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.


Monday, September 27, 2010

#86 In the Foothills of Lubo


Sometimes the weather is just not your friend.

After a grueling 9 hour drive-and-trek to the Lubo terraces, in the town of Tanudan in Kalinga, we were greeted by a dawn sky shrouded in mist. It's an isolated community surrounded by its awesome terraces. We had imagined rice-laden fields glistening under the dawn's colors... but we missed harvest-time by a week and sunrise today was nearly colorless. A silhouette of the distant cordilleras was all I managed. Sigh. You win some, you lose some. We have to return. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: I actually have a better shot, with someone in the foreground trying to photograph the same scene, but it didn't have the silhouette of the distant mountain-range which I thought was an important element of my original composition. Choices...choices.)



Where in the world is Tanudan in Kalinga?

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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 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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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 13, 2010

#84 The View from Mt. Talama


















When you find yourself some place new, how do you decide where to shoot? Elementary Watson... just follow the water. Say that again? Follow the water.

When we get to a place for the first time, like in Tabuk in the province of Kalinga, one of the first questions we ask is if there is a river nearby. Why a river? You see, rivers occupy a special place in human society. That's where people live, fish, or farm their crops. It's also the gateway to travel in mountainous terrain. Interested in photographing the local lifestyle? Find a river and follow it. The locals, and how they live, will not be far behind. Enjoy.

(Pixel-Peepers: Rivers have a tendency to wind, and if get yourself to a high-enough vantage point, you will see exactly what that means. The best time to shoot a winding river is early in the morning, when there's still a little mist in the air and when the water reflects the sky above. Don't forget to take your polarizer off because those are the few times you want the water to reflect! 28mm at f/8.)






Where in the world is Tabuk in Kalinga?
Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly FREE
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 6, 2010

#83 Planting Rice

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Quick. The sun is about to set. Where should I point my camera? Anywhere but the sun! Huh?

We arrived in the city of Tabuk in Kalinga late in the afternoon.  Although we were exhausted from the trip we quickly changed into "full battle gear". The sun was about to set and we knew the light was going to be just wonderful. Photographing the setting sun is always an option, but just as it lights up the sky on its way down, it also lights up the rest of the land. Hurling its final rays across the landscape, where a lone farmer is planting rice in an open field, the color of the light can be absolutely golden. Ordinary colors can pop and sizzle like you've never seen them before! Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: Do you see all six dragonflies hovering over our lone farmer? I increased the size of this week's postcard by 20%, to 1,280 pixels on the long side. If you have a large high resolution monitor you'll see much MORE detail. Stare into the photograph long enough and you'll be transported into the scene, as if standing beside us as we raced to capture the fading light! Taken with my 180mm at f/4 to intentionally blur the background. Shutter speed? Fast enough to freeze them fluttering wings!)

Where in the world is Tabuk in Kalinga?
Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly FREE
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com



ERRATA: My postcard last week GRASS IS GREENER was inadvertently numbered #83, it should have been #82. My translation of the name of that barranggay Caliit-liitan was also incorrect. Here I quote my resident Pilipino language guru Me-an Ignacio (thanks!): Hmm, I think "Caliit-liitan" literally means, "in the very essence/fiber/molecule". As in "Ang tiwala sa Panginoon ay nasa kaliit-liitan ng aking pananampalataya" = "My trust in the Lord is in the very essence of my faith". Or another synonym is "pinakasulok" or "pinakamaliit na bahagi".


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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