All posts filed under: People

14 Creative V-Day Dates

Not all couples celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some feel too old and too tired. Some think fine dining is too expensive, too fussy and too conventional–and they’re damn right. So why don’t you Valentine believers dump the boring dinners and try these things for a change? You have two weeks to prepare. Be kids again. Think of the things you loved to do when you were children, and do them. It can be as simple as going to the park, flying a kite, spending hours on a swing, visiting a museum/planetarium, or playing at an arcade. Learn to cook/bake your favorite dish. First, do the grocery, then clear the kitchen and drive everyone away. This is your date place. Now get to work. Play some music if it gets you in the mood to slice and dice. If you feel like flirting through a flour fight, go right ahead. Just remember you will eat what you cook. Take a walk or ride a bike. This is good for the heart, literally. Follow bike trails that will …

Trains, Planes and Mobiles: Notes on Cellphone Photography

Just before I left the travel magazine where I worked in 2011, I tagged along on an ABS-CBN interview with renowned fashion photographer Jun de Leon, a very passionate–and very elusive–artist. I’m not sure if this ever saw print, but in this age of smartphones that can do practically anything, I think his thoughts are too precious not to share, so…   Cellphone Photography, according to Jun de Leon  He has one rule in photography—there are no rules. And this is why Enrique “Jun” De Leon can move from being a photojournalist to a fashion photographer and now, an advocate of cellphone photography. His book ‘Tracing the Wind’ is the world’s first coffeetable book using purely cellphone photographs. Today he runs a Facebook page dedicated to mobile-age photography with more than 30,000 members from 40 countries. In a rare interview, he sits down and talks about the evolution of his passion. Why take on cellphone photography? According to research, the no. 2 aspiration of Filipinos is to own a digital camera. That’s why I’m changing …

Julie Cox: No longer a maid in Manhattan

Her story has too often been likened to a fairy tale. But it’s not. Even Cinderella did not live in a garbage dump, and Belle was never molested by the beast. Princess Aurora was pricked by one needle; Snow White was surrounded by adoring dwarves. Julie Cox, on the other hand, was raped twice and spent two years scavenging scrap metal at the former Subic Naval Base with a sickly infant son. At 15, she was a guinea pig for medical students as she battled leukemia, hepatitis, hemorrhagic fever and other infections. When she finally left her small town in Quezon to become an undocumented maid in the United States, she had no friends and had to give up her son for adoption. And yet, she made her own happy-ever-after. “If you can see through your suffering, you will realize that it is also your opportunity for great joy. We are not born to be miserable,” Cox writes in her book, I Ordered My Future Yesterday. The 9th of 12 children, Cox had to quit …

Jessica Cox: Without Arms, Without Limits

It’s only right that my first post here should be about someone unforgettable. This woman is A.MAZ.ING. Made me feel like I can do anything. I mean, if she can fly a plane armless, why can’t I drive a car (without hitting a tricycle)? Or learn Photoshop and InDesign? I have both arms, flabs and all! I really should try to do more (And then I hear Yoda in my head: “No. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” ) Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jessica Cox. She has no arms but she can fly. Born armless to a Filipino mother and an American father, Jessica Cox never had anything easy. But she didn’t think anything was too hard either. At 14, she stopped using her artificial arms and decided to rely solely on her feet. But they must be an incredibly awesome pair because Jessica has since earned a black belt in taekwondo, learned to drive a car and fly a plane, completed a degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona …