Stef+Naomi Photography: Sunbeams and You

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Flowers in her hair,
Eyes closed.
Endless dreams,
Mind wandering.
Alive,
And truthful…

She dreams.

-Jcaf
(Moi ;) )

Photography by Stef + Naomi Photography
Hair and Make up by Alain Adeva

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Shoot: The Light

13 Jan

Live in rooms full of light.

~Cornelius CelsusImage ImageImage

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968

Shoot: The Sky

30 Dec

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The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.

- Frederic Lawrence Knowles

Shoot: The I Love You Store

26 Jul

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My Artwork: 7/19

19 Jul

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I couldn’t stop myself from picking up my charcoal pencils and drawing the night away.

This is what I ended up with.

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Quote of The Day: So true!

28 Jul

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My Art: Vanessa

24 Jul

My Art: Vanessa
Charcoal and Acrylic on Paper
7/24/2014

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My Art: The Beginning

21 Jul

My Art: The Beginning
Watercolor and Acrylic on Watercolor paper
7/22/2014

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My Art: A Different Story

21 Jul

My #Art: A Different Story
7/21/2014
Watercolor on Paper

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Random Pop-up: Art Lessons

20 Jul

I unexpectedly became an art teacher this afternoon.

I love sharing my love for this passion of mine. It was a treat to encourage Alexandra to nourish this interest of hers.

She asked me to draw Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon and I asked her to paint it herself.;)

PS Then she asked for three more drawings. :p

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Wanderlust: Bangkok, Thailand!

19 Jul

Do you like any of the following:

* Shopping?
* Clean and delicious Street Food?
* Partying/Drinking?
* Tuktuk Rides?
* Paaaaad Thai? (Yes, I want a
separate bullet for this as this is
what has left me daydreaming
about heading back to Bangkok
soon!)

If your answers consist of more than one yes for the items above, I would recommend Bangkok, Thailand. I had a quick weekend getaway only, as always, so I stayed put in the city. If you have the time (like most of my traveler friends), you can also go to other areas like Phuket, Krabi, and Ko Phi Phi).

So what did I do for two days? Oh I just enjoyed being in a new place, seeing different people, hearing new languages, and meeting new friends.

You see, I’m quite addicted to this feeling. It’s been more than a week since this trip and I am already itching to travel again. Oh dear Lord, the curse of wanderlust can never leave my system!

So, anyway, back to Bangkok… The minute I arrived there, I loved that it was so convenient to get a ride to Khaosan (or Khao San) Road from the airport. I didn’t even have to stand in line! And you know what was so amazing about it? The music that the driver was playing Thai music all the way! And I was even treated to a singing driver… You won’t get to hear him sing in the video I shared below as I was just being sneaky as I was taking the video. He quickly stopped when he noticed I was taking a video of him! Haha ;)

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Beautiful Music!;)

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Oh wait, I forgot about the art pieces at the airport! Oh my, my eyes were treated to such a feast! There were art pieces on every wall and I loved it! If I had more time, I would have stayed longer there but I simply had no time and I just wanted to get to the city as soon as possible.

So how much did I spend on the cab ride? Below is the breakdown:

450 baht – cab ride
75 baht – Skyway fee
Total – 525 baht

On my trip back to the airport two days after though, the cab driver I got only asked for 450 baht (inclusive of the 75 baht Skyway fee).

Anyway, when I got to Khaosan Road, I immediately looked for a people-infested restaurant. If I’ve learned any lesson from my last Bali trip, it is that I shouldn’t feel too invincible when traveling alone. Caution is of utmost importance! I ended up at The Lucky Beer where there were two Filipino servers (both utterly nice by the way). The first thing I tried was the Iced Coffee. You see one of the few favorite things I had in Bali was the iced coffee I had at their airport. This, unfortunately, wasn’t as good as the ones I had in Bali and Siem Reap. All good though.;)

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PS forgive me for my eyes-closed-unflattering photo, my mind and heart were extremely excited but my body was obviously not! This was another oh-I’m-gonna-do-a-9-hr-shift-then-head-to-the-airport kind of trip. One I refuse to have in the near future!:p).

So now that I have mentioned Khaosan Road, I can tell you about my favorite part of Bangkok.

The busy streets. Street food. Fruits. Pad Thai. Clothes, oh lots of clothes! Oh and no, I didn’t shop at all (:()The stalls are open till late at night though so for those whose main goal is to shop when in Bangkok, then do visit Khaosan Road. The clothes are cheap and of good quality! The other shopping areas I visited were MBK and Bobae Tower (which I didn’t really like-except for the fresh cantaloupe I got outside of the place, which is everywhere anyway).

Below are some of the interesting sights I enjoyed in Bangkok:

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I guess it’s obvious that I enjoyed the food here more than in the other places I’ve visited this year (Siem Reap and Bali). This is mainly because I decided to try out more of the Thai and street food they had which were really good. I didn’t really do this while I was in the other countries. Oh the Phad Thai! The fresh fruits and the fresh drinks. Soooo sarap! Phad Thai was only being sold for 50 baht at Khaosan Road and I’m telling you, it was soooo good! Fresh fruits (only my family knows how crazy I am about fruits-well and you now, that is) were being sold for 20 baht. A bottle of fresh orange juice was also only for 20 baht. I made a promise to myself and that is that I am definitely going to go back for more shopping and for the food as well!

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50 baht Phad Thai from Khaosan Road

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Yummy Chicken curry from Oasis at MBK on the GF. Only for 65 baht (If I remember correctly).;)

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Okay now that I’ve shown you the delicious food and places I enjoyed in Bangkok, I’m gonna share one more thing I did twice during my two-day vacation—watch a movie. Oh not done yet, the same movie! Haha. In my defence, Adam Levine is in it! Haha, just kidding. Loved the plot so much and the movie house at MBK is nice! You know what I loved most about it? The poooopcorn! So good, best I’ve ever had! Haha ;)

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Food. “Window” shopping (lol). Tuktuk rides. Mall hopping. Drinking by the streets. That summarizes my 2-day Bangkok trip. Fun and definitely something I would do again (except longer next time)!

Below are some suggestions and tips if you’re ever heading that way soon:

1. Beware of tuktuk drivers who want to take you to buy coupons or get suits done (unless it’s something you really want to do). They can get relentless and their usual strategy is saying it’s just on the way. By the way, tuktuk rides normally ask for 200 baht first but then you can haggle and get it down to a hundred baht (or even less than that if you’re good at it). From Bobae Tower, our driver only asked for 65 baht to get to the port for the Floating Market. He later said he was okay with 100 baht for the whole day which is a really good deal. The only catch was he was one of those drivers who kept insisting on taking us to a place for coupons which was on the way.

2. Just get metered cabs to get around if you’re planning to go to a place that’s kind of far like Silom or the other areas in Bangkok. From one mall in Sukhumvit to MBK, I only paid about 50/60 baht which is normally gonna cost at least 100 baht if you were to go for a tuktuk ride.

3. Khaosan Road – shop there, eat there, and party there. So much fun! I ended up staying at Khaosan Palace which made it extremely convenient and safer for me as it was just on the street itself. If I remember correctly a room there costs about 600-750 baht and you leave a 500 baht deposit when you check in. The room, like the place I stayed in in Siem Reap, isn’t anything fantastic at all but it was good enough for me.

4. Go mall hopping! Totally worth it. You get to see other equally amazing clothing stores selling clothes for reasonable prices! And watch a movie while you’re at it. This is something I don’t normally do while traveling but I enjoyed doing so mainly because of the movie I watched and the yummy popcorn! Oh and again, Adam Levine. :p

5. Don’t be like me and plan for a longer trip to see the other areas, especially the beaches. I know that’s what I’m going to do the next time I go.

Yep, the next time I go which won’t be too long from now. This is my second trip to Thailand and despite it being a quick one, it has left me happy and (as always) wanting more!

Thailand is definitely the kind of place that never gets boring; always worth another visit!

I’m gonna end this post with two videos my best friend and I shot during our first trip to Thailand about two years ago to prove to you, my dear reader, that this place is the right kind of place to go to when you need an upper.;)

The we’ve been stuck for 10 hours at the airport nonsensical video

Silly us in Pattaya – Call Me Maybe!!

Ps My best friend is gonna kill me for posting the videos (sorry sis! Lol)

Anyway what are you waiting for? Time to plan your very own Thailand trip! Have funnnnn! ;)

Wanderlust: Bali, Indonesia

11 Jul

It’s been a week since my trip to Bali and I am finally forcing myself to write about it as I have another trip planned out in the next few days and I’m going to have to give way for more pictures for the upcoming getaway.

It probably took me a while to write about it because something unpleasant happened during the trip, losing my wallet specifically, which is why it isn’t exactly my favorite place in the world. To be fair, I won’t generalize, but I would say I will not be going back to Kuta any time soon.

I will say, though, that there are lots to see in Indonesia. The only problem is everything is far apart and renting a car is a must. There’s nothing wrong with that, but a big part of my Asian escapades is the fun commute. And yes, I am a big fan of tuk-tuks and having everything accessible, especially when I’m traveling alone.

That isn’t what Bali is like. Bali has a lot to offer but you have to have ample time to go around and explore its beauty.

I didn’t have that, unfortunately. I had a weekend to see what I could see.

So here are the activities I truly enjoyed doing during my quick trip:

1. Straight from the airport, I went to Elephant Safari Park. I went for the package that had the elephant ride, rafting, and lunch/dinner.

This camp is right beside Ayung River which is close to Ubud, Bali.

What I loved about this was the rafting. Firstly, I’m from CDO so I’m a sucker for rafting. And this, I have to say was extremely fun! Okay, I was tired from my four hour trip straight from my shift, but as soon I had my Bintang and we were going through the rapids, I had forgotten all my worries! It was definitely worth it!

If I ever go back for another adventure, I’d probably skip the elephant ride and just go rafting. To be honest, I’ve always wondered about how these elephants are treated. I was assured of their good condition and training tactics when I got there though. The tour guide with us even said he loved Cyndy, his elephant, more than his wife. “She (Cyndy) love me and not ask for my money!” I don’t know how to feel about that but it appeased my mind to know he loves her and he treats her well. I will never be one to condone harmfully keeping animals.

Here are some pictures from the elephant ride:

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The second part of this adventure: Rafting!

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One of my favorite parts of my rafting trip was passing by the stone carvings on the stone walls. According to our guide, the story is their version of Romeo and Juliet.

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Our fun guide!

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2. On the way back from the Elephant park, we stopped by the Monkey Forest Sanctuary where I was raped by the monkeys (lol). This kind of adventure is a bit tricky. According to the tour guides, we need to stay stiff when the monkeys go near you, or worse if they jump on your head or sit on your lap, as they can become really violent. This explains what I look like in the pictures below. I have to say, though, it was worth stopping by for.

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Oh and the view on the way back to Kuta was A-mazing!

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3. The next day was a less busy day for me but I loved it the most! Why? I went surfing and I loved surfing in Kuta! I’m by no means a pro. In fact, this was only my third time. The first of which was in Tofino, Canada which was a disaster. When I tried it out in Baler, I realized I’m meant to surf in tropical islands sans the heavy suit to wear when surfing in cold waters! Surfing in Kuta was exhilarating! My coach had one goal and that was to make me surf on my own! And I must say, I would think I was a tad bit better compared to my last surfing trip which was early this year or late last year (I forget). I didn’t get to take pics of course (disadvantages of traveling alone or not having a girl best friend around who is just as in love with taking pictures as you) but below are pictures of the beach.

Yes, by the way, not as good as our beaches in the Philippines, but for me it was good enough to help me relax post surfing.:)

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Oh and the food I had the day was the best during my stay, by the way! I have to try to remember the name of the place and I’ll update this post asap (I know I’m terrible!).;)

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4. One of the best spots I went to and would recommend to anyone is Tanah Lot Temple. Just standing by watching the waves and the temples made me feel so at peace. Serene, beautiful, and calm. I’ll let the pictures show you what I mean.

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And like the first day, the road trip back home had generous sights for us to see. This time I enjoyed the beautiful rice fields!

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Oh and I almost forgot to mention this, but try the fried ice cream they sell out there. You see how they make it and what I loved most was the fact that I could choose the fruits to include!

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5. My friends wanted to drop by the zoo in Ubud. For those who know me well, they’d know this isn’t how I like to enjoy traveling. I opted out of the whole safari thing and went to see Ketut instead since I was already in Ubud anyway. I loved seeing so many galleries by the road in Ubud! I wish I had the time to drop by and see more art pieces. Oh well next time!

Below are pics of the zoo and my Ketut visit (there is a separate post for that by the way).

Let’s start off with the zoo:

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Now time for my Ketut pictures! Without this visit, my trip would not have been complete. I’m a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love so I just had to go see him. As mentioned above, I have a separate post for this but I’m posting photos here as well.

Ketut is a beautiful soul and it was nice to see and meet him.

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6. The night life in Kuta. I must say I have a love and hate relationship with this part of my trip. The best part about traveling is meeting wonderful souls in the process, people who are in love finding magical moments just like me. With that said, I loved that my spontaneous semi-trip to Bali gave way to me meeting up with Sarah, a girl I met in Cambodia months ago. We started off at one of the bars then headed off to Sky Garden. It would have been a lovely fun night, except my wallet was stolen. Days after I found out that Sarah’s purse was also stolen. Another friend of mine was mugged on his way home. I hate to be negative, but I just have to share my experience. While I was filing a report at Club Sky Garden, another tourist was filing one for her lost phone. All the same night, yes.

The lesson here? Have fun, but be very careful! Don’t bring your wallet, just enough money. And hold on to your phones. Be aware of everyone around you.

Anyway, no regrets (Yes I’m still trying to convince myself of that!)… I had fun anyway! Below are pics of the night life in Kuta and my pics with Sarah.:)

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That pretty much sums up my Bali trip. It was quick weekend getaway… As always, I always love seeing new places so I’m going to have to shun away the negative experiences I had while I was there.

Below are a few tips for those who are traveling to Bali:
1. Tanah Lot, my friends. You cannot miss it!

2. Surf in Bali! I guarantee it will make your trip even more fun! Of course this if you’re into that.

3. Be careful, always be aware of your valuables (and based on my experience, especially when you’re in Kuta).

4. If you’re a girl and traveling alone, be careful when walking around Kuta especially at night. Drugs are being sold in every corner (and yes literally speaking, EVERY corner). To add to that, even guys are mugged there so just be careful.

5. To get around Bali, you can rent a motorbike or hire a driver.

Putu, our driver, was the nicest guy I met there. If you’re going, you can hire him for the whole day and he will be able to take you everywhere! Below are his details:

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6. Visit Ketut and the lovely art galleries in Ubud.

7. Go rafting! I had so much fun raftin while drinking my Bintang! I seriously forgot the rest of the world while I was doing so!

8.Try to research and figure out the top ten spots you want to see. I normally travel without plans but I realized that to maximize a Bali trip, you have to know what you want to see and where you want to go as everything is far apart.

Places I would have gone to, if I had the time:

1. The Rock Bar
2. Gili Islands
3. The Volcano Trek at Mt. Batur
4. Seminyak

But hey, maybe next time. One thing is for sure, I am not staying in Kuta if I ever go back.

Anyway when I travel, I always want o be inspired-slash-artspired, and Bali did keep me happily artspired.

Below is a painting I made on my plane ride back to Manila:

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The Queen
Charcoal and Pastel on Paper

Also, if you noticed, I never travel without my Jcaf Art bags. It just reminds me of who I am while I’m out there getting lost.

Below are some of my Jcaf Art bag OOTDs/pics:

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I just like infusing a bit of the arts into my traveling attires so I always have them with me everywhere! If you want your very own Jcaf Art Bag, please visit: http://www.travelfindsshop.com/store.

So there you have it, I finally have my blog about Bali after one whole week! Here’s Ketut and I inviting to see the beautiful tourist spots there!

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Ketut: “I three times happy to see you!”

Oh yes Ketut, I three times happy to see you and Bali!;)

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