A Backpacker’s Photo Diary: North Shore, Hawaii
If you asked me what my favorite part was of the whole Hawaii trip, North Shore would definitely be my pick. Sunlit homes dotted the coastal roads, punctuated by generous helpings of beaches, fields, and mountains. Each corner was lush, and looked like it was well cared for. And there were so many outdoor activities that you could do, warm and friendly locals whom you could meet, and a spectrum of flavors that you could taste.
This rarely happened, and the feeling stayed with me: I thought I was only visiting a new place, but I ended up picturing a life here.
I fell hard for the North Shore. On the off chance that I would be able to return there, I just might never leave.
- 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii
- 56-781 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku. Oahu, Hawaii
Brave the waves,
Cebu’s Creative Tribe Series: Hannah
Have you ever met someone, and felt like because they have such a beautiful, open heart, everything that they touch reminds you of all the possibilities that the world can give? Along with being insanely gorgeous and brilliant, Hannah Martinez mentors both kids and adults on how they can get creative with art. There’s something so uplifting about how, as she creates her own inspiring work, she also shares her talent with others, and helps them find their passion.
We all need someone who believes in us, no matter what our age is. Without her knowing it, Hannah, like her pieces, has moved people and made a difference in their lives. Cebu is a whole lot brighter because of her.
An intimate shot of Hannah’s day
1. What made you fall in love with art, and your chosen medium? (Let’s trace your roots.)
I was always around art when I was growing up. My mom used to paint really lovely oil paintings and I would sit and watch her (and also secretly mess around with her art materials and make my own art). My older sister Chez painted a lot, and so I learned a thing or two from her as well.
Growing up, my mom would show us artwork by Van Gogh, Miro, Matisse and her other favorite artists, and when we travelled, my parents would always bring us to art museums, so I must have developed an appreciation for art at an early age.
I guess other than that, I enjoy it a lot! Whether it’s painting a complex or simple piece, it’s always something I look forward to. When I’m working on something, I can zone out for hours. It’s my “me” time, and when I feel most myself.
As for my chosen medium, I like to try as many things as I can. It’s really about finding a balance between something you’re good at and what you’re interested in. Usually, I dream up something to paint, and depending on the look I’m going for, it could be done in oil, charcoal, watercolor, gouache or acrylic. I most certainly am not a master in everything, but I do enjoy mixing it up and experimenting.
I teach kids and adults too! My children’s program is called Artastic!, and Orange House Art Collective (or Orange House) is my workshop for adults. I think that art has to be pleasurable (otherwise what’s the point?). So I try my best to make my classes both educational but enjoyable.
For the kids, I noticed that if I focus too much on the technical side of art, they get bored and it starts to feel like a chore.
This is true for the adults too to a certain degree! So I always try to make our art projects interesting. I also stress originality and developing a personal style because these are what make you unique.
It’s one thing to be able to have all the technical skills in drawing or painting, but a totally different thing to be able to communicate an idea or a subject in such a way that it will capture or move people. And I think that’s what makes a really good artist.
3. Aside from your work, what other things are you deeply passionate about?
Life! Haha. I’m always so busy that finding time to stop and breathe and be in the moment is a big deal to me.
My fiance, family, and friends are always on my mind, and it is always something that means a lot to me when i get to spend time with them. Oh and also, chocolate.
4. What is it like to pursue and hone your craft in Cebu, and to
represent the city that you’re from?
Living in Cebu is kind of like living in a bubble. It’s such a small city where everyone knows each other. I love it with all my heart.
And we have sooo much talent, it’s crazy! But I also think there is still a lot of room for growth and development.
There is so much to be done and to be learned, so being able to raise the quality of art education in the city for people who want to develop their skills or even just to make art more accessible and available to the general public, is a big dream of mine. A lot of artists leave the country, study abroad and build careers internationally. I struggled with that for a time, it seemed to me that the only way to validate myself as an artist would have to be if I was able to get a certain degree of success abroad.
But after putting up Artastic and Orange House, and seeing this great hunger in Cebuanos for art and creativity, it dawned on me that there could be something more than just developing skills for myself.
Being able to learn as much as I can, and being able to teach it to others means as much to me as honing my craft as an artist.
5. To people who’d like to follow your footsteps…what would you like to tell them?
To just get up off the couch and do it! Do something that you love, and do it will all your heart and soul. The only way to know your limits and capabilities is to try. And also, to always, always have fun.
- Address: 31-P La Guardia Extension, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City
Brave the waves,
A Backpacker’s Photo Diary: Yosemite National Park
Because we spent our first day at the cabin by going around the property and using its amenities, we were extra amped to go hiking when we drove to Yosemite National Park the next day. Everybody who had been to the park before had advised our group that an entire day wasn’t enough to see all of Yosemite, so we chose to pour our efforts on one route: the Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall Trail. Reaching an elevation of more than 5,000 feet, the hike was classified as strenuous, and took us around 7 hours total to complete (inclusive of the stops for photos, and snacks).
The direction was mostly upward, some sections were so steep that my knees buckled, and there were times when I felt like my lungs were about to burst…but we were surrounded by such striking landscapes that it was all rewarding. I loved the team spirit that everyone displayed too. Some of our friends were fitness machines (hi, guys), but they adjusted to our pace. We all fell into a buddy system, and if somebody needed help, each one was quick to lend a hand. And man, all of these panoramic views became more breathtaking because I shared the experience of seeing it with friends.
I was so used to the Philippines’ tropical scenery that when I faced the vastness that Yosemite had—the mountain range, the cliffs, and dinosaur sized boulders, I felt like I was in another world.
My handmade, all around backpack crafted by Bags by Rubbertree
After having my heart race for what felt like a bazillion hours, we then jumped into the freezing creek in Happy Isles, and dialled down the tempo. I was still dripping as we headed back to our cabin, but the thought of having another homemade dinner, round of drinks, and the gathering around the fire pit warmed me up throughout the ride.
- Yosemite Village, CA 95389
Brave the waves,