New stuff and new things to do

Here’s a good story.

When we moved to Australia three years ago, I brought with me an acoustic steel guitar I had owned for some 20 plus years. It looked a bit old and used up but it still sounded like a dream. I considered it a prized possession not just for its sound quality but because I had used it in countless recordings and a few shows.

Two weeks ago, I brought it to Bambam Music store in Blacktown to have it fixed since one of the supports inside the guitar seemed to have given way. They were to send the guitar to Maton Guitars, the original maker and would have it assessed and then they would call me for the cost. From there, I would give my consent to continue or not depending on the cost of repair.

Three days before I left Sydney for Manila, I got a call from Adam, the owner of Bambam’s informing me with great regret that the shipping people had mishandled my guitar and had broken it beyond repair. I was crushed, to say the least. He was apologetic and embarrassed. He invited me to go to the store so we could come to some agreement on how to compensate me for the loss. It was there that I saw a picture of the guitar in all its sorry brokeness!

To complicate matters, Adam was in a quandary as to how much to compensate me. When Adam asked Maton Guitars how much my guitar actually cost, they could not give a categorical answer since they had stopped making the model, and their records of twenty plus years back were all gone. Besides, they didn’t even use that type of wood anymore. I told Adam that I had bought the guitar for close to 2K AUD 20+ years back in the Philippines. Maton Guitars speculated that its equivalent now, considering the advances in technology, would be in the range of anywhere between 1300 to 1800 AUD. But then that was just a guess!

To make the story short, Adam added up the cost and threw in about 500 AUD for ‘sentimental value’ and gave me a brand new, great sounding 2,700 AUD guitar with hard case in exchange for 300 AUD which I added since that was the guitar that I liked the most in his store!

I felt so good that, 1) I had a new, great sounding guitar, and 2) that Adam was so easy and helpful in making this customer happy. The whole experience also affirmed my belief that this country I had moved into has a lot of good people.

* * *
Last Saturday, I ran my first Basic Photography workshop with 5 students in Sydney, and i was so happy that it turned out really well. I was surprised at how much knowledge I already accumulated about taking photos and the ease I had in communicating them to my students.

We covered a whole lot of material and I passed on some techniques and tips that should improve their shots a whole lot. They had a great time as we did exercises indoors, outdoors and inside my studio with a real live model while testing everything they learned hands-on.


Can’t wait to run more of these in Sydney, including new types of workshops for Songwriting, Performance and the like.

* * *

Meanwhile, back in Manila….

I will be running a more extensive Photography course here in Manila spread out in 6 sessions on May 14, 19, 21, 26, 27, 28. Here’s the description below:

“Join Mr. Jim Paredes as he shares his techniques about composition,
lighting, together with practical tips and a creative mindset that
will help you see with new eyes and capture beautiful images. He will
provide an environment for his students to break through creative
boundaries and deepen their photography skills with the ultimate goal
of creating more compelling photographs. This is a very hands-on

This workshop is designed to help you conquer technical barriers and
launch you into a new realm of creating great photographs. It is time
to take the plunge!”

This will be done in a new Photography School at The Fort. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Doranne Lim at

It will be A LOT of fun and worth your while. I promise.

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11 years ago

Argh. Why do these cool things happen when I’m just about ready to leave? First, TCU, and then now this?!

I may just have to send some students your way and learn vicariously. Is that allowed? 🙂

11 years ago

tsk, tsk, sayang naman your old guitar. pero, at least, they had it replaced naman. ganu’n din po kaya dito sa pilipinas? 🙂

Toti "Larry" Bautista
Toti "Larry" Bautista
11 years ago

Yes, I am happy that you now have a quality
replacement guitar. Though, a guitar with a lot of sentimental value is hard to replicate.
I liked the way it plays – great with .011 gauge strings.
Am enjoying the S.Dan CD. See you soon.

11 years ago

Hi Jim,

Sayang gusto ko sana magpa-enroll sa photography class mo…kaya lang May 28 pa ang balik ko ng Manila argh. Nde ba maeextend yun? kahit 1 or 2 days session lang 😀

Sana dumalaw ka naman dto sa HK, madami din dto Pinoy photographers, I’m sure magpapa-enroll din sila!

11 years ago

I really envy those who are able to join your classes. I wish there was someone like you here… all the courses you want to do, TCU, photography, songwriting, etc. naku I’d be more than happy to participate.

Do you plan to have distance learning by any chance? Diba cool kung mayroong online courses??? With webcams and all??? Masarap mangarap right?!? Asa ba ko? hehehe