Monday, December 18, 2006

Winning in Canon Shoot and Run 2006

The LORD has been very good to us this year. So many things have happened, so many ups and downs but He has always been at our side. The blessings we've received this year abounds. I am happy to share with you my experiences and my winning entry in the recently concluded Canon Shoot and Run 2006. But before anything else, I would like to thank Ria Mojica for sharing the details of the contest in the e-group. I wouldn't have been aware of such competition if I haven't read her post. Thanks Ria! And of course, to all the members of Scrapbooks Exchange... the beautiful, generous, talented and gorgeous members of this e-group who continuously believe and give support to me and my wife... thank you very much to all of you!
December 16, 2006 - I woke up around 6 a.m. to prepare and leave the house as early as possible since Cavite is still quite far from Malate where the event will be held. It was a Saturday and it was still early so I wasn't expecting any traffic. But lo and behold! I got stucked in traffic for two hours!!! Registration was at 9:30 p.m. and where was I? I was still in Bacoor Cavite pulling my hair off my head! I asked myself... of all the days I could get stucked in traffic... why now? At around 10 a.m. I reached Palacio de Manila and was able to register for the contest. Whew! I made it! After the briefing, the first assignment which was "Splendor of Manila" was given by the organizers. Contestants were tasked to capture a scenic view of Manila and be back at the HQ to download the best shot before 2p.m. Photographers rushed to all directions... Meanwhile, I decided to go to Intramuros. I parked my car in an open street that doesn't have any sign that says no parking. After a few minutes, I got my shot and hurriedly went back where I was parked. Yup, you guessed it right! My car was missing! It got towed by the alligators and hoodlums working for Ronron Towing services. The same towing service that I think has been featured several times by Imbestigador and other news programs because of so many complaints from the public. I was forced to walk a few kilometers just to get to where these alligators brought my car. They wouldn't release my car till I pay P1,500.00! I argued that there wasn't any sign that says "no parking" from where I parked. But arrogance and rudeness were oozing even from the noses of these Ronron clowns. And since I was holding a camera, one of them even approached me telling me not to dare take pictures of them if I wouldn't want anything to happen to my camera! So I told him, why don't you just try?! Well, sorry for these alligators because after a few phone calls, I was able to get off their hook without having to pay even a single centavo!

After all the frustrations and headaches in the morning, I was able to get back to the event headquarters and download my entry. Here's my official entry for the first category, which was "Splendor of Manila". It earned me a spot in the Top 50 finalists.

By 2 p.m. the next assignment, "Faces of Manila" was given to the contestants. I must admit, capturing photographs of people is not an easy task. Specially those you don't even know. Again, I scoured the streets of Intramuros, then went to Rizal Park, and finally ended up at Baywalk with still no single shot for this second assignment. But as they say... if you're in the right place at the right time... and fast enough to press the shutter, then you'll get your perfect shot! I happened to be in front of the monument of former Manila Mayor Lacson when a group of kids, out of nowhere, crossed the street and flocked to the statue. There were a lot of photographers there, and to my surprise, these kids just striked a pose. A few clicks, and I got my shot! Here's the winning photograph that earned me a brand new Canon 30D camera worth around P75,000.00 (Thank you LORD!) and the title of First place winner for the second category: "Faces of Manila".

During the awards night, I would have to be honest to say that I was stunned and overwhelmed to have won. I was happy and contented being chosen in the Top 50 Finalists. But hearing my name being called on stage to receive a major prize... WOW ang saya! It's actually my first time to join a big competition. And with fellow photographers who are experts and have been shooting for a long time, it's already an honor just to shoot beside them. Winning is actually a big bonus and a blessing. To all my fellow photographers who have joined Canon Shoot and Run 2006, congratulations to all of us! We are all winners! And to my wife Pia and son Ethan, thank you very much! This achievement is for you! I love you!

I would also like to share the other photos I took during the competition:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Alisha's 1st Birthday Party

Last November 18, we had our very first client for the chocolate fountain! Ranch, a fellow n@wie hired us only a few days before her daughter's (Alisha) first birthday party! Being the "buena mano" that is, of course we gave her a good deal - a discount and some freebies! Oh and I forgot to mention that the venue of the party is sooo near our place!!! It didn't even take us 10 minutes to get there huh!
Ranch and Ruel are both very warm. It was my first meeting with Ranch but it was like we've been friends for years already. We have only been exchanging e-mails since the time I learned she's also from DasmariƱas, Cavite.

I'm sharing with you the pictures of our chocolate fountain taken by the party photographer, Ken Go. It was lots of fun to serve chocolate to kids and adults. Everyone was very excited. The kids love it when they dip marshmallows, wafer sticks or fruits into the cascading chocolate! We had enough chocolate and dippings to last the whole party ... that was almost 3 hours!

I'm also sharing here what Ranch wrote in her supplier ratings:
Chocolate Fountain: Pia and Jeff Lopez

Savior ko ang chocolate fountain...di nainip ang guests and di na nila napansin na di pa nakaset up ang sound system etc etc because of the chocolate fountain:-) Pia gave me also a discount plus freebies na strawberries :-). Sobrang sipag ng wifey and hubby tandem na to they make sure na laging available ang mga dippings coz guest come and go talaga .... friendly rin cla sa mga guests akala nga ng iba relative ko cla Pia kc ang bait daw and laging nakasmile whenever guests approached the choco fountain :-) Buti na lang Pia was thoughtful and gave me a serving kung di .... di ko rin cguro natikman........the taste....superb!!!
To view other photos of the chocolate fountain, click here:
Thank you very much for getting our services, Ranch and Ruel!

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

If there's a favorite time of the year, that would be Christmas! Yup, you bet I'm still a child at heart. I always look forward to December because the atmosphere suddenly changes during this season. People are much nicer : D.

Christmas is still magical! I still believe in Santa Claus and I want Ethan to have a gift from him! I still look forward to decorating the house and the tree with ornaments. I still anticipate gifts and greeting cards ... and even though I have not attended the Simbang Gabi on a regular basis, I still look forward to it! Weird no?

But now that I'm a scrap addict, I also look forward to Christmas themed scrapbook papers and embellishments. And of course, I have to nag Jeff every now and then to take pics of the Christmas details in the house. What do you know as early as September I already made a Christmas layout! Oh well, it was Ethan's 1st Christmas pictures so I really have to scrap them because this 2006 is his 3rd already and I'm not done with last year's photos! Hay!

Anyway, I have made 4 layouts already. I'm sharing with you three of those since I already posted the other one (Naughty or Nice) months ago.

We have a new Christmas family tradition this year! We decided we'll write our Christmas wishes and see which of those written on the list would come true! =D I held Ethan's hand to guide him as he write his wish! I knew that he only wants one thing - cars! We wrote our wishes on tags. I used the patterned paper on the bottom as a pocket to hold our wishes! I used the Gin X coaster and made it like a wreath with Ethan's photo inside.

Title: Christmas Wish List

Materials used: cardstocks: Fabriano and Bazzill (title and the tags), patterned papers: DCWV, Gin X coaster, Lil Davis Glitter Glaze, ribbons and fibers, Karen Foster Loopy bards, Craft Express handmade xmas stickers, mesh, Sizzix die cuts: Alphabars Ransom and scallop tags

Do you experience problems with many photos? I'm sure you have tons of pictures to scrap this Holiday season but wouldn't know how to start. The December issue of Scrapbytes can help you. Click here and you'll sure to find helpful tips in preserving your Christmas memories.

On my article at Scrapbytes (Scrapping Lots of Photos), I shared this LO I made using Becky Higgins sketch. I chose the best pictures from the activities we've had during that season to include in my spread layout. I think this is the only layout I made with lots of pictures on it!

Title: Ethan's First Christmas (click here for larger view)

Materials: Bazzill and Fabriano cardstocks, DCWV and American Traditional Designs patterned papers, mesh, rickrack, Lil Davis Glitter Glaze, Sakura Aqualip pens, Sizzix die cuts: vowel play and Doodle dies Christmas, Editing software: Adobe Photoshop CS

A special thanks to my good friend Joanne Yap for letting me borrow her sizzix dies!

On the cover of the said e-zine, I made a layout with Ethan having his first taste of a mint flavored Christmas candy! After seeing the reaction on his face,
I'm pretty sure, di na niya ita-try ulit yun! ( he wouldn't try it again!) Hahaha! Well, I don't think he likes mint ... so guess who ate the candy? Me, of course!

Title: Christmas Candy

Materials: DCWV patterned papers, Craft Express handmade 3D stickers and borders, mesh, Lil Davis Glitter Glaze, photo anchor, Zig Writer pen, Colorbox Chalk ink, Sizzix die cuts: Ransom and circle frame