Bonus * Watch my instagram LIVE on Replay. Hope you enjoy it. ☺️ http://www.instagram.com/TimmyDavidNYC
After days recuperating, I am glad to be out and about taking photos.
We often reflect on life when we experience tragedy. Sometimes it’s when we attend funeral. We promise ourselves to live every day to the fullest. Though, human nature, we forget and gravitate back to negativity. Individuals who spend all day venting what’s wrong with their lives or someone else’s. Yes, reality isn’t all bright and colorful. We go through days where it’s impossible to maintain that happiness and positive outlook. Yesterday, I watched Yvonne Dowlen’s story on YouTube. “I guess some people can direct their lives, but I kind of just let mine happen,”
Jul 5, 1925 – May 2, 2016
I always remember her at skating competitions, she maintained a low profile. She loved figure skating. Yvonne kept her life simple, she did what she loved.
I’m sure, we all have spent precious time with our elders. They offer us wisdom. Some tend to say, well they lived through a different era. What we went through and are experiencing emotionally, they’ve been there. We can always gather perspective to reflect on the present and the future. I hope this post make you smile and be inspired. Don’t be easy to react on negativity. Let them. Look out after yourself first. Your mental health and well being. As much as it’s tempting to put them in their place, spend it on laughter & kindness.
Ever since I was 8 yrs old, I’ve fallen in love with the Art of taking photos. I took pride capturing moments. Oh the days of buying film & carefully placing it inside the camera. Keeping an eye on that meter, being picky with what I capture. Click * then adjust to the next film with my thumb. That sound and feeling when there’s no more film. The waiting game of getting your pictures developed. Then that moment comes when you get that envelope, you tear open that sticky paper, reliving the pictures and moments in order it was taken. Carefully not smudging it with your fingerprint. Cringing at photos I shouldn’t have captured. After seeing the last glossy picture, “Eh…. Next time” I then arrange it to my photo album book. I’ve always felt 50/50 with what I created. Fast forward to 2005 when I got my Sanyo flip phone, it had a built in camera. It was a great feeling, having a camera and phone all in one. I then would own a Palm, Blackberry, iPhone, then finally my trusty Samsung Android device. I’ve gone through all the Galaxy Notes, now my s8. I’ve also used Cannon, as I needed for zooming. These past couple of years I have volunteered at festivals & parade, to test myself. I bought a professional Cannon & shot on Auto. It was a great learning experience. Rookie me – taking over 5K photos for my first event, the Cherry Blossom Festival & Parade in DC. After selecting & editing, I produced 300 memorable photos. I then continued to document several more. DC Memorial Day Parade & Pride. I learned a lot & value the experience. But I decided not to pursue it as my livelihood. I’ll just keep it as a hobby. There are thousands of photographers today capturing moments with high caliber cameras, taking helicopter rides, using drones, & venturing untouched places. Me, I’m happiest with my #mobilephotography excursions.
Thanks for reading 📱❤️📸
Staying motivated is a struggle for many. I often make a deal to myself, “Just go, get on that elliptical & treadmill for 5 minutes, and if I really am not feeling it, then leave.” I end up continuing my routine.
At this point in my life, I need to be consistent on staying fit. Not to parade around shirtless, but to reduce my need using the inhaler. I’ve never had asthma growing up. It just sprung out of nowhere during my 30’s. Doctors diagnosed me with, “exercise induced asthma” 😑 I hate it. Currently I’m 170 pounds. When I get down to my normal weight, 140 lbs, I’m ok. I use my inhaler less. It’s really hellish being overweight. Whenever I tie my shoe laces, my chest begins to feel heavy, and I get shortness of breath.. Odd & Scary.
I got hit by this damn flu 🤧🤒 after the New Year, now I’m 98% better. I’m looking forward to starting my regimen this weekend.
Then 1994 – Now 2018
Every Friday night, Saturday morning & night, Sunday afternoon – were my skating days. Spending 3.5 to 4.5 hours a day. I would always use #music to motivate me. Improvising to so many genres of music, while warming up & practicing my jumps and spins. It hasn’t changed today. Except it’s only 1.0 – 1.5 hrs on ice. By now, everything is muscle memory. Before, I was learning to be consistent with each technique. Training my body & brain for all scenarios were essential. From feeling tired, sick, nervous & hyper. When that moment comes, to compete and perform, then your body goes completely numb, especially the knees, you dig deep & trust your training. Yes, I went through many seasons falling on a different element or sometimes the same. Skaters often “put out” new elements on exhibitions and competitions to get your body and brain acquainted. Almost all go through those seemingly painful falls. Then one season, everything clicks. Consistency & Confidence kicks in = “Clean skate” – Looking effortless come into play. I look forward to returning on competition ice this March & April. To feel in one with the music and getting lost in the feeling again, I am excited. Being a Dancer on stage is different, the ice gives me a huge canvas to express choreography boldy. The crunch and hiss the blades make on the ice, just takes me into a Zen 🎋
We scroll through countless of photos during the day for different reasons, looking for inspiration & entertainment. Unfortunately sometimes it would turn into an obsession. Social Media Envy. It’s a daily struggle one finds itself. My hope for writing this today is to reach individuals who are struggling with it. Because it turns into anxiety and depression. Yes, I would find myself taking multiple pictures, making sure it covers my flaws. Stomach Belly Fat mostly. Facial scars can be smoothed out with an app. But I have to make sure the pose is what I’ve rehearsed in the mirror. Making sure it’s a flattering. Ugh 😣 We only have one life to live, I don’t want to waste time worrying & obsessing about stupid superficiality. This is my #2018 #instagram #NewYearsResolution.
So I don’t have 1K Likes . That doesn’t take away the picture & moment I share. So I don’t have 10K to a Million followers. I know that the people are following me enjoy my content on a daily basis. While my feed doesn’t fall in the category of a theme, like how everyone suggests (and most likely will never be), in my heart, what I have captured and posted, meant a lot to me.
My current change of ways I credit to discovering @garyvee on instagram. Gary’s posts don’t beat around the bush. It’s what this era needs. #TagTeam2018
- Part 4a 🇺🇸 Landed – Detroit, Michigan.
By this time, after 10 + hours of travel, I was exhausted. Mixed with excitement of course. We landed approximately 4 ish in the afternoon. Picked up our luggage & boxes and headed to a long line for US Customs and Inspections. There were four people and two large tables ahead. The line was moving quickly and efficiently. Until it was our turn. We were greeted with a groan and an exhausted laugh. All 4 had to work as one to open each one of our boxes & luggage. The only item they questioned was our “pasalubong – polvoron”. Pasalubong = Treats one would bring from their homeland or point of visit. Polvoron = is a type of heavy, soft and very crumbly Spanish shortbread made of flour, sugar, milk, and nuts, especially almonds. This item is always make immigration officers bat an eye lash. Thinking it’s crack. After a long process of opening, inspecting, and closing up boxes, we placed our items onto another conveyor belt, heading to our connection plane. My mom looked for a phone booth and called my Uncle in NJ. Meanwhile, I needed to go pee, badly. I lingered from one hallway to another and bumped into two airport workers, one looked like Denis Franz and Larry Bird. “Sir, where is the CR?” (Crickets) Both looked at each other with a confused look. “Comfort Room?” I asked “Say what kid?” the Denis Franz character asked. The Larry Bird guy saw my I need to pee stance. “Ooh, Restroom. Down that hall son.” I graciously thanked them ran to the RestRoom 😄 There was my first lesson on US soil. Noted. By the time I got back with my folks, they said we have to transfer terminals. We headed outside to catch the airport shuttle bus. I was a little cranky and still nauseous. As I was about to speak a huge cloud of smoke came out from my mouth. Whoa! 12 years living in a humid climate exhaled. I was so amused. Breathing in and out with that 45/50 degree cold air. A couple of minutes passed, my cranky disposition returned. “Can Uncle Alex pick us up from here? I don’t want to ride the plane anymore.” I groaned. “No, it’s too far” my mom said.
I pulled out the map I was given by the Northwest Airlines, “Where are we?” My mom then pointed New Jersey and drew her fingers across to Michigan. “I don’t think it looks that far.” She rolled her eyes and had an expression that today translates to “Bitch Please” 😄
We got to the 2nd terminal and departure gate, I looked at our plane (picture ⬆️), my mind drifted to mini clips of what had transpired within two days. Wow, I’m finally getting here. I then pulled out my walkman & started listening to my Filipino shows. I was convinced at the time, I should listen to my recordings often so I don’t forget how to understand and speak Tagalog.
Shortly. We boarded our plane, en route to our final destination, Newark Airport New Jersey. I find myself burying my forehead on my mom’s shoulders (nauseous 🤢). I ended up falling asleep from exhaustion.
Before I knew it we landed. I was relieved and vowed never to set foot on a plane ever again. We were greeted by my Aunt & Uncle at the gate, right when we exited the tarmac. Hugs and cheers exchanged. Since we had so much stuff, we needed a second vehicle. My cousin Jojo from the Bronx came to meet all of us. Everything was packed and smushed onto my cousin’s car and my Uncle’s Jeep Cherokee. It was tough to see in the rear view mirror.
I rode with my Uncle and Aunt, we squished on the front seat, reminding me of my ride to the airport back in Manila.
As we drove through route 1 from Newark Airport, I started making observations. The houses were different. No gates. Just doors. (Imagine a fade out) 😉
- To be continued on my new chapter series. “Fords, NJ”
“Migrating to America” Part 2
October 18, 1992
Around 4:05 am, my mom woke me up.
“It’s time to get dressed.”
I didn’t pop up from bed energetically as I thought I would. I laid out my travel outfit two weeks ahead of time. A blue long sleeve, light brown curderoys, my favorite brown shoes, and a red light jacket.
A small handbag filled with 10 cassette tapes, a large walkman, and a mini photo album.
Believe it or not, I actually have all these items together in one of 5 boxes of my personal memorabilia.
10 cassette tapes of music? Nah.
At that time, I thought it would be cool to record my TV shows on tape. We actually did not own a beta max set. The only beta tape I own was my 10th Birthday party at #Jollibee.
Among the cassettes were memoir recordings. A month’s worth of personal narration of my daily Shenanigans. I’ve always been known to keep documentation all my life. Pictures and written diaries weren’t enough.
I had late night talks with my grandmother. She lived here in America for a couple of years.
Summer of 1988, she came with my cousin Charisma. My Uncle & Aunt lived in Fords New Jersey. My mom escorted them during the trip.
I peppered my grandmother with inane questions, what was America like. Was it like anything we’ve seen on television and the movies?
Growing up, we only had 7 channels. On that wooden box with a thick glass screen, two knobs, one to pull & push, turning it on and off, which also served for volume, and the flat key like thing, that clicks loudly as you rotate it to change the channel.
Sesame Street and Wonder Woman were the only American shows I’ve ever watched growing up.
Ok, ok. Let me get back to October 18th….. My Uncle (from Confirmation) and long time friend of the family came to drive us to the airport. I gave my Aunt, My mom’s cousin Jojit, and my Grandmother a hug good bye.
We pack in seated in our burgundy pick-up truck. A vehicle that was older than I was. One big foam rectangular cushion that fit 3 people. Today, all 4 of us squeezed in. As we backed out of the house slowly, that wee early morning, all three of my relatives were in front of the house waving, I stare at the house one last time, the gate wide open, I can see all lights were on, my Uncle beeped the horn twice and we waved one last time.
Bye, 12 Sicaba Street, Retiro – Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City.
My mom reached into her purse and took out her rosary. I thought, oh wow. She’s really nervous.
“First Joyful mystery, The Annunciation…” From there I mumbled on auto-pilot.
I peer out of the window to memorize one last time the roads. Turned left towards Retiro – Right on Banawe Street, & Left on Quezon Avenue. There were no traffic at 4:35 am. We breezed through up to the Quezon Memorial Circle within 10 minutes. A ride that usually take 25 minutes. Everything came fuzzy after that.
We finished praying the rosary & sat in silence. I looked at the rear view mirror and saw our cross hanging on a string, I took it off and tucked it away in my carry-on bag. It was a gift that was given to us by Charito Planas.
The cross is now in my parent’s car.
Before I know it, the sun was rising as we pulled in the rotunda of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Upper level.
It was the first time I’ve been to the upper level. All my life during that time I’ve been at the Lower level for arrivals. I’ve watched with excitement as my relatives come down from the ramp (Google it, Ninoy Aquino Airport – Terminal 1 Arrival, Greeters Area). “Wow, they just came from America.” They always looked so refreshed & glowing. Plus, Filipinos know this one fact. They smell different. Umm what smell? It’s a sweet aroma. Their clothes and the Balikbayan Box, all smell the same.
The sun was already up, it’s golden colors were shining behind us, the coconut trees were rustling from the wind, and the Philippine flag on the pole. “Timmy, get a cart.” My father told me.
We had 6 pieces of luggage & 5 Boxes. My dad was a memorabilia collector too. Almost all of his books and art supplies, he packed.
I got two carts. We stacked all of our belongings to those two flimsy carts, said our thanks to my God Uncle, I looked at our pick-up truck one last time and headed in the airport lobby. I was so giddy inside. The marble green floor was newly polished that morning, it smelled of Johnson or Star Wax. I remember using them in school to clean our classroom floor.
Um, excuse me? Kids were asked to clean school property? It was part of our routine in school. After recess, we would sweep the floors and wax the floor with half of a coconut, what we call “bunot”. This was the time I stared to feel sleepy and tired. I slept on my mom’s lap while we waited at the gate.
Shortly. We started to board.