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, June 14, 2010

#71 A Brackish Sea

Can a sea be brackish? Read on.

We were in Busuanga, Palawan, on a banca speeding towards Cayangan Lake on the island of Coron. Half an hour later found us in a lagoon at the foot of an imposing wall of limestone. Up a steep flight of steps, we eventually huffed-and-puffed our way to a look-out point with an expansive view of the islands. Then it's down a jagged trail until we descend onto the shores of an emerald-colored sea. Nice, very nice. And the brackish seawater? It's less than salty because of an an active underwater freshwater spring.

Cayangan is, after all, a sea lake completely enclosed by limestone cliffs. Along the water's edge, there's a faint echo that gently envelopes you, like whispering waves inside a seashell. And the water? The color is alive... my photographs fail... this place is enchanted... put it on your bucket list... Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: The air over Palawan is very clean so the light is clear and intense even on an overcast day. Inside a narrow lagoon where the light comes mainly from the top, high contrast zones can make exposure decisions difficult. Do I expose to hold back the bright sky? Or do I bring out the detail in the shadowed cliff faces? How about the water?

It usually depends on what you think is the most important subject of your photograph. I personally thought a successful photograph of Cayangan Lake must faithfully show the true emerald hue of its water... everything else is secondary. I took a reading off the most  intensely green part of the water... that would be my mid-tone. And the rest of the photograph? It's too easy to get overexposed skies and underexposed cliffs, until you realize the intensity and direction of the light is always changing under an overcast sky!  Patiently wait for better lighting conditions if you can, like when the sun is momentarily obscured by thick clouds or when a patch of low flying clouds reflect some light onto the cliffs. You will find those harsh lighting contrasts dramatically reduced, hopefully to a point where enough highlight and shadow detail is restored. Click. Enjoy.)

Past postcards at 
Say hello:


  1. Lovely photo! That lake is incredible and well worth the effort expended to get to it. :) Especially those waters so crystal clear you can see right down to the very deep bottom.

    How do you get the sky to show up in the photo and not just as white glare? I love taking snaps with my automatic camera (far from being a pro or anything, but I want to learn) and that's always my problem.

  2. whoa! cayangan! it was once recognized as the cleanest and greenest lake in the whole country. i really miss my hometown. im from coron, palawan.

  3. Always a pleasure to view your photos. Thanks for sharing. - glenn

  4. Bob, as always, your pictures inspire. So where is our next expedition?
    I am back from Europe and its time to go. When's the next long weekend?


  5. just gorgeous. sorry, i don't read what you type i just drool over the images.

  6. Fascinating information about a sea with an underwater freshwater spring. Though, of course, it's the fantastic color of the water that's truly amazing.

  7. You are the best! Every picture captures nature's best. If you remember I was the one who begged permission to use your photos in a website that I was developing and I thank you for that because I earned extra for my family for that. Right now I need again your permission with some of your pictures in palawan. Please I need the money for our children. Hope to hear from you:

  8. @guys, thanks.
    @Day, be my guest.



Blog Archive