Lizel Strömberg

The 5-star Luxury Hotel: Okada
The 5 star luxury hotel Okada is not only for the guests to take part of, the public are also allowed to visit to see the stylish, iconic and different interior design of the building. My cousins and I took the opportunity to take the journey to Okada to see the extravagance of the hotel. 
Hotel Okada is located in Parañaque, Metro Manila in the Philippines and was open in 2017. There's also a big casino in the middle of the hotel for people to come and gamble. Okada also have a large fontain where they hold a water-light shows during the evenings. 
One step inside the hotel and you could already tell that it's a luxury hotel with 5 stars. The staff in the entrance had beautiful working clothes and most of them were stunning. The lobby were colorful with beautiful decor in the ceiling, the tables were of marmor and even the lamps had small details that match the interior design. We definitely were not dressed properly for this kind of enviroment. 
We walked around to see the different kinds of art in the building, took lots of pictures but also just enjoy seeing something new. There were also a lot of different stores in the hotel which was selling clothing, jewelleries, pastries and more. We didn't look into the stores as much since they were closing up but I'm pretty sure they were very expensive. 
Unfortunately, you were not allowed to take photos of the casino because of safety for the ones playing. But even the casino part had beautiful and colorful design on the machines and the furnitures. I'm not sure if there's even picutres of it if you try to google the place. 
When walking around the place we also found some kind of exhibition by "Orange County Choppers". I love this chopper, I like the cool design and the colorus of it. 
There were lots of people in the area, all of them walking around taking photos. Getting a photo without having people in your shot was almost impossible but at least I got one which is of my cousin Ronald. 
Here's a photo of the art in one part of the building. This doesn't show a fair picture of it looked liked on set but I really liked them, it looked bubbles in the air. 
In the middle of the lobby there were these huge flower arrangements. EVERYONE were taking photos in front of them and of course, we had to do it as well. It was a hassle getting this photo taken. I used my tripod so all of us would be in the photo. We would have to be still to set the camera to a slower shutter speed to get more light in the lens since we didn't use a flash. If we would move too much, we would be blurry. We got so much looks while trying to get photos and making faces but it was so much fun!
It was a nightmare to edit these photos since the colours were everywhere because I had the wrong settings. But I highly recommend you to visit Hotel Okada if you ever are in Manila. I mean, even the bathrooms in Okada is luxury. It was high tech and had a console where you could press buttons for it to open the cover, flush, wash your butt and clean the toilet seat. It's a big building and you will probably need at least 2 hours to walk around and see everything. Haha.
 
Well, that was it for this time. Hope you enjoyed this post! What do you think of Hotel Okada from what you got to see on the pictures? 😊
 
Until next time, ingat!
/Lizel
 
 
 
Short enough
Some times a short post can be more than enough. I defintely need to learn and let myself be okay with not needing to always write long blog posts, to create content where less can be more. 
It's interesting how a picture only can capture one side of a story. In the photo above I might be smiling and looking happy but in real life, my heart was breaking because I was sad over the fact that I was about to leave my cousins and not see them for a couple of years. 
Being in the Philippines never gets boring. There's always new places to visit and something new to experience. It doesn't need to be something major, seeing a sunset while taking a ride by a tricycle can be just enough. 
 
To end this post, I want to wish you a great weekend! 🌴
Until next time, ingat!
/Lizel
Staring looks at the night market
Whenever I'm in the Philippines, I always get a lot of eyes looking on me. I'm the person who stands out in the crowd because I'm foreigner and even more so because I'm a girl. One of the last nights in Bicol, I wanted to check out the night market in the center of Tabaco and get some shots of the locals. My cousins Tim and Obot joined me in my walk to be my body guards as a safety net because I would become an easy target for pickpockets when taking photographs. They were also there to keep me company .
We came to the market a bit late and the sun had already set which would make photographing a bit more tricky. If I wasn't already getting noticed by only being there, once I took the camera out even more people would give me looks. I'm not all comfortable when I get that much attention but I had to try to play it off and make it as if I didn't minded.
I'm aware that people mostly know me as a concert photographer and I love creating that kind of content. But what you probably don't know is that I have passion for documentary photography as well. I don't get to do documentary photography often but that's definitely something I want to start doing more. 
I really like walking around at the night market, observing people and just feel the different vibe than I'm used to back in Sweden. 
Photographing at the night market was a bit tricky because there were so much movement everywhere. There were traffic from every directions by cars, tricycles, jeepneys, people and bicyles. I had to be alert and be aware of my surroudings not to only capture what I wanted but to make sure I didn't get run over by someone else. Luckily, my cousins were there to make sure I was safe. They would almost be up on my back to make sure no one would sneak up on me. Some times they would be too close to me that I would accidentally step on their foot or bump into them, haha. But I only appreciated that they took their task to be "security guards" full on serious to make me feel safe. 
These pictures don't get close to showing a fair image of the market, there were a lot of other food stands and people selling everything from fruits and vegatables from their farm but also some handmade crafts.
The main things that I had in mind when taking these photos was to find places where there was enough light for me to being able to capture photos but also create a vibe of how it would be like on set. 
When walking around the market, I got a lot of smiles which I assume was for different reasons depending on who the person was. For example, there were many guys who would kind of check me out and trying to be cheeky so I would take photos of them. Something I've realized, photographing women/girls in The Philippines are more tricky as they get very shy and hide as soon as they see a camera. Because of that fact, I really love the photo above that I captured of a women sitting by all the fruits. She's so cute! Right after I took this photo, she quickly got a bit shy but would still kind of smile towards me. 
If I would have been more brave, I would have asked this guy to take a photo of him when he's posing for the camera. I would have loved to captured him in a closer range and have more smoke into the picture. It would have been such a cool photo! But I hope I will be able to create that kind of photo another time.
But that was it for this post. I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading about my thoughts about my experiences at the night market. Did you get a particular vibe or feeling when seeing these pictures? Let me know in the comment section!
 
Until next time, ingat!
/Lizel