Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #19: A (Birthday) Walk in the Park

Da Where: LaMesa EcoPark, Fairview, Quezon City
Da When: June 5, 2011
Da Who: me, Laura, Ekz, Gee, Rose Anne and Ezone
Da Trivia: It's my 25th birthday and all I want is a photoshoot before I start gathering the wrinkles and sunspots! Haha! :D

If you are a pretty close friend of mine, you would know that I have three major, major frustrations in life. One is to be a famous singer; two, an Olympic figure skater or gymnast; and three, a supermodel.

Pwede na bang pang-Cosmo? :D
Photo by Laura Esguerra-Quiogue
I know the first two sound ridiculous as my singing voice can be compared to cats mewling during mating season (never invite me to videoke!) and I can barely keep my balance on roller skates, much less on ice skates and a balance beam.  And hello, I don't see skating rinks in the Philippines except inside the freezing SM malls! But hey, I can do a pretty mean cartwheel and a full side split in my much younger years. ;P

The third one is equally absurd as my 5ft-3in frame and hopeless less-than-desirable vital statistics quash my feeble modelling dreams altogether. Thank God then for the advent of high-resolution DSLR cameras, hamming it up for the lenses, live the life of a model for a day and get photographed glamorously can now be done with the help of friends who have a penchant for photography (and who don't charge professional fees!).

So I signed up Laura to lend me her skills and her new Canon camera for a day and get away with fab shots worthy of a magazine cover. LOL! :D

Early Sunday morning on my birthday, I slugged out of bed rose and shine and met Laura and hubby Ekz in Boni MRT station before we headed to Quezon Avenue MRT station to meet up with a few more friends (Gee, Rose Ann and Ezone).

There's an FX terminal at Centris Station Mall which we took to get to La Mesa EcoPark, our photoshoot venue for the day. The standard fare is PhP35.00/person then take a tricycle ride to the park for another PhP10.00. This time however, we opted to get the vehicle to ourselves for PhP350.00 and drive us all the way in to the park. You can take the same way back to return to the bustling metropolis.

Speeding through the LaMesa EcoPark entrance, we were greeted with lush greens on both sides of the road and instantly received wafts of fresh air; a stark difference from the smog we encountered along Commonwealth Avenue. It was a hot day but at least we were shaded by the towering trees.

Hmmm... Where to go first?

The park fee is PhP50.00 and you will need to get a permit if the purpose is to take photos. The permit contains details such as not to use these photos commercially and reminders of no photo-taking in the dam/reservoir. I guess it was for security reasons.

After wolfing down the Wendy's Bacon Mushroom Melt I ordered to-go earlier as my breakfast, Laura started to work her make-up magic on me. I donned a red dress to commemorate my birthday and viola!, am ready for my photoshoot! ;D

The very talented Laura Esguerra-Quiogue working the make-up magic on me. ;D
Photo by Gee Linganay

We started walking around the park, looking for a nice spot to take pictures and caught sight of a graceful calachuchi (Temple Flower) tree. Laura, Gee and Rose Ann started to snap away while I did my best to stave off heatstroke while still looking fierce for the camera. :D I hardly noticed that there were a couple guys in black printed shirts who also started clicking away.

When I finally looked in their direction, they asked if they can also take pictures. I was hugely embarrassed at first but then relented. What's the harm with a couple shots? Anyway, I was fully dressed so no danger in having indecent pictures plastered all over the internet. ;D Haha!

I focused my attention to Laura so I was a little oblivious to my surroundings. So oblivious that the next time I turned to my left, there were already 20 or so people, wearing the same black printed shirt as the other 2 guys and were also snapping away. Oh geez. Where did these photographers come from? :D

If I was embarrassed earlier, now I was mortified. I didn't expect to be the subject of several photography enthusiasts and it showed on my face. I stayed rooted in my spot for a few more minutes, smiling awkwardly until Gee and Rose Anne were asked to pose too. Whew! I later found out that they were a part of a photography club called Digital Point & Shoot Group. Don't get me wrong, they were all nice but having one camera pointed at you was unnerving enough. Multiply that to 20+ and I was a wreck. Haha! :D

With Patrice, Lennox and Alexis of TipidPC Digital Point&Shoot Group
Photo by Michael Igharas
The Digital Point&Shoot Group - yes, they were that many! :D
Photo by John Joseph Lim

Good thing we finally moved to a different spot a few minutes later and continued taking shots. It was already noon so we decided to get something to eat and a very cold drink, as it was sweltering hot. There are several food stalls selling popular street food such as potato fries, siomai, sandwiches, etc. We finally settled in a lugawan and ordered lugaw (rice porridge) with chopped bagnet (deep-fried pork crackling) that went well with ice-cold red iced tea. Maybe we were just hungry but it was really good, we cleaned up our bowls in no time. :D

Lugaw with bagnet! Saraaaap!
Photo by me taken from Laura Esguerra-Quiogue's camera

We roamed around after eating and took some more photos. The park had a saltwater-treated swimming pool, fitness and bike trail, wall climbing and paint ball facilities (all had fees separate from the PhP50.00 entrance fee but were reasonable), aside from the flora and fauna that abound. There were a lot of couples doing their prenuptial shoots in the park as well. The place also has free picnic tables for families bringing in lunches (no corkage fees) and some cottages can be rented out.

Jump into our flipside! :D
Photo by Ekz Quiogue taken from Laura Esguerra-Quiogue's camera

Tawa much!
Photo by Ekz Quiogue taken from Laura Esguerra-Quiogue's camera

Barkadahan moments!
Photo by Ekz Quiogue taken from Laura Esguerra-Quiogue's camera

Husband and wife tandem - Laura and Ekz

If you're looking for a quick escape from the city that's still within the city, the La Mesa EcoPark is a good choice. You'd enjoy a relaxing nature trip yet still be within the conveniences of the metropolitan. Each visit also contributes to the conservation funds of the La Mesa Dam. The dam itself is a part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system, which supplies most of the water supply of Metro Manila. Who knew something so useful and industrial can also be recreational and fun? :)

Shade and sunlight
Me, the instant model for the day!
Photo by Laura Esguerra-Quiogue

So on my 25th birthday, I had two wishes granted - live a model life for a day and spend it with Mother Nature. The first one, I'm not sure I'd want to relive for a long time. The second one though, I'd be happy to. Every single day. :)


  1. oh wow! first to know that there's a group under tipidpc. sounds like a nice group for photo enthusiast... and of course as a model.

  2. long legged, pwede nga maging model! ^_^
    happy bday! may you have many more goals in life. that's make us look forward to something. i learned that boredom=suicide. so mabuti ng we had goals everyday =)

    hhmm, btw I'd love to perform synchronized swimming one day! haha

  3. @Dong Ho - Haha, yes they were very nice and accommodating. I was, unfortunately, one awkward, inexperienced model. :D

    @Chyng - Nadala lang sa anggulo ang legs na yan. Haha! :D Synchronized swimming sounds awesome! I'd try that too if I know how to swim. ;P

  4. what a nice way to celebrate a special day.. haberdey! lakas ng trip! :)

  5. @happysole - Haha, korek! Walang basagan. ;D Thanks for dropping by.