6 Reasons Why I’m Thankful I Attended the 20th Graphic Expo

EDC - 20th Graphic Expo

Taking time off work, I was able to attend a 3-day seminar at the 20th Graphic Expo on June 4-6, 2015 together with my fellow @IGersManila moderator Petim Maminta at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

Organized by Fiera De Manila, the 20th Graphic Expo is a premier trade show and marketplace for creative and printing professionals.

Thanks to our dear friend Jeoff Solas for inviting us to this awesome event. Here are the 6 reasons why I am thankful I attended the 20th Graphic Expo:

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#DrinksInAction is back with #ShareACoke

When I was starting in Instagram in 2011, I tried sharing visual stories by using softdrinks bottles (and cans, too) as subjects.

In Instagram, I started #DrinksInAction hashtag and it carries my snapshots as a newbie. Here are some of them:

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An IG friend (@mrjalandoni) recommended that I read For One More Day by Mitch Albom.

The bookworm in me got a hold of the book that very day and started reading. The book is all about a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. The story basically revolves around “What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one?”

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@IGersManila founder is finalist in #TattAwards2013

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That crane.

“If you could be anything else but yourself, what would you be?”

That was your question while we were walking around Bonifacio Global City in Taguig one weekday after work.

That Crane

“I would be one of those cranes,” I said while pointing to the construction in front of us.

“Why?”  you retorted.

You stopped walking and faced me puzzled.

“Cranes aid you in building that dream skyscraper. It helps you work on the reinforcement better. It facilitates the otherwise complex task of completing that tower, ” I answered.

I paused for a while to take a deep sigh.

“But  when the tower is already complete, when everything in the blueprint is realized, when each details of the structure is done, you are not needed anymore. That’s when you are dismantled and disassembled.”

There was silence as we continued walking. We already passed by the tower being constructed when I said:

“I am that crane. And I know one day, I will be dismantled and disassembled from you. But I will be happy knowing that when you were being built into what you will be in the future, I was a crane in your life.”

“No, you are not that crane. You are something else for me.”  Your eyes met mine.

You smiled and we continued walking.

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Acquaintances after all.

I was cleaning my cabinet of books at home one weekend, when a piece of folded paper fell off from one of my Calculus books. I opened the folder paper saw this:

          I wish I am that shoulder you can cry on in times when the world seems too unfair to you. I wish I am the friend you could go to in cases where you need help.  I wish I am that confidante you share your deepest and darkest secrets to.

          But sadly, you didn’t see me as such. Not even close.

          We happen to meet, because we form part of a team and a group. We happen to chat, not because we want to, but because we are there at almost the same time. We happen to go out, not because we enjoy each other’s company, but because “we go with the flow”.

          I expected much from this “friendship”. And I am starting to accept the failed expectation. 

          From now on, I will remind myself we are not friends, and we might not be anytime soon. From now on, I will devote my time and effort on people that gives me the chance to know them more. From now on, I will stop wishing and hoping, and just start believing on people that value me as I value them.

                    I need to remind myself we are acquaintances, after all. Nothing more.

– Ed               

When I was younger, I usually scribble thoughts like this on paper.  The letter above was one of the things I wrote and was never sent to the intended reader.

Me talking to myself

There will always be things and people that we wish to have in our lives. Truth is, the things and people we wish for, might not just be the things and people we need as we journey through life now.

But maybe, just maybe, sometime in the future we will meet them again, and there they will fulfill their purposes in our lives.

It took me some years to realize that point.

As I re-read that short note from the past, it brings me to smile to realize that we meet people to teach us lessons that we’ll be using in our future lives.

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My Top 5 Apps for Editing Photos for IG

My Instagram (IG) experience has been enriched with the help of some editing apps that I use to make my photo merit a second look.

In my nearly two years of being an Instagram’er, I have tried editing apps—paid and free alike—and experimented on using these apps. Some apps are a bit pricey, but there are so many others that are free.

I listed below my 5 most used editing apps for 2012.


  1. Pixlromatic. This free app (both at the App Store and Google Play) offers variety of filters, borders and light effects that can enhance your snapshots in so short a time. I usually use this app to create that vintage-feel for my visual stories.
  2. Snapseed. I bought this app at $4.99, but it is now free at the App Store and Google Play. With just simple strokes, you can fine tune your snapshots to your desired effect—saturation, brigthness, vignette, tilt-shift can be achieved in just one-two-three steps.
  3. Phonto. I am fond of sharing visual stories along with a story written in six words. This free app in App Store and Google Play simply makes putting that #SixWordsStory in the photo hassle-free.
  4. Squaready. This free app can only be downloaded from the App Store. Snapshots taken from our smartphones are rectangular in shape, while IG photos are all squares. I use this app to cut these rectangular photos to fit the IG frame.
  5. PhotoWizard. This app has a free version but I bought the paid one from the App Store. I mainly use this app for masking and layering—when I wish to put one photo on top of another.

I do not use just one app in editing my visual stories. I usually use two or more apps to get the desired effect that I wish to use on my shared visual stories.

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‘No’ is not an option.

“We didn’t hire you to say no. You are there to find options.”

That statement made a mark in me.

Since that day in May 2012, it has been my daily mantra to tell myself “I am here to provide choices and possibilities, and not to say it cannot be done.”


It has been more than 6 months since “no” became an unfamiliar term for me.

Since then, the plate I have has been full, and  been overwhelmingly refilled time and again.

The things and assignments I need to juggle went from one to many in so short a time.

These resulted to longer waking hours working for things, but lesser and lesser hours for people that matters.

It took me more than 180 days to realized I can never be Superman.

Now that I have made up my mind, I am drafting the note I will hand over the soonest time possible. While scribbling the words I wish to utter, that marked statement still lingers in me:

‘No’ is not an option.

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How do you eat your pasta?

That was my prof’s question for us on one of our sessions in our Humanities class.

I got to my toes and answered that I usually mix the sauce and the pasta first, then I eat.

And she said, “try eating it as plated.”

I was uncertain I got her point.

Chicken Pesto (Photo credited to @jeg83 in IG)
Chicken Pesto (Photo credited to @jeg83 in IG)
“There will be parts of the dish that is bland, while some of it will be very tasty,” she continued.

“And your tendency is to savor the moments that the taste is so rich, and you try to content yourself meekly on flavorless part.”

“And that what makes pasta more scrumptious to eat.” She paused.

“Much like life, it was never designed to be plain from the start. Because if it was, then we won’t have the ups and the lows, the happy and the sad, or the sweet and the sour.”

“And with the pasta analogy, its trying to live life as it is that makes it worth living,” she ended.

The class was in awe when the bell rang signalling the end of the class. That bell, as well, signals my afternoon break.

Guess what I will be having for my afternoon snack.

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Of Endings and New Beginnings.

I was never fond of endings, because that only means whatever I have will be gone. I don’t look forward to finales, because I sense nothing but goodbyes and severed ties. I evade “the final bow” because this connotes cutting whatever connections or communications I have.

But that changed when I met you. 

I try to avoid new beginnings, because that means I am back at step one, of whatever I am doing. I don’t look forward to fresh start, because as a blank slate, all will be starting from scratch, from nothing. I hate starting again because that means whatever I have started before were all in vain that  I have to do it again.

But that changed when I met you. 

Now, I always look forward to every month end because that means two things:

  1. the current month is ending, and
  2. a fresh new month is about to begin.

Ending of the month implies we spent 30 days of taking it one day at a time. Ending an old month means we survived 4 weeks of challenges of distance and of quality time. One full month connotes we held on to each other, for a month,  whatever Life present us with.

A fresh month implies 30 more days of weaving dreams, and fulfilling them one day at a time. A new month means 4 more weeks of proving how much you mean to me, and how you changed my life. Beginning another month means one more month of journeying life together, the two of us.

You made me believe that endings are simply beginnings of better things. 
You also made me realized that beginnings are milestones of happy endings. 

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