Merry -bermas!

Cycle of Life ©FrogDiva Photography

I’m back from my writing hiatus and a brief trip to Hermitville. It was simply impossible to deal with everything going on in my life and write at the same time. Something had to give. Now that August is behind us, and apparently so is summer, I went to bed last night determined to kick ass this morning, this month, and the rest of the bizarre year of 2020.

First things first: it is a pleasure to announce that beginning today, September 1, 2020, ©FrogDiva Photography launches the new portraiture services for personal, editorial and corporate. It is something I have been building up to over months, working hard on the skills, summing up the courage to take the plunge, and launch into the snake pit of the competitive photography business in Berlin. I have no idea where this road will take me, but let’s just say that if I want to maintain my horizon of becoming a digital nomad in the future, a first step has to be taken. As a friend and mentor told me recently, stop dreaming and talking about it, do it.

Click HERE and HERE to read more about this new adventure.

For those of you who are curious about any developments regarding my citizenship status – I am still in suspended animation, thank you very much. Getting the papers to the citizenship office was not a problem, but getting an appointment with them to apply for my national ID and passport is a whole different matter. The entire city is up in arms about getting appointments and basic services from the local city halls in Berlin (FYI – each zone of the city has its own city hall to address the needs of the residents, and as much as possible you stick to your own zone, but some things can be done across zones if you are desperate enough).

I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely horrified to be confronted by the fact that it is September already. I feel as though 2020 has been an absolute waste of time thus far, with everything coming to a halt and then not really knowing what comes next and how. On the other hand, if it were not for the blasted #lockdown2020, I wouldn’t have gotten serious about the portraiture or gotten a grip on certain things, and finally made some life-changing choices.

Give credit where credit is due.

What got me out of the writing rut and reminded me of my own resilience? Inspiration comes in strange packages sometimes. Are any of you, like me, huge fans of the Netflix show “Inside The World’s Toughest Prisons”? Yes, this is a shameless promotion of the show, but more importantly, a heartfelt word of thanks to the show’s indomitable presenter, journalist Raphael Rowe. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched all the seasons, initially out of curiosity as an author, seeking to look more into the criminal mind (Raphael Rowe takes over from Season 2 onward, and gives a whole new twist and flavour to the documentary series with this gritty, experienced and honest interviews). The more I watched, the more it sank in that we are all prisoners in one way or another, and freedom is both a choice and a responsibility. This includes personal and psychological freedom.

Inspired by the resilience of Raphael Rowe himself, who didn’t let 12 years in prison hold him back from becoming the man and journalist he is today, I set out to break out of the shackles of my past, overcome childhood traumas, and by God, make the most of the present. So thank you, Raphael, for the break out! As the man says, when asked how to decompress from all the stress and ugliness he is confronted with in his line of work, and this is something that I have been doing myself for the past 30 years – take a shower. Walk away, don’t look back, take a shower and wash away the stench, the grime, the horrors, and move on.

Click HERE for more information, and look out for the upcoming book, Notorious, due out this Fall.

Last but not least, September ushers in the so-called -ber months. I may be about to become a German citizen, but golly gee, I will always be a Filipino in heart and spirit. So by local tradition, today kicks off the start of the exaggeratedly long Filipino Christmas season. The radio stations will begin playing the Christmas carols and the first Christmas trees and decorations will already be available in the department stores! Just for the heck of it, Maike and I will be using the Christmas crockery tonight!

Merry -bermas everyone!

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