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, April 25, 2011

#116 Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars




When night fell, what was it like atop Mt. Pulag?

In near total darkness we followed a seemingly endless trail, winding up and down, around slope after slope, before finally sliding down a steep trail towards the dreaded Camp 3.  We didn't expect to trek past nightfall, but here we were, weary and hungry, with only our headlamps and a well worn trail coaxing us on. Visibility was barely beyond my feet, thanks to the bone-chilling fog that enveloped us after the sun set. We are in the middle of nowhere. I remember asking myself... what are you doing here Bobby? 

At camp, our tents stood waiting. After a cup of hot soup, some crackers, and light banter around our camp-stove, we were ready to hit the sack... until the fog suddenly lifted to reveal a sky peppered with an endless sea of stars. I stood there staring out in all directions, as far as my eyes could see, stunned that so much of the heavens above were hidden by light pollution back home. And the thick band of stars on the left-hand side of the photograph? That's the direction towards the center of the Milky Way, our own galaxy! If there was a priceless moment in the whole trip, this was it. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: A photograph, even using some of today's best technology, can't do the sky around here any justice. But still I had to try. With the help of ace travel photographer Noli Gabilo, I eked-out a photograph that captured the relatively faint stars while preserving the shadows around me. That's Baguio City glowing on the horizon. And special thanks to the curves command in CS4, the magic is complete.) 

Where in the world is the Mt. Pulag in Benguet?
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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, April 18, 2011

#115 Trek in Style

www.PostcardsFromManila.com



A fashion show? Atop Mt. Pulag? You don't say!

I was on my way down the slopes of Mt. Pulag in Benguet, trekking amidst the long shadows cast by the morning sun across the parched grassland. I had anticipated this scene during my trek up the trail a few days earlier, and planned to photograph it at sunrise on the morning of my descent. But as I was fine-tuning my composition, I noticed a bee-line of trekkers on the horizon. Those trekkers who climbed the summit this morning are on their way down... and they will walk right into my composition. How lovely. 

I scrambled up a nearby hill, much to the horror of my mountain guide. (Sorry, guests are expected to stay on the trail and not trample the grasslands unnecessarily. But hey this is absolutely necessary!) I waited for just the right moment when my composition came together. Click. Click. Click. It was an explosion of color in a most unlikely place. The North Face, Columbia Sportswear, and the usual suspects... branded gear decked from head-to-toe... right on the slopes of Mt. Pulag. It was a fashion show like I've never seen before. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: Within a textured landscape, the best time to find long shadows is when the sun is still low on the horizon. I have photographs taken moments earlier, with longer and even more dramatic shadows, but they lacked a human element. There is something about having a person or two in your photograph. After all, a landscape photograph without people is much like a forest without birds. Somehow you eventually notice something is missing.) 

Where in the world is the Mt. Pulag in Benguet?
Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
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, April 11, 2011

#114 The King




When you've conquered one of the highest mountains in the country, you can sit in any pose you want, even that of a king!

But people often aren't who they initially appear to be. That's Natorz my mountain guide within the Mt. Pulag Nature Park in Benguet. He's a 32 year-old vegetable farmer with a new wife and a 10-month old son.  He plants cabbages and carrots for a living, and sells them at P10/kg wholesale. But once a week he gets to guide a group of city folks through this mountain wonderland in exchange for a handsome wage. How handsome? About a week's worth of vegetable wages. He dreams of a regular job in the big city one day, but for now his world revolves around watching his vegetables grow. But for a brief moment this morning, he looked like the king of the hill. Now who could have known? Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: The golden hours reigned on Camp 3 and everything around us glowed from the crisp warm light of morn. I spotted Natorz first, but there was barely enough time to compose two shots before he quickly descended. "Do you want to climb up that hill, boss? The view is nice on the other side." Err.. who me? No thanks, my legs still hurt from that eight hour trek yesterday!) 

Where in the world is the Mt. Pulag in Benguet?
Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
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, April 4, 2011

#113 Race to the Top





The beauty of being an observer is that you can see what everyone else is doing, without being too busy doing it yourself.

I was on the slopes of Mt. Pulag, more specifically on my way down its slopes, at a time when everyone else was headed towards the top. Around me, it was pitch black with just a deep blue sky studded with an infinite twinkle of stars. On the slopes, over a hundred trekkers braved the cold, and the climb, to reach the summit before the sun crests. And as fate would have it, many followed alternate routes to the top, creating a spectacle that looked like a bunch of luminescent snakes crawling up a hill. Now would I have witnessed this if I had been busy scaling the summit myself? Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: This shot almost couldn't be made. But thanks to modern technology, with my shutter open for 30 seconds and f/2.8 on ISO 3200, I was able to capture just enough detail for Photoshop's Curve command to do the rest.) 

Where in the world is the Mt. Pulag in Benguet?
Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
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.)

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