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, May 30, 2011

#121 A Windswept Landscape



It's awfully windy up here and we're holding on to dear life. 

When combing the sights in Batanes, you inevitably find the grand Mahatao lighthouse, perched on the edge of an ocean bluff, overlooking the hills of Vayang and of its rugged coast.  The lighthouse is on my left. Between it and a ramshackle hut is a narrow corridor that channels the wind's fury through these reed fields. Flexible stalks flap violently with each oncoming gust, offering parallel and valuable lessons how to survive in life.  Those who learn to bend won't ever break. Grandpa Darwin believed it's the fittest and most adaptable that eventually survive. Not the fastest nor the prettiest, not the richest nor the smartest, but those who pull themselves up every time. Now we know why we're all still here! Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: Wind is invisible, until you find a way to catch it in the act. It was a very bright day so I attached a polarizer plus f/22 to get down to 0.3 seconds. That doesn't sound slow enough for what you see in this postcard, but the sheer intensity of  motion before me proved it was enough. In the background, private farmsteads are delineated by hedges from similar reeds. In the land of violent gusts, what else did you expect?) 

Where in the world is Batanes?
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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, May 23, 2011

#120 Cow Paradise



If I were a cow, a mere cow, destined to graze for the rest of my life, I can't think of a better place to be one than in the hills of Rakuh-e-Payaman in Batanes. It can't be beat. Fresh air and nice ocean views, abundant space and all the food I can eat growing around me... hey, and all my friends would be just nearby... they'd be cows just like me and there would be no need for Facebook!

But indeed if I were a cow, a mere cow, would I still be able to ponder my mortality the way I do during quiet moments in the day? Will I be able to remember all those that have gone before me, wondering if they miss me as much as I miss them, while waiting for my number to come up? Is there a cow heaven somewhere beyond the clouds above, where even more bovine bliss await? Ok, Ok, I get the point... however attractive it may be, to be merely a cow, it's not for everyone, specially those with too many questions in their head. But be glad because that means all my friends don't need to be cows anymore. See you on FB tonight. Enjoy.


(Pixel-peepers: When I spotted this bovine bunch basking in the sun, my first instinct was to get closer. But the wily terrain wasn't exactly friendly for the physically-average, so I opted for the longest lens in my arsenal. Speak softly but carry a big lens.) 

Where in the world is the Batanes?
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, May 16, 2011

#119 Boulder Beach


This is one of the most common compositions I've seen of Valugan Beach, yet I had to have one my own. Why? Because as I stood on its shores, savoring the cool sea breeze and the musty salt air, with the sun on my left and Mt. Iraya at my back, I found myself with a question stuck in my head: a scene with watermelon-sized rocks strewn along a deserted beach, how cometh thee?

Students of geology would have this to say: Take one active volcano, 2 parts hot lava flowing into the sea, 4 parts violent waves, and then pound, roll, and grind them against each other. Then continue for 500 years... until... da-da! ...it's the scene in our postcard today. How things cometh...the science is easy enough to understand. The real question probably isn't how, but rather why. And for that,  stare into the photograph and figure it out on your own. I'm just the messenger. Amen. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: To emphasize the boulders, I lowered my tripod to within a foot of the ground and selected a small enough aperture to keep the nearest boulder in focus. Then I metered off the brightest rocks which had turned golden from the light of the rising sun. I probably also had a GND filter to hold back the brighter sky. No Photoshop magic. Just the natural colors of creation.) 

Where in the world is the Batanes?
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, May 9, 2011

#118 Stop, Look, & Shoot



Serendipity can bear such wondrous gifts.

If there is a place along the Batanes coast where a photograph of a grand landscape can be had, the stretch of mountain road just past the town of Chanarian is certainly one of them. Just make sure you look back towards Mt. Iraya as you climb up that hill, or you'll miss it for sure.

We would have missed it ourselves if not for the beeping sound from text messages streaming into my phone. You see, the mobile phone signal along that side of the island was spotty. But as we climbed up the hill, our phones came to life. Anxious to make the most of this higher vantage point, we decided to stop awhile to download our mail. And that's when I looked backwards to see this wonderful scene staring back at me. What a thrill to discover a scene you didn't expect, quite by accident. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: We pulled over right before a blind curve on a cliff overlooking the sea, not the smartest place to stop. Aside from the danger of on-coming traffic, there was no space left on the edge of the cliff for me to plant my tripod! But safety first. I had the driver back away from the curve, and then stand at the corner to watch for on-coming traffic as I quickly took a series of shots. I probably left him wondering whether it was a safety issue or whether I just had to capture that grand view!)

Where in the world is the Batanes?
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, May 2, 2011

#117 Inclement Weather Photography



The best time to photograph Batanes is when the weather is bad and unpredictable. Why?

We're in Rakuh-e-Payaman in Batanes. It's a clearing-of-sorts atop a series of gently rolling hills on one end of the island. Here the wind blows with abandon, gasping to almost howling, under a grayish sky with an intermittent drizzle. Just like my vantage point, on the horizon is Mt. Iraya under a shadow cast by a canopy of fast-moving clouds. And every so often, sunlight would pierce through, momentarily lighting up the terra firma. These shafts create ripples of light that race across the shadowed landscape, lending character and drama, transforming a mediocre scene into something much more interesting. Now you don't get that effect when the weather is all nice and sunny! Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: When the light keeps changing, getting the right exposure can be a problem. The trick is to use a tripod, find your composition, and wait for the light to turn interesting. I took several shots but only a few were worthy. In Photography, patience can be more than just a virtue.) 

Where in the world is the Batanes?
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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