May 29, 2014

This is just the beginning.

I wanted to begin this post with something poetic. With a catchy hook and an embellished string of words that would leave you inspired when you finished reading it. That would have been ideal. But after thinking and writing and editing and thinkingandwritingandediting some more, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be best if I just straight up said what I need to say, as simply as possible. So here goes.

Footprints on the Moon has come to its end.

I guess it was inevitable. Disappear from your blog for more than six months, and eventually it will lead to a downward spiral of neglect and dust-gathering. But, on a more positive note, wow, it's been an awesome, unforgettable journey here on this blog. I learned and experienced new things and met so many fantastic people. I’m beyond grateful for the love you guys have shown FOTM. I love this blog and everything it has given me, but all things eventually have to come to an end. I think now’s the time to move on.

So I would like to turn the page and begin a new chapter. Gone will be the repetitive “life lessons” and the shallow chatter that filled FOTM. I want to delve into new worlds, explore possibilities that extend beyond the scope of reality. Essentially, I just want to tell stories, whether it’s through words, photos, film, music, or graphite and paint. Think KickthePJ, with a little bit of JacksGap, a little bit of Adam Young, and a lot of Hannah Guinto. :)

In other words, I’ll be leaving FOTM, but I'll be making a new blog in order to take a more creative path. As well, I’ll be leaving Blogger to make a new home at Tumblr and even branch out to Youtube. Pretty exciting stuff! However, for now, I’ll be gone for another month or two (or six lol let’s be honest). I want to take some time to focus on life outside the internet and get everything ready for the new blog. But rest assured I will come back, better than ever.

So here the curtain closes on Footprints on the Moon. Whether you were with me since the beginning, stumbled across this little blog only today, or are somewhere in between, thank you for your patience, encouragement, and support! This isn’t really the end. No, this is just the beginning of something greater. And I can’t wait. :)

Oct 30, 2013

Fifteen at Fifteen

Fifteen things I learned at age fifteen:
  1. The world is breathtakingly vast and diverse.
  2. People are actually kind of amazing.
  3. Excellence is not an act, but a habit. (Thanks, Aristotle.)
  4. The love of the internet is the source of all procrastination.
  5. The best way to get something done is to just do it. No complaints, no distractions, no excuses. (I’m still trying to learn this one.)
  6. Winning an argument is not worth losing a friend.
  7. I am not the most important person in the world I am not the most important person in the world I am not the most important person in the world.
  8. Christianity is not a social club or a chance to showcase one's holiness.
  9. I may be the only Bible that someone is reading. People around me who don't know Christ could very well be forming their views on Christianity based on my actions. I’ve seen people act one way in church and another way in everyday life, and although those experiences caused me at first to stumble in confusion and frustration, they taught me to be careful in how I act. As a Christian, I am a new creation, saved by grace; I should act as such, inside and outside the church.
  10. The life of a Christian is a training process. There will be failures, and that’s okay. It is through my weaknesses, after all, that God’s strength is most seen.
  11. The opinions of others do not define me, nor do the spiteful comments I hammer into my head. Pam said it perfectly when she wrote, "I’ve learned that you don’t have to force yourself to be like other people so you can learn to love yourself. It will never work. The only way to loving yourself is allowing the King of kings to show you how He sees you. And then you start looking at yourself the way He does. You begin to see yourself in a way you’ve never thought you deserved. You realize that He loves you so much, and He is delighted with you; you accept that truth. Then as you grow in Him, you grow also in loving yourself. It is His love that will make you genuinely love yourself." Having experienced this for myself, all I can say is a big, big, big amen.
  12. No matter how often I fail, no matter how far I wander, God is always faithful. His arms are wide open, ready to forgive me and help me get back on the right path. 
  13. On the other hand, God’s faithfulness is not an excuse for me to continue living in sin. Rather, it’s this grace, I've realized, that makes me want to live a better life.
  14. God > boys. I’ve never entered a romantic relationship, had my heart broken, or fallen in love, but the area of boys and romance is one in which I’ve constantly struggled. Though I still do at times, I know now that the love story God has written for me is a thousand times better than any story I could ever force into my life. Sixteen is around the age you’re expected to find your first love--the Young Adult section of my library can attest to this--but as for me, sixteen will lead me closer to the One who truly loves me and whose love is really all I need. 
  15. Growing up is not as bad as I thought it would be. Yesterday I turned sixteen, and even though the thought of growing older terrifies me a little, I'm glad because I'm no longer the person I once was. I've developed new worldviews, experienced new things, and learned so much, and none of it would have been possible if I hadn't grown older. While I'm still far from being the person I want to become, I know I’m right where I’m meant to be. And that keeps me looking forward to the years to come. So sixteen? Bring it on.

Aug 26, 2013

Manifesto (The Grand Re-opening)

“Your blog is your message to the world. Make it a good one.”
- Arriane Serafico

Over the past few months, I’ve realized that I’ve gotten caught up in the shallower aspects of blogging. I’ve spent so much time and energy trying to win over blog readers and worrying about things like sponsors and ad swaps, when I should have put more effort into creating content. I’ve strayed from my original purpose and filled my blog with shallow chatter and “filler” posts. But that is not what I want my message to the world to be. I want my message to count, to be meaningful and worthwhile. So after stepping back from the blogging world to rethink my goals and purpose for Footprints on the Moon, I developed a new manifesto:

Footprints on the Moon is a collection of thoughts and stories, my attempt to document life through art, words, and photography. It stands for preserving life’s little (and big!) moments and making every photograph, every brush stroke, and every word count so as to leave a lasting mark on the world. In every post, I hope to point you towards Christ and remind you, even on terrible days and mundane days, of the beauty and wonder of life. Upon reading this blog, may you be encouraged to live your very best and make your own footprints on the moon.

Simply put, I resolve to blog with the purpose of creating art that captures life, be it in writing, pictures, or any other form. As part of this manifesto, I’ve decided that I will no longer participate in ad swaps, follow-backs, etc. Instead, I will focus on making content that matters and making my message to the world a great one.
So with that, I welcome you to the newly improved Footprints on the Moon. Have a look around and let me know what you think!

Jul 25, 2013

The Typical "I'm Not Dead" Update

What has happened since my last "real" blog post:
+ My family and I took a two-and-a-half-week trip to the US East Coast. Not counting all the stop-overs, we were able to visit Virginia, Washington D.C., Connecticut, and New York. I still can't find the right words to describe the trip; it was beyond amazing. Like, seriously, I will go into fangirl mode just thinking about how awesome it was.
+ I've been taking a drawing course at a cool art college in my city. It's pretty intense (for me, at least)--four and a half hours of drawing every day.
+ I discovered the TV series Lost,, I may or may not be hooked.

What is to come posthaste (or as soon as I get out of the creative block I'm currently stuck in):
+ More of my own photos on blog posts, courtesy of my dad. After seeing my blog, he gave me a camera and encouraged me to keep blogging. :) The camera is a professional point-and-shoot from Canon, which makes me a little nervous because I am so not a pro like I'm thankful but wow I'm really unworthy. But anyway.
+ A video montage of my trip to the US. This may take a while, though, because I'll have to sort through the tons of videos that I took.
+ A fresh page for Footprints on the Moon. I'm going back to the roots of why I started this blog and narrowing and/or expanding my purpose for FOTM. (A new look is also in the works!)
+ Periods of silence on the blog, possibly, while I take time to really create posts that I'm genuinely happy with and proud of. Meanwhile, please enjoy these raw, unedited photos that I took during our trip to the US. Thanks for your patience. I hope you have an amazing day. :)

{All photos (c) Hannah Guinto}

Jul 14, 2013

An Interview With Jemimah

Meet Jemimah, the twelfth and final blogger in the series. She's superb at photography and graphic/web design, and she's insanely talented at writing. She recently moved her blog to Exploring Intrepidity, though her past work can be viewed here as well. I hope you enjoy her answers, and I hope you enjoyed this series too!

Tell us about yourself.
Hullo there. I'm Jemimah with an 'h', obviously — an introverted dreamer pursuing the life of a photographer + writer + journalist. I smell books before reading them, use both the British and American rules of spelling and punctuation, favour all flavours of tea except for ginger. And when asked to summarise my passions, I usually say storytelling, creating art, and exploring intrepidity (which happens to be my blog's name).

What inspired you to start a blog?
It isn't a very grand history, actually. My sister simply introduced me to the world of blogs and blogging, and I jumped at the first opportunity to make one — for the sake of experience and skill enhancement. But since then, blogging has evolved into a branch of my storytelling passion, and that's what motivates me to continue in this blogosphere.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing is comprised of two things. First: storytelling. Being someone whose way of expressing is through words and art, blogging has become a means of voicing out thoughts and telling of stories that hopefully resonate with and inspire other people. Which leads me to the second: communicating. I've 'met' a lot of of people through blogging, and I believe it should be more than just a platform for popularity. There are real, living beings behind blogs and names. It's wonderful to be able to know them more and communicate a conversation to them, whether by post or by comment.

Which would you prefer: taking photographs, drawing, writing, dancing, or singing?
As much as I love partaking in all, I've always had a greater affinity for photography and writing. (Yes, I am aware I chose two. Don't follow my example, okay, kids?)

What are three things that you did today?
'Typer-writed' a writing assignment, spontaneously broke out singing 'Home on the Range', and practiced my long-neglected violin.

What items do you usually bring in your bag?
My pen(s) and a darling line-free journal I fondly call Bilbo often come along on my adventures. There's bound to be some necessities, Chinese medicine (I'm merely precautionary, not a hypochondriac), and a book for company in there as well.

What do you want to be when you get older?
Wiser. Seriously. Vocationally speaking, though, I want to be a travelling photojournalist, part time novelist, part time graphic/web designer. Is that dreaming too much?

Do you have any favourite quotes? If yes, what are they?
Because there are too many, I've limited myself to four:
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”
― Joseph Pulitzer

“Maybe some are so busy waiting, they forget what indescribable beauty is right there in front of them.”
― Adam Young

“The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average — though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.”
― R.J. Palacio, Wonder

If you could do absolutely anything, what would you do?
Travel to every country in the more than eighty days, of course.

If there is one thing you’d want people to remember most about you, what would it be?
I want to be remembered as someone who lived intentionally and intrepidly despite many fears, flaws, and imperfections — not so much as for herself, but for the One who created her.

{Images (c) Jemimah C.}
{PS Great things are coming soon. ;)}

Jul 10, 2013

An Interview With Nina

Here's Interview #11, featuring Nina from Oh For Fox Sake. Enjoy! :)

Tell us about yourself.
Hello! My name is Nina. I'm fourteen going on fifteen, and I'm from the Philippines. I've been blogging since I was 7 and I hope to someday change the world. I own my own store (Indiestructible), and I'm taking up Fashion Entrepreneurship at SoFA Design Institute.

What inspired you to start a blog?
Other bloggers and my constant need to be "heard." I just have a lot of things to say.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The feedback. It's quite rewarding!

Which would you prefer: taking photographs, drawing, writing, dancing, or singing?
Taking photographs. Writing comes after. It's just much easier for me to take pictures than it is to eloquently put my thoughts into words... But that's not to say I'm a sucky writer. I'm okay, if I say so myself.

What are three things that you did today?
I've brushed my teeth, responded to texts, and stalked Instagram... I have yet to eat. Ugh.

What items do you usually bring in your bag?
My moleskine journal, a pencil case, my wallet, my cologne, and sometimes my 50mm lens... And my iPhone, of course.

What do you want to be when you get older?
I want to continue what I'm doing now. I want to be blogger/photographer/entrepreneur/etc.I'm part of the slash youth! Hahahaha

Do you have any favourite quotes? If yes, what are they?
My mom always tells me, "you will be vindicated." It's my favorite. Other than that, I love this: "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end." Pseudo-inspirational? Maybe, but it gives hope.

If you could do absolutely anything, what would you do?
Travel the world with my best friends aka The Monday Club!

If there is one thing you’d want people to remember most about you, what would it be?
That despite my coming of as "sassy," and at often times, rude, I'm just like everyone else. It's unfair to put me on a pedestal.

Or you can remember that I'm really obsessed with cats...

No, I think I want people to remember me as that young go-getter...

{Images (c) Nina Pineda}

Jul 9, 2013

An Interview With Neeley

Meet Neeley, the tenth blogger in the series. She blogs at Run Free. Hope you like her answers! :)

Tell us about yourself.
Hi there people! I'm Neeley - a student living in the south. I'm a storyteller through writing and photography. My loves are heart words, cities, movies and the film industry as a whole, wild adventures, folk music, and long beautiful books. I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ, after he has saved me by His amazing grace.

What inspired you to start a blog?
Writing is my number one passion and I wanted a place to keep me writing out my story. I have major issues sharing my writing and I wanted a way to force my voice out in the world a bit. It all sort of fell together last summer. I am excited to see where it will lead in the future.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Both capturing memories and throwing my heart when necessary. It's amazing to remember and look back as a public sort of journal. For example, I try to blog whenever I go on trips and it's pretty great to look back upon everything.

Which would you prefer: taking photographs, drawing, writing, dancing, or singing?
Writing. Since even before I could write, I dreamed of being an author. I can't imagine a life in my future that doesn't involve a career in it.

What are three things that you did today?
Bake cobbler, go shopping with my Grandmother, and edit a recent engagement shoot.

What items do you usually bring in your bag?
I rarely carry a purse, normally my camera bag serves instead. But either way, I bring my phone, gum, chap stick and some kind of paper + pen just in case. When I bring my camera bag, I also bring my camera, extra lens + memory card, etc.

What do you want to be when you get older?
I've always felt God's calling for me to be a missionary. Whether that involves international missions or serving here in America (I've always thought of serving or church planting in a big city), I've yet to know God's will. But I trust, whatever his plan is, It is better than I can imagine. On top of that, I really have a desire to write stories. I'd love to spend my days writing missionary memoirs and stories inspired by people I met...but again, I'll have to just wait and see.

Do you have any favourite quotes? If yes, what are they?
The list is endless by here is a few:
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” -Agatha Cristine
“God never asks us to forsake one thing without asking us to embrace something much better.” - John Kitchen

“I don't want to live, I want to love first and live incidentally.” ― Zelda Fitzgerald

If you could do absolutely anything, what would you do?
See the Northern Lights. Maybe in Alaska, maybe in Norway - really wherever. It's one of my biggest dreams ever since I can remember.

If there is one thing you’d want people to remember most about you, what would it be?
Someone who ran free. Ran reckless for the gospel and let go of the chains this world may bring.

{Images (c) Neeley M.}

Jul 8, 2013

An Interview With Jodie

Sorry for the delay, everyone. I'm currently in Virginia for a family reunion and haven't found a lot of time to update the blog. But anyway, here is Interview #9 of the blogger interview series, featuring Jodie from Heart Strings. Hope you enjoy! :)

Tell us about yourself.
I am Jodie A. 13 & homeschooled. There's a lot of things I love to do, click here to know more. I do cook, blog, take photographs, take care and hug cats and dogs, I also S W I M :)

What inspired you to start a blog?
Since I was a kid I started making reports, write letters and create articles on my own laptop (But I don't publish them). When I saw my bestie started a blog, I also wanted to start and another lovely ladies helped me to grow my blog, Ms. Bames and Jemimah.:)

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Is meeting and interacting with bloggers all around the world. I learn to handle different kinds of bloggers. Some of them are easy to talk to and extra friendly and the ones who are not so easy to have a conversation with.

Which would you prefer: taking photographs, drawing, writing, dancing, or singing?
Can I choose three? If I can, I would prefer, taking photographs, singing and dancing. (I will take theater/singing lessons this year. Hurrah!)
What are three things that you did today?
We went to Laurel, Batangas.(Philippines)
Kiss and hug my furry babies.

What items do you usually bring in your bag?
You will always see me with my bag! I usually have a notebook and tons & tons of ball pens, my phone and my wallet.

What do you want to be when you get older?
When I grow old, I want to be many things! I want to be a Olympian swimmer, a reporter. Own a restaurant with my family.

Do you have any favourite quotes? If yes, what are they?
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11

''God does not shake miracles into Nature at random as if from a pepper-caster. They come on great occasions.'' ~ C.S Lewis

If you could do absolutely anything, what would you do?
If I can do absolutely anything, I would do a law to make the bail higher for animal cruelty. Spay and neuter all animals, and give them a nice shelter to live. (No killing in the shelter, please)

If there is one thing you’d want people to remember most about you, what would it be?
Hmm.. Really nice question. Well, I want the people to remember me as the funny and friendliest girl they have ever met. That's all.
{Images (c) Jodie A.}

Jun 30, 2013

An Interview With Jia

Meet Jia from Ethereal Visions, the eighth blogger in the series. Enjoy! :)

Tell us about yourself.
well, my name's jia. i'm fourteen, from the usa. i've lived in the philippines my whole life, though i recently moved to there. i love photography, fashion, music, and anything vintage. i'm a teen blogger, entrepeneur, and am an active member of multiple groups.

What inspired you to start a blog?
it was an unplanned thing, just surfing the internet one day. i stumbled upon a lot of blogs, and voila. 

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
my favourite thing would be probably the freedom to write what you want to write. and people will listen to it. 

Which would you prefer: taking photographs, drawing, writing, dancing, or singing?
oh, gosh. this is hard. i'd have to choose photography, because pictures have a way of expressing a feeling more than the others. in my opinion.

What are three things that you did today?
i just woke up, ate lucky charms, and now i'm on my computer once more, stuck into its trap.

What items do you usually bring in your bag?
well, i don't bring much, because i HATE bringing along stuff when i only need essentials. i do have my wallet, multiple gadgets, (hey, i need to stay connected!), lipgloss, and some other 'necessities.' 

What do you want to be when you get older?
honestly? i don't know. i feel like i might regret choosing now, so i tend to push that topic to the back of my brain. (though i'll have to choose soon!) 

Do you have any favourite quotes? If yes, what are they?
i'm not much of a quote person, though i do love quotes from books. 

If you could do absolutely anything, what would you do?
i would live successfully? i have no idea. 

If there is one thing you’d want people to remember most about you, what would it be?
it would be that i was awesome.... kidding! it would be that i was Jia, and i was Jia alone. i don't want to be remembered as a hero, i want to be remembered as the girl who was herself.

{Image (c) Jia Onoya}

An Interview With Therese

Here's Interview #7, featuring Therese from Living Diffidently. Enjoy! :)

Tell us about yourself.
I'm Therese Gabrielle Santos, I'm 14 and I turn a year older on the 20th of September. I love school, even if it causes me to stress out more often. I like keeping myself busy, playing sports, spending time online, and hanging out with friends and family. I am currently a sophomore high school student, and I'm also a cheerleader, trying my best to balance my academics and social life.

What inspired you to start a blog?
I've always wanted to start a blog, but I was scared of what others would think of me. I was afraid they'd think that I was way ahead of myself and that I over-estimated my skills. All those were quickly disregarded when I joined the Junior Book Crew and learned that I should be who I am, and if I want something that much, I should actually act about it now to achieve it. 

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
I love meeting new people and reading a lot of different posts, learning a lot of things from each. I love how I can express my thoughts and to have people tell me that they understand me and know exactly what I'm talking about, it makes me really happy knowing I'm not the only one.

Which would you prefer: taking photographs, drawing, writing, dancing, or singing?
I guess, I'd rather dance. Odd answer, considering that I blog and all that. I guess it's because I don't have full confidence in my writing, I'm still learning how to take good photos on manual setting, and I can't draw or sing to save my life. Not that I'm implying that I'm a really good dancer, because I'm not. Even if I am a cheerleader and I'd spent about 5 years of my life as a gymnast and a few of my toddler years as a ballerina, I look incredibly awkward when I dance. I guess I chose it because I'd rather be embarrassed through my dance moves, rather than anything else.

What are three things that you did today?
Well, I woke up at 9:30 am and it's now 10:30, I haven't done much in an hour. I checked my Twitter and Facebook accounts for notifications. I spent a few good minutes on my Tumblr account, which came with a lovely surprise of 2 messages, and it's really cool because I rarely (actually never) get messages there. I also planned my schedule for today, which unfortunately consists of catching up on requirements and homework. 

What items do you usually bring in your bag?
I'm assuming you mean the bag I bring when I go out to the mall and such, so I usually bring my phone, my iPod Touch, my earphones, and my wallet. 

What do you want to be when you get older?
This is such a difficult question, because I haven't really figured it out yet. I'm torn between being a journalist who interviews personalities and travels around the world, a magazine editor who also gets to travel the world, a doctor (but I haven't made up my mind on my field of study), and maybe a kindergarten teacher. I'm really confused, but I guess I'll just see where high school takes me and hopefully by the time I graduate I would've already decided on it.

Do you have any favourite quotes? If yes, what are they?
"Wake up with no regrets"
"Be who you are, because nobody can be a better you"
"Things will get better in the end, if it's not better then it's not the end"
"Nothing worth having ever came easy" 

If you could do absolutely anything, what would you do?
If I could do anything right now, and I mean anything, I'd hop on a plane and get myself to America so I could see One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer live. If that's a bit too much, then I'd just like to have breakfast right now.

If there is one thing you’d want people to remember most about you, what would it be?
I've always wanted to make a great impact on others, hopefully an impact great enough so that they won't forget me even when I pass on. I guess I want to remembered as a girl who put others' happiness before hers and treasures all friendships and bonds she'd made.

{Image (c) Therese Santos}