All posts filed under: Photography

Wailoa Reflections

In response to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, Mirror, I’m sharing this photograph taken at Wailoa State Park. It was one of the first photos I took shortly after moving to Hilo and when I decided I would start pursuing photography with some level of seriousness and commitment. Mind you, I never really dabbled in photography before moving to Hilo, but I thought, “Why not?”. It was a creative way to orient myself to my new home and to engage in something I’d always wanted to try. This photo was captured moments before sunset and I thought the scene looked almost haunting. The fuzzy reflections are my favorite part of the photo.

Lava Viewing at Kalapana

Our friend Adrel called me on Saturday to see if I wanted to go with him to take pictures of the lava flow in Kalapana. You may have seen Adrel’s amazing photographs on our Holoholo Girls’ Instagram and being that we’re both recreational photographers, I jumped at the chance. After discussing trekking at night or early morning, we decided on today, Labor Day. We packed up and headed out of Hilo at 4:30 am. Once in Kalapana, we were surprised to see that other people had the same idea, no doubt wanting to see the beautiful glow of the lava in the dark. Getting to the actual viewing site was not that difficult. It’s a 3.5 mile walk/hike on a mostly flat gravel road. Adrel heard that people head out on bikes, so he managed to secure two bikes and we rode toward the site with headlamps. Walking wouldn’t have been bad, but biking was better. People were already situated on the cliffs, cameras out and taking photos of the amazing view. While Adrel moved closer to snap some pics, …

Fish on Top

This weekʻs Weekly Photo Challenge, Cherry On Top, came at a great time. Poke is sold at most local grocery stores in Hawaiʻi, with lots of different varieties to choose from. I usually buy a tiny bit, whether it’s ahi (tuna) or salmon, made spicy or with some delicious condiment like shoyu (soy sauce) or inamona. Some grocery stores here actually sell poke bowls, which are fresh raw fish, topping a bowl of rice for lunch or dinner. I prefer just buying the fish and making my own poke bowl, or making my own poke, like when I make mushroom poke. After eating a few pieces of my poke, I’m usually left with a few chunks that have passed the raw “expiration” date, so I flash fry it in a non-stick pan to give it new culinary purpose. Once it’s done, I transfer it into a small bowl and onto some rice and voila! We have a modified poke bowl. This week’s poke leftovers was also tossed with onions and fresh, local limu (seaweed). Absolutely delicious!


On my recent trip to Maui, I stopped off at Ali’i Kula Lavender farm for a tour. After learning about the process of growing and harvesting lavender as well as the many varieties of lavender that are grown on the grounds, I also learned about different plants on the farm. If you go, you’ll see fruit and olive trees, flowers of all kinds, even a few spaces for corn and kale. What a special place! Waiting for the tour, I noticed these little succulents that were growing in a cluster on the side of a little hill. I’ve always loved succulents for their pretty patterns. Living in Hawaiʻi my entire life, I have never seen a protea that was still growing. Most of the time, I see these flowers in arrangements or being sold at farmers’ markets. Seeing one in “real life” made me appreciate every detail of the protea’s beauty. Nature is truly, an amazing artist. Details


Growing up as an only child, I’ve never known what it’s like to be a sibling. My two cats are from the same litter and watching them grow up, yet remaining in sync with each other has been amazing.   Partners


Leaving familiarity behind, or so what I thought, was difficult. The forest mist engulfing the native plants and birds, though it does have its invasive and non-native species, it was home. Upon our arrival on Johnston Island, after a three day boat ride on the Kahana, I was pleased to finally see for myself that there were so many familiar things. Greeted with plumeria and hibiscus leis, it was official; we (1 leader and 4 volunteers) were the next Crazy Ant Strike Team (CAST), no turning back! I found myself taking a liking to the Ironwood trees as they are some of the taller trees in great density, creating their own non-native forest of relaxing howling sounds as the wind blows on by. As I explore the nooks and crannies of the island, I find more and more plants that bring me comfort like the Naio, Hala, Hau, ‘Uhaloa, Pōhinahina, ‘Ilima, Naupaka, Pōhuehue and the list goes on. I picked up the Atoll Research Bulletin No. 192 – The Natural History of Johnston Atoll, Central …


From both sides of the family my son comes from long line of cockfighting. As many would view this as cruel and a blood sport my upbringing showed me otherwise.  These animals were cared for and trained like professional athletes. Much pride came with raising chickens. So for my son you could say its in his bloodline. Future Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook  Instagram @holohologirls Twitter

Itchy Feet Now in Thailand

I’ve had itchy feet for as long as I can remember.  From road trips around the west coast to flights from Hawaii to the mainland to visit family, I’ve been traveling almost on a somewhat annual basis.  It’s no wonder now that I have itchy feet when I stay in one place for too long but I think my penchant to travel has taken me on a new journey even I didn’t anticipate. Here is my home: Lovely, isn’t it? You may ask why I decided to leave everyone’s definition of ‘paradise’ and I could simply reply, “itchy feet” but I know it’s a bit deeper than that.  I had my first taste of international living when I studied abroad in Japan back in 2008 – another great place to live – and I still say I left a piece of my heart there even till this day.  I don’t think I was as ready as I thought I would be to take that leap outside of my comfort zone, so I had my fill of …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#9)

Merrie Monarch Hilo comes alive during Merrie Monarch week and this year was no different. I went to the free hōʻike night on Wednesday to watch Hālau o Kekuhi, as well as other indigenous dance from Taiwan, Tahiti, and New Zealand. I also watched TV coverage of the competition on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Over the course of the week, I had 3 performances and walked in the parade on Saturday. Below are a few photos, most taken by Maria, from my week. It felt amazing to be dancing again and to be immersed in hula for 7 straight days. Sunday, March 27: Kīpaepae Welina (Welcoming Ceremony)   Tuesday, March 29: UNU Noontime Performance at the Naniloa Hotel     Thursday, March 31: UNU at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center   Saturday, April 2: Merrie Monarch Parade Here are other people’s weeks: A New Life Wandering | Weekly Small Pleasures #82 Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook  Instagram @holohologirls Twitter

Architecture (Photo 101, Day 12)

For the past month, we’ve been practicing hula in a space with no mirrors and dance-unfriendly flooring, but tonight, we returned to dancing in Polihua a Mauliola, a quonset hut that was converted into a hālau dance space and where we’ve danced our entire training prior to ʻūniki. Stepping in to the space felt kind of like visiting your childhood home after just settling into your first apartment. Returning home, everything feels intimately familiar. You know where things are located and you can relax in the space, but the truth is, itʻs not really your home anymore. That’s how I felt tonight. I missed Polihua, but more so, I missed how my body responds in that space, and how I am able to dance beside people I’ve danced with for all these years. Here are some other photos I’ve taken on my travels that speak to the amazing architecture I’ve never really noticed before going abroad.  

Pop of Color (Photo 101, Day 11)

I came across a few pūkiawe bushes with bright pink berries today. After I took the photo, I noticed that although the pink stood out, the green leaves were amazing in their own right. I should have saved a few photos from yesterday’s post for today because some of the dancers’ pāʻū were an amazing orange, so I’ll repost just because I love the color and texture of the pāʻū. Finally, I’ve not known what to do with this photo that I took last summer at the Esprit Dior exhibit in Seoul last year, but on display was Charlize Theron’s Dior dress from Cannes 2015 and the yellow popped inside that darkened room.