Special Delivery

Food delivery usually comes via a motorcycle within 30 minutes from calling in your order. But in this case, our food came in a totally unexpected way – via COURIER (all the way from Cebu)!

Many times we take God’s blessings for granted.  Maybe because most of the blessings seem like everyday, ordinary things we’re so used to.  But God has His ways of calling our attention – like in life’s twists and turns and oftentimes, the unthinkable when you least expect it.  Thank you, LORD, for blessing us in many ways, for reminding us that You are in both the stillness and the storm, and in all the things in between.

And many thanks too, Ryan and Eileen.  Your gift came just in time for dinner tonight.

By innotechmanila Posted in Uncategorized

Not For Sale

I learned some important things while shooting the ASIA PACIFIC FORUM ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING held in Manila last July 19 – 20, 2012. Sponsored by Not For Sale and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, the two-day forum made me understand the scope of modern-day slavery & how one is challenged to put an end to it.

From our two-day footage, I made a four-minute video summary.  My thoughts on my next blog.

I Hope There Are Cats In Heaven


He deteriorated within a week.  It was hard to see him slowly and painfully making his way around the house.  He wouldn’t eat and he hadn’t cleaned himself since.  On July 31, 2012, I bid him goodnight for the last time.



“Rest now, Koonz, rest.  Goodnight.”

Holding back my tears, I was wondering if God took our pets home to Heaven.  I actually wished God did.

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The Doctor Is In

Meet our “therapist” Roli Manuel.

Pastor, mentor, film camera collector, ebay bidder, and many more, the Roli Man is a gentle giant with a big spiritual stick. And he knows how to use it. A round of coffee and catching up precedes the main discussion – lessons from a new book, points to ponder, challenges to face, life application, etc.

Spending time with him in his office-thrift shop-museum is always a welcome break from our daily routine. He refreshes, challenges, probes, makes us reflect on life’s issues and prays with us. He shares with us his love for things snagged from ebay – clocks, brass keys from a dungeon, clippers, and old cameras. And he shares his vulnerability and struggles with us too – assuring us that we all are human and we each can strengthen each other. All these while sipping his magical coffee blend with a few drops of “anointing”.  





Yes, that's a PLOW hanging on his office wall.




By innotechmanila Posted in Uncategorized

My Black Christmas

I love black. In my teen years, I painted one of my bedroom walls black.

In grade school someone said that black is the presence of all colors. If so, then this Christmas 2011 is my most colorful Christmas yet with all hues coming together in such joyful blackness and filling my stocking.

First is a black and chrome Pentax S2 M42 camera circa 1959. A welcome addition to my collection of Spotmatics, taking its place in the family tree. It comes with an Auto Takumar 55/2.0, both of which I got from my new old cam source.

Second is a Pentax ME (working!) body with a (surprise!!!!) Pentax M 40/2.8 pancake lens! I rescued this from a guitar surplus store. It was languishing in an old box along with the S2 and other junk cams when I happened to pass by the store. As they say, one man’s junk is another one’s treasure.

Third is a Pentax DA 21 Limited lens, a generous gift from my US-based nephew. It came in just in time to replace one of my wide zooms which badly needs CLA. The DA 21 Limited is a very compact lens and I do like the images it gives me.

Lastly, a black generic battery grip for my Pentax K5, courtesy of my China-based best friend. Less expensive than the genuine grip, it still serves its purpose so I’m not complaining.

My K5 now looks more handsome.

Nice way to end the year and start a new one. Looking forward to what this new year brings. Cheers!

The Kids Are Alright

And they’re not to shabby either. Graduates from a small provincial vocational school seventeen (!) years ago, they’re all grown up, turning the wheels of commerce, and contributing to government’s coffers.

Educate kids right and you get productive citizens. Although they do have to choose to do good and pursue their own careers, a good foundation is a must. In whatever way I may have helped them, I am thankful. One looks back and meditates and is grateful for all the lessons learned. More grateful too when we’re given a chance to get together for the first time after seventeen long years.

I didn’t want to miss this reunion. And I’m glad I didn’t.

Liz and I join six of them in San Miguel, Bulacan. We drown ourselves in food good for twenty people.

Since Bless couldn’t join us earlier, we take the reunion to her place.

Thanks Ghe, Grace, Tess, Henry, Janette, Bless, and Jocelyn. It was a blast. Though all good days have to end, it just makes way for the next. I just hope we don’t get to wait for another seventeen years to do this again.

By innotechmanila Posted in Uncategorized

New Old Glass

I have a small collection of old Pentax Spotmatic cameras and Takumar lenses. I’ve trimmed it down a bit and I haven’t been in hunting mode until recently.

On one of my recent trips to the used guitar store, I find this nice lens from among the old cams. It’s a Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35/2.


The Spotmatic F was my first film camera. I only had two lenses then – a 55/1.8 and a 28/3.5 – both Taks. Back then, unaware that  there were various Takumar lenses available, I made a living with just my one SP-F and the two Taks.

My film days are over and the current Pentax K5 dslr is my money-maker. But the screwmount Pentax cams and Takumars still appeal to me. One cannot part with something that has had a major part in one’s life. Besides, I can always use old Pentax glass on my K5.



I am finding more about the history of the cam and the family of Tak lenses I grew up with. I am on the hunt again, looking for other old glass among other people’s discards. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.


By innotechmanila Posted in Uncategorized

There’s A Point In Here Somewhere…

I love pointed shoes. I don’t know why, but pointed shoes appeal to me.

When shopping for shoes I’d get very frustrated if pointed shoes for men were not the fashion trend.

I always appreciate a woman who knows how to walk elegantly in stilettos. When asked to draw anything as part of a psychological exam, i’d draw a woman with long hair, long pants, and with pointed high-heeled boots or shoes.

I never did get the meaning of my drawing. Maybe I was told what it meant for me to have drawn that but I wasn’t listening. Maybe if I listened carefully I would’ve learned that I’m such and such or some other thing. But at my age, I don’t really care to know their interpretation of my drawing a long-haired woman wearing pointed shoes. I just know that I love pointed shoes.

I also know this – that God made each of us uniquely, with different tastes and traits. Therefore, my tastes do not actually define who I am, rather, it is God’s will and design for my life that defines me.

As pointed shoes were designed for a purpose, God designed me for a purpose – far greater than anything that I have to spend the rest of my life living it out, otherwise I miss the whole point of my existence.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)

Freedom From Spaghetti

It rained the whole day. Leaving school at 4pm, we could’ve just stayed out for dinner. But the warmth of home and a home-cooked meal is more appealing.

I have eaten tons of spaghetti most of my life – in parties, fastfood outlets and restaurants, neighbors’ houses, and everywhere else. But three years ago I broke the rules – I bought a package of fettucini and cooked it at home. That night over dinner, a whole new gastronomical world opened up for me. No longer would I be languishing in spaghetti prison – I was now free to explore all the types of pasta available in the supermarket.

Enjoying the cool breeze the rains bring, Liz and I cook up some Linguini with meat sauce. Yes, freedom from spaghetti is, uhhmmm….  liberating!

Fresh tomatoes are in order. I love garlic too. We always use one whole bulb. The garlic we get from the market comes from other Asian countries. Our local garlic bulbs are small and taste better but the price is so prohibitive.

I don’t like onions but I can’t cook without them. Simply put, I can’t live with them, I can’t live without them. So to get around this mess I mince and mix them all up before sauteing.

I threw out all our Teflon pans when I learned that they were unhealthy. I invested in cast iron cookware (for me) and the Cookworks stainless steel set for Liza.

We love to spice up our meals. WE NEVER USE MSG. Herbs and spices are the only way to go.

Now we taste freedom again. Life is good.

(all photos from the Pentax K5 + SMC M 50/4.0 macro)


What else is new? Pacquiao makes the world stop, at least here in the Philippines.

In scenes replicated nationwide, all other things are set aside as we gather to watch Pacquiao fight. Enterprising neighbors charge as low as twenty pesos per head for the live feed, squeezing in as many people as possible per square inch. Others pitch tents complete with local politicians’ names and bring out the big screen LCD TVs.

In small, un-airconditioned  computer rental shops, people view the fights via internet on small computer screens.

It is said that for the few minutes when Pacquiao fights, the roads are clear of traffic, no crimes are reported, and the cops and crooks cheer the ‘National Fist’ together with the rest of the nation.

Should some power-hungry nation wish to invade our shores, it would be wise to do so on days like these. Because we may just be too busy to notice the invasion. Or maybe not. Because on days when Pacquiao fights, we Filipinos are at our best – able to set aside our differences and unite behind someone who has brought honor to us time and time again – something that most of our politicians, sadly, will not be able to do.