okay, i've had this thread running on my head for a while now. i've been in the US for four and a half months, just going around, travelling, meeting new people, taking photographs, and along the way, i met some amazing people, and of course, the Ayala household is at the tippy-top. i knew G some 2-3 years, now. we got in touch via this forum, in the real street thread (i think). i was curious to know if he was a Filipino, so i PM'd him and as they say, the rest is history. he took me under his "teaching", it was never formal, we never spoke of anything that he'll teach me something, nor was it just a photobuddy. i knew he was somebody who believes in my photography; somebody who has the skills, knowledge, and experience to teach me things i didn't even know i can do. he even went to the extent of sponsoring my website, taught me a lot of things, became my photo critique, and one of the few people i know who wont bull**** me when it comes to my photography, simply because he wants results and he knows the results he's looking for. and the "relationship" didnt stop at photography, i've learned a bunch of life lessons, he guided me through decisions, gave me incites about the pros and cons of my actions and its subsequent effects. and when i was asked if i wanted to go to the US, the first person i told/asked about it was G. i knew it was a chance for me to meet him, learn more about him and who else can show me around LA like an LA Times photographer can? we drove from San Jose, CA to La Mirada in some 359mi, and there, i met the beautiful Mary Lou. always smiling, always friendly, and always on the lighter side of things. we spent my first night staying home for a wonderful dinner, the home made Salsa, was the BEST i've ever had. the next day, was another fantastic meal, Phillipe's. we drove around, ate a lot, took a lot of pictures, and in my book, one of the best experiences i'll ever cherish. as i write this, the only thing that keeps popping on my head is, i'm going back home to Manila in a few weeks, spend Christmas with my family, attend to my relatives' need in the typhoon hit region of the PI, and early next year, go travel somewhere new. this has been, no doubt, one of the best times of my life. possibly THE best, and i hope i'll have another chance to meet the family. i'd like to thank Gary, for everything that he has done for me, you keep on saying that you didn't really teach me anything, that you cant teach me what you know, but believe me when i say, i've learned so much and became a better photographer. the Gary Ayala experience by adubo., on Flickr I'd like to thank Mary Lou, for welcoming me to your home, taking me in as if i'm no stranger and the experience wouldn't be complete without you. the Gary Ayala experience by adubo., on Flickr special thanks to cookie! if there was a dog who idolized Ghandi, that's cookie. calm as a cucumber! the Gary Ayala experience by adubo., on Flickr some images that I took maraming salamat Gary, the experience is over whelming and will always be cherished.