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, January 30, 2012

#158 Children of Pulag

When we travel around our country, one of things we find in absolute abundance are young children. They are friendly, wide-eyed, and generally as curious of us as we are about them. It helps that our country's population is growing at its fastest clip in history. But we shoot them for a very simple reason: they are most willing to be photographed. 


We were on our way up to Mt. Pulag when we spotted a lone school house by the road. We quickly alighted from our jeepney and walked into a class in progress, introducing our ourselves and chatting up a storm with a most charming teacher. They don't get a lot of visitors like us, and we can't get more compelling photographs of our trips. That's Street Photography 101 when in the boondocks. Enjoy.
(Pixel-peepers: A group picture inside their dim classroom wasn't my idea of an environmental portrait, so we found a partially broken fence behind the schoolhouse where everyone can be in his/her own element.)

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, January 23, 2012

#157 Strawberry Vendors

Mention Baguio City and most people will tell you about the ripe red strawberries you can find in the market. But to get the freshest and choicest strawberries, you need to go to the source, to nearby La Trinidad in Benguet.


Surrounded by berry fields, you can eat at your heart's desire. Better yet, get on your knees to harvest your own, they are even fresher. But not a berry connoisseur myself I found something more interesting to do: wander along its fringes with a long lens to shoot the village life, much like a sniper. There's a lot going on here, primary of which are farmers gathering and packing strawberries for tourists like me. It's an art form of sorts, to select and arrange the berries for optimal appeal. The process is so consuming that few notice me picking-off their portraits in succession. Sometimes, you just have to go to the source. Enjoy.
(Pixel-peepers: Using a long lens at its maximum aperture, the narrow depth-of-field can isolate a single person from her background. She is tack sharp, surrounded by a background that gradually blurs away.  Delicious bokeh!)

Where in the world is La Trinidad, 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, January 16, 2012

#156 Vegetable Farmers


In La Trinidad in Benguet, farmers planted strawberries interspersed among vegetables. I was last here more than 20 years ago but found no special connection to the place, that is, until early this year.
You see, Birang and I knew this little girl awaiting adoption. She was queued to go to a childless couple in Benguet, vegetable farmers who had become sterile due to pesticide exposure. Now, finally getting parents of your own is better than having none at all, but we had prayed she would land on more favorable circumstances. But to grow up around pesticides? It was a tense moment. At the last minute, and by a stroke of destiny augmented by prayer, she ended up across the Pacific with this wonderful Filipino couple who loves her dearly. It was a very happy ending, one that almost included this place in Benguet where this postcard was taken. Enjoy.
(Pixel-peepers: The midday sun was beating down on these farmers. And on me. That's when I realized a good hat and a sweat-wicking balaclava can be worth their weight in gold. Don't leave home without them!)

Where in the world is La Trinidad, 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, January 9, 2012

#155 Veggie Supply Chain

Want to create more jobs? Eat more veggies. Say what?

If you live in Manila, chances are the vegetables you eat are grown in La Trinidad in Benguet. What will surprise you is how many people are involved in getting them to you.

It starts on the farm where farmers hire truckers to send their produce to the vegetable trading post in La Trinidad. From there a marketer sells the produce to buyers through a transaction conducted entirely in whispers! (On the left side of today's postcard, the marketer is wearing a green cap and the buyer sports a red scarf.)

When a sale is consummated, vegetable packers (on the van) pack the correct quantity into plastic bags and hand them over to the buyer's porter. The packers are paid by the number of kilograms packed. The porter is paid by the number of loads he carries to the buyer's truck. That's an entire job ecosystem there. Bet you didn't know you put so many people to work just by eating your veggies! Enjoy.

(Pixel peepers: When the brightness range between your subject and the background sky is too great, there is little choice but to allow the sky to blow-out. It helps if you limit the amount of blown-out sky shown in your composition.)

Where in the world is La Trinidad, 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, January 2, 2012

#154 Namumulot

Another way to make a living at harvest time?


When you don't own the field, or can't get any work harvesting it, you've got to find a way to share in the prosperity around you. That's when I spotted this farmer and his son, with a handful of rice stalks in hand, busily combing the barren fields at sunset, long after most everyone else had left for the day. 


What are you doing? 


He called himself a "namumulot", meaning someone who picks things up. They are picking up stray and forgotten stalks of rice in the field, given up for dead by harvesters before him. In a large field, given enough diligence, one can still pick off enough to cook a meal or two. One man's trash is clearly another's treasure, if only to illustrate what some rural folks have to do to get by. Enjoy.


(Pixel-peepers: Shooting in the golden light of sunset? The harshness of the light is made-up by the warm golden color it adds to our photographs.  It's a time of day when I'd rather be out shooting.)

Where in the world is San Jose, Mindoro?
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.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

#153 A New Year


The first day of the year is like no other. It's akin to standing in a comfortable shade while peering out into an open field lit by the first rays of the sun. Whatever was in the past year are still fresh, nestled in the shadows just behind you. And whatever will be in the future is still obscured by mist and haze, just over the horizon in front of you. 

For the introspective, today will be a day of reminiscence and hope.

Do I stay in the comfort of the shadows, in a past that I already know, and watch the new world go by? Or do I step into the light, take my place in the world, and allow my destiny to reveal itself? Enjoy.
(Pixel-peepers: Early morning in an open field, the light can be too harsh when you shoot from inside the shadows. Our camera sensors lack the range to record the brightest and darkest, that's why in situations like these you need to make a choice. Should I preserve the shadows and blow-out the sky? Or should I render the blue sky and clouds correctly and simply allow my main subject to go into silhouette? Either one can work, but unfortunately just like today's crossroad, not both! Happy New Year.)

Where in the world is San Jose, Mindoro?
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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