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 ( Join this group to receive new postcards weekly or become a fan of my Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#39 A Modern Harvest

In the rural backroads of the Philippines, rice is still planted and harvested by hand. We expected to see rice stalks threshed by whipping the stalks against boards, metal screens, or wooden racks. Glistening sinews covered in sweat, as they manually beat the grain from their stalks, now that would have made a great photograph.... But not any more!

We woke up before the sun and headed towards Alaminos when sunrise found us in the town of Sta. Ignacia, Pangasinan. The morning sun had cast a warm golden color onto everything it touched, a perfect sweet light that makes photographs magical. To our delight, we chanced upon a group of men threshing their harvest by the roadside, amidst a scene painted in the colors reminiscent of Amorsolo.

But to our surprise, even the countryside has joined the 21st century! They had a gasoline-powered thresher that automatically blew off the stalks and deposited the grain neatly in sacks. No more half-naked men flexing their glistening muscles. Still, it was a lovely scene.

Were we disappointed not to have found the image in our minds? Not at all. Progress comes to all things and to all men. Had we come by 10 years ago, we might have found what we were looking for. But then we're glad we didn't wait to do this 10 years from now, who knows what else we would have missed? Enjoy.


  1. Hello Bobby,
    Such awesome photos. Makes me teary-eyed, these sceneries I took for granted while growing up, now I see them for the beauty they truly represent of our motherland.
    Maraming salamat - Aida(Hooksett, NH USA)

  2. Truly beautiful photos and stunning commentaries. I feel homesick already. Thanks for sharing your images of our beloved Philippines and your wonderful description of her beauty. Letty Romasanta Gonzalez (Victorville, CA USA)

  3. awesome... kanami nami gid... i hope you post din scenes from Negros and bacolod...

  4. all i can say is WOW! you take beautiful pictures and you make me prouder of Philippines.

    Btw, just curious..what camera do you use?

  5. Thank you very much for sharing your photos I did enjoy them so and shared them with others who also appreciated them! :)

  6. as though making a concession to the painter's bucolic scenes, the mechanized thresher is painted a deep unmistakeable amorsolo yellow. staring, i kept waiting for the farm hands to whip out a guitar and ease into a kundiman

  7. The whipping process can still be witnessed in very remote areas of the country. I was in fact able to capture it on photograph but unfortunately on a very low resolution digital camera 5 years ago but to see our farmers during this activity is just a golden experience. I like the first one best, but most of your shots are really breath-taking. How I wish I could travel with you...Best wishes...Alex M.

  8. "No more half-naked men flexing their glistening muscles." I was raised in Pangasinan and I don't recall them half-naked when threshing rice stalks. That's because rice chaff makes skin itchy. The half-nakedness are for chores like cutting logs, fetching water, fishing or carpentry.

    Still, thanks for these pictures. I just got really homesick =)

  9. Factual...still a most colorful and beautiful scene of life the way we knew it in the Philippines...way back then...thanks for sharing...

  10. Nice picture. I think Sta. Ignacia is in Tarlac.:-)

  11. Absolutely!

    Santa Ignacia is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Tarlac, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 43,560 people in 8,145 households.


  12. Thank you Bobby for making this simple and usual farmland scene highlighted to become one of your "masterpieces".

    Good thing you were able to come out from your citylife and explore the beauty of our provinces and discover that manual hand-threshing has been replaced by mechanical threshing more than 30 years ago.

    Keep it up! Your shots are HABIT FORMING!


  13. This is a scene I witness almost every harvest time at a family's farm...So rustic and I guess the gasoline powered machines are a great additions, makes life easier for them. Great photos!

  14. Great picture! Reminds me of the time toiling on our farm almost thirty years ago and yes we were already using this kind of machine powered by a diesel engine. Our bodies may not look buffed but sure can work all day in the humid, hot and dusty work environment.

  15. loves those blue skies, great job


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