Monday, December 29, 2014

Lost in Times Square

You will definitely get lost in Times Square during this season. Millions flock the streets of Times Square to see the sights, sounds and scenes of Holiday New York.

Lost in Times Square
365-day challenge, Day 111
27 December 2014

Lost in New York

We made a quick pitstop to NYC to see some Christmas scenes and sights. There were LOTS of people in New York, mostly probably would be staying there until the New Year's ball drop. 

Lost in New York
365-day Challenge, Day 110
26 December 2014

Boathouse Row

On Christmas night, I asked my cousin to take me to Philadelphia for a quick photo walk before dinner. Here's one of the photos I took that night.

Merry Christmas!!!

Boathouse Row
365-day challenge, Day 109
25 December 2014

Noche Buena

We had a feast of a Noche Buena on Christmas Eve, thanks to my aunt, uncle and cousins. This picture was taken from the Christmas Eve dinner in my cousin-in-law's parents' house.

Merry Christmas 2014 to All!

Noche Buena
365-day Challenge, Day 108
24 December 2014

Santa came in early

We needed to make the gift-opening in the house a bit earlier because we needed to travel to New Jersey to be with my aunt and cousins for Christmas. Then Juancho was happy. :)

Santa came in early
365-day challenge, Day 107
23 December 2014

Juancho with Tree

Another Holiday photograph with the little one. :) 

Juancho with Tree
365-day challenge, Day 106
22 December 2014

Candlelight dinner

My Manager invited my wife and I to a Holiday family at their home in Falls Church. It was a sumptuous meal complete from welcome drinks to desserts!

Photo was taken from the centerpiece of the buffet table, which features two lit candles.

Candlelight dinner
365-day challenge, Day 105
21 December 2014

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree
365-day challenge, Day 104
20 December 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Streets of Shirlington

Happily lit streets of Shirlington

Streets of Shirlington
365-day challenge, Day 103
19 December 2014

Holiday Happy Hour

Happy Holidays, IFC!

365-day Challenge, Day 102
18 December 2014


For some stroke of luck, Santa Claus (?!) was able to make it to the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC's Christmas Party. He gave the Christmas cheers to the Embassy kids and gave each one a surprise present. Looked like all the kids were "nice" this year.

365-day Challenge, Day 101
17 December 2014

Embassy Christmas Lanterns

For the 100th day of the self-imposed 365-day challenge, I present the beautiful Christmas lanterns in the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC.

Embassy Christmas Lanterns
365-day challenge, Day 100
16 December 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

White House Christmas Tree

It's that time of the year again when the White House ellipse is illuminated with Holiday lights, and in the center of them all stands its traditional Christmas Tree.

I stopped by this afternoon to take a few shots of this lovely sights and sound display.

The White House Christmas Tree is open from 5-9pm daily until the Holiday Season is over.

White House Christmas Tree
365-day challenge, Day 99
15 December 2014
all pictures by ©JReyes


Another Holiday special post. Just loving this season!!!

This time I used an extension tube to give our Christmas balls a "portrait shot." :)

I used a Xit XTETN Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set I got from Amazon. It's way cheaper to do macro than to purchase a macro lens. 

11 days till Christmas!

365-day Challenge, Day 98
14 December 2014

White House Ornament

We were lucky to have been given at least a couple of these precious White House historical ornaments. These were given to us as gifts from friends. 

Here's something about the White House historical ornament program:

"In 1981, Bernard Meyer, the Executive Vice President of the White House Historical As- sociation, was exploring the feasibility of producing an ornament and even had a prototype made by a Colorado firm that wasn’t considered satisfactory. In that same year, Westport Marketing Group, a marketing firm from New England, proposed that they help us develop Christmas ornaments to generate funds to accomplish our mission. A high quality copper weather vane was proposed for the design of the first ornament. Weather vanes crown many of this country’s historic buildings, including Mount Vernon and Independence Hall. An interpretative brochure accompanied the ornament. The association’s Board of Directors reviewed and approved the design, and in 1981 the ornament program was born. It became an immediate success.

White House Ornament
365-day challenge, Day 97
13 December 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Balls of Shirlington

Shirlington area now dons the Holiday vibe. :)

Balls of Shirlington
365-day Challenge, Day 96
12 December 2014

Bokeh Tree

  1. "In photography, bokeh (Originally /ˈboʊkɛ/, /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay — also sometimes pronounced as /ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə, Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light"."
    Happy Holidays!!!
    Bokeh Tree
    365-day Challenge, Day 95
    11 December 2014


More Christmas photos. This was taken from the Philippine Embassy's lobby Christmas Tree. :)

Only 15 days to go before Christmas 2014!

365-day challenge, Day 94
10 December 2014

Bad Santa

My friends Levi and Aja requested me to take their holiday picture. I quickly obliged. It was a fun experience. Shooting events and portraits give me some sort of practice. Although I have no immediate plans of making money with photography. I feel I am not yet worthy..

Bad Santa
365-day Challenge, Day 93
9 December 2014

Thanks for the opportunity! :)

Monster Unleashed

When you walk along National Geographic Building in M Street you will never miss this gigantic model of what is believed to be the biggest carnivore in the Cretacious period: the Spinosaurus. Juancho and I decided to do a father-and-son activity by visiting the NatGeo museum and view the exhibit of this enormous discovery. Being in DC surrounded by 10 free Smithsonian museums, I initially though that this museum is a ripoff for charging $11 just to see two exhibits. But then after we went through the two exhibits I sort of appreciated the extra charges as these exhibits bring out new perspectives at history and pre-history.

By the way, the other exhibit is called Food: From farm to fork. It was equally interesting to know where the food on your plate comes from and how it gets there.

Monster Unleashed
365-day challenge, Day 92
8 December 2014

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Welcome Baby Zia!

DevsFrat (this is what we used to call our group: a pun-filled pseudo-fraternity back in college) has another new-born! Welcome to Earth baby Zia!

It's a Merry Christmas for the Alexises indeed! :)

Welcome Baby Zia!
365-day challenge, Day 91
7 December 2014

Child's Play

Juancho attended his friend Lakan's birthday party. I was so happy to see him finally participating and enjoying the "formal" games and activities of parties like this.

He used to dislike being in part of the party entourage and during these games, he would normally sit or stand aside or plays by himself. Alas! During this party, he just needed a little "push" and motivation and voilah! He's participating! Whoopee! :)

Child's Play
365-day challenge, Day 90
6 December 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014


The lampposts of downtown DC are now dressed and ready for the Holidays. :)

365-day challenge, Day 89
5 December 2014


Another Christmas photo.

This is particularly timely for my Filipino brothers and sisters. Another typhoon (International name "Hagupit") is about to make landfall in the Philippines... 

May the angels save and protect my kababayans from the damaging effects of the typhoons. Prayers for everyone...

365-day Challenge, Day 88
4 December 2014

Friday, December 05, 2014


One of the earliest Christmas ornaments, the pinecone is common to the Christmas scene. They said that in the early 1800s there were no Christmas balls or glittered faux snowflakes, but instead people use fruits, nuts and cones to decorate their Christmas trees. Now that we see different kinds of plastic and glass decorations, the pinecone is still a household favorite.

The sight of a pinecone brings me lots of childhood memories, especially during our regular trips to Baguio City, one of very few places in the Philippines where you can see real pine trees in the wild.

Pine Cone
365-day Challenge, Day 87
3 December 2014

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Christmas in IFC

Even our office is now donning the Holiday vibe!

I just love this time of the year. Somehow the stress just disappears. :)

Christmas in IFC
365-day challenge, Day 86
2 December 2014

Christmas Ball

Looks like from my previous post up until the Holidays I will be posting a lot of Christmas-related photos. :)

The morning Christmas-carols-over-coffee ritual has officially started.

365-day Challenge, Day 85
1 December 2014


The Parol. The famous Philippine lantern made of paper, cellophane or kapis. The star that lights Filipino homes, symbolizing the coming of the Messiah on Christmas day. We are lucky that Mom-in-law, via a visiting Uncle-in-law, was able to send one over.

Just staring at this blinking beauty gives me a glimpse of the Filipino Christmas that I truly miss. The traditional family dinner: Noche Buena... The noisy relatives as they exchange gifts... The classic party menudo... The lumpiang shanghai... The queso de bola... The kids wearing new (unwashed) clothes from head to toe... The crazy traffic... The caroling with the usual reply "patatawarin" (spare us)... The corporate Christmas party with lavish raffle prizes... The Kris-kringle... The puto-bumbong and suman... The early morning masses... I miss them all.

Can't wait to be able to sing "I'll be home for Christmas" and truly mean it. Soon, very soon. :)

25 Days 'till Christmas!

365-day challenge, Day 84
30 November 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Protests in DC

We were on our way to have lunch with friends in Filomena in Georgetown. On the way to Wisconsin Avenue, we were surprised to see people carrying protest signs and banners flocking the driveway of M Street. They then stopped right in the middle Wisconsin and M, the intersection where we should have turned to get to Filomena. As I tried to sneak in to turn, I was stopped by police and was asked to turn around and go back to key bridge instead. So I did.

Luckily, I found a parking spot as I took a u-turn. I quickly took the spot and Bubbles and I decided to walk towards Filomena. As we were approaching the crowd, I took a few photos.

Protests over alleged police brutality and racism that happened in Ferguson, Missouri have been spreading across other states, one of which in the DC Metro area. People protest about what they believe as militarization in the police force, as well as unfair treatment towards and stereotyping of cultural minorities like African Americans.

Why don't we just all get along??

365-day challenge, Day 83
29 November 2014

Decorating Christmas

Happy Black Friday!

As a tradition (of 3 years now?!), I buy a live Christmas tree at Home Depot over Black Friday, alongside finding some good stuff in the hardware store. So at Black Friday night, we take out all the decorations and trimmings and start decorating. And to help with the Christmas mood-setting, we play our all-time favorite Christmas tunes. Thank you, Johnny Mathis, Bonnie M and Gunter Kallman Choir. :)

Now with the little boy all grown up and eager to help out, decorating is much more fun. Juancho took on the task to take all the Christmas balls out of the box and laid them on the carpet so it would be easier for me to pick them up and put on the tree. Yes that is what you call seeing the purpose in what initially seemed like a complete mess.

Christmas Balls
365-day Challenge, Day 82
28 November 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! No turkey for us though. :)

Thanksgiving 2014
365-day challenge, Day 81
27 November 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

First snow of the season

We got our first snow of 2014 and it was a quick and relatively warm one. No accumulations, delays, or any snow-related issues on the roads. The best is yet to come...

First of the Season
365-day challenge, Day 80
26 November 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Autumn at West End

This is the view when you look west from our office window. I just wanted to capture the beautiful blend of the historic architecture of the bricked apartment buildings framed by the different colored trees, from blooming green to dried brown.

Autumn at West End
365-day challenge, Day 79
25 November 2014

Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents
365-day challenge, Day 78
24 November 2014

Juan and Ben

Little boy occasionally checks out our "library" to look at pictures of hardbound book covers. Sometimes I would be amazed to see him browse through pages as if he was actually interested in reading the book. One of his favorites is Benjamin Franklin, biography written by Walter Isaacson. 

And just by stroke of concidence, Juancho and Ben share the same birthday, 306 years apart. :)

Past and Future
365-day challenge, Day 77
23 November 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

For the love of boxing... and food!

We hosted a fight night party to watch Manny Pacquiao slug it out with the young New Yorker Chris Algieri. What better way to celebrate a fight night than a feast of food and drinks. This time, we decided to give the menu a hint of "traditional" Filipino...

Special thanks to a nearby Filipino store, we were able to snatch a couple of bags of the street favorite Filipino fish ball, locally made by some Filipino folks in New Jersey. I then cooked the traditional sweet sauce from scratch. Just like that, all of us felt a taste of home... :)

And to top the night off, Pacquiao gets to retain his welterweight belt by overpowering Chris Algieri. Mabuhay ka Manny!

365-day challenge, Day 76
22 November 2014

The Fishball Gang

Monday, November 24, 2014

Boys' Night Out

Occasional dinners out with this little fellow is pure bliss. This boy's an early sleeper and for him to be up and out past 9pm without tantrums is just a blessing. But then maybe he's just beginning to grow up.

Don't grow up too fast buddy. :)

Boys' Night Out
365-day challenge, Day 75
21 November 2014


Just passed by Dupont Circle and Decided to take a shot at... Well, Dupont Circle...

Surprising to see the fountain to still be running despite freezing temperatures this week.

365-day Challenge, Day 74
20 November 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Pentagon Row is one of the first places in the DC Metro area to decorate for the Holidays. Thanks to this coupled with the instant cold temperature spell, it really does begin to look and feel a lot like Christmas. I have to begin putting them Christmas songs in my playlist.

Three Stars
365-day challenge, Day 73
19 November 2014

Christmas brings a lot of fond memories. Along with those memories come the ambient music of old time favorite tunes. With that, let me list down my top ten favorite Christmas tunes (in no particular order):

1. Someday at Christmas - Jackson 5 (MJ fan for life)
2. We Wish You a Merry Christmas Medley - Gunter Kallmann Choir (This very much reminds me of the old COD Department store in Cubao and its Christmas Show)
3. Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis (Dad and Mom loveeeeee playing this album)
4. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams (It's just such a happy Holiday tune)
5. Mary's Boy Child - Bonnie M. (Who does not get drawn with this song's bridge: "Oh my lord, you sent your son to save us, oh my Lord...")
6. I'll be Home for Christmas - Frank Sinatra (Well, it's the OFW song of the century...)
7. Pasko na Naman Medley - Various OPM Artists (You won't miss this in Pinoy Christmas parties... Celeste Legaspi, Apo Hiking Society and Leo Valdez are few of the collaborators to this classic Christmas album)
8. Kumukuti-kutitap - Ryan Cayabyab (Infectious hit from no other than the Maestro himself)
9. Heto Na Naman - Ryan Cayabyab (Exchange gift na diary, chocolate at sabon... :)
10. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Alvin and the Chipmunks (This is my childhood favorite Christmas album).

Let me know your favorite tune! List it down in the comments section below! :)

Cold cold night

The cold days are here again... 

Cold Cold Night
365-day challenge, Day 72
18 November 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ready to bloom

Our Nanay is a very persistent pocket gardener. Despite the non-conducive 4-season year in the District, she still manages to get her plants growing and blooming. Some people are gifted with the green thumb and she is definitely one of them.

One of the plants she's so determined to cultivate are the dollar-worth poinsettias we bought from last year's Black Friday event in Home Depot.

After the holidays last year, those flowers nearly died due to harsh weather and sub-zero temperatures brought by the polar vortex. She managed to help them survive the winter, though the red petals wilted, and were replaced by green leaves. She read about how to make those bloom red and ready for the holidays. And as expected from a certified green thumb, she did make it happen.

Ready to bloom
365-day challenge, Day 71
17 November 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday best

Enjoy the veranda while it's not yet too cold, little one. :)

Sunday best
365-day challenge, Day 70
16 November 2014

Bongo Brothers

It's great to be surrounded by kids playing, running and dancing around. Makes you feel a lot younger.

And also it's good that Juancho has a buddy he can get along with. At a very young age, I think they are a good tandem. They seem to compliment each other.

Let's do this again next time, Matt! :)

Bongo Brothers
365-day challenge, Day 69
15 November 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Just learned how to make cool borders in Lightroom. Tried it out for today's POTD. :)

Happy Friday!

Friday at 2121
365-day Challenge, Day 68
14 November 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Back to work...

Workshop runs for a week so it continues. No other picture taken this day but workshop photos. I was designated (self-volunteered) photographer for the event... :)

365-day challenge, Day 67
13 November 2014