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, October 31, 2011

#143 Resourceful Highlanders


What are those branches doing on that lady's back?

We've come to photograph harvest in the Hungduan Terraces in Ifugao. The folks here harvest their fields while still submerged in knee-deep water, so we couldn't step into the fields ourselves to take closer shots, all because of the love for dry socks. But from my vantage point I could see a broader view and that's when I noticed how resourceful these farmers really are.

To protect them from the searing rays of the sun, some of them resorted to attaching branches to their backs. Good one. Others formed hats out of bundled reeds. And still others re-purposed umbrellas into headgear. You have to admit these mountain folks wouldn't be tilling this land for thousands of years if they couldn't adapt. So much for city slickers and their love for dry sock. Enjoy.


(Pixel-peepers: The farmers were harvesting in a row, which made a great pattern for a composition. But a contrarian of a farmer decided she wanted to harvest at the near end of the field, frustrating my quest for a better composition. I tried several angles but this was the only one that worked.)

Where in the world is Hungduan in Ifugao?
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, October 24, 2011

#142 Writing's on the Wall



The writing's on the floor. Hey, don't you mean "the writing's on the wall"? Well yes, but unfortunately in today's postcard, the writing's really on the floor, on "a concrete slab of a floor" just to the bottom right-hand side of the photograph. But bear with me...

I awoke before sunrise and headed up the Hungduan Terraces towards a pregnant field awaiting harvest. My guide led me up the slopes along a narrow trail, most of which looked like the concrete path you see above. The light was absolutely golden, and in my trance and haste trying to catch every single scene, I forgot to clasp my waist pouch properly, and promptly dropped one of my rare prized lenses. I heard a spine-tingling thud and then saw my lens roll towards the slab's edge, towards a turbulent stream of rushing water about a meter below where I stood. Luckily, my guide lunged at & saved it just in time. Lesson learned? If you're not careful, it will cost you a big tip! Life goes on. Enjoy. 

(Pixel-peepers: Shooting in the direction of the sun can reduce the contrast of your photograph and cause lens flare, but what the heck, I had to remember that fateful spot for posterity.)

Where in the world is Hungduan in Ifugao?
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, October 17, 2011

#141 Hipongor, Himbotok, & Himvoto


Hipongor, Himbotok, & Himvoto... what do all these strange words mean?

On the road once again, from Hungduan to Banaue in the province of Ifugao, we passed a farmer balancing bunches of newly harvested rice on a bamboo pole. He was obviously stunned by the sudden attention of six cameras, but ultimately grateful that he was able to sell a couple of bunches that lightened his load.

The small towns around Hungduan and Banaue aren't that far from each other. Many are only a day or two by foot. Yet their language has evolved quite a bit for a people living so close. A bunch or bundle of rice is called either a hipongor, a himbotok, or a himvoto, depending on which town you lived. Similarly sounding but clearly different. Isn't it amazing how the evolution of language, and likely culture, can take place even among such nearby communities? Enjoy. 

(Pixel-peepers: A narrow depth-of-field helps isolate a subject from its background. Here I wanted to highlight the farmer's hand more than the bunches of rice he had been carrying, so I used a relatively narrow opening, possibly f/4.)

Where in the world is Hungduan in Ifugao?
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, October 10, 2011

#140 A Mother & Child



There are few subjects more universally heart-touching than that of a mother nursing her new-born child.

We were walking towards the town of Hapao in Hungduan when we chanced upon some makeshift homes by the side of the road. Some kids playing outside kept most of our cameras busy. But it was through an open window where we discovered the real deal. Inside one of the homes, a young mother is nursing her newly born child. She sat in front of another open window at the rear of the shack, looking alternately at her child and then into the terraces beyond. I don't know what she was thinking of at that very moment, but you can fill in the blanks. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: It pays to travel in good company, especially with others who are more situationally perceptive.  Special thanks to my shooting buddy RaulE for spotting this scene and letting me know before she closed that window!)


Where in the world is Hungduan in Ifugao?
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, October 3, 2011

#139 Light & Shadows


Sometimes, it’s the shadows that make a photograph.

We were exploring the slopes of the Hungduan terraces in Ifugao amidst fast-changing late afternoon light. The sun was about to set and the light had become directional, casting shadows onto what was previously a brightly lit landscape. The terraces took on an ominous, almost dramatic, mood compared to just minutes ago. I like to photograph at these moments because grand landscapes become dramatic landscapes. The random patterns of light and shadow adds character and imbues mood. We don’t often see a landscape lit this way, but that’s how you make unique photographs, by taking them under lighting conditions that can last only moments. Now you know. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: The precise exposure to match what your eyes see can be tricky because an automatic reading can fool your camera into over-exposure. You can take a spot-meter reading on your main subject, which in this case are the golden fields because their color must be absolutely true. Everything else will fall into place. Or you can simply bracket your shots, up to two stops below your meter reading, and simply choose the one that you recall to be correct.)


Where in the world is Hungduan in Ifugao?
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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