Stalking the most beautiful places in the Philippines


Welcome, welcome 'o weary traveler... from where do you cometh? Are you seeking new lands to conquer, perhaps planning a visit to the Philippines? Or are you simply feeling home-sick and hungry for photographs of home? Whatever, feel free to look or share. An adventure awaits.

I try to post new images weekly from my travels across this beautiful land. If you like what you see, please leave a comment or two. Or write me a note, I'd love to hear from where you cometh. Enjoy. Bobby (bobbyw59@yahoo.com) Join this group to receive new postcards weekly or become a fan of my Facebook page.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

#321 Believe


Sometimes, you just have to believe.

I was stalking dawn along the shallows just south of Legazpi City in Albay. I found my foreground object, a fishing boat moored just off the beach. Behind it, the sky had started to glow. An orange dawn soon began to overpower the blue pall that had reigned supreme. But the boat alone didn't appear to be a strong enough composition. I took an insurance shot, but knew it can only be second best. Should I change my vantage point? Do I have time? While debating with myself, someone walked into my composition, and in an instant completed my composition. When you're forced to start without a clear view of the end, do trust that things have a way of turning out just fine. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: Slightly overexpose for effect, or slightly underexpose for impact. The operative word here is... slightly. Go figure.)



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Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
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For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

#320 The Music of Angels



We were driving along a deserted mountain road... minding our own business... when the night sky suddenly exploded with the most awesome music of angels. (Pause.) Ok, that wasn't exactly the whole truth.

We were in Lubuagan in Kalinga, somewhere along the winding road between Tabuk in Kalinga and Bontoc in the Mountain Province. We drove out in the dead of the night... just to be at this point on the road at exactly this time... to stalk twilight. When we saw the moisture snuck into the valley below us, and the sparesly-clouded night sky that was clear all the way to the horizon, we knew the ingredients for something awesome was at hand. Enjoy. 

(Pixel-peepers: When you come face-to-face with a scene that makes your jaw drop to the ground, there is little time to change lenses or to whip out your filters. Just get your composition and exposure right. A rising sun has naturally warm tones. It'll take care of the colors.)


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Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

#319 Comrades in Light



When the sky bursts with the colors of fire and brimstone, it can overwhelm the senses, and eventually one's emotions. It helps to have a friend or two by your side, if only to share your awe and disbelief. It was just like that while exploring the unusual rock formations on Biri Island in Northern Samar.

Wandering across our country for the last 10 years... experiencing places unseen and meeting people unknown... had been one of the greatest gifts of a lifetime. I couldn't have enjoyed it more, or learned as much, without wanderlust friends in tow. Our trips were opportunities to photograph the beauty of our country... yet somehow... like the flap of a butterfly's wing or the expanding ripples in a pond... I suspect we all knew these trips were more about just taking pictures. To them I dedicate today's postcard. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: When the light-show begins, most instinctively rush towards front row seats. But every so often, consider the road less taken, or the scene least expected. Because someone's got to capture the bigger picture.)



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Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

#318 Chasing down a Dream


As a kid I'd seen photographs, even paintings of Mayon Volcano, with quaint rice fields and carabaos at its fore. I had always wondered if such a scene still existed, considering huge strides in population and progress since. But shortly after sunrise, while driving inland from the coast where we stalked dawn, we found exactly such a scene, and almost to the letter!

We were in the town of San Vicente, a short drive west of Tabaco City in Albay. The morning was still young, with its golden light splashed across the landscape. In the foreground a water buffalo was grazing near a freshly-harvested rice field. On the horizon, Mayon's northern slope, convoluted with gullies, betrayed her power within. It was just a dream, but I had chased it down. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: Retain the shadows in your photographs to make them more three dimensional. It helps when you shoot with the sun low on the horizon. Under-exposing slightly doesn't hurt either.)


Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, September 12, 2016

#317 Slumber Party


We were across the bay in Manito in Albay, southeast of the majestic Mount Mayon, searching for foregrounds worthy of her majesty. The goal was to photograph her from the north and the south, and then again from her east and her west. To see her in 360 degrees is to discover how life in these parts have come together around her.

The morning turned-out to be wet and muggy. Dark clouds on the horizon shut the sun down, enveloped the environs in a blue cocoon, and left us scrambling to bring at least one good photograph home. It helped that the silhouette of her perfect cone occasionally appeared, but never without a veil-of-a-cloud we wished would just go away. A strong wind was blowing from the east, and those mangrove seedlings in the foreground fluttered with each gust, just like kids dancing in a slumber party. It gave me an idea. Click. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: When there's not enough light to shoot handheld, your "second best friend" is your trusty tripod. It will allow long exposures that turn boring waves into a calm and silky sea. Anything  swaying in the wind becomes a motion-blur, a bonus! And your "best friend" during times like these? Lady Luck, of course. Because skills are over-rated!)

Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

#316 A Perfect Cone


The night was pitch-black save for a scattering of lights on the horizon. Mount Mayon is just above that row of lights, I was told. Yet it was still too dark to make anything out, not even a silhouette, so I pointed my camera in that general direction. Using the edge of the water to guide my composition, I leveled my horizon and set a timed-exposure based on experience. On my third try, the grand old dame popped-out from the evening sky, with its perfect cone in ostentatious display. The sight sent shivers all the way to my toes.

It had been a frustrating few days.  We drove around the base of Mount Mayon in Legazpi City, viewing it at different times of the day, and from different directions, mostly to find it obscured by low flying clouds. That we'd never see it's perfect cone this trip, the thought had crossed our minds more than once. But as in everything else in life, perseverance eventually pays off. And in this case, in spades. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: Even when it's not bright enough to see anything, a camera's digital sensor can collect enough light if the exposure is long enough. Fear not the dark.)


Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, March 28, 2016

#315 The Soul of a Place


In my travels, I'm always on the lookout for that one scene that captures the soul of a place. It can be a grand landscape, local folks at work, or portraits of real people. It's a bonus if I can capture two or more of these elements in a single photograph.

Still along the coast in Culasi in Antique, the sun was starting to set, bathing the landscape with a warm and romantic light. On the horizon I can see the sea on one side and the mountains on the other, the signature characteristic of this place. I can see fishing boats strewn everywhere, and in the distance, fishermen are pulling their nets to shore, all suggesting how they live off the sea here. Just then a bare-foot mother and child, in affectionate embrace and engaged in lively banter, walked past me and right into my composition. A gentle people who live off the sea in this beautiful place embraced by water and mountains. Click. Enjoy.

Pixel-peepers: Much had been written about photographing during the golden hours, where the warm sharp colors can make your pictures pop. It's showing every afternoon at a landscape near you, don't miss it.


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new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, March 21, 2016

#314 Tuba

I

Money doesn't grow on trees, but as we discovered, the next best thing does.

We were in Pandan in Antique, marveling at this grove of coconut trees dotting its shore, when this farmer climbed up a tree to harvest coconut wine, or Tuba. It's an apparently simple process. Instead of allowing the tree to flower and bear fruit, they cut the efflorescence and direct the sap into small bottles. Within a day, the bottles will fill with a sweet fermented liquid that pack a light alcoholic punch! If only they can do the same with money. Enjoy.

Pixel-peepers: I don't trust in-camera meters because they are easily fooled by the light, but when you're in a hurry, they actually don't do too badly.


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Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, March 14, 2016

#313 Cycle of Life


Everyone knows habitats are sustained by the evaporation & precipitation cycle of water, but seeing is believing. 

Along the coast in the town of Culasi in Antique, that cycle was at work. The distant clouds hugging the mountain slopes provide the humidity and rain that nourishes its primary forest cover, before collecting in mountain streams that eventually find its way to the sea. Along the way, the same water irrigate the rice fields we saw earlier, keep wide expanses of thick beach forests possible, before tip-toeing past mangroves and nipa groves along marshes that flush out to sea. Seeing is believing. Enjoy.

Pixel-peepers: The terrain of a landscape is revealed when it's lit by strong horizontal light. Luckily, that occurs twice a day: shortly after sunrise or just before sunset. It's worth the wait.


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Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, March 7, 2016

#312 One Day Tuyo





Most everyone loves dried fish, but here in Culasi in Antique, I discovered a special type few knew existed.

After joining other villagers in dragging a taksay net ashore, this woman immediately laid-out her share of the catch on a net-lined bamboo tray. She will water them with sea water, and then leave them to air dry overnight along the shore. A key difference in using just-caught fish is that their tiny stomachs will remain intact when dried, unlike traditional tuyo whose stomachs bursts open. And because the fish is fresh, with plain seawater as the only preservative, the final product isn't too salty, allowing more flavour notes to come out. They call them one-day tuyo. Hunt some down and give it a try. A very clean taste. Enjoy.

Pixel-peepers:  To separate your main subject from a cluttered background, try to use the largest aperture opening on your lens. It will direct the viewer's eyes to where you want them to focus.


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new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, February 29, 2016

#311 Boats of Wood


I recently started to collect native trees, both in an effort to understand why many are under the imminent threat of extinction in the wild, and to do my share in preserving specimens for future generations.

We were documenting the lifestyle of folks along the coast in San Jose in Antique, minding our own business, when we chanced upon this master boat builder at work. With my new eyes and interest in native trees, the type of wood he used for each part of the boat naturally piqued my curiosity. The massive keel is made from half of a huge Antipolo tree's trunk, a relatively soft wood. The ribs jutting out of the keel are mahogany. The horizontal top beam securing all these mahogany ribs together is a single piece of White Lauan, selected for its strength and unusually long length. And the boat's stern is cut from one of the hardest woods available here, the trunk of a full-grown Kaimito tree. Each type of wood had been selected for the properties important for a boat. Naturally. Let's just hope they've been harvested in a sustainable manner. Enjoy.

Pixel-peepers: We spotted them at work shortly after sunset, but it was too dark to achieve a photograph of substance. When the light is less than ideal, you just have to come back to do the story justice.


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Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, February 22, 2016

#310 A Picturesque Harvest


On the outskirts of San Jose in Antique, we found farmers busy threshing the rice they harvested. Threshing is mechanized in these parts, a welcome dose of progress, not unlike many other places in our country.

In our travels, we spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out what folks do for a living and how they fit into the bigger picture. When they are involved in food production, we try to understand where they belong in the supply chains that eventually bring food to our urban plates. What we didn't expect was for them to be surrounded with such a beautiful landscape, with seemingly manicured hills on one side and the deep blue sea on the other. Somehow, we thought it made food produced here tastier. Joke. Enjoy.

Pixel-peepers: Our main subject was folks at work, but the landscape in the background was too stunning to ignore. On a cloud-filled day when the sun's rays race across the landscape, the sun lit them up intermittently. The secret to exposing both the foreground and background correctly was simply to wait for the moment the sun lit them up at the same time! Even in photography, patience is a virtue.



Sign-up
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new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

#309 Taksay at Dusk


Heave... Heave... Heave...

Much like many other places in our country where the coastline is shallow, fishermen carefully lower a long floating net in a circular arc across the bay. A team of villagers would then slowly heave both ends of the long net until it is completely pulled ashore. This is called Taksay here in Antique, aptly named after the net that is used.

In Culasi in Antique, up to 10 teams work the shore every day. On good days, they'll fill up to 7 pails of small fish. This evening, most teams collected only five each. Not too shabby for a few hours work. Life is simple here. And they will be back at it tomorrow. Enjoy.

Pixel-peepers: When it isn't bright enough to take a photograph, try switching vantage points and shoot directly into the light, rendering your subjects as silhouettes.



Sign-up
 to receive 
new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

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