Thursday, February 14, 2019

In Gratitude, Papa and Mama. Part 1 of 3

Hardly a day goes by that I can't believe the good place that I find myself in, hardly a day goes by that I don't feel gratitude for the three events that have made all the difference in my life. Here they are presented in chronological order.
First, Papa and Mama.
They may not have been aware of it at the time, and I wish they were still around for me to tell them this, but my  parents' decision to immigrate to Canada was the ultimate gift. By the time they applied to immigrate in 1975, they had established  full and productive lives in the Philippines. Papa went ahead in 1976, Mama and the five of us followed in 1977. Papa was 49, Mama was 43.
Up until 1976, Papa was the Chief Engineer for the Power Plant at the Central Azucarera de Bais, at that time the only sugar and paper mill in the premier sugar-producing province in the Philippines. By 1976, he was the longest serving consejal (21 years) in the Bais Town Council, later on the Bais City Council (incorporated as a city in 1968). He also farmed a relatively small piece of land, growing sugar. Papa used to tell me that he survived politics with relatively little money; he made on talk and his mestizo good looks. Typically, to succeed in politics, you needed to be an haciendero, or have the support of the hacienderos (wealthy land owners).
Mama made her way up by working her way through university, to becoming the City Treasurer for the City of Bais by 1976. She was an active and well-respected member of our community. We had all the trappings of an upper middle class family: a big house, big yard, 2 cars, a motorcycle, servants. private schools.
The people who leave the Philippines, then and now, are mainly those who are looking for a better life, better opportunities. Families, with a lot less than what we had, elect to stay in the Philippines. 
Our first month in Toronto was spent with my Tita Emma and Tito Jun. Jameson Avenue, 2 families of 7 members each (14 total) in a 2 bedroom apt with 1 bathroom. After 4 weeks, we moved to a 2nd floor townhouse in Flemingdon Park/Thorncliffe Park; then and now the landing place for immigrants and refuges to Canada from around the world.
Papa and Mama  did not have to  leave the Philippines. But they did and I will be eternally grateful.

In Gratitude, Mary. Part 2 of 3

Hardly a day goes by that I can't believe the good place that I find myself in, hardly a day goes by that I don't feel gratitude for the three events that have made all the difference in my life. Here they are presented in chronological order.
Second, Mary.
My parents may have brought me to Canada, but the best thing that's ever happened to me was meeting Mary in university, and sharing the rest of her life with me.
After 38 years of knowing each other, the last 32 in wedded bliss (for better or  for worse), I'm still amazed that Mary "chosed" me. She is generous and intelligent, with the kind of physical and inner beauty that will last throughout all her years. She is always looking out for our family, the less fortunate and disadvantaged in society, including humane society residents. Even her imperfections are endearing. I can see her DNA in Ben and Tomas, her energy and soul in Ben, Tomas, and Liam. The Lawyer, The Software Developer, and The Swimmer: beautiful kids: all thanks to Mary.
Knowing Mary fast-tracked my integration into Canadian life and culture. Early on, she introduced me to CBC, Cohen, pine forests, Western classical music, and he Canadian worldview. Have I mentioned dogs, cats, birds?
Mary also introduced me to the job that I've held for the last 30 years, and this job, this calling, is the third gift that I am grateful for.

In Gratitude, SickKids Hospital. Part 3 of 3

Hardly a day goes by that I can't believe the good place that I find myself in, hardly a day goes by that I don't feel gratitude for the three events that have made all the difference in my life. Here they are presented in chronological order.
Third, SickKids.
When it comes to an occupation, the best that one can hope for is a job that is so fulfilling and meaningful that one would do it without pay (I would if I were financially independent). A job that you would pursue as a hobby, 24/7. A job that you look forward to doing, year after year, for  30 years, and counting. A job where you work with professionals who are the best in their fields of expertise. A job where "clients" are grateful for what you do. A job where the community appreciates what you do. A job where you can make a tangible difference in little people's lives.
It is a privilege to be a medical photographer at SickKids. I am very fortunate to be where I am.
Mary introduce me to a job opening in 1989 (she was working at SickKids at the time).
I met Mary because my Papa and Mama brought us to Canada,

I am also very grateful to Tita Emma and Tito Jun for sponsoring us to come to Canada.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sony Diaries #1026: Faces in the crowd shot with a $100 lens...

... on a $2500 camera. Shot with a Sony a7III ISO 12800-25600, and a sharp copy of the Minolta Beercan: 70-210F4, shot wide open at F4.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sony Diaries #1025: Shooting a wedding with 1 camera, 1 lens

For this wedding, I decided to go minimalist: 1 camera (Sony a7III), 1 lens (Tamron 28-75F2.8 with LA-EA4 adaptor), plus flash (Godox TT685). If I needed a longer reach, I could get up to 150mm on the Tamron using Clear Image Zoom (jpg only) with no discernnable loss in image quality. Herewith are samples from the wedding.


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