One of my favorite activity is watching sunset, and to do it at the tallest building in Ortigas is simply spectacular. Maybe I was just lucky to have a friend who’s father is working as an executive in that building. He invited me for a quick photo session before he leaves for abroad. Though we already secured a permit, there are still some circumstances that our shoot might not push thru like rain and strong winds.
I can say that I will do everything not to miss any good photo opportunity like this. Why? At the office, I filed an under time, I pretended that I am very sick and need to see a doctor for check-up. They didn’t know that the doctor is my camera and this beautiful view.
Where and When: Ortigas – February 16, 2010
Gears: Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-70mm + GND Filter
Settings: 18mm, 1 sec, f11, ISO 100
Whenever I feel my photography skills gets rusty because I haven’t touch my camera for a long time, I go out with my camera for a walk along Roxas Boulevard. I just shoot whatever subject that capture(s) my eyes. No high expectation that there will be beautiful sunset since it always disappoint me if there is none.
Cancelled out of town trip with my friends brought me to Aliwan Fiesta 2013. I was hesitant to watch and shoot because of the hot weather and I am not into festivals but since I live near the area and some friends will be there, I gave in.
Aliwan Fiesta is a yearly event that gathers different festivals of the Philippines. Organized by Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), its main objective is to showcase various Filipino culture and heritage in one event. Aliwan Fiesta is divided into three catergories: the Cultural Dance Contest, Float Parade and Reyna ng Aliwan Beauty Pageant.
Last Friday, I went to Pangasinan to visit my friends and shoot whatever subject possible. We planned on shooting penitents but no to avail. I guess this province is not famous for that tradition. After eating our lunch, we decided to scout the two area for sunset shooting, Babay Norte and Victoria. We choose the latter since its orientation is on the west side. Unfortunately, we were not blessed with good colors during the golden hours. For sure, we will go back here to complete our unfinished business, to capture the beauty of this place.
Where and When: Alaminos, Pangasinan – March 30, 2013
Gears: Nikon D7000 + Tokina 12-24mm + ND8 filter + GND filter
Settings: 12mm, 3 secs, f18, ISO 100
The first time I saw an actual crucifixion and flagellation was 2 years ago in Angeles City. It was during their first Siete Palabaras, a street play re-enactment of Seven Last Words. These are traditions in the Philippines during Holy Week that re-create the finals days and death of Jesus Christ.
I took this shot after the launched of PHL 360 at Pilipinas Heritage Library. It was the reflection of trees and big Philippine flag place at the center of Ayala Triangle Garden that caught my attention. For sure, the flag was placed in commemoration of 114th years Philippine Independence.
June 12, 1898, the independence and sovereignty of the Philippines from the colonial rule of Spain was proclaimed by General Emilio Aguinaldo and its supporters at the General’s ancestral home in Kawit, Cavite. The Act of the Declaration of Independence was modified by Apolinario Mabini because the original proclamation stated that the Philippines was under the protection of the United States of America. The struggle for independence continues because of the Treaty of Paris, which marks the start of Philippine-American war and the invasion of Japanese during 1942-1945. United States of America granted independence to the Philippines on July 4, 1646 because it corresponds to their Independence Day. It was observed up to 1962, until President Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential Proclamation, stating June12 as Philippine Independence Day.
I would like to think if our country is really independent now?
Where and When: Makati City – June 16, 2012
Gears: Panasonic Lumix LX5
Settings: 30mm, 1/4 secs, f2.2, ISO 400, 16:9 mode
During our last day in Boracay, we paid a short visit at Bulabog Beach which is located at the east side of the island. It might be not as impressive as White Beach at the opposite side, but makes up for being less busy and touristy. The beach features shady trees that provides a relaxing atmosphere for visitors.
Dumaguete is the capital of Negros Oriental. The name Dumaguete is actually derived from the word dumaguet / daggit, meaning to swoop or snatch, because centuries ago the town was constantly attacked by pirates.
It’s a university town because of the presence of different universities and colleges. The most popular is Silliman University, the first Protestant school in the country built in 1901 and was named after its founder, Dr. Horace B. Silliman.
Rizal Boulevard is one of the most famous landmarks in the province. Obviously, it was named after our National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. It has been said that he had a brief visit here before departing to Dapitan. For me, it has a resemblance of Roxas Boulevard in Manila Bay, only shorter but less noise and pollution.
At night, the boulevard fronting the old Silliman Hall turns into a native food market called Tempurahan. There are stalls that sell street foods like squid balls, kikiam, balut and a local fish meal called tempura. It got its name from the Japanese version because it is also deep fried and coated with batter. I enjoyed eating here because of the good local vibe.
Gears: Panasonic Lumix LX5
Settings: 24mm, 30 secs, f8, ISO 80, 16:9 mode
Puka Beach is located in Baranggay Yakap, northern part of Boracay island. It got its name from world-renowned Puka Shells that abound in the area. This is the result of the constant striking of rocks and sands with shells until it breaks because of the crashing of waves.
This beach is a contrast from the famous White Beach. Here, there are no structures and have less people. It is away from the bars and partying crowds, that is why the ambiance here is more serene. The sand is not as fine because of the crushed shells and corals but that add to the character of the Puka Beach.
It is already 2013; we survived the 365 roller coaster days of year 2012, including the so called doomsday of Mayan Calendar.
Travel and photography has been good to me the past year. I crossed out some of my travel destination in my bucket list and sold few photographs that helped me fund in upgrading my photography gears.
Baler, Aurora is famous for surfers because of the waves in Sabang Beach. For landscape photography enthusiast like me, Diguisit Bay is a must stop to shoot because of its rock formations. It is kilometer long beach made of white sands, crushed corals and huge rocks that serve as barrier to the strong waves of Pacific Ocean.
Where and When: Baler, Aurora – October 29, 2011
Gears: Nikon D80 + Tokina 12-24mm + ND8 filter + GND filter
Settings: 12mm, 5 secs, f10, ISO 100
It’s the time of year again when the city streets are decorated by dazzling lights and vendors selling colorful Parols, marking the start of Christmas Season. In Ayala Triangle Makati, there is an impressive display of lights accompanied by catchy Christmas tunes. Now on its 4th year, the Lights and Sound show has become more popular to Filipinos and foreign tourists, even Makati employees who want find comfort after work.
Balaring is a baranggay in Silay famous for its floating restaurants. These are bamboo huts that extends over the seaside acclaimed for their affordable sea foods. No wonder why locals and tourists come here for gastronomic experience.
Balaring is a break from Silay’s many preserved heritage houses. The most notable among these houses is Balay Negrense; the mansion of the eldest son of Yves Leopold Germain Gaston, a Frenchman who commercially produced the first cane sugar in the Philippines.
Where and When: Silay, Negros Occidental – August 24, 2008
Gears: Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-70mm + ND8 filter
Settings: 18mm, 8 secs, f8, ISO 100
I spent the day after my 30th birthday in a place where I least expected, Boracay. This beach is considered as one of the best in the world because of its pure powdery white white sand and perpetually clear turquoise waters, not to mention the good nightlife. Because of this, Boracay became the one the country’s top tourist destination among the foreign and local tourists. Even with its inviting characteristics, this place was not on my travel bucket list.
Holy week 2 years ago, I was dragged by my friends for a road trip. We left evening of Good Friday bound to Pangasinan. The plan was to shoot The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse on the rocky hill of Punta Piedra in Barangay Patar. We were clueless that the drive from Manila to Bolinao is longer than Baguio. Sleepy and tired, we decided to take a rest in one of the resorts in Patar. We choose Rock View Resort because of its name (inviting name for landscape photographers). I roamed along the beach and saw the rugged tidelands blanketed by sea waters because of high tide. The resort caretaker told us that the tidelands usually appear in the late afternoon with big waves crashing on it. We abandoned our original plan of shooting the lighthouse in favor of the promising seascape subject, we didn’t regret it.
Where and When: Bolinao, Pangasinan – April 3, 2010
Gears: Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-70mm + ND8 filter
Settings: 18mm, 8 secs, f8, ISO 100
Nothing to do last All Souls Day, I was invited by my friends on a road trip. Our destination was Payong Payong Point in Nasugbu, Batangas. It is approximately 88km via Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay Road from our meet up point in Alabang. “Payong” in our local dialect means umbrella, I don’t know where it got its name but this place is home to a huge iconic rock famous to landscape photographers.
The photo above was taken at Aplaya in Mig-ao, Iloilo. It was near our host’s house that is why we tried to capture the sunrise before heading to Guimaras. The sun didn’t shine gloriously but the early morning hours gave us a blue hue.
That trip was my trip of firsts. My first backpacking trip; first time I met my travel photography / blog idols, Ferdz Decena of Ironwulf.net & Oggie Ramos of Lagalog.com (and they allow me get to hitched in their Iloilo-Guimaras trip); and my first time to use a DSLR in a photo safari.
Where and When: Miag-ao, Iloilo – February 4, 2008
Photography Gears: Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-70mm
Settings: 18mm, 1/15sec, f13, ISO 100
I pass by The Manila Metropolitan Theater or The Met almost everyday. This grandiose theatre was designed by one of the the founding fathers of Philippine Architecture, Juan Arellano. The Met was inaugurated in 1931 and was almost ruined during World War II. Former First Lady Imelda Marcos rebuilt it in 1978. In 2010, it was re-opened with the help of the project “Save The Met”. Filipino rock band, Wolfgang held their concert here last year but now again deteriorated and decayed.
This shot was taken at Singapore’s highest rooftop bar, 1-Altitude. It is located at the 63rd floor of One Raffles Place Building which stands 282 meters. It offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the city. I had a hard time shooting because of the five-foot glass wall and tripod vibrations because of the loud sound system. I really don’t have plans to go here because of its party place atmosphere and the 25SGD cover charge. But since I had enough money saved by just eating at hawkers and staying at dorm type accommodation, I gave in.
Where and When: Singapore – March 3, 2012
Photography Gears: Nikon D80 + Tokina 12-24mm
Settings: 24mm, 2sec, f14, ISO 100
My trip back to Imugan was sort of a retreat. A good getaway from the busy city and my demanding work. For me, Imugan is a Shangri La, a rural farming town where cellphone signal and internet connections are limited. An ideal place to be disconnected to the digital world. Imugan is far from being a tourist destination and thank goodness that locals prefer it that way.
This shot was taken from Diplomat Hotel in Dominican Road, Baguio. I was supposed to shoot the abandoned hotel which is famous for being a haunted place but it is now under renovation. Its façade was obstructed by a truck and construction materials with workers going in and out of the building. Yes, I can still shoot but I already lost interest that it doesn’t look eerie anymore.
I just enjoyed the view and fresh air at the terrace where the big cross is located. From this point, you can have a good sight of Baguio City and the brightly colored houses of Quirino Hill from afar. It’s amazing how a hill can accommodate a large number of structures. I saw a similar kind of set-up in movies and magazines like Manarola in Italy where village with colorful houses is situated above the cliff; Pelourinho or “Pelo”, a world cultural centenary by UNESCO where the streets attractions are churches, shops, restaurants and pastel-hued buildings; Zacatecas in Mexico, a city located in a narrow valley with rows of colorful houses preserved over time to keep it authentic. My urge of traveling the globe to see these attractions is now gone because of the eye candy colorful houses of Quirino Hill in Baguio City as an alternative.
Where and When: Baguio City – October 7, 2012
Photography Gears: Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 70-300mm
Settings: 135mm, 1/500 sec, f8, ISO 100
Basilan has been notorious for bombings, kidnappings and insurgencies. Because of this reputation, tourists are advised to keep away from this province as their travel destination. Almost two years ago, I received an invite to visit Basilan. I didn’t think twice, I said yes right away. The feeling is more of an excitement than fear because that might be my only chance to visit this island province. I kept it as a secret from my family and friends because I don’t want them to worry.
This location is my usual last stop whenever I do Manila Photowalk. A more quite spot to watch sunset compare to Roxas Boulevard where the crowd and traffic are heavy. I always sit at the breakwater with my favorite cola, grilled hotdog and isaw, as I watch golden hours turn into dusk.
Manila Bay is famous for its sunset and sometimes I visualize what Manila Bay would look like when there is winter here in the Philippines.
Where and When: Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila – January 3, 2010
Photography Gears: Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-70mm
Settings: 18mm, 197 sec, f5.6, ISO 100
All I can remember was riding the LRT with Joel H. Garcia bound to Baclaran to meet Larry Monserate Piojo. Joel tagged me to join them in graduation photo shoot of pre-school kids of UCCP United Church of Cavite headed by Pastor Jeff Gatdula. It is my privilege to be with the 2 talented photographers I know and of course to meet the Pastor Jeff and help the church in my little own way.
Before the shoot, we were treated to a delicious breakfast in one of the panciteria at Cavite City Public Market. The market was beside the seashore so we decided to shoot a little. The coastal area is more of a fishing village with stilt houses. The scene is not new as our country is an archipelago and our coastline is 5th longest in the world.
With the recent flooding in Metro Manila due to typhoons and monsoon rains, a world-renowned urban planner proposed construction of stilt and floating houses in the flood prone areas in the country. Sounds uncontemporary but the idea is logical and relevant response to the global warming and climate change.
Where and When: Cavite City – March 14, 2009
Photography Gears: Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-70mm +ND8 filter
Settings: 70mm, 8.6 secs, f8, ISO 100