Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nearing the journey's end

After a series of developments and epiphanies, I'm contemplating on either putting this and my other blog in hibernation or altogether write 30. I really have no idea how many people actually read this blog but I hope it has reached a few and inspired them. Thank you.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Of Aswangs, Tiyanaks and Mananambals

It didn't occur to me until today that our trip to Dumaguete-Ssiquijor coincides with all souls' day. Not that I'm scared or anything. In fact, I look forward to it, especially the night shoots, hehehe, especially since my Moleskine planner says there's a quarter moon on Nov. 1. Nope, I didn't grow up with on trick or treating but rather on tales of mambabarangs, aswangs, tiyanaks and other creatures of local folklore. Everytime I tell people I'm going to Siquijor, they just always ask, totoo ba ang kulam? Totoo ba ang mga mambabarang o mananambal (as they call them in Siquijor).I 'm not about to say they're true although I'm not inclined to say they're false either.I 've had many experiences with the supernatural but I'd rather keep them to myself. Image of the Salagdoong Forest in Siquijor

Sail away

Apologies to Enya for borrowing the famous line from her song "Orinoco flow." Here's what happens when a Lagalag is forced to stay put -- itchy feet, itchy fingers, restless and wandering mind. It's two weeks and counting towards my Dumaguete-Siquijor trip.U ntil then, I can only look at my captures and wander.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Desktop free view

Didn't know that Ironwulf tagged me like a month ago pa. Anyway, better later than never, hahaha. Here's my desktop view. Good thing I cleaned up a week ago but honestly, even the desktop of my Mac at home is relatively clutter-free (sayang ang scenic views).I  use my own trip photos as my wallpaper and screensaver for my Mac and celfone kasi.I  mean why feature the photos or works of other artists when I can personalize my stations with my own? 


My Desktop Free View Instruction:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.

You can do a screen capture by: [1] Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key). [2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V). [3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.
B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.
C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.
D. Add your name to this list of Free Viewers with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.

List of people who have participated so far:

iRonnie - I Set No Corner | Thess - Thesserie | Rebecca - Skippy Heart | Knoizki - A Dialogue With K | Dicey - Dice Six | Pao - Lifelog Beng Hafner - Kauderwelsch | Bluepanjeet - OTWOMD | Melai - Manilenya | Kofi - 3 Shots Of Espresso | Marni - Midori-X | Nika - Clay Pots and Wooden Spoons Marie - Vanidosa | Girlie - Hip n Cool Momma | KK - My Good Finds | Francine - Chez Francine | Sardonicnell - Tales of A Melodramatic Moron | Azrael - AZRAELMauri - MAURISM | Emmyrose - Just Let Go | Kristine - The Mind of a Kristine Sendy | Tere - Journey in Life | JP aka Elmo - Ako si Eagleman! | Lotis - In a class by itself Mindy - MindyTV’s Home | Caroline - Gagiers Striking Zone | Jojie - Spontaneity | Jeangr3y - Letters From The Soul | Kristine - All In My Head | Rhapsody - Rhapsody Yenny - Me and Mine | Krisa - POINT & CLICK | Kengkay - Kwentong Kengkay | Taroogs - Taragis | Weng - Munchkin Mommy | Bursky - At wit’s end| Lutchi - My Two Cents Worth| Stel - Baby Rambutan | Jenny - My 3 boys and I | Cheh - Moderately Confused Pinay in Deutschland | ZouL1380 - ZouL1380 | Katherine - Underneath | JP - I Digress | Jenny - Wandering Thoughts | Rho - RhoRho’s Flow |Sofie-Sehdi | Pikey - Simple Tofu | Sha -Shalimar | Oggie - Lagalog


Oh, most of the bloggers I know are in rest mode. Wish I can tag somebody else.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On Assignment: Palawan (an overdue post)

It’s been like over a month and a half since ive been lucky enough to be chosen by DPP Magazine for an out-of-town photo assignment in Coron. I haven’t blogged about it in detail, partly because much of the trip details are still hush-hush. But I think it’s more about the pictures that should be kept under wraps. Methinks I should write about it now before I totally forget what transpired during our trip. So here goes...

OA Palawan - Day 1: Rainy day at Kayangan

We left Manila on a Sunday, the 25th of August.T he trip started on a funny note for Glenn and I. We thought we were in the domestic airport early and waited an hour for the others to arrive. Only to find out Norman, Dave and Jerry were all there inside. hahaha. 

After a relatively short and smooth flight, we were in Busuanga. Ahhh, the smell of fresh air is invigorating. Pagsakay ng jeep, Jerry and I decided to topload. The road was rough in a lot of places but the view is nice, the breeze refreshing.

After checking in at Darayonan Lodge, the biggest (I think) in Coron, we immediately jumped on the chance to venture to Kayangan Lake. The weather was far from cooperative, with intermittent rains and very cloudy conditions. At this point, I’m getting apprehensive whether I can get decent shots of the limestone formations as we pass by. We had lunch on the boat at kayangan lake where the guys obliged to a dip. what the heck, we were a bit wet anyway when the rains fell while we were at the lake's vantage point.

One of us nearly lost his tripod, leaving it on the tricycle on the way to the pantalan. But thank God, and as a testament to the honesty of the Palaweños, an urgent text message to the driver brought it back.

Had dinner with the guys at a karinderia and went home to rest a bit early. We have a long day ahead the next day. Lucky me, when the guys asked around who snores, I was honest to admit I do, hahaha – I got a double room all to myself (since Nino C., DPP’s affable technical editor wasn’t able to join us).

OA Palawan - Day 2: Wild on Calauit

Waking up at 2.30am, we tried shooting a decent piece of sunrise, stopping along the way to the jump-off point for Calauit. No dice. The sky didn’t look promising when we boarded a small boat for calauit.B ut not after a 3.5-4 hour drive over rough terrain and several creeks that made me wonder how our rented Starex van can still run. 

It almost looked like it’s going to rain but we got a reprieve as the rains waited until we were able to tour and shoot. Our amiable and knowledgeable guides told us about Ilultuk bay and going up the mountain, We saw promise in the expansive mangrove bay and rugged shoreline.

We decided to wait for the sunset at Ilultuk bay; after all, the squall turned into one mighty thunderstorm which allowed us to rest. Good thing the caretakers had provisions since we were originally set to stay only a few hours and didn’t bring food with us. It was quite surreal to nap in one of the open air huts surrounded by this wildlife and flora.

Going back to Coron, we find much of the town plunged in darkness as the generating plant had technical problems. With the fiesta of Coron town proper coming up, the power was channeled for the festivities.B eing able to eat kamayan-style in Salvacion at around 9pm was a big relief and a real treat, with seafood, danggit and bagoong.

I wasn’t able to sleep on the trip back home and marveled at Jerry’s decision to bring his pillow along. The guy was sound asleep most of the way. Of course, the sandman came as quick as soon as I hit the sack. Image: Calamian Mouse Deer, one of only three of its kind in the world; this one is endemic to Palawan, taken at the Calauit Sanctuary

OA Palawan - Day 3: Fiesta and night shoot

Ahhh, the luxury of waking up a bit later. we were covering the town fiesta and maybe, mother nature heard the townspeople’s collective prayers – it was a sunny morning. What a time to miss out on Kayangan. So after lunch, the team decided to go back to kayangan.B ut guess what? The weather turned foul again. Oh well, it’s the habagat season. Only Norman and I decided to hike up the vantage point again since the low tide means the banca will have to stay away from the shore. good thing I have my drybag always in my camera bag. 

Having passed by the white sand Banol Beach, we ended up at Pinnacle Point near sunset time. It’s the season when the sea urchins are really aplenty and in the gathering darkness, it was increasingly difficult to wade safely. Good thing I always have my headlamp with me, again in the camera bag. Dave D. said succinctly, for all the camera gears we have, they’re useless in the darkness.

Coming back to the town proper, the fiesta is still in full swing, with videoke singing that reverberates across the nearby rock formations, an all-night disco at the town hall, drinking and perya. Seair and Sony-Ericsson hosted a farewell dinner for us that night (a relief since my cash was running low). Almost called it a night but decided to explore the pantalan and Lambingan Bridge/boardwalk for some night shooting. Also bumped into team leader Norman at Lambingan (after all, he’s the night shooter in the group).S aying rin kasi if I just sleep this night away – the final evening of our trip. True enough, I walked away with some keepers.

OA Palawan - Day 4: Going home

We tried shooting Lambingan bridge at sunrise. Again, no luck. after 30 minutes, the light rain became a downpour. But not after I shot some bluesy/stormy keepers I’m really happy about. As a welcome surprise, I got an overseas call from Donna (Samonte), one of my DPP buddies who was hiking the Grand Canyon by herself. 

The rains made me change my plans with regards to climbing Mt. Tapyas for a commanding view of Coron Bay. Even if the guys weren’t really hot about the idea, I was really set on it. But Mother Nature had other plans, so I decided to catch about two hours more of sleep. Then I wandered to the nearby Village Café and Lodge, owned by the sibling of Darayonan’s owner. With much time to spare, I made friends with Ma’am Letty (Fernandez) whom I find to be ma-kuwento and mabait, contrary to notions that she’s very, very strict.

After lunch, we decided to sneak in a little detour on our way to the Busuanga airport. The sun was more cooperative now so we had many stops along the way. Even made acquaintance with Estella, the owner of the souvenir shop just outside the airport.I  learned quite a lot from her, and as a token of her kindness, I got free kasuy sweets to take home. Wow, ang bait talaga ng mga taga-Coron. I wish I can visit again soon.

Just as expected, umaraw on our flight back home, with a glorious sunset in the horizon. My teammates were knocking themselves over, taking turns to get a better vantage point in the LET-19 seater plane but I resigned myself with just a few shots. God willing, I will go back to explore more of Palawan in the amihan season.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rhythm & blues

Ahhh, the thought of not shooting anything for like a month or so is getting into me. Good thing I can keep referring back to my Coron and Cotabato stash for gems I must have missed.

This picture of little boy blue is one of them.A t times, I just survey the scene and shoot away. I must admit, working in advertising all these years and seeing all these visuals must have trained my eyes to immediately see patterns and shapes. Times like these, I'm really thankful for having been introduced to photography a few years ago (much of the credit goes to Dindin, but of course). Seeing the images can make me relive the experience without leaving my chair. And I wouldn't want to bore whoever reads this blog with thousands of words without seeing a picture. Enough said.

Monday, October 8, 2007

3 weeks and counting

My feet itches. my hands are raring to shoot. Believe me, I'm raring to go on a break again. I'm counting down the days to my next foto trip, a return trip to Siquijor with an overnight stay in Dumaguete. For the time being, I'm digging deeper into my Palawan and Lake Sebu stash to see whether I still have hidden gems. Here's another image to tide me over until my next trip, the swamp scene at Lake Seloton, Lake Sebu, Cotabato.

Refreshment, anyone?

Hiking up the rise above the second falls of Lake Sebu makes one see this spectacle in a new light. never mind the slippery slope, seeing this sight and capturing it for posterity is indeed worth it.

Finding a little peace and quiet

Times like these when i lack sleep and my mind is blurry, I'd want to just stare at this picture and sip my coffee while trying to make my mind work. Image of Lake Lahit, Lake Sebu, Cotabato

Friday, October 5, 2007

Salamat, salamat, salamat

I'm no stranger to nice comments and praises for my captures. Truth to tell, I'm not really sure whether I'm anywhere as good as the words that describe the images. But they sure make my day, any day. The past two days have been heady for me. Yesterday, got a flickrmail from Allan of Koronadal who remembered me from Gensan. Honestly, that blew me away because I always travel incognito. To begin with, I really go and leave without much noise or fanfare. So, for anybody to actually remember me some place down south is really mind-boggling. Today, got a super duper flickrmail from Hvlian with comments typed in all caps to boot. 

In all humility, I'm doing what I'm doing because I want to do my share in showing off what this country has got. Much of what is publicized out there are the ugly sides of the Philippines, which we don't have a monopoly of. Anyway, for years, I thought I maybe fighting a lost cause but these rather strong reactions tell me happily that I'm wrong. For all of you out there who wrote (or silently lurk) in appreciation, I offer my profuse thanks.I  hope to continue to be healthy and financially able to continue this journey. Rest assured, I will keep sharing these trips with everyone.

As a way of thanking y'all, here's another snap from my Lake Sebu trip with my buddy and blog idol, Ironwulf. Have a good trip, everyone!

All smiles

The sun is up once again but there's no telling when the strong winds will blow and the rain will fall again in unpredictable squalls. For the meantime, I'm digging deeper into my Coron captures and coming up with keepers like this one. when we went to Coron for the DPP On Assignment trip, it was right smack into the town fiesta. Even if the power is on the blink, with half of the whole town in a power outage, people still came in droves to celebrate like this group of smiling, happy revelers. Makes one really think that Pinoys are really innately celebratory, armed with ready smiles and a welcoming disposition. The weather wasn't all that cooperative during our photo assignment trip but i can say we were blessed with the sunshiny warmth of the Coron townspeople.

The life rustic

I admit it, I usually take shots of sceneries for their awe factor. but I also know that bereft of humanity, a picture can be only postcard-pretty. A touch of humanity completes the picture and shows the viewer a glimpse of the travel experience. I'm not yet adept to plumbing the depths of how far I can take capturing human forms but it's no excuse not to try. Anyway, here's another attempt in depicting the rustic life, something I dug up from my lake sebu archive. The time away from not seeing my raw files made me see them with a fresh set of eyes.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mad about mangroves

Chasing the glorious sunset during the habagat season is like waiting for Godot.B ut as a photographer on a free trip, one learns to make the most out of the less ideal conditions. Here's a scene from Ilultuk bay in Calauit, Coron.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wild boys

Apologies to Duran Duran for borrowing the title of their popular 80's hit. Just sifting through my Coron, Palawan snaps and found some more gems, like this one. Taken during the Coron town fiesta festivities, from the On Assignment: Palawan trip for DPP.

White bird watching

Are we watching the bird? or is it watching us? Capture taken at a fishpen in Lake Sebu, Cotabato.

Lake Sebu: I was there snaps

Being a photographer means working behind the lens like 99% of the time. Whether it's a family gathering, a group lakad, a climb, I don't usually show up in my pictures. our Cotabato trip was a bit different since I have a photographer-friend for company, a great photog at that. So here are my souvenir snaps from Lake Sebu. With Lola Mundi in the T'boli village we found, and a wide angle shot at magnificent Falls Two. Thanks bai Ferdz for snapping these up. at least, nobody will question whether I was really there at all :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Catchy scene

While the rain pitter-patters on the roof of the office, I'm caught in a reverie seeing this capture from our Caluit-Coron assignment last August. At times, my itchy feet just want to go somewhere else while my itching fingers are longing to shoot something, Anything. But at least, I'm counting down the days before my next trip, a foto trip to Dumaguete and back to Siquijor. Hope the weather improves by then.

Calauit: Show your stripes

Zebra details from our On Assignment trip to Calauit last August.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Of Moleskines, Hidalgo and other random ramblings

MAD ABOUT MOLESKINES. Thanks to Benedict (bueno), got na my 2008 edition of Moleskines. After running out of the pocket diary edition last year, resolved to get one very early this time around. The delivery was oh so quick, 1.5 days total. Salamat Benedict. I can get back to my Hemingway mode (naks) again for 2008. 

HIDAL-GO! Went to Hidalgo yesterday to look for a diffuser for my speedlight. Was aghast to find the sidewalk vendors out in full force again. I may not agree with a lot of the ex-Mayor Atienza's policies but he did a good clean-up of Hidalgo last year. Kailangan bang baguhin ni Mayor Lim itong magandang nasimulan? With the vendors back, most of the camera stores are closed on Sundays. Oh well. 

85 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS.O h, it's two months to go before December. Without meaning to, got started on my holiday gifts. Not that I have a lot of dough (on the contrary, business has been slow this year with little prospect for a bonus) but what the hey, time to spread a little cheer. 

MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY. Passed by my favorite charity yesterday and honestly, the devil really breathes down on my ear even moments prior to giving my share. But you know what? It feels good to share, no matter how little. I always believe in karma and good stewardship.T hings aren't that well-laid out now but help my faith, I believe God will take care of my needs. 

WISHLIST. Ain't bad to dream because only the dead doesn't dream. So here it is -- a Nikkor 18-200 VR lens. so I can just travel around with my 10-20 UWA and this piece. either that or the Sigma 18-200 OS.  I've been a very good boy this year, hahaha.A nyway, let's see.


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