PILAR NEREIDA

the everyday exploits and bursts of ideas from a twenty-something beatnik

Archive for the tag “China”

Life with Indica, Karma & Orka.. .

It was late 2006 when I found out about Lomography through the people I met in my random trips everywhere, and what drew me to it was the diverse range of cameras it offered – from the Supersampler, Fisheye, LC-A, Holga, Diana, Action Sampler etc. The different outcome of it’s photos was just so interesting and fun that it only took a millisecond for me to decide to get one. At first I really wanted to get an Action Sampler or a Frogeye only because I felt that it suited my ‘active’ lifestyle back then, with the occasional trips to the mountains, beaches and all. But it was only in 2008 that I got to buy my first lomo camera, a Holga 120CFN which I named Indica II (after Indica I, my now defunct Canon EOS 350D back in college), what I liked about the Holga was that it had a lot of options, from multiple exposures to the splash of colors you want in every picture – it was such a f***ing experiment! The only problem I had with my Holga was that it uses a 120mm film which was not available everywhere and was quite more expensive than the usual films in camera shops, so you either had to know a local ‘film pusher’ or order it online. But the complication doesn’t stop there because camera shops within my city didn’t process such film format, so you had to ship it to Manila and wait for it to be delivered into your home (and you could just imagine my excitement while waiting for my first batch of films to be delivered!).

self-portrait (first attempt with Holga 120CFN)

self-portrait (first attempt with Holga 120CFN)

Einstein, Kidlat's pit bull (Holga 120CFN)

Einstein, Kidlat’s pit bull (Holga 120CFN)

the now defunct Junkshop Collective Store (Fisheye1)

art at the Junkshop Collective (Fisheye1)

Intramuros, Manila (Fisheye1)

Intramuros, Manila (Fisheye1)

graffiti at Intramuros (Fisheye1)

graffiti at Intramuros (Fisheye1)

MIng Tombs, China (Fisheye1)

Ming Tombs, China (Fisheye1)

mi bellas (Holga 120CFN)

mi bellas Bohol trip (Holga 120CFN)

But my love for lomography didn’t stop with the Holga 120CFN, fastforward a few years later in 2011 my partner-in-crime Kidlat surprised me with a Diana F+ and a Fisheye2. Finally, I had my own Fisheye and didn’t have to borrow my friend Le’s Fisheye1, which I took with me to several trips. And then there was the Diana F+ which also offered a lot of options for shooting, and these new babies I named Karma (Diana F+) and Orka (Fisheye2). Aside from the sporadic shoots here and there, it was also great meeting new people who share the same interest in Lomography when my friend Kate asked me to join Analog Cebu (a group of Lomo enthusiasts in the city who are a lot more dedicated and 100x more talented than yourstruly). Although I am not very much active in the group, I still learn a lot from them and get inspired to shoot more everytime I see their posts and pictures. With the many lomo cameras still available out there, I don’t think that I’d stop at 3 cameras though – still thinking hard and saving up for the next lomo purchase. I’m definitely not a pro at taking pictures with these babies and don’t plan to take it to such a serious level, I just merely want to have fun with it – like how it’s designed to be.

airplane ride (Fisheye2)

airplane ride (Fisheye2)

Digos, Davao (Fisheye2)

Digos, Davao (Fisheye2)

farmland carabao x megasketcher (Diana F+)

farmland carabao x megasketcher (Diana F+)

falling city (Diana F+)

falling city (Diana F+)

Pasir Ris, Singapore (Diana F+)

Pasir Ris, Singapore (Holga 120CFN)

x27x

old Singapore skate park (Holga120CFN)

my babies - Karma, Orka & Indica

my babies – Karma, Orka & Indica II

Analog Cebu in our lomowall at the old Outpost

Analog Cebu in our lomowall at the old Outpost (forgot who took the picture)

Peace, Love & some RakEnRoll,

Pilar Nereida

***click Lomography for more info and photos, also check out my lomo page – http://www.lomography.com/homes/pilarnereida  

In the Land of Mao

I have always been very vocal in my dismay of the Chinese government in relation to conflicts in Tibet and other humanitarian matters, China no matter how powerful a nation it has become has always set aside issues on human rights. But even if how hostile my views on China may be, I can’t deny the fact that I have always been amazed with the country’s history on civilization along with it’s magnificent ancient structures plus the inventions of gunpowder and fireworks, paper making, the compass and to everyone’s surprise – the pasta (since pasta has always been synonymous with Italy or so we thought). And as good fortune may have it, I had the chance to visit Beijing, China for a few days last March 2011 with my Maaa and her friends and dealing with the cold (since it was still winter, although it didn’t snow that year) was mostly what we had to battle with the whole time we were there because coming from a tropical country like the Philippines where it was so sunny before we left, an almost 0°C temperature slapped us in the face the moment we got out from the airport at 1am in the morning. And to think I was just wearing a grey tank top over my coat while the cold still managed to sneak in my feet even with my thick socks and Chuck Taylor’s. So we managed to stay at this very affordable family-owned one-storey hostel within the city, it was a very old place reminiscent of those houses in old Chinese movies where they fight kung fu and break all sorts of things, the place was really neat and they even have a cafe in the middle which the guests who were mostly young backpackers from Europe hung out to check their email and other businesses (oh yeah, Facebook is banned in China by the way, much to my companions’ dismay). I definitely preferred staying there than some other swanky hotel which would have never fit in our budget anyway, and did I mention that the cafe had this really cool roof deck which I only got to know of the morning after, I bet it would have been a great hangout place during the summer. The only problem I had during my trip there was that Indica 1, my ancient Canon350D refused to function but good thing I brought with me a Lomo Fisheye and a roll of film, thus I had very few pictures to document my trip to Beijing (thank God for my companions’ functional cameras and their camera phones!).

it's a blurrr but you could tell how our hostel looked like

the roof deck I was raving about but it was too cold to hangout in

So we went to see a lot of the tourist attractions that there was to see but I’ll just mainly focus on the ones that are of top interest to me plus the lack of photographs was very disheartening while making this, I could have showed more photos of the different but equally beautiful places there. So first up would be the very famous and definitely one of the ancient wonders of the world, the 2,000 year old Great Wall of China! I just had to tell that the moment that I saw it I had goosebumps all over and it wasn’t because of the cold, it was just so surreal setting foot in one of the places that has awed me since I was young and being a history buff, it was impossible to wipe off the smile in my face.

Well you probably have your facts already about this great structure but let me just pass on to you some few quick facts – 1.) It is true despite all the arguments and controversies, the Great Wall is visible in space but not at all times to the naked eye (think telescopes), 2.) It took more than 20 dynasties to built it (that’s an awful long time!) and 3.) It is the longest fortification ever built, the structure over 6,000km long.

According to BBC News, the Great Wall receives about 10 million visitors per year

The Ming Tombs was very grand considering that it houses the mausoleums of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. It was such a huge and very peaceful place and I had to refrain myself from running around like a kid who had just discovered a new playground but it was very tempting. Although it was very far from being a playground and only 2 tombs are open to the public (with one of it 27 meters under the earth), but it never had the feel of a mausoleum when we entered. I won’t get much into details of the Ming Tombs and the other structures since the internet can well provide you with more accurate and fascinating facts but what I can say is that the entire construction was just splendid!

the walk back to the main gate - and that structure right there isn't the main gate yet!

Another site that we visited was the Temple of Heaven and we only got to stroll around the vicinity outside the temple because there was an additional entrance fee to go to the temple itself although it can be seen from the outside, my companions just weren’t keen on paying another fee. But I can tell that it was very beautiful from afar and how much more if we got to go inside.. .

Belle and what seems to be a part of the temple in the background

Since I didn’t arrange this in the order of how we visited the places, we actually went to the Summer Palace before going to the Temple of Heaven and describing the place as beautiful would be an understatement. The Palace was so perfectly gorgeous and grandiose that if it were not for the cold, I never would have wanted to leave the place. They say that the Kunming Lake which overlooked the palace was usually frozen during the winter but that year it didn’t (sign of the changing times huh?), I also had the chance to climb a Cherry Blossom tree to everyone’s amusement, I just had the urge to climb it and I didn’t care much what the Chinese people thought or said to each other when they saw me, I didn’t understand a word that they were saying anyway.

Pilar and Maaa, smiling but cold!

The last and probably the most jaw-droppingly massive and tiring of all the places that we went to was the Forbidden City, I have to say that these ancient Chinese structures wouldn’t have been as amazing if it weren’t for the megalomaniac emperors that they had. Everything had to made in such huge and colossal manner, anything less than that I don’t think they would’ve approved. You’ve noticed that for sure. One of the symbols of Beijing and perhaps China, the Forbidden City was an imperial palace and located exactly in the middle of Beijing, more quick facts – 1.) It consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2, 2.) It houses the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world as listed by UNESCO, and 3.) It was the home of emperors and their households for 500 years. I still can’t believe I walked the whole 961 meters from north to south of the entire place!

you'll have to go through Chairman Mao before you can enter the city.. . love him or hate him, I feel both.

Well, it was one hell of a historical but rather very fun trip for me, I would’ve never appreciated those places as much if I never had a liking to history and an interest in Mao Tse Tung. I promised myself that I would without doubt go back in a few years or so, I trust China when it comes to preserving their ancient structures (and I wish that the Philippines could do the same too – but whatever is left of our ancient structures?). Me and my boys will climb the Great Wall and ‘stroll around’ the Forbidden City while I lecture them on it’s history for sure.. .

Peace, Love & some RakEnRoll,

Pilar Nereida

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