating films for some reason, so this was no excuse!

The American President: Not your typical love story. NGL, was SUPER KILIG while watching this film.

Dave: Watched this while in Tokyo and I really enjoyed it. It’s similar to American President because it has something to do with the (fictional) President of the US. Must watch, too!


If ever you find yourself checking out my recommendations above, let me know what you think! Aaahh, felt so good to write here again (out of impulse). Hope you’re having a great summer so far 🙂

Abbey

En Route: Japan 2016

First thing’s first: I missed writing about my travels!

For a change, I’m sharing a few things I did differently this year during my 2-week trip to Japan – instead of writing about how this trip went (let’s leave that for another post). You all know I left for the reason that I needed a break – well, that, and I actually spent half of the trip researching for a project I’m currently working on.

I’ve been to Japan six times – possibly the most I’ve been to every country (Singapore loses this round, lol). Call it coincidence, call it extra funds – I think in general, Japan has always been a safe choice. Each prefecture has its own uniqueness (I’ve been to Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Tokyo already) that gets me every time I travel.

Here’s a roundup of Japan 2016: highlights, whatnots, adventures (+ misadventures), and memorable experiences.

Transit3

I survived commuting alone

I know how to commute in general but I stayed in Saitama (Kita Urawa area) so it was a challenge to commute to Tokyo and other cities. Actually took the wrong train on my first day alone. Geez! I also got lost going back to Kaila’s place. I’m so grateful for Google Maps and Hyperdia (access this when you’re commuting in Japan!) because I found my way eventually. Also, do be aware of local / rapid trains as well as subways that aren’t part of the JR line (main line). Everything gets confusing but you really have to read all the signs. It helps. (Verdict: I survived!)

Sakura

Painted by the park

Sakura? check. Sketch pad? check. I went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden on an extra windy day (I got sick after, huu) to sit down and paint. A good scenery always makes painting a fun activity. I plugged in my earphones and painted for a few hours in the midst of tourists and the beautiful view of cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Craft Shopping

Went planner + craft shopping

This happens a lot but for this trip, it was really on my agenda. I’m researching on a project that requires me to scout craft materials (win-win!) so I went planner + craft shopping at LoFT, Tokyu Hands, and 100Yen stores (Seria is my favorite!). I’ve written this post previously on where to get your arts + crafts fix in Japan (to be updated soon!). 🙂

One of the highlights was getting myself a Hobonichi planner. Talk about commitment: this is a daily planner, so I have to chronicle my days 24/7. Gets things a bit organized, if you ask me! Kaila also got one – check out some of her work here. 🙂

Kaila

For me…I’ll show you a roundup on my next post. Currently experimenting every 2 weeks to see how long I’ll last and how efficient I get to write on my journal.

Hanami-2

Hanami during Sakura season

Spent a Saturday with Kaila at Omiya park – less commercial but still beautiful. Hanami / picnic during spring is a traditional thing here in Japan; and it was great to experience it for the first time. We spent the afternoon writing on our Hobonichi planners and trading washi tapes (such responsible adults, lolz).

Adrian

Met up with artists

I braved my soul to contact some of the artists I look up to who are based in Tokyo – and I don’t regret it. I met both Adrian Hogan and Mariya Suzuki in Shibuya for lunch and coffee. It was surreal! The meet-ups left me inspired and I was able to gather a few insights from them (oh, and a few post-it doodles!).

PauseDraw

Speaking of post-its, I attended a monthly event called PauseDraw. You should check it out if you’re in Tokyo during the first week of every month. They hold drawing meet-ups and basically you get to meet with other people and…draw. It was fun. I hope this can be implemented in Manila as well.

HarryPotter

Became a wizard for a day

I’ve visited the Harry Potter film set in London a few years back BUT when I found out that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened here in Universal Studios Japan, I had to put it on my bucket list. Got to become a wizard for a day and sported my Gryffindor scarf with some Butterbeer on hand. I love Harry Potter and I always will (if you’re a big HP fan, you’d totes get my reference).

Airbnb

Stayed at an airbnb

Believe it or not, I haven’t stayed in an airbnb…not until I visited Osaka with Kaila. We loved our unit! The beds were extra comfy and the host was thoughtful enough to prepare toiletries and other amenities to make sure our stay was comfortable. Yay!

Kimono

Wore a kimono 

The biggest challenge was not getting my matcha soft serve on the kimono I rented out. LOL. That, and try to not look like an idiot and fall while wearing these slippers that came with the kimono.

We went to the Philosopher’s Walk in our kimonos (it was amazing!) and spent the afternoon visiting temples and eating in Kyoto. Such a fun and memorable day-trip with Kaila! Every location we went to was postcard-worthy.

PS: Check out more tips on where to go in Kyoto on Kaila’s blog here.

Railway

Visited a Railway Museum

ABC x Rainbowholic x Reeseypeasy day consisted of visiting the Omiya Railway Museum (must go! I loved it) and geeking out on trains, tickets and old labels, and…the museum shop (how can you not get yourself a train pin?), as well as life-planning, journaling, and taking Purikura photos after. Omiya Railway Museum is a must-visit if you’re in Omiya. Loved reading about the history of train lines in Japan and how modernized it has become over the years.

Creatives

Aside from watching Reese’s gig in Omiya (congrats!) and spending some days together in Japan (we all lived under Kaila’s roof!), we had our own version of sleepovers by way of creative breakout sessions. It was fun! It’s always nice to share insights with fellow creatives…at way past midnight. That, and impromptu jam sessions definitely made it feel like home.

Postcards

Sent out 52 postcards

There was a nearby mailbox along Kita Urawa and the post office was a few blocks away from the station, so I decided to send out 52 Letters from ABC postcards to some of my readers. Wew, that was a lot! I had fun decorating each postcard and writing, though. Nothing beats analog. 🙂

PS: Letters from ABC postcards are still available at major bookstores nationwide for P350 (also on my shop!)

Konbini-3

Konbini runs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snacking

Thanks to the universe for FamilyMart and 7-Eleven for satisfying our cravings. I won’t forget running to FamilyMart at 1AM (in matching pajamas HAHA) with Reese because we wanted milk for our cereal. That, and our FamilyMart dinners in Osaka (which cured my sickness – thank you miso soup!) were definitely for the books.

Sketch

Sketched every day

I started sketching every day when I was in Japan. Just a no frills, no pressure kind of exercise for me to draw every day. I’m enjoying so far! My fave subjects are signages and buildings (for obvious reasons). I’ve also started writing for some of my projects – which I will reveal very soon. Every opportunity that I got to sit down and have a makeshift workspace, I always wrote and/or drew. Call it weird, but I guess it’s always been part of what I loved doing ever since.

Also: My last afternoon was spent writing…at the food court. LOL.

No Fixed Plans

Had no fixed plans

This was hard – but doable. Only fixed plans were visiting Daikanyama T-site (Tsutaya Books – photo above), Sekaido (art materials shopping) and Uniqlo Ginza (because 12 floors of shopping). The other days were based off a list of places I made. I was supposed to go to museums but time did not permit – no regrets though, I got to spend more time writing and doing other creative things – like shooting with the Saitama crew for JapanLoverMe Store, and visiting the Edo Open Air Museum.

PS: Check out more photos from our shoot here (from Justin’s blog). Sukajan jackets (the ones we’re all wearing) are available for purchase here.
Travelers

Also, stumbled upon this gem of a store in the airport – Traveler’s Factory. Don’t miss it if you’re in Narita Terminal 1! And prepare your wallet for some serious notebook & stationery shopping.

Last

Definitely the shortest two weeks I’ve had in the longest time – I still miss the Rainbowholic HQ and all the other routinal things back in Japan. Hopefully I get to revisit sometime again soon if my schedule permits!

Hope this helps if ever you’re planning a trip to Japan. Rounding up a few more photos soon for personal documentation and journaling. 🙂 Have you been to these parts of Japan? Let me know in the comments below!

Abbey