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.

Continue reading “A Thousand Words”

The Art of Storytelling (Part 1: Memories) | Tower of Terror

Today, I wanted to try something different. A few weeks ago, I read this article about Pixar offering free lessons in storytelling through Khan Academy. I was simply ecstatic when I found out since I wanted to improve my writing and my storytelling skills – what better way than to practice? I’ll be uploading all my outputs and thoughts here on my blog’s journal section. The first activity was to express a memory. I thought about it for a few seconds and found the perfect memory.

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[Now, this is the part where I write about my fears and personal life – and I’m simultaneously nervous and excited to actually post it. After just two short lessons, I’m filled with the inspiration to share my memory. Warning: This is going to be a bit long. I’m about to bare my soul.]

My memory would be the time I went to Tokyo DisneySea with my friends while I was on an exchange program in Japan. I had this incredible fear of heights and roller coasters simply because I have thanatophobia, which is the fear of death or the anxiety I feel thinking about death. (I accept death on its own, but I’m anxious about painful death, extreme sickness, and torture in particular. It’s really exhausting.) (I’ve been struggling with this for a few years on my own – since I’ve had trouble receiving support from others.) Anyways, when we arrived in DisneySea, we immediately headed for Indiana Jones’s Temple of the Crystal Skull ride. I was really scared but I made a vow to myself that I would ride it since I wanted to spend the day with no regrets. My friends all encouraged me and calmed me down while we were lining up. The ride was done in what felt like seconds, and I ended up enjoying myself! The ride was really beautiful and I loved the feeling of adrenaline rushing inside me. Feeling extremely confident, I headed for the next ride…where I quickly lost my confidence. This ride (Raging Spirits) had a loop. I closed my eyes the entire time, crying as I did so as I felt my body go weightless against gravity. When I ride was over, I was shaking and attempted to brush off my fears in a nonchalant way despite me not being able to speak for a few minutes. I begged my friends if we could ride something very “harmless” so that I can calm down and stop shaking. They agreed and we rode Jasmine’s Flying Carpets. Fast forward to several hours later, my friends and I lined up for the Tower of Terror. I got an idea on what the ride will be since one of my companions actually rode it some years ago.

Continue reading “The Art of Storytelling (Part 1: Memories) | Tower of Terror”

Building Your Own Door

Building Your Own Door

            There’s this famous saying that goes, “when opportunity knocks, answer the door”. For the longest time, I kept waiting for the opportunity to knock. I waited and waited for my time to come; a time where I can finally shine and show people that I am so much more than what I present myself to be. One day, I got tired of waiting – why do I have to wait around for something to happen? Why can’t I take matters into my own hands? That was the day I decided that I’m not waiting for the opportunity to come knocking anymore. I was going to build my own door.

The First Step – Prioritize

           Of course, this type of decision does not come almost immediately. Saying one thing and actually doing it are two different things. You have to start small – first, you should make the most out of your current situation. What are you not happy about or what do you want to have improved? Unfortunately, man’s needs and wants will forever be insatiable; but if we set our minds to it, we can achieve the impossible. If you’re not willing to put out any hard work or effort into what you want to happen, nothing will. Once you have a clear goal in your mind, you may proceed to the next step.

Continue reading “Building Your Own Door”

Brain Drain in the Philippines.

In my Introduction to Broadcast Media class (one of my majors), we had to write a paper about one of the problems in the Philippines and more details relating to that. I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions about Brain Drain, so here is a part of my paper that I wanted to share. Do tell me what you think in the comments! 🙂

  Choose a current problem that Philippine society faces today.  Expound on the problem.  Why does the problem exist? What are the prime factors to this? Which audience demographic is most affected by this problem? Why?

Of all the problems in the Philippines, the issue of brain drain is not widely known or given much attention to. The problem exists because the youth of this generation (as well as the workers in present time) would rather work abroad than remain in the Philippines to work for the development of their own country. Brain drain refers to the emigration of the “white collar” workers, otherwise known as the more educated population of the country – those who were able to receive a decent education and earned a degree. Occupations differ in the white collar population: from dentists, to doctors, to writers, to engineers, etc. If people were quizzed about what one of the main problems of the country today are, majority would most likely answer the following: corruption, traffic, taxes, allocation of funds, no or slow development of the country, etc.
Also, when asked about brain drain, majority of people would most likely even question what the phrase “brain drain” means, which emphasizes on the fact that people are unaware not only the meaning of it, but also Continue reading “Brain Drain in the Philippines.”

FILED: Wonder A Day Challenge (31 Days)

So, I’ve mentioned at an earlier blog post that I’ve participated on the #FILEDWonderADay 31-day challenge that took up the entire month of October. So, without further adieu, here are my entries from the entire challenge (to see the details and instructions per photo, click me! )

Again, here is the cover of my notebook!

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Day 1: #TravelGoals

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Day 2: #SquadGoals

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Day 3: #SelfieYou

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Continue reading “FILED: Wonder A Day Challenge (31 Days)”

Will Do (Almost) Anything for Books!

Today, I experienced something really interesting and strange. Some weeks ago, I volunteered to be part of an experiment – a psychological experiment entitled “Games and Choices Experiment”. The volunteers of the experiment would get a Php 500 gift certificate for Fully Booked; and, of course, how can I say no to that?

So I scheduled the experiment for November 5, 2015, at 12:30 PM. At first, I had thoughts like: “Oh, no. Will I be playing horror games?” because I thought well, playing horror games did come with choices: what weapon to use, which move to make next, whether I should open the door where the strange sounds are coming from…ANYWAYS!

I’ve sworn confidentiality for the experiment (until the entire experiment period ends, anyways) so I really can’t go into much detail. When I first went in the room, the lady there said: “Hi! Are you Sophia Yu?” and I said: “Yes! Uhm, will I be playing horror games?”

(Smooth, real smooth.)

Luckily, I didn’t — instead, I took different types of exams – all which are interesting – and after it all, the lady gave me my envelope with Php 500 worth of books from Fully Booked!

The way I left the room was like: “Thank you so much! I’m going to Fully Booked now, haha!”. And, yes. Yes, I did go to Fully Booked and bought a book that has been on my mind for the longest time. FINALLY.

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Continue reading “Will Do (Almost) Anything for Books!”

New Project for October 2015: Wonder A Day

Today, I was so happy to see that one of my favorite brands (when it comes to school supplies and other necessities), FILED, announced a challenge for October. It was no ordinary challenge, because when you do complete the challenge, you get one of their gorgeous planners (for year 2016) for free!

So the challenge basically is to follow a day-to-day set of ideas and write about it / doodle it on a journal. Click here for more details. I am encouraging you to join!

I just HAD to join! I am obsessed with their products (most especially their planner). In such excitement, I already picked out one of my best notebooks (my one and only Muji notebook) and started decorating the cover.

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Now, all I have to do is prep up for October. I’ll update you on how my posts and challenges go 🙂

Note: This post is no way connected or sponsored by Filed.

*Stickers are from the book “1001 Stickers” (National Bookstore) and masking tape is by Ella Lama.

Books, Books, and More Books!

Are you a bookworm? Or are you one of those people who would fall asleep just after reading the first few paragraphs of the very first chapter? Well, you know what they say—everyone is a reader on the inside, it’s just the challenge of finding the right book. With that being said, here is a list of my personal favorite books that readers and “non-readers” alike would enjoy and find a book to read (and hopefully get hooked on to).

  1. Z by Michael Thomas Ford

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I think that this is the only book that I own that has a letter as a title. If you are a fan of sci-fi and action-adventure, Z is the book for you! (In fact, when one of my non-reader friends read this book, it ‘unlocked’ the reader in him!) This book is all about gaming and zombies…but with a twist. Set in the future, AFTER the zombie apocalypse, the protagonist Josh, is one of the world’s top players in a video game all about hunting and killing zombies. Read the full synopsis and ratings on Goodreads! (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7737810-z?from_search=true) I bought my copy from Fully Booked at the cost of Php 600 plus. Unfortunately, this book is a little difficult to find, so you may need to order a copy through leading bookstores nationwide!

Continue reading “Books, Books, and More Books!”

Sophie Plays: Lifeline, Alphabear, Quest Keeper, and Slayin’

This month, I get addicted to new games and challenges —

LIFELINE:

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Earlier last week, I noticed that one game from my wishlist has gone one sale (from about Php 140 or more to only Php 43)! No questions asked — I bought it. Lifeline is a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ game. It’s about a Science student named Taylor (I am convinced that Taylor is female , while my brother is convinced that Taylor is male) who gets stranded on this moon/ planet. The rest of the crew is dead — and you only have one goal: to keep Taylor alive and to hopefully bring her to safety.

What makes this game so cool? It takes DAYS to play. It uses real-time strategy. For example, if Taylor says that she’ll sleep, she’ll be good as gone for a couple of hours (unless something interrupts her slumber, of course). The game is genius because we don’t know what to expect of it, and that it’s very good for time management too (since you can only play a few minutes at a time). If you really concentrate and use your imagination, you could almost think that Lifeline is real.

I give this game five soaps (instead of stars, cuz I’m SOAPy, get it?) out of five soaps. I love a good story game!

ALPHABEAR:

downloadAnother game recommended to me was Alphabear. Now, my all-time favorie word game is Bookworm Adventure (words + action + story + Greek mythology = YES), but Alphabear is nearing in as a good second favorite. It’s not only really cute (you get to collect all the bears) but it’s also quite challenging! There’s a specific number of turns per letter and you need to create the longest words (or use up all the necessary letters) before time ends and the letters turn to stone, thus preventing the bears from growing. It’s easier to play than to explain, so go download it now!

I give this game four soaps out of five! Continue reading “Sophie Plays: Lifeline, Alphabear, Quest Keeper, and Slayin’”

Honda Kalookan Driving School: Day 1

Today, I had my very first driving lesson. I was so nervous earlier this morning because I had a fear that I would run over hit people or stuff (since I am clumsy…at times). I was enrolled in Honda Kalookan Driving School (which is said to be an excellent school for driving). I decided to learn how to drive a manual car, which is said to be more challenging, rather than an automatic. I asked my grandma to sit at the back/ to accompany me while I drive so that I wouldn’t be too nervous — which she happily agreed to do.

So, this is what happened:

When I was walking to the car: “Oh gosh, this is really happening. What if I bump into someone? What if I hit the islands? What if I make the driving instructor throw up?”

While the driving instructor was teaching me the basics: “I really hope I’ll be able to remember all of these when I take the exam next year.”

When he tells me to take over and sit on the driver’s seat: “Deep breaths, think positive. You won’t be killing anybody and you won’t be doing anything really bad.” Continue reading “Honda Kalookan Driving School: Day 1”