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The Motherland

Have you ever seen that "Master of None" episode where Dev and Brian discuss their heritage and their parents upbringing? That episode is a perfect representation of how I've always felt growing up. I am Filipino, yet so much has been unknown to me about my own heritage, about being Filipino. Growing up I never took the time to learn about where my parents are from, it was never a real priority as a kid. I never knew how my parents grew up and their entire journey of how they got to the United States. Yeah I've heard bits and pieces and different stories about them and the Philippines as a whole, but I feel like I've always taken my parents for granted and what they've accomplished in their lives. I feel like as normal human beings living our own lives we all take our parents for granted in some sort of fashion. How well do we really know our parents? I know that my parents are from the Philippines, but to be blatantly honest, I really know nothing about the Philippines. I've always had our famous Filipino pride but what does that really mean??  For so long it has always been on my list to travel to my parents' homeland and in February of this year all the cards aligned. Timing, finances, work, just everything lined up and my girlfriend and I were blessed to make the journey all the way around the world to the Motherland of the Philippines. In the next few weeks I'll be posting our journey and trek all the way across the world. Follow along on the blog and subscribe!

Welcome Back
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It's been just about two years since I last posted here on the blog, so welcome if you're new to the site and welcome back to all the rest of you. A lot has happened both personally and professionally over the last few years. I have a lot to catch up on. I've taken thousands and thousands of pictures of different people, amazing cities and scenery, and a wide array of events and experiences. I've traveled to different places all over the US and even traveled across the globe. I have had the privilege to work for a variety of clients as well as collaborate with a bunch of talented models and different creatives. My photography has seen it's up and downs, creative ruts and creative peaks, but I feel like I'm in a good groove currently. My home and work life is in a good balance and I'm excited to get back to sharing here on the blog. Personally, I've dealt with a lot of trials and tribulations but at the same time I've got the chance to develop new and old relationships. Even though I’ve had to say goodbye to some of those old relationships, the ones I have made since then have been life changing. My relationship with God is at the forefront. I thank Him everyday and I trust in His plan that He has for me. I wouldn't be here writing this if it weren't for Him. I'm right where I'm supposed to be in my life both personally and professionally and I wouldn't change a thing; it's absolutely incredible.

In the past the blog has just been for portraits and music, but from here on out I'll be posting more of the events I cover, all the travels I'm blessed to partake in, and continue to post more portraits and collaborations, posting more consistently and hopefully not going on another 2 year hiatus. On Instagram I launched another account @rmp_photo to focus on landscape and travel photography. My @ricomarcelophotography account is still the main account focusing on portraiture. Not quite sure how I'm going to incorporate all of my event and music photography on Instagram, but right now all those genres are mainly posted on my Facebook page at @ricomarcelophotography and on IG stories. So go follow on all social platforms, watch my stories and highlights and go like, comment and share. For a look into my personal Instagram follow me at @hollaatyoboyrico

Facebook: @ricomarcelophotography

Instagram: @ricomarcelophotography @rmp_photo @hollaatyoboyrico

Hope you subscribe to the blog and follow along. Thanks!

Vigilante Coffee Company

Stopped by Hyattsville, Maryland on my way back from Baltimore the other week to see the homie Chris Vigilante's Coffee empire! Vigilante Coffee Company first started back in 2012 in a Washington DC rowhouse basement; Vigilante has now found it's permanent home in Hyattsville, MD, about 30 minutes right outside the city. It was my first time actually stopping by the homebase, I've always heard amazing things for years, but I was super stoked I finally got to experience it first hand.

The setup was so dope with just a open clean look and relaxed atmosphere. When I pulled up, their dog Harold was roaming the cafe freely and Chris was skating around the front of the building, definitely not your typical coffee house. I got to sit with Chris and his fiancé Ashley and they were probably the coolest people I've gotten to talk with, they just had a chill vibe and positive energy and positive outlook on everything. They were so humble and hospitable as they got me a couple different drinks on the house. The first drink I had was called Tchembe. It was a Japanese Iced Pour over a Natural Processed Ethipoian Coffee. It was fruity and floral and just refreshing for the beautiful sunny spring day. The second drink I had was a traditional hot coffee, a Kenyan Gitura, it was bright with a little sweetness. Chris made me drink it black, I usually have my coffee with a flavored creamer and sugar, but straight up black was delicious and refreshing. I was definitely caffeinated after drinking all these. The awesome coffee was matched with even better company, it was just an awesome experience. 

If you're in the Northern Virginia area or lower Maryland area, Vigilante is a definite must have. Chris was nice enough to send me off with a fresh bag of Ethiopian roast for the crib. It was great to catch up and see all the amazing success and hard work in person. Hope to visit again soon!

Go check them out on the Web: Vigilante Coffee Company

Cowboy Star | San Diego
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We had the pleasure of dining at Cowboy Star, located in the East Village neighborhood of San Diego. Chef de Cuisine Chris Osborne was kind enough to invite us to dine and take pictures; he hooked us up with a great spot at the Chef's counter where we were up front of the wide open show kitchen. This was one of the best dining experiences I've ever had in my life. The experience was one of a kind. The dining room had a cool fine dining feel but not stuffy, very modern and sleek. The service was excellent. The drinks were imaginative and beautifully presented. And last but not least, the food was amazing. Each dish, whatever course it be, was a work of art. The food was spot on, bold and surprising flavors, delicious textures, and perfectly seasoned everything. In no way are we a food blogger or even a food photographer here at ricomarcelo.com but this meal was so good it had to be shared. I watch enough Top Chef and food network, so hopefully it sounds like I know what I'm talking about, lol. 

For apps we started with Roasted Seasonal Mushrooms with a chicken liver sauce, caramelized fennel, tangerine and mushroom stock. The mushrooms were decadent and each bite was as flavorful as the last. The Steamed Mussels with braised kale, fennel, and bacon were so clean and bright, I wanted to have a whole cup of broth it came in and just sip right from the bowl. Chef surprised us with two intermezzo courses. First we tried the Fried Wagyu Beef Tongue, it was beautifully presented over a yam puree and adobo sauce. I'm not that adventurous when it comes to trying new things, but this was just a tasty dish, a little in my head that it's a beef tongue but it was great tasting nonetheless. He brought out next a rustic looking plate of Heirloom Carrots with burrata ice cream, marinated cucumber, cilantro chimchurri, and hen cracklins. Everything worked, the sweet and savory of the cheese ice cream and the earthiness of the carrots was a combination I thought I would never have, the different temperature and textures wowed the palette. 

The entree courses were next. We had the Pan Roasted Sea Bass with broccoli risotto, asparagus and radish. This was the most beautiful plate of food I've ever seen, the colors were vivid and plating was an absolute masterpiece. This was probably the best piece of fish of fish I've ever eaten. The risotto was creamy, the asparagus was fresh; the whole dish ate light, it was a perfect spring/summer dish. The Wagyu Skirt Steak was to die for, perfectly cooked med rare and the seasoning was spot on. It was served over broccolini and the most creamiest mashed potatoes I've ever had in my life. 

We really didn't have room for dessert but we were just admiring all the beautiful dishes the pastry chef was producing the entire night, of course we had to try. We tried 2 dishes, the Beet Brownie and the Chocolate Bread Pudding. The beet brownie was rich with the beet flavor shining through and the bread pudding was moist and airy. These were a fitting end to an absolute masterpiece of a meal. 

Thanks Chef! Check out their website here: http://www.thecowboystar.com/

 

Baltimore | Monday Night 04.27.15

Soooo we came up for the O's game on Monday night, talk about picking the wrong day to visit Ryan in Baltimore. Here's a couple of shots. Wish we were a little closer to the action to get some more pics, but very very thankful that we weren't. The city had an ominous feeling to it; the city was empty, cold, and was deafening with the sounds of sirens and alarms the entire night. What an experience to say the least. Pray for Baltimore.