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.

Monday, January 25, 2010

#51 The Hundred Islands

Haven't you had enough sunrises?.... I've often been asked...

We were on the shores of Alaminos in Pangasinan, waiting to capture the sunrise over the Hundred Islands National Park. Truth be told, no two sunrises look exactly the same. Cloud type, density, and formation are largely random, depending on the weather and the wind. The intensity and breadth of dawn colors can vary widely too, depending on the clarity of the sky, the moisture in the air, and even the season of the year. And the foregrounds that we love to anchor our shots with? It's always a thrill hunting them down, provided we've done our homework earlier.

I've been chasing the twilight hours for four years now this month, so its an anniversary of sorts. But it's been like an unquenchable thirst, a hunger hardly satiated. Truth be told, every sunrise for me is like Christmas-time: a reunion with an old friend who looks slightly different since the last time we met. Who can get enough of their friends? Enjoy.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

#50 Shadow Dancing

Do you feel lucky today?

Along the Pacific coast of Baler, in the province of Aurora, it was the last day of our safari. The weather hadn't been the greatest so we schemed to photograph a coastal dawn one last time.  Unfortunately, our guide brought us to a spot other than where we had planned to be. The orientation of the sunrise and the terrain of the landscape was unfamiliar, but it was too late to double back. We'll have to wing this one, we thought. 

It was still dark when we found our way to the sea. We scrambled to look for the usual things: rock formations, dead tree trunks along the shore, even water puddles, anything interesting to serve as a foreground to a dawn sky. But because we were unprepared, time became our enemy. Sunrise came quickly. And without a strong-enough foreground to anchor my compositions, I quit early.

Back on shore and looking out towards the sea, A silhouette formed by a row of coconut trees caught my eye.  It drew a diagonal line across a sky filled with drama and the light of a new day. It's an overused composition, but beggars can't be choosy. Wish me better luck next time. Enjoy. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

#49 Stalking the Dawn

How much of life is lost waiting?

We were in a place less travelled, in the seaside town of El Nido, yearning to catch one of the fabulous sunrises Palawan is known for. The morning tide was low, so we followed the receding water to its edge where we were eventually surrounded by beached seaweeds and the overwhelming fishy smell of the sea. We found a couple of boys on top of a huge rock. They would make a good silhouette. Oh why not? But wait...

Twilight photographers spend a lot of time waiting... that is, waiting for the light. We may get there before the sun, but nothing happens until the sun shows up. We may have pre-visualized what each opportunity afforded but we still have to wait, because nothing happens until we get the right light. It's only when the sun transforms the nether landscape can we do our part...  and then... and then it's done.

The chance to see night turn into day, in a place that was part of the sea just the night before, my heart still flutters re-living that moment. And the time lost waiting? Well, I think some things in life are well worth the wait. The boys in the photograph surely thought so. Do you? Enjoy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

#48 Island of Volcanoes

Now you see it, and now you won’t.

We were on a sand bar called White Island, off the coast of the town of Mambajao, on the volcanic island of Camiguin.  Now we all know that the Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands, right? But would that be at high or low tide? No kidding. Quite a number do disappear when the tide is high, and if you count sand bars as islands, White Island would be one of them.

Come summer and when the tide is low, this inviting strip of sand turns into a paradise by the sea, where enterprising locals build bamboo huts for vacationers and photographers. But at high tide much of the island returns to the sea, to refresh and rejuvenate itself, until the tides reverse. (This photograph was taken early one morning, when the misty clouds and volcanoes are still in slumber embrace.)

We were told that during the typhoon season, the waves would over-run the island and the bamboo structures will be blown-out to sea, returning the strip of sand to its pristine state, until next summer comes around.  An island that is refreshed with the tides, how’s that for a tourist attraction? Enjoy.

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