In America for the summer

We’re in America for the summer after wrapping up a frantically paced spring in Manila. There’s nothing like the Tennessee lake and sun to absorb stress and decompress from our metropolitan lifestyle. I’ve been enjoying a bit of a digital diet considering the extent to which I’m connected while in Asia. That means very little internet, minimal Facebook, Twitter or email. I hardly watch any TV when in Manila, and have kept that also to a minimum.

We’ll be relaxing here for a while, and then will head to Indian Rocks Beach, Florida for a couple of weeks in July.

On a completely separate note, here’s a photo I took on the island of Negros, southern Philippines. Surreal sky:

The beauty and grace of jellyfish

In the upcoming days, I’ll be posting a few photos of jellyfish that I took this summer. I find them beautiful, and almost zen-like in their movement and grace. It’s quite difficult to capture them in photos – it’s a fine balance between keeping the ISO down so as to avoid noise, keep the shutter speed high enough to stop their movement, and keep the aperture open enough to allow for proper exposure but also provide adequate depth of field.

These were taken with a Canon 5D mk II | Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM @ f/2.0 | 1/60 sec | ISO 1600

Back in Manila in a new condo

Just a quick update to say that I didn’t fall off a cliff or get detained by the Filipino customs officers. I’ve just been wickedly busy these past two weeks since returning from the States. I foolishly scheduled our return flight to arrive the night before starting work. Serious jet lag abound.

Work is going well, jumping right back into things, but have even more on my plate this year.

If this all wasn’t enough, you may recall that I moved to a new condo 3 days before leaving for the summer. Most of my ‘free’ time has been spent unpacking and setting up the place – surely my neighbor could confirm this fact with today’s marathon of drilling into concrete walls. But it’s all worth it – this new place is awesome. Green space, multiple pools, and – wait for it – a balcony. Yes, I’m excited to have a balcony after living in the clouds last year. We’re still pretty high up – we have views of volcanoes, a giant lake, the American Cemetery, and jets landing and taking off in the distance. It’s not as dramatic as our previous place, is half the size, (and ironically costs more), but that’s all made up in location and the greener lifestyle. Pics to follow soon.

I finally was able to get internet hooked up at home – a big perk with our new location is the ability to get 10mbps (or 100mpbs if you’re named after a mall). Those of you in foreign countries may laugh at that speed, but in most developing nations in S.E. Asia, that’s screaming fast. It’s not cheap by any means, but for my line of work and lifestyle, I think it’s worth it. I don’t do personal stuff while at work, so I had to hold off on updates until this was installed.

The blogging/photography side of me took a hit this summer – I wanted to take a breather from being online so much and just enjoy life for a while. But I’ll resume posting now with regularity.

All in all, it was a fantastic summer, and in many ways made me miss life in the States.