The Mother’s 60th

A few reasons to thank God this week would include my mother’s 60th birthday and giving me the time and opportunity to celebrate it with her and my sister.

God, I thank you for my mother. Without her, I am nothing.

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These bluish-purple roses arranged in bundles while leaning on the store’s wall immediately caught my attention.
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The look on her face as she received these beautiful flowers was priceless.
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Ensalata. 
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Texas Roadhouse’s ribs were amazing. I’m confident to say that they have one of the best ribs in the Metro. Thank you, America.
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Their New York strip cut which weighed approx. 500g is enough to feed two to three streak-craving mouths.
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Everyone’s patiently waiting for the food to arrive.
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Lastly, here’s a mandatory photo of my mother holding the receipt of her first discounted meal as a senior citizen. Feliz cumple, Mami!

Que Deus nos bendiga y nos proteja!
R.A.

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Luna (2017)

This is a portrait of the same exact feeling that I experience when I get home from duty. Even if it’s just 2 in the afternoon, it always feels like midnight.

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Luna (2017) 1512 x 2040 px
~6 hours completion time
Digital painting

Morning After

One day, I took a stroll around the deserted streets of my Alma Mater while meandering through my usual way home. For months, I’ve been suppressing the urge of bringing my camera in and around the university to take photos and do one of that things I love doing most. The feeling was unquenchable. The rare montage of empty roads and foliage of yellow and green scattered all around the university greatly amplified that elated feel.

Folks, after a 24-hour duty at the hospital, probably one of the best perks of it is the warm, sunny embrace of the morning after. Nothing compares.

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Que Dios nos bendigo y nos proteja.
RA

Sith Lord Cooking Series: How to Turn Your Leftover Bulalo to an Appetizing Lunch

A few nights prior to Christmas, a few colleagues and I made a spontaneous trip to Tagaytay. How spontaneous? We left Manila around 6pm and arrived at the mountain city around 8pm. We had a quick dinner at a Manila-based restaurant which exclusively serves Bulalo (beef shank and bone marrow soup) at their branch in Tagaytay. Ordering a bit too much for four hungry male stomachs, we were left with no choice but to take the leftovers home.

Living alone in a penthouse apartment in the Sampaloc district of Manila for a few years now, I have mastered the art of cooking and saving the leftovers throughout those years to avoid spoilage of food. This time, I was left with a bag of Bulalo. So, what should I do with this?

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Fried Bulalo Flakes

You will need:

Leftover bulalo
1/4 cup cooking oil (I used canola oil on this)
Salt to taste
Pinch of cracked or ground pepper
Pinch of dashi granules/monosodium glutamate
3-4 pcs star anise
Sesame oil (optional)

Beef shanks have a lot of tendons embedded randomly between strands of meat. It also has occasional fat. If you’re not fond of eating the chewy, rubbery texture of tendons, prepare to get messy on the first step.

  1. Shred the meat using your bare hands. Trust me, using anything else other than your hands would just make this step difficult. So just use your hands.
  2. Let the salt, cracked peppers, and dashi/MSG join the party. Mix thoroughly.
  3. In a hot skillet, preheat your cooking oil until smoke starts to rise up.
  4. Toss in your star anise and “fry” it.
  5. Now start frying your bulalo flakes. Let it stand there for about 4-5 minutes until it appears dry and crispy. Do not overcook. Overcooking will totally dry up your flakes and may affect the flavor.
  6. Splash a few drops of sesame oil (optional) just to get a hint of the Orient on your taste buds.
  7. Enjoy with a cup of brown unpolished rice!

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Que Dios nos bendigo y nos proteja.
RA

 

 

 

The Ghost (2016)

Whenever I’m out of the hospital or I feel like doing nothing, I try to calm my nerves by painting. So here’s my most recent work that I did for about 4 hours using my Samsung device. Folks, the new Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes — my new favorite character from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Ghost
~ 4 hours painting time, ~5 days to complete
Digital painting
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Self-Portrait (2016)

Since I was a kid, a lot of people would notice the baffling expression on my face in photos. ‘Smile naman d’yan” (“Give us a smile”), they’d say. However, I’d still choose to go poker all the way. That’s the reason why I opted to attempt painting Grumpy Cat, the character that I deem as a perfect projection of my inner (and outer) self.

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Digital Painting: Deadpool (2016)

Now that I was able to confirm my clumsiness when it comes to cleaning my phone’s system storage, I felt the need to make a back up of all my artworks using this blog. Earlier today, I accidentally cleared my painting app’s cache which included my past and current digital drawings and paintings. I was lucky enough to save some through my Instagram.

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Deadpool
~ 5 hours painting time; ~4 months to complete
Digital painting
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

 

Chasing Lightning

It’s been months since I last held my camera. To blame is either the time that I mostly spend in school or watching TV or because of the excessive laziness to go out and shoot. But last night, from the moment that I saw the neighboring buildings around brighten up as the night sky flickered with every strike of the lightning outside, I didn’t waste a second and immediately grabbed on my gear and stationed myself in our building’s roof deck and waited.

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The Streets of Manila

Manila may be dirty and congested but in my opinion, its streets are picturesque. Every person and every scene tells different stories.

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Canon AE-1 Program x Fujifilm C200
Yashica Electro 35 GSN x Kodak Ultramax 400 (exp)
Manila, Philippines
2015

Fade

A few days ago, I dropped by my favorite photo lab located just a few kilometers from where I live. Panning on the direction of their glass cabinet just behind the woman operating the cash register, I was surprised to see a new variety of film rolls besides the usual C200’s and Neopans. The sight of new stacks of small green and yellow boxes, arranged meticulously forming a wide base to a pointed top like a pyramid, made me cast a gentle smirk as I approached their glass counter.

What if film manufacturers like Fujifilm and Kodak cease their production of fresh rolls anytime from now?

I had thoughts. Nothing lasts forever. One day, film manufacturers would actually cease their productions specially when sales start to significantly decline. A reason why I had to temporarily put down my digital SLR and shoot using my trusty ol’ film cameras for a while.

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Canon AE-1 Program x Fujifilm C200
Puerto Princesa City, Philippines; Manila, Philippines
January 2016