Tracy is a twenty-something lady from the Philippines who lives for photography, and takes photos for a living.

Tracy in Polaroids is a blog that documents some of the goings-on in Tracy's life, providing snapshots into her own little universe.

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Canada 2014 – Day 4

So guess where we went on our fourth day in Canada? Spoiler alert, lots of flowers in the post!

That’s right, we went to Butchart Gardens in Victoria!

If you’re a fan of pretty flowers of different kinds, and foliage in general, then you definitely have to pay a visit to Butchart Gardens! The entrance fee changes depending on the season, I think? Some people think it’s best to visit in the summer or spring, but since I love the changing leaves in the fall, I think it was very timely to come when we did!

As UP students, my cousin Kooky and I found this very amusing. Eh-heh-heh-heh-heh.

Pretty flowers!

Colors of fall, I will never get over you!

We went to Victoria with Troy’s high school friend Aldo, a.k.a. John Lloyd Cruz. Hahaha!

I get cold easily, sooo…yeah.

Of course, another fall OOTD. So red and pink! My cousins told me that I blended into the garden so well that I might get lost!

Pine trees everywhere!

So many people on my Facebook feed posted photos of Japanese sakura earlier this year. I’m so un-mainstream—falling leaves in the fall!

Check out that view!! Sprawling greens.

The view requires us to take our usual jump shots!

Dying sunflowers, because it was quite overcast that day. :(

My favorites were probably the dahlias! They were like pompoms, and some of them were really big! They came in so many different, pretty colors!

Suddenly, a strangely named tree!

Real-life gradient found in nature!

Pretty sad that the rose garden wasn’t in bloom; I think most of them were already cut from the plants! I managed to find one still fighting the good fight, though.

The entrance to the Japanese garden had a torii!

Indeed felt very Japanese.

One of the last places I took photos was at the lookout.

We then made our way to what I assume was downtown Victoria, which I believe is the capital of British Columbia. Check out the Fairmont Empress hotel! The plants climbing up its façade are divine. The inside made some of my cousins and I feel like we were in a Scooby Doo episode, though, with all the doors and how the place felt so creepy and haunted. We lost our uncle and his friend, and we thought the hotel was eating them. HAHAHA CRAZY COUSINS.

So punny. But really nice looking logo!

One of the window displays along the street! Everyone’s getting ready for Halloween!

At a coffee shop.

Went into a nearby mall to warm ourselves up from the cold! I’d totally wear this.

Thank you to my unofficial sponsor, Uniqlo, for my gloves (and well, most of my clothes for this trip) that allow me to still use my smartphone without having to take them off!

Fall, fall, fall.

Canada 2014 – Day 3

Our third day in Vancouver started with a seagull out on the balcony. I don’t really know what to say about that, except that maybe it was waiting for us to give it some food. It was out there almost the entire morning.

I super love the fall. I’ve always said that I do, but only because seeing images of trees in autumn made my heart skip like I was in love. But now that I’m here and have experienced it first-hand, I have no words. The air is crisp, the colors are beautiful, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. If only there were autumn in the Philippines, I would so love to get married in the fall.

Chinese Lanterns outside a flower shop, and sunflowers in the back!

Went to the Starbucks nearby for a light breakfast and some coffee. It still amuses me how in Canada, everything is also translated in French…probably because I can understand a bit.

While sitting by the window (in the glorious, warm sun), I saw a man walking a Schnauzer puppy!! I miss my Bowie bebe!

As usual, taking people pictures.

We were in no rush to leave that day, so after breakfast, we headed back to the hotel. A few of us went out to our balconies and just took in the view and the sun.

Saw one of the trees on the street with the leaves falling!! If only I could have glided down to bask in the falling leaves!

Eventually we walked down the street to go get some lunch. Spotted these two Japanese girls going in the same direction! Turns out, they were going to where we were going, too!

And we went to Santouka! RAMEN YES! It was my idea to come here because…RAMEN! We thought it’d be difficult to seat our group (there were 13 of us at the time!), but we decided we didn’t need to all sit at one table. The place was small, so we sat in three different groups. Those bowls were ours!

After lunch, a few people went back to the hotel, while some of us walked down Robson to change our US dollars to Canadian. Here, we have a fake conversation between my brother Trevor, and my cousin Troy. LOL

We drove up to Stanley Park! Check out the view with the Lions Gate Bridge! Kind of reminded me of San Francisco, where I have left my heart. </3

6 out of 14 of the George + Rose Asuncion cousins!

Matching brother & sister OOTDs, LOL

Geese!

Totem poles in Stanley Park.

And a new addition, the Monsod totem pole.

Across the water.

My mom with two of her sisters, and their youngest brother. Their eldest sister flew ahead to Winnipeg in September, where their other brother lives. They’re all so excited to be complete again, after so many years! It must be such a wonderful thing to have 5 siblings!

But equally wonderful is having a family like mine. :)

And cousins like mine, as well! Everybody’s crazy. Notice how Troy’s iPhone is jumping out of his shirt pocket!! IMPENDING DOOM

After Stanely Park, we went to Granville Island, which is probably one of my favorite places in Vancouver. It’s kind of like a little artsy community, since there’s an art & design school there! Plus there’s this really cool art supplies store called Opus where I could spend the whole afternoon in, and good food in the public market.

If I were to recommend a place to go to in Vancouver, Granville Island would definitely be in the top 3.

Canada 2014 – Day 2

On our second day, we traversed the border to the land of the free, the good ol’ US of A! We made a day trip to Seattle, WA—see the Space Needle?

The US really has a different feel to it than Canada, at least for me. I can’t really put my finger on how it’s different, but I just feel more at home in the States. No offence, Canada! You’re pretty cool, too.

Anyway, we settled in the famous Pike Place Market for most of the morning and walked around a bit. Hi, dad!

The Starbucks stores here in Seattle are way different from what we have in Manila! They have this certain vibe where it feels like the store’s been around since the beginning of time. I guess it’s because Starbucks actually started in Seattle! Speaking of which…

For people so addicted to Starbucks, it’d be crazy for us not to pay a visit to the first Starbucks store ever!

It’s a cozy little place with no tables and chairs; you order your coffee, buy some souvenirs like a mug or a shirt with the original logo on it, and be on your merry way.

As for me, I bought a bag of coffee beans, the Pike Place Special Reserve. These particular beans are only sold at two stores—the first Starbucks store on Pike, and in the Heritage store on 1st & Pike. But the original Starbucks store is the only one that carries it with the extra outer paper bag layer (which I find so charming). I’m torn between brewing the coffee, and just keeping it in this bag forever! Maybe I should have bought two?

And of course, along with my beans, I got a cup of coffee—a tall salted caramel mocha. That’s me with my uncle Patrick who lives in San Diego, and is travelling with us!

So much love for this place.

My cousin Troy and I stopped by the heritage Starbucks store as well, to…do our OOTDs. HAHA! The light in there was gorgeous, so we just couldn’t pass it up.

Anyway, after the Starbucks high we were on, we made our way to the iconic Space Needle. We weren’t able to go up since we lost the other people in our group for a little bit (the problem with travelling in a big group).

The waiting around allowed for some more photo ops, though, so it’s all good. Haha! Priorities.

Finally with everyone! This is our entire group (minus Troy who took the photo, and my uncle Patrick who’s around somewhere)—we all travelled together from Manila!

Late lunch at this place called Collections Cafe. There were all sorts of collections in the place, but my favorites were these—the accordions hanging from the ceiling, the cameras in one of the tables, and the vintage radios on the wall!

No US/Canada trip is complete without buying at least one of these! My favorite treat from Starbucks, sadly unavailable in Manila. Bring these in, plz!

Again?! Didn’t buy anything this time, though! Just amused with the store! This was in the outlet shopping place in Seattle!

Autumn colors. <3

Canada 2014 – Day 1

Surprise! I’m still here in Vancouver, and yet I’m already starting my next series of travel posts. I want to get a head start, since it’s a pretty eventful vacation. I have lots to catch up on when I get home, so I’m trying to get as much stuff out of the way as quickly as possible. The upside is everything is still fresh in my mind!

I think this is the first time in years I’ve travelled to another country during autumn. We usually go on long-ish vacations during the summer, since our semestral breaks in the Philippines are only a week or two long, sometimes shorter! The last time we traversed the Pacific to the western hemisphere during the -ber months was in 2007.

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Now imagine my excitement when I saw the trees in different colors while driving from the airport to our hotel! This was probably my first ever fall, and I’m still excited by the thought of it!

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First look at downtown Vancouver!

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The view from the balcony is fantastic! Check out those red trees lining the street! SUCH EXCITE

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The trees below look like green and purple cauliflower!

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One of the great things about this year’s trip is that I’m travelling not just with my own family, but with my cousins, too! My cousin Troy calls me his twin, because we often think alike and are both photographers. We’re both so thrilled to finally have each other on this trip, so we can have nice travel photos of ourselves, too! And since the cold weather is a great opportunity to layer clothes…prepare yourselves from shameless OOTDs from the two of us on my posts, with a few of my brother mixed in. Haha!

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I found a store that sold nothing but Pocky and other similar products!!! JUST TAKE MY MONEY

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We had dinner at a dimsum place, and were joined by Troy’s long-time friend Aldo! Fun fact, he was part of the huge team responsible for the movie Life of Pi. My auntie Joji, Troy’s mom, had us sit through the credits just to look for his name (which we did!). Awesome little trivia right there!

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A few of us went to Whole Foods to get some dessert plus buy a few other things like water and snacks to keep in the hotel fridge.

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Pumpkins outside Whole Foods! Halloween is just around the corner! (Which means I’m leaving 25 very, very soon!!)

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At 7-11, something familiar, but not quite. There was also Double Caramel, which I tried in Toronto last year! Why don’t we get any of the cooler flavors in Manila???

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The view from our hotel room is just as breath taking at night. I love city lights! I should really do this every time I travel. I’ve taken a similar photo during my San Francisco trip, and also when I went to New York in 2012. Should make a nice little collection!

Stick around for the next post, we crossed the border and made a day trip to the Emerald City!

Mindanao – August 3

Updating my blog from Canada! Seeing as I now have an impending series of travel posts again, I think I should finish up my Mindanao posts. I still have a couple more days to go with this one, so here’s to speeding things up a bit!

After our one night in Dahilayan and before we headed back home to CDO, we took a short drive to Dahilayan Gardens and Resort. Being up in the mountains sure does take your breath away!

Nothing but green and blue behind Kiks! It certainly is nice to get away from the city every now and then. The air was fresh and cool; I believe we did our lungs a favor by going on this short trip!

And of course, we have me, as unglamorous as ever.

With an equally goofy boyfriend to match. Obvs, we were made for each other.

With the Ignacios of CDO, our wonderful hosts!

…and then I return to my goofball self. The wide expanse of grass was calling to me to attempt some cartwheels! Just about as graceful as a rock, I am.

Back in the city where we had lunch, I treated everyone to dessert at Mochiko! The store had these mesmerizing cats that kept swaying and waving.

Strawberries for merienda back in the house! The perfect afternoon.

That was our last day in CDO. The next day, tito Jaime took Kiks and I to Laguindingan airport so we could fly back to Manila. It was a very short vacation, since we had to prepare for his solo exhibit back home, but we had a lovely time all the same! I look forward to more visits in the future. ;)

The return of the redhead

I didn’t think I would actually do it, but it seems the redheaded Tracy has made a comeback!

I guess it started with my mom asking me if I wanted to add red highlights to my hair, so I could be easier to spot in a crowd. I immediately deduced that she was suggesting it because we’d be going to Canada this month, and we’d be going around Vancouver for a bit. My family always found it amusing that I’ve been so easy to spot a mile away because of my radioactive red hair for the past five years.

Anyway, I told my mom that I don’t really like highlights on my hair. If I were to color my hair, it would have to be everything—all or nothing. She took me with her to the salon after lunch, and I chose a color that I felt would look nice and subdued when dyed on top of my now black hair. I figured maybe I could go red, but this time with a more subtle look.

Apparently, though, “subtle” does not exist in my hair’s vocabulary. I was surprised to see that the copper color had set nicely on my dark hair, suddenly ricocheting me back to my redheaded self! I had mixed feelings about it at first, since I was hoping for something darker—maybe a nice burgundy, or cherry red at the most. But my hair decides to go “NOPE” and gives me a lovely copper color when under the sun, or bright lights.

Under less bright lighting, however, I seem to have gotten what I want, to some extent. My hair is a nice auburn color, making the highlights look fantastically orange! That photo is of course not the best example.

Despite my declaration of going back to black some months ago (how fickle can you get?), sporting red hair is making me giddy again. I’m excited to see what it looks like under the Canada sun in the fall, because sunlight in the northern hemisphere is gorgeous!

I honestly chose to stop dyeing my hair red because everybody started doing it recently too (epitome of a hipster right here), but having this particular hue on me is a nice compromise. After all, I always felt that my personality shown the most with my red hair. Why stop myself?

I leave for Canada in a few days, and the last thing I usually pack are my gadgets&#8230;mostly because I still use them up until the day we leave!
My original bebe, my Canon 60D, is coming with me, despite my previous reservations about bringing it. But I figured that we&#8217;re celebrating a big event, so Goku deserves to come along. I got a little sentimental when I took him off the shelf, weird as that sounds.

I leave for Canada in a few days, and the last thing I usually pack are my gadgets…mostly because I still use them up until the day we leave!

My original bebe, my Canon 60D, is coming with me, despite my previous reservations about bringing it. But I figured that we’re celebrating a big event, so Goku deserves to come along. I got a little sentimental when I took him off the shelf, weird as that sounds.

I&#8217;m a little relieved that I&#8217;m still capable of drawing on paper. With all the digital work I&#8217;ve been doing lately, I was a little nervous to start on this because&#8230;what if my illustrative powers disappeared?! Glad to know they&#8217;re still there, though! My client is lucky that drawing is like riding a bike for me.
Lately, this is what my work area generally looks like. My new-old laptop (switched from a 15&#8221; to a 13&#8221;), my phone so I can refer to important text messages on top of listening to my favorite work-time music (I&#8217;m most productive when I listen to these guys!), my everything notebook where I write down&#8230;everything, and quite recently, my Rubic&#8217;s cube. I&#8217;ve gotten back to playing around with it, and it&#8217;s turned into my anti-anxiety tool. While some people have stress balls, I have a Rubic&#8217;s cube.
Whenever I&#8217;m feeling stressed out, need to take a small break from work, or hitting one of those terrible creative blocks, I solve my cube. It&#8217;s a nice little exercise to get my brain to focus, and it beats further ruining my eyes and wasting time by staring at my phone&#8217;s screen while playing games. While playing iPhone games can eat up my time because I lose track of time, I finish the cube on an average of 3 minutes. Then it&#8217;s back to work. Or I solve it again.
But anyway, I really should start illustrating again. I miss having work where my cmd+z is an eraser.

I’m a little relieved that I’m still capable of drawing on paper. With all the digital work I’ve been doing lately, I was a little nervous to start on this because…what if my illustrative powers disappeared?! Glad to know they’re still there, though! My client is lucky that drawing is like riding a bike for me.

Lately, this is what my work area generally looks like. My new-old laptop (switched from a 15” to a 13”), my phone so I can refer to important text messages on top of listening to my favorite work-time music (I’m most productive when I listen to these guys!), my everything notebook where I write down…everything, and quite recently, my Rubic’s cube. I’ve gotten back to playing around with it, and it’s turned into my anti-anxiety tool. While some people have stress balls, I have a Rubic’s cube.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed out, need to take a small break from work, or hitting one of those terrible creative blocks, I solve my cube. It’s a nice little exercise to get my brain to focus, and it beats further ruining my eyes and wasting time by staring at my phone’s screen while playing games. While playing iPhone games can eat up my time because I lose track of time, I finish the cube on an average of 3 minutes. Then it’s back to work. Or I solve it again.

But anyway, I really should start illustrating again. I miss having work where my cmd+z is an eraser.