Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Justin Ng's Photo Contest Entry

This is my entry on Justin Ng's Thousand Dollar International Photo Competition. October's theme is Sunrise/ Sunset. You can show your support by liking this photo on Facebook, click HERE. God bless!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

She's Wicked (But Love Is A Healer)

See the black & white version of 'Wicked' on 'Camera Ni Cabrera'.

Way back in August when I first heard through the bathroom window of our apartment what seems to be a crying kitten and sure enough, when I looked at the window, I saw a little black kitten looking back at me and it seemed to be asking for food. The kitten has no way of getting out from a cave-like basement storeroom because the door of that small space which is under the staircase of our building is always locked, so it must have been born there and  neither have any interactions with other kittens nor people (aside from hearing them while they go up and down the stairs). It was basically a 'cave kitten'.

After a few weeks, my friend and I decided to rescue the kitten by climbing over the door (it has a wide open space above it where you could climb to get to the other side). When my friend got there, he just couldn't find the kitten because it was dark and the room was full of clutters. There is also a small door that leads to an open space which is the back of our bathroom where I first saw the kitten; he can't find it there either. And so we decided to stop the search and call it a day. The cat was just too scared to show itself. 

From that day on, for it to be able to survive, everyday we give the kitten water and cat food placed inside a loose plastic bag, by way of the small (bigger than a fist size) hole at the side of the stairs. We've been doing that for weeks, until the caretaker of the building called and said that he had found the key to the small room. That evening we decided to give it a second try and search for it again.

A few minutes after we opened the door, the terrified kitten just leaped out of nowhere and ran frantically  without direction until I cornered it by the door of my neighbor. I can't even touch the kitten for it was so fierce and I was scared that it might scratch my hands. I asked my friend to get me the rag and I used it to cover the entire body of the kitten so that it doesn't scratch me and then I quickly took it to my apartment.

For three days I can't even touch the cat. I have to feed it cautiously and quietly or else it might freak out, but then as the days passed, the kitten learned to trust me eventually. While feeding it, I always sneak my other hand towards its back and gently pet it. It was during that time also that I realized that it's a she and I thought it's also appropriate to give her a name. Since she's entirely black and fierce, I thought why not call her 'Wicked', like the witch in The Wizard of Oz.

Now I think she's already settled-in in my apartment with 8 other similarly curious cats and two weird-looking people (at least in her perspective). What can I say? There's nothing in this world that love can't change. She's Wicked, but love is a healer. Thank you Lord Jesus that we were able to save her. The only question now is, how long can we keep it up with them? They will not be kittens forever, you know, not to mention that their subsistence costs dwarf that of our own (green peas thankfully make us get by, lol). I know it's sad and heartbreaking but one of these days, some of them will have to go. We simply can't handle them all. So sad really.

Our daily routine with all 9 of them (cats)!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Three Days With PEBA And TFC

Recently, I had an amazing week with some amazing people of  PEBA (Pinoy Expat/ OFW Blog Awards). I went to 3 different occasions - some of them included the interviews of my friends and of myself which will be shown on 'Balitang Middle East on ABS-CBN (The Filipino Channel). I feel bad though that I will never be able to watch them, now that we've shifted from TFC to GMA Pinoy TV, but that's alright, I took a lot of photos from those events and that's enough for me, but it would be cool to see myself on TV though.

September 23, 2011, Seminar With Patnubay 

Last September 23 (Friday), we had a mini seminar with Patnubay, an NGO headed by Mr. Joseph Espiritu which helps Filipino OFWs with their labor problems  in Saudi Arabia. I really learned a lot that day especially about our rights as an expat in this country. I also became aware of the plight of the not-so-lucky Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia.

Together with us in the seminar were Charles Tabbu, the TV reporter of TFC Jeddah, Delia Sevandra of 'Ganap Guardians', blogger and journalist of Saudi Gazette, Casiano Mayor, Nereus Jethro Abad, the  president of PEBA, one of the winners of PEBA last year, Nelson Bedayo  and Kenjie Solis, the founder of PEBA. If you want to know more about Patnubay, you can go to their website HERE.

September 27, 2011, NPC (Robian) Filipino Cultural Presentation in Al Laith, KSA.

This was one of the most exciting highlights of my week because I became a cameraman for a night for TFC in lieu of Charles Tabbu, the TFC reporter for Jeddah who wasn't able to make it because he had to fly to Riyadh that day. He was supposed to come with us to cover an event hosted by the town of Al Laith, but because he couldn't come, he just gave me a quick lesson on how to handle the camera before leaving for Riyadh. Regarding the interviews,  I told him that I will just ask the help of my colleagues from PEBA who were with me. He left me his camera and all the accessories that go with it, and mind you even his ABS-CBN (TFC) Identification Card.

Mr. NJ sent us a 4x4 car to fetch the 4 of us (Nel, Kenjie, Mhel and I) from Jeddah. It took us more than 2 hours to get to Al Laith, I never thought it was that far though. When we arrived at the venue, the Filipino employees of NPC were already in their costumes and so we took that opportunity to interview some of them. And when they took to the stage, I was there at the side of the auditorium to shoot some of their performances. Their cultural presentation was magnificent, it was a summarized history of the Philippines, from its pre-colonial era to the modern times.

After the presentation, we interviewed 3 of the high ranking officials of NPC, the Managing Director and one of the stockholders, Engineer Ahmed R. Al Balla, the head of HRD Ali Muhammed Al Shaiki and the Corporate Head - Social Responsibility Mr. Khalid Al Adhal. After that we went to the Planetarium and watched a 3D movie in a small theater all in the same building with the auditorium. It was great, but my head ached after that 3D movie though.

Then we went to a restaurant. All the Filipino employees of NPC who were there at the event were already waiting for their order when we arrived. I can tell they were all hungry and so were we, but they were not just hungry for food, they were also hungry for photo ops. Kenji and Mhel took their pictures and I took  more video clips while we were waiting. And after we had eaten, we rested  a moment, and headed straight back to Jeddah with the same car and driver. We arrived home at around 2AM. It was an awesome experience, something that I will never forget. You can also read a more 'gruesome' account of this trip on my friend's blog, ¡SOY NEGRENSE!

September 30, 2011, TFC Interviews PEBA and the Jeddah Bloggers.

When Nel and I arrived at Kudu restaurant on Paletine street where the  interview was to take place, most of the invited people were already there except for Charles and Mr. NJ, who had a problem with the tire of his car. By the moment Charles and Mr. NJ arrived separately, that was my last feel of a journalist's camera, the one I used for the interview in Al Laith. Good thing I didn't forget to charge the cam's battery a night before because it'll be the same camera that he will be using on that interview . 

Kenji was the first to be interviewed, then Mr. NJ, followed by Nelson and then me the last. On my part of the interview, it was nerve-wracking, I don't know what to say and I feel awkward, may be it's because I 've never been interviewed ever before. I was like talking without knowing what I'm saying. I felt stupid with that interview and I can't even remember now what the question was. LOL!  I'm just hoping now that I will not look stupid when it goes on air. And then after our interviews, Charles asked me to hold the camera for him as he says something for closing remarks about the PEBA interview. Watch the videos below!

It was a great experience with PEBA and Charles Tabbu of TFC. I will never forget it for the rest of my life. I would like to say thank you Lord Jesus for everything and thank you to Kenji and Mr. Nereus Jethro for that wonderful experience with TFC. If not for them there wouldn't be any interviews at all, they are the ones who facilitated it. Thank you also to Charles Tabbu who entrusted me his camera and ID. Thanks PEBA!