36th Year: New memories and one wish

Sasha Manuel at 50th Street Cafe, Restaurant & Bar

If the universe shows you a new path to take, put a spring in your step and go. You will have questions. You will have fears. But always remember that your time on the road to a good life will bring new things, new memories; good things, good memories. This year has been a rollercoaster of events, periods of lull and loneliness to moments too special and poignant yet brief. Shifting from a comfortable life into a high gear filled with terrifying changes; all points to one thing -- a reminder that this is what it means to say you're alive. For folks who really know me and how I celebrate my birthdays, this year offered a colossal difference to how I went about my special day. Moving to a new place (a different country) with no … [Read more...]

NYE x NYD: Animated!

NYE x NYD Animated photos gif, Australia | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

Admission: I don't like backlogs for photos. This just might be the reason why I take lesser photos now than I used to. Or that I prefer using MrForest (an iPhone 4S) over MrSixty (a Canon 60D) apart from the more obvious reason: size. Over the holidays, with countless things going on and my entire being fixed on vacation mode, i.e. spending less time in front of the computer, et al. So, come the time I had to update my camera uploads (thanks, DropBox!), I'm buried with loads. THEN I get too lazy to work on them. Work-around: I try to come up with themes either for a Facebook album upload or a blog post as I work through stacks. Animated NYE x NYD photo set I found a bunch of photos I took using a remote and with MrSixty fixed … [Read more...]

Melbourne, Sydney, and the Great Ocean Road

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

Looks like one of my birthday wishes will come true sooner than expected, or at least, get a good head start. First 2 weeks of 2013, I'll be on the road again, traversing the land of green and gold. Destination: Melbourne, Sydney, and the Great Ocean Road! Melbourne Melbourne, Victoria, Australia I've been in and out of Australia five times since 2005 and I've been to Melbourne twice; last time was last year. But it's still one of the most beautiful cities I've been to so I'm looking forward to this trip. If I got the itinerary right, time there will be very interesting. I'm also looking forward to catching up with an old friend. Sydney Sydney Opera House, New South Wales, Australia (photo by sydneytheatre.com.au) Ah, … [Read more...]

The Land of Green and Gold

Horse Paddock, Weeds, Narnu Farm, Hindmarsh Island, South Australia, Australia | The-Parody.com, Online Journal of Sasha Manuel

I like Roadtrips. I do. I imagine it filled with offbeat music, long chats, junk food, odd encounters, and peculiar imagery -- all these will form part of the "remember when.." stories which will fuel future conversations. Traveling by road will definitely allow folks to bond. Well, I happen to think that traveling does help one get a glimpse of the other person's personality. A few days spent away from the city was received with delight. It's expected that I will take photos but I wasn't really planning to conduct a photo project on my own. It was simply a case of losing sleep due to the cold, fascination with the sunrise and horses, and the guilt over not spending more time with MrSixty as I should. A humble effort to capture the … [Read more...]

The Traveler: Yangon Skylines and Perspectives

Yangon, Myanmar | The Parody by Sasha Manuel

If you spend too much time looking up, imagining how it must feel like to be up there instead of where you are, I'd have you know that someone up there is looking down wondering the same thing, only in reverse. It's funny how surreal an experience can be for an unsuspecting dreamer. Yes, sometimes, you do wake up and find you're there. Or, at least, you were. Once in a lifetime. Some opportunities do come only once and never again. One would be so lucky to be conscious when it arrives and would have a good mind to grab it. These opportunities often present high risks. But think of the risk as relative; presenting you with choices that may lead you in different directions, or cause you to embark on a journey to unknown territory, … [Read more...]

The Traveler: Yangon, Myanmar {reco for foodies}

Monsoon, Yangon, Myanmar | The Parody - Online journal of Sasha Manuel

Does this make me one? A foodie, I mean? I cannot -- for the life of me -- discern if the chef added a touch of ginger or cilantro, or if the coriander, paprika, and bell peppers are ingredients that complete the gastro experience. Not that it really matters, but if there's one reason I would give you on why you should go visit Yangon, Myanmar, it's the food. Seriously. My friends requested that I share bits about my trip to Myanmar. A couple of colleagues suggested that I share my recommendations -- offer my services to expats moving to or companies looking set up shop in Yangon even -- since my experience is considerably thorough since I acted in a capacity that encompasses what a tourist, expat, and local may be exposed to. The latter … [Read more...]

Say Hello to MrSixty, A Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF-S 18-135mm Lens, DSLR | The Parody, Online Journal of Sasha Manuel

The practice of naming my gadgets is my way of marking how much I treasure each. It's like an expression of fondness and signals how I will treat them moving forward. It's a great show of affection and seemingly takes on a human-like relationship which, of course, remain at a level that no one will ever question my sanity. Yes, say hello to MrSixty. He's a Canon EOS 60D that comes with an EF-S 18-135mm IS lens as a kit. Yea, it's my other new toy apart from MrPoPo the Polaroid PoGo. After 4 eventful and memorable years, he replaces MrX in my life. Wow, it seems only yesterday when I came home from Hidalgo lugging my first-ever digital camera. MrX, a Canon 400D or Digital Rebel XTi, proved to be a fantastic companion as I ventured … [Read more...]

Photography and the Polaroid PoGo called MrPoPo

Polaroid PoGo | The Parody, Online Journal written by Sasha Manuel

When I was a kid, the word "hobby" seemed foreign to me. Considering that I've answered so many slumbooks that asked me to name any and I'd noticed how my mind would go on auto-pilot, writing down generic answers that I know I do but never truly felt passionate about. It was when I grew older (much, much older) that I really found what I really wanted to do and one of them is photography. Yes, I'm a photography hobbyist, for a good 7 years now. Whoa. I didn't realise that it's been that long. It took me a while --- and several million of pixels too! --- before I realised that it's something that I truly wanted to do. It's just one of the things I grew into but there's always something about passion that leaves a mark on anything we do … [Read more...]

A Reading Nook and New Books

Books - Larsson, Yardley, Collins, Niffeneger and Wolff | The Parody - Online Journal of Sasha Manuel

Ah, don't you love the smell and the feel of a brand new book? I do. I love looking at it and feeling the paper under my fingers. The idea of spending countless hours immersed in a story, getting acquainted with the characters and caught up with plots. Reading has always been a fantastic escape for me, however temporary. It's a source of my creativity too. Reading has consistently fueled my writing. I'm especially glad that I got new books over the holidays. Some are even totally new to me. I like getting introduced to new titles and authors. It widens the scope of what I read. I actually already gobbled up a couple of books included in the photo. Two of the titles, I bought: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger … [Read more...]

The Traveler: Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales, Philippines

There's something about traveling that opens one's soul; taking in wisdom from nature, the firmness of the ground you walk on and the vastness of the sky above. You marvel at the beauty around you; from the variety of textures, colours and shapes to the combination of matter and the rest of the elements. You feel a certain connection with everything else. A solitude that breaks the silent turmoils. Suddenly the universe and the future aren't as chaotic as you initially thought. There's sense. There's peace. If there's one place I'd recommend you folks see at least once before you die, Mt Pinatubo is one of the better choices. Just 3 hours away from Manila to the take-off point, another couple of hours (give or take) of rough, … [Read more...]