You and I Collide – Part 1

April 16.
I had been waiting for so many months to make this trip happen. Everyday, I had been researching thoroughly about the places I am going to visit, hotels and hostels to book in a perfect location, affordable flights and train to keep me connected accordingly and most of all, the people that I am going to meet like friends and family. I make sure that the days of my stay are worth it because I have a limited time to explore the west coast states.

I could say that my April – May trip was successful. Although, there were few bad things happened to me along the way like the guy who offered me a place to stay in LA and tried to touch me (Couchsurfing). Missed my trip to Multnomah Falls because I had a fever in Portland. Broke my phone in Fremont, Seattle the night before the day of my flight to San Francisco. Fell off the bike during my test ride in San Francisco. All of these are charge to experience. We can’t control the time and that’s how the way it is. We just have to accept and move on. Maybe depends on the situation?

April 18.
Twenty five hours of flight from the pacific to the states. Running across the alley of sadness, leaving the busy walks of life in Singapore and trying to find my way up to the serene town of Portland.

It was 12:45 pm when I reached the Oldtown station. As I got off the train, and stepped on the Toynbee tiles, the cold air kissed my cheeks to welcome my arrival. I got so much trouble when I was in LA that’s why I was feeling nervous at every step I made going to NW of Everett St. All I wanted is to reach my destination, and meet my host in Couchsurfing.

At the corner of 4th Ave, I called Michael and informed him that I am already outside of his apartment. I’m feeling shy. scared. nervous. excited. and tired. I was carrying my 65L backpack and I could feel that my backbones were almost breaking. I need to rest and forget all the worries.

Still feeling shy. I was trying to hide while talking to him over the phone telling him that I’m just around. I stepped forward to take a peek at the corner and I saw him looking for me. He was walking along the streets while his voice is getting closer and closer. I finally showed up. Glanced at him, smiled and said: “Hey!”

I feel comfortable. relaxed and free. He’s a very nice guy.

There are things that are bound to have no explanations at all. I met a guy who I never thought I will fall in love with.

—— Last edited 18th of August 2015. To be continued…

Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut

I haven’t eaten Doughnuts for awhile. So far, there’s JCO and Chewy Jr in Singapore which I find it too boring for me while Krispy Kreme is too mainstream. There’s one Dunkin’ Donut in ION Orchard but it looks wannabe. Hahaha. During my stay in Portland, they said one of their famous local delights is Voodoo Doughnut. They were known for its unusual doughnuts, eclectic decor, and iconic pink boxes featuring the company logo and illustrations of voodoo priests. They also have a VEGAN doughnut too!!

Early this morning, me and Mike decided to order our breakfast in Mother’s Bistro & Bar. I told him I’ll just pick it up so I can go to Voodoo as well. Hahaha. As usual, he only eat the Crunchy French Toast which is the only food he order in this restaurant… favorite per se… While I tried their Pork Apple Sausage & Cheddar Cheese Scramble. On my way to 3rd Ave and Ankeny St., I got excited to see their shop.

The Voodoo Doughnut Shop
Voodoo Doughnut, 22 SW 3rd Ave Portland, OR 97204

The staff told me that their ordering setup is kinda different, so I have to describe what doughnuts I want instead of pin pointing at the standee. Oh damn! English! so I just took the Fryer Flyer Dozen instead.

Voodoo Doughnut Pink Box
Voodoo Doughnut Pink Box

Their doughnuts design are creative and cool. You’ll have the feeling of 1970s old horror film setup with funky rock and roll old school styles.

Inside the Fryer Flyer Dozen
Inside the Fryer Flyer Dozen

However, it was my first time to experience eating a Bacon Maple Bar doughnut. LOL! I find it funny, interesting and weird to eat a raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top! I was telling Michael that Americans have weird tastes. Oh well… Pork, salty paired with sweets. My friends were like: “How’s the taste? Isn’t it disgusting?” Well, I think if you’re an Asian especially Filipinos, you’ll find this food unusual. It’s actually the same thing as eating in IKEA cafe for the first time trying their swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam.

Voodoo's Bacon Maple Bar doughnut
Voodoo’s Bacon Maple Bar doughnut

And their signature Voodoo Doll doughnut, is also a raised yeast doughnut, filled with raspberry jelly topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake! It’s funny Mike told me that the pretzel sticking on that doughnut is a dick. LOL! I told him that… that poor doughnut’s heart got pierced by the pretzel. When I was pulling out the pretzel, the raspberry jelly came out as if it’s his blood.

Voodoo Doll doughnut
Voodoo Doll doughnut

I really love their concept. It’s funky and yummy. The ambiance of their shop is laid-back, rock and roll, pinkish and cute! I would totally recommend this to everyone if ever you visit Portland!

Remember, the Magic is in the hole!

San Francisco Delights – Day 1

Before my flight to San Francisco, I went to the Apple Store at University of Washington to have my iPhone repaired. I really need my phone for communication and navigation but then the staff told me that it will take around 3-4 hours to fix my phone because there’s a lot of people on the queue. I can’t wait anymore, then I decided to buy a new one. I have no idea what I was thinking that time, so I bought iPhone 6.

Flight from Seattle to San Francisco
Flight from Seattle to San Francisco

I arrived San Francisco last Wednesday, 22nd of April, around 6:10pm. Since I was carrying a super bulky and heavy 60L backpack plus another 35L and camera bag, I decided to take a cab although I knew the fare will be expensive. I also wanted to bring down all my stuffs in the hostel so I can explore the city at night for my first day! Approximately 14 miles from the airport to my hostel, I paid USD 55.00 + tip to the driver. I was in a total shock that I almost spent $85.00 if I convert it in Singapore Dollar.

Arriving San Francisco Airport
Arriving San Francisco Airport

I stayed in HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel. The location is really excellent! There’s a lot of cafes, hotels, bars, shops, and restaurants around. Just a few blocks and minutes of walk, you can take Powell-Hyde cable car, buses and Powell St. BART Station.

Selfie with my backpacks in the hostel
Selfie with my backpacks in the hostel

I met a few travelers in my room. Carol from Ireland and Isa from Thailand. Carol was packing up her things when I arrived because she’s going to leave tomorrow early while Isa is on his top bunk bed taking a rest. I just took 30 minutes rest and another 15 minutes to setup my things in the drawer before I leave the place. Yes, am not tired! That’s me…

Night in Frisco
As I went down to the lobby, I asked the receptionist for a help about the transportation. Luckily, one of them is Filipino so I don’t need to complicate my grammar. LOL. He gave me an advice about the transportation, where to get the clipper and what bus to take.

However, I planned to walk all the way up to Pier 39. Walking is my favorite thing to do especially when traveling! I walk hardcore! I started walking from Mason + O’Farrell St. all the way down to Powell + Market St. I was so fascinated by the architectures of the buildings so I continued walking along Market St. and turned left to Kearny St. I thought I will have a successful walking all the way up to the Pier, but then, I FAILED. WHY?!! I was wearing my heeled boots and I didn’t know Frisco’s streets/road are not flat. It’s an up and down, up and down hill! There’s no way I can walk to a very steep road. Hahaha! Well, that’s my weakness…

Did you know, I haven’t hiked in a mountain yet? As you can see, throughout all my travels are big cities, urban and metropolitan areas. LOL

I called Michael, my friend from Portland. I was talking to him that I am currently walking and planning to go to Pier 39. He was so worried and told me to go back to my hostel to take a rest and continue my journey tomorrow morning because it’s almost 9:30pm. I told him that I didn’t expect that Frisco has a lot of hills and it seems like I’m hiking in a city and I want to give up coz I am wearing my heels. Since I am so eager to reach Pier 39, I decided to take a bus from Bush + Kearny St.

The bus’ last stop was Pier 35, and as I get off from the bus, it was so f***ing cold because it’s already near by the bay! So I walked from Pier 35 to 39, and I was so hungry. I wanted to try any restaurants but it seems like it’s already closed. So I continue walking to the Fisherman’s Wharf hoping that I could eat some seafood, but damn 🙁 no more food to eat. Along Jefferson St, there are couple of food chains and clubs, but I am not so sure if I am going to the Applebee’s. I saw In-N-Out Burger at the corner and decided to try the famous fast food chain in the American Southwest.

In-N-Out Burger
In-N-Out Burger

Overall, San Francisco is a very lovely and cold-chilling city. I felt like I was in New York during winter. I called it a night after eating my dinner. I told myself that I am just gonna wear my rubber shoes during my stay in SF because the challenging part here is going up the hill.

Camz V.2 goes Responsive

I designed and developed my website 3 years ago, and it’s not a good excuse to say that I had been busy to my full-time job and freelance projects that’s why I wasn’t able to update my personal website/portfolio.

I received few comments about my website and most of them are:

  • “You got an annoying sidebar that sticks on the left side…”
  • “I hate that when I visit on my mobile, I can’t even read properly the content because of your annoying sidebar..”
  • “I like the idea of your website, but can you make it responsive?”
  • “Hey Cam, I glanced to your website, it’s good to maintain the minimalist design, but I feel like it’s too old school, isn’t it? I mean in terms of not being able to adopt to new mobile technology?”
  • “Can you write more articles? haha..”

So here’s the update. The current status of my v.2 is at 50%. Design wise, I retain the concept on v.1, but usability, I enhanced a bit. Development? I need to re-code my blog to make it dynamic 😀

Camz v.2 Coming Soon!
Camz v.2 Coming Soon!

This v.2 will be fully responsive, meaning, it can be viewed to different screen-size and works to all major browsers from IE9++, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.

Let me tell you a bit about CAMZHOT.
The colour scheme, style and typography reflects to the personality of (me) as owner of the website. It has a huge impact on our emotions and other aspects of a well being. As you can see, Black, White and Red are the shades of my website.

There is a meaning why I picked these colours. Red because it simply reflects to me that I am aggressive, associated with passion, love, sexuality, enthusiasm, life, determination and anything that is strong. It is also linked to the most primitive physical, emotional, and financial needs of survival which explains that I am a freelancer, that in-spite of my full-time job, I also do side line jobs to support my family.

Red also represent both cupid and the devil which I think it’s matched with Black and White colour. In Asia, specifically Chinese, there’s this symbol called Yin-Yang. A round symbol that is equally divided into 2 colours. Yin is the black, while Yang is the white. Basically it explains that no matter how bad(black colour) the person is, there is a good inside of them. Same as a good person, they have an evil side.

And most of all, I believe in the saying that:
“If you think facts or situations are black and white, you have a simple and very certain opinion about them, often when other people think they are really more complicated.”

You might also ask why
Before I bought my domain, I was playing an online game with my friends and we discussed about what domain should I name my website? We ended up pointing out my hobby and what I like most. So we ended up to:

Why CamzHot?
Why CamzHot?

It was actually CamzShot. After a year, I forgot to renew, so the domain has been locked and I can’t get it anymore.

CamzShot forms a weird sound and make people think what is really inside that website? Attracts attention and gives people a curiosity. To sum it up, the design of my website is plain and simple. In short, minimalistic style. Nothing fancy and glamorous.

Clients from HELL: Product’s Packaging Design

I’ve been a fan of this website called “Clients from Hell“. Basically, it features a collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers and I can really relate to them. I experienced some of their funny stories.

I recently have another packaging design project and it all went to air. I’d like to make my story short and sweet. So, my client asked for a quotation if how much will it cost to do 3 packaging design, different sizes and different products to present.

Let’s say for example, you’re selling a “Mango Pie”. Your packaging design, of course, will show a mango element, and a final product of how does your “Mango Pie” looks like. So I think the main key is a “Mango”.

Basic design steps:
1. Know what is the branding colour, if they have CI guide, much better.
2. Typography
3. Design creative graphic elements for visuals
4. Blend it with “Mango” and a “Mango Pie” picture
5. Fantastic and eye-catching copy-writing

Again, you’re selling “Mango Pie” and by nature: We, as a consumers, are very visual. What we see is what we always wanted especially when you’re buying something. So you’re expecting that – that product in the picture may not be exactly the same as the actual, but at least, it’s quite accurate.

The thing is, my client doesn’t have any original pictures of their product. So, how are you going to find resources? We buy stock images.

Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost. Today, stock images can be presented in searchable online databases. They can be purchased and delivered online.”

Dietary supplement - Stock Image by iStock Photos
Dietary supplement – Stock Image by iStock Photos

Based on my knowledge and experience, a product design especially if it consist with human elements and other realistic photos, you’re required to:

  1. Must have your original photographs of your product. In that sense, you hire photographers to take photos of your model or the product you’re selling.
  2. If (1) is not available, then you will purchase a stock photos that will represent your product. Remember that you’re selling a “Mango Pie”, so you’re not going to pick an “Orange”.

So on my quotation, I listed that each design can have at least 2-3 stock photos.
A little secret on how I quote my project is based on: (a) Creative concept (b) Time and Effort required (c) Quality of work (d) Product requirements (e) Additional charges if any.

And before I perform my work, it was all clear and explained on my quotation and she agreed on it.

After few days of revisions and minor changes, we discussed that the design is finalized, and before sending the source/working files, I need to get paid and submitted the total charges.

My client was so surprised with the total charges although my friendly price gives enough reasoning and justice, but in the end, she still ask for CHEAP PRICE. I’m like.. What???! I feel insulted, and she feel cheated?

So funny to hear her saying “I feel cheated” when I can really throw her all the conversations from chat and emails attached with quotations. I don’t understand what more they want to lower down the price, if I do, it’s like a slap on my face that I am working already for free.

Maybe, we need to be brave enough to say that our profession and skills doesn’t deserve to be treated like nothing. Yes, we are “FREELANCERS”, but it doesn’t mean, we work for FREE. What matters is that, you’re truthful to your job and you do what you can do to meet client’s requirements without regrets on your service because “some clients” are abusive and they will use a lot of excuses to bring you down. So~ be careful.

Thousand Miles to go

The Amtrak Experience last December 2013 Winter at Penn Station, New York City.
The Amtrak Experience last December 2013 Winter at Penn Station, New York City.

As of today, I realized that I just traveled a total of 28,521.912 miles since I was 16 years old internationally.

With 13 different countries including stop-overs, almost hundreds of cities, provinces and states, 7 different airlines, approximately 21 returning flights, 54 land transfers by train, bus, cars including motors, 4 sea transfers and 2 returning sea planes. Captured thousands and thousands of photographs, and visited numerous of temples, ruins, sky scrappers, historical places landmarks, museums, beaches, lakes and mountains.

There’s still a lot of rough roads and long hours of flights to go, beautiful things to see, experience the culture and local living, and most of all, meet interesting and lovely people from different places.

I know there are many travelers out there who were able to go to more than 20 countries, but for me, I am not in a rush. It’s not about travel competition. It’s about time and opportunity. I work full-time in the office, I have limited vacation leaves and most of all, money.

I just have to be patient because I am a Philippine passport holder, and I’m required to undergo VISA appointments to numerous countries. (Please read my Amsterdam Job Offer and it all went to nothing). One of the very challenging part is providing my bank account statements. It’s quite tricky, because you don’t know exactly how much is the right amount they are looking at. The embassy wants to make sure you are capable of traveling and you are not a problem in their country. I am really jealous to some citizens who are VISA-free. They don’t need to submit lost of documents, letters and shit.

But then, I make sure that one day, I’ll be able to make it. What matters to me is that: I have lots of memories to cherish than buying things and waste it.

My next travel destination will be next year. I’m looking forward to see West coast states, India, Myanmar and Australia. We’ll see how it goes haha 😀

Truth about my HTML/CSS Life

I learned CSS on my own when I was 14 years old. It all started in Friendster where I am addicted creating dummy accounts just to write testimonials on my profile. While I got attracted with bling bling signatures, and started to ask how the fuck they do that. I have no idea how I get myself looking at HTML codes, I just woke up one day reading <a hrefs> and <imgs> tags. – Bling Glitter Graphics

Basically, I am a very jealous type of person and as much as possible I want to do better things than what they are doing. And of course, to make an improvement, I do it in a silent way. I admit and consider to label myself (sometimes) as a great stalker. I visit my friend’s profile counting how many testimonials they have and compare to what I have and make sure I am always still on the top notch. The more testimonials you have, the better profile status you get.

Until, again, ONE DAY, someone beside me renting in the computer cafe got this fancy background images like a matrix, with colourful fonts. I was like, HOW!?!


I tried to remember his name on the screen and searched him after he left the cafe, I found his stunning profile, and I was able to track the website where he customized it because of the so-called “CREDITS” link to PimpMyProfile website generator.


I did it too! My Friendster profile has already background and got different font colours and styles. I bragged about it to my friends. The next day, my friends customized their page too. I can’t accept the fact that someone did the same thing as mine.

To make myself look cool, I studied on my own what is HTML and CSS, I been reading the page source codes and I still have no idea what is <html>, <p></p>, <style>, <body> and etc. Spending my days in front of computer during summer and writing codes just to make my profile totally different and I made it. Due to my hardwork and jealousy, I revamped Friendster’s standard profile page. I hid certain tables and divs.

From that experience, I got this first freelance project. I received inbox messages from my friends how I managed to do that. I am way too ambitious and offered them to pay me Php50.00 which is approximately $1.30 then I can work with their page.

Till then, I’ve known HTML and CSS for the past 10 years. At my young age, I discovered so many things and up until now, still learning how to manipulate the page with the use of CSS. I am not saying that I memorized everything, but then, “WHAT IS WEB RIGHT NOW?”. We can copy-paste and modify to make brilliant things. I am not being hypocrite, I think most of us, Web Designers, have this in common. We know the differences of each tags, properties, elements and values. We also do research, testing, modification and revamp.

At the end of the day, we are just following one rule/standards no matter how fancy things are. Time flies so fast so does technology.

Do you believe in dreams?

Do you believe in dreams? Or do you believe that those unexpected things will really happen? I am a victim of this fortune. I am not so sure if this will really come true, but it’s almost there.

I recently applied for a job as a Web Designer in a very well-known world leader in booking accommodations online – It was 1st week of September that I received an email regarding to my application that I had been shortlisted and asked me to allot a time for a Skype video call interview with the recruiters. The interview was scheduled last Monday (8th of September around 9pm) It was pretty intense because first of all: it’s a video call! I am concerned of how I look on web cam, do I look good? am I too Asian? LOL! Anyways, to sum it up, I was able to answer the questions confidently to the best of my knowledge.

I received an email from the HR on the next day telling me that the recruiters will fly from Amsterdam to Singapore for a face-to-face interview. I was sooooooo excited and at the same time nervous, that I will be able to see these two good-looking man for real! HAHAHAHA. (Oh-em-Gee, I’m too perverted) Sorry. Anyways, moving on. I was scheduled on the 12th of September at the grande building of Marina Bay Financial District. I really love this place because of the ambiance and the people around will give you more encouragement to work. Everyone’s busy and well-groomed (Maybe because it’s the Financial District of Singapore). I always dreamed to work in a very professional environment where everyone wears suits and ties, skirts and heels. I don’t know, I am too modern and futuristic.

Again, I had a pretty intense conversation with the recruiters and some people from other department. I gave all my best and energy just to get this job. I really want to and I am dying for it. This company is a big shot and has a lot of things to do. I would really like to extend my experience and explore more because I am too young. I still have lots of things to learn!


And now, Monday morning, went back to normal, my exhausting sad life is back, sitting in-front of my desk, replying emails and continuing doing my projects when the HR from Booking called me regarding to the result. I FREAKED OUT LITERALLY!! I almost cried when she said that they need a Singaporean blah blah.. I knew it, it’s all about the quota or whatever the reason it… and then suddenly she told me about the offer to move to Netherlands. I was like WHAT THE FUCK AM I DREAMING OR NOT? She had mentioned everything about the result and what will be the next procedures. OMG JESUS! She even told me about a business trip going to Amsterdam. WHICH I NEVER THOUGHT OF GOING THERE BECAUSE FOR ALL I KNOW IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO GO TO EUROPE. I am way too poor and can’t afford to travel there… and there you go… AN OPPORTUNITY APPROACHING TO MY LIFE. I CANT MISS IT! I SWEAR TO ALL THE ANGELS AND DEMONS OVER MY DEAD BODY. I WANT IT!! Unfortunately, my stupid Philippines passport requires a VISA to Europe. Huhuhuhu. I don’t wanna lose hope 🙁 But I am still looking forward for it. I wanna cry if I didn’t get this. It’s really almost there.


At the same time, it’ll be my chance to earn EUROS, save and support my family. For the past 3 years in Singapore, I feel guilty that I only give a few of my salary to my parents. Because if I gave all, I won’t survive anymore. But please for the sake of opportunity and responsibility. I’d like to work in 🙁 I watched the videos from recruiting website, the employees reviews, and I even stalked the people in instagram who works in Booking LOLOLOL. I started to read articles about Amsterdam, expat life, blogs and stories. I think I’m getting obsessed. And who knows, I will meet my future man there?!! HAHAHAHAH. I am Single and ready to mingle and tingle. 🙁

My broken ankle got friendzoned

Last Tuesday, I was going off to work and I accidentally tripped off our stairs. My flat shoes was really loose and the incident was too fast, I didn’t know it gonna be like that. LOL. So I asked my housemate to buy me a bandage and an ointment to treat for the moment before I go to the clinic after lunch time. The doctor prescribed me few medicines and given me two (2) days Medical Leave. It wasn’t that really bad, was just a minor sprain that twisted my ankle.

On the next day, I feel relieved but I could still feel some throbbing on my ankle. However, that night I’ll be having a dinner together with our creative team, and from other department. I don’t want to mention all the things in detailed, but to sum it up, the guy I used to see, joined us at the bar. He was a few hours late, but it’s okay, we just hang out as the night goes on.

A lot of laughter, jokes, mix emotions and shits happened that night. I didn’t really care but after our dinner, on our way home, I was with him sharing a cab. I felt something strange. I think I have a mood swings lately. I was just looking far at the window. Thinking too much and wishing that I want to end the night coz I had a rough day dealing with my sprain and my heart. Maybe I should stop chasing the stars that I could never even reach from afar. Fucking emo right? L-O-L.

I know this has been an obsolete lines to say but I’d really rather have a broken ankle than a broken heart. I may fell off the stairs and sprain my ankle many times, at least in few days or a week time, it’ll heal. Unlike falling in love, no matter how many days and years had passed, a broken heart can never be mend.