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, September 20, 2010

#85 Kaingin

Verdant Hills? Not! 

On the hard road to Tanudan in Kalinga our 4x4 stalled in knee-deep mud, again. It's yet another setback that eventually turned a 42 kilometer drive into a 6-hour ordeal. But heck it was an excellent excuse to walk off and shoot the scenic roadside. (I was shooting with ace wedding photographer Jerry Tieng that morning. The grin on his face confirmed my suspicion that he was the one who shifted his weight and got us stalled!

We walked back to this hill around a bend we had passed. The hill is overgrown in green but of the type that makes environmentalists cringe. It was "Kaingin-at-work", the indiscriminate slashing and burning in favor of agriculture. The problem doing it on a hillside is that the fertile top soil is washed away in the very next rainy season, and what used to be primary forest can't even support the crops that they were cleared to plant. So they just move on to the next hill... The biggest environmental threat isn't wastefulness or pollution, but poverty. Sad. Don't enjoy to much.

(Pixel-Peepers: The color balance of this photograph is off. The light from our vantage point was harsh and directionless, the hill itself appeared to be underneath a cloud's shadow. I didn't want the sky to completely wash out because it was nice and blue, but neither did I want to risk losing any contrast using a GND in the presence of very bright light. In the end, I elected to underexpose the grass-overgrown hill. Big mistake. At my desktop I tried to digitally recover the color tones, but in the process, lost the micro-contrast in the shadows. Maybe someone with real Photoshop skills can do a better job, but life's too short, when's the next shoot? 28mm at f/8.)

Where in the world is Tabuk in Kalinga?
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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 (, 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 of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

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