The Loveliness book from Two Lovely People

Loveliness The Book

A package arrives. I open it. Loveliness. It’s Ace and Kit’s self-published book of beautiful photos that capture their very heart and art.

I browse through the pages. I see the first line from a post in this blog.

“A match made in heaven. I’m referring to husband and wife team Ace and Kit Mandac’s mutual artistry and propensity for fine taste.” (Full story here).

Happiness is when you see something and a tear rolls down. I’m happy for Ace and Kit. And Ava. The words in the line are the most accurate words for the couple. I’m not exactly close to them, but respect and admiration for what they are, what they do, and how they treat people in an utmost professional manner, whether clients or not, has brought them close to my heart. Their good taste is more than skin-deep… the loveliness in them both.

Loveliness is about Inspiration and Dedication. It’s also about the couple’s journey as artists.

PackageThe BookAce and KitInside LovelinessLoveBouquets

Visit Ava’s on Gen. Segundo Ave (Bacarra Road), if you need to order a copy.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Alvin Cariaso, the man behind Lente Iloco

Alvin Cariaso 1

Something wonderful came up. I met this guy on the phone ‘coz I had to inquire about a hexacam, and then a beautiful inspiring story started to unfold. I was up on the computer the whole afternoon, talking to him about life and his newfound passion for photography.

Not enough to ruin his spirit, his unfortunate first break more than a year ago led him to strive hard to be one of Ilocos Norte’s sought-after photographers and videographers, though he still calls himself a newbie.

Alvin Cariaso was born in Apayao. His dad passed away when he was still a small boy. He and his mother moved to Laoag in the 90s. As if trying to tell him something, he also eventually lost his mother and a sister, making him a complete orphan. In his own words, he says, “I used to be happy-go-lucky.”

Alvin Cariaso 2

He has a masters in information technology from the St. Paul University in Tuguegarao. Trying to make both ends meet, before his current teaching position at Northwestern University, he worked as merchandiser, and then supervisor at a gas station He now finds inspiration from his two children, a boy and a girl.

Q&A with Alvin Cariaso

What sparked your passion for photography?

I started photography in Sept 2012. I had difficulties in setting the camera because I don’t have formal education in photography. I bought a camera for personal use. I’m a hobbyist. I used to play with remote-controlled helicopters and planes. My cousin, who was doing photography, brought me along to his wedding shoots until the time that I was given my own chance to shoot, but without pay. I always got laughed at by my cousin, so every time I would go home from school, because I also teach at Northwestern University, I stay on the net to learn from YouTube tutorials. I mustered courage to ask one of my students if we could shoot. That was the pilot testing of the photography skills I gained from YouTube. I didn’t even know how to edit  back then. One of my relatives was getting married and offered to hire me as photographer. Minimum charge lang and a collaboration with my photographer cousin. I consider it a failure. I didn’t finish the layouts ‘coz my cousin lost the files. After that, I decided to move on and told myself — it is time to stand on my own two feet. I hired talents with gadgets, ‘pag may offer, til I was able to invest in new equipment.

Alvin Cariaso 3photo by Lente Iloco 21

What is Lente Iloco all about?

Lente Iloco is a photography and videography group that caters to any occasion for Ilocanos.

Do you enjoy your work?


Do you always have a camera with you even on ordinary days?

Yes, especially when I travel.

Cape Bojeador

Portraiture or landscape photography?


What can you tell photographers who are just starting?

Be creative, be yourself, be a natural. Never stop innovating. Be a warrior. In everything we do, dapat may tiyaga.

Alvin’s Work

 photo by Lente Iloco 4photo by Lente Iloco 19photo by Lente Iloco 24photo by Lente Iloco 23photo by Lente Iloco 22

photo by Lente Iloco 5photo by Lente Iloco 3photo by Lente Iloco 2photo by Lente Iloco 16Santa Monica Churchphoto by Lente Iloco 20photo by Lente Iloco 7photo by Lente Iloco 8photo by Lente Iloco 12photo by Lente Iloco 13photo by Lente Iloco 14photo by Lente Iloco 15photo by Lente Iloco 10photo by Lente Iloco 9

Lente IlocoLente Iloco booth

Contact Alvin Cariaso via the Lente Iloco page on FB (here), or call him —  +63 917 731 9668 / 0949 844 5605

All photos courtesy of Alvin Cariaso
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Chef Paul and his Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Don’t you love surprises? City Cup Cafe is running a special, featuring fish ‘n chips and shepherd’s pie. Says Paul Kinpsmon, the new resident of Barangay Pila, Laoag, and an executive head chef back in his native London, the new hangout in Ilocos will be changing themes every two weeks or so, like British is ongoing, and on deck is, perhaps, Spanish tapas or French food. Chef Paul likes his ingredients fresh, so everything in the shepherd’s pie is delicious, from the lamb to the mashed potatoes. I like its rich yet subtle fusion of flavors, but it becomes pretty exotic with a touch of mint jelly.

Hmnn, something to look forward to from time to time.

Chef PaulPastor Brian and Chef PaulPastor Brian Shah and Chef Paul

Alexa bought focaccia. She likes it with half and half olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with Parmesan and a tad of salt.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Food Lust: James Burn’s bellychon


Have you been caught in a situation where you want to eat a photo? Seducing me to no end is this rolled whole pork belly glutted with the most essential Ilocano aromatic bulbs and secret indigenous spices. To the eye, moist and sweet fragrant meat encased in teary crackled skin. Yet to be available in Laoag next week (?!)… I died a little inside.

I’m excited to see and taste more of culinary school grad James’s burning ambition.

bellychon 2

It’s the perfect feast for my coming birthday! Can’t wait really!

It’s not too expensive like you think. For inquiries, PM James Burn here.

Photos courtesy of James Burn
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014