You don’t call NYC The Big Apple for nothing. I know quite a handful who are working and/or studying there, so having some free time alone was my chance to meet up with each and every one of them! First person who came to mind was Bia Catbagan, my highschool friend who is now making waves as a film director. We go a long way back, even before we collaborated for her 18th birthday pre-debut photos, and before she took my photos for one of Esquire Philippines’s earliest web articles. For as long as we could remember, we’ve always been rather passionate about photography and film. I guess it was quite uncommon back then (the world pre-Instagram and Facebook some 11-12+ years ago), and the introverted graphic designer-slash-photographer wannabe in me really admired her for being that perfect student leader who also had an artistic side to her. It really meant a lot to me when she praised my photography skills (though when I look back at my photos then, they were pretty bad, lol) and asked me if I could take her portraits (You know you’re doing a good job when someone from the same-ish profession trusts you to do the same-ish quality of work!). We used to organize these super cute makeshift shoots together with other high school friends who wanted to be hairstylists and make-up artists. We all started somewhere, and she was definitely part of my earliest adventures.
Enough about our origin story (lol), because our visit to the Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo, and Momofuku Ma Peche deserves to be highlighted more! She’s been living in New York for a few years now, but she hasn’t been to these places before. That made the both of us tourists, but there’s nothing like Google Maps to help us show the way. We went for a sunset stroll with the occasional photo-taking, but I had the most fun catching up on years-worth of stories about my blogging life and her filmmaking dreams.