Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lagalog 2008: A year in pictures

Lagalog spent the remainder of 2008 down south hence I wasn't able to cap last year with a honest-to-goodness yearender post. But I guess it's not too late to make amends. Looking back, I wasn't able to travel as much as i wanted to but I'm mighty thankful for the memorable trips immortalized in the following captures I would like to share with you all, my dear readers.T hank you for spending time with me, for enjoying the sceneries, discovering new things, meeting new friends, and wandering around.STARTING A COLORFUL YEAR WITH CARACOL • MAKATI CITY • JANUARY 08 - Starting the new year right with Caracol, a celebration in Makati City, coinciding with the feast of the Santo NiƱo elsewhere in the country. This event is named after the Spanish word for "snail" and according to my good buddy, Ironwulf, celebrates the environment and its preservation.NAGARAO, WESTERN VISAYAS • FEBRUARY 08 - Visiting the UNESCO Heritage Site in Niagao, we made a rainy side trip to the haunting island of Nagarao, southeast of Guimaras Island (we hope to come back in the summer months when the waves aren't as menacingly-threatening).  The site of a big oil spill years ago, the island seem to have fully recovered. We would love to come back here, where one can wander through the inland forest to get a glimpse of the sunrise and sunset, laze around, chill out under the stars, unmindful of the rationed power supply, albeit, even unmindful of the passing hours.SPENDING HOLY WEEK IN ROXAS, MARCH 08I missed going on an overseas trip due to financial and schedule constraints. In lieu of one, Lagalog made a trip to Roxas, more popularly known as Capiz, a place hewn from tales of aswangs and other otherworldly creatures of the night. We didn't find any aswang but saw breathtaking scenes like this one from Ivisan as evidenced in this capture which was published in the august issue of Philippine Airline's Mabuhay Magazine. JOINING THE PARADES • MAY 08 - May is the festival month in the Philippines and when Pinoys put on a show, what a show it would be. Here's one capture from the Makati parade of Aliwan Festival participants. Having missed the actual Aliwan Festival because of the monsoon rains, this was a welcome opportunity to get even just a glimpse of the pomp and pageantry that is definitely high on entertainment and full of high definition colors. HIGH ON HANOI • VIETNAM • JUNE 08 - My first overseas trip in a long, long time alternated between rainy and sunny and overcast days. Went to Hanoi on a whim with my best buddy, ironwulf, and it was providential as Cebu Pacific cancelled its Hanoi flights by fourth quarter of 2008. The UNESCO Heritage Site of Halong Bay is beautiful whether it be in the blue lighting of morning or the orange casts of dusk. BACK TO BATANES • JUNE 08 - I was extremely blessed to be chosen by Seair InFlight Magazine to shoot the cover of their August-September issue to celebrate their foray into the Manila-Basco route long monopolized by Asian Spirit. Having been here twice and missing the trip to Sabtang, I was blessed to make a daytrip on my third try. Next stop: Itbayat island off the northwestern side. SPENDING A LONG WEEKEND IN SILAY • NEGROS PROVINCE • AUG 08 - Not wanting to waste a long weekend made possible by a holiday, I, along with ironwulf and erick, ventured to the sugarlandia known as Bacolod and made a side trip to Silay, where the new airport is located. Suffered from a bout of food poisoning so this trip is very memorable as well. This image from Balaring is a nice keeper along with memories of great eats (talk about guapple pie and different variants of chicken inasal) and of warm, gentle people.RETURN TO SHANGRI-LA • SAGADA • SEP 08 - My third time in Sagada was spent mostly indoors, sampling the food, sipping mountain-grown coffee, savoring the fresh air and just chilling out. in any case, Here's a lovely view from a stopover in Kibungan enroute to this so-called Shangri-la of the north. DISCOVERING BORONGAN • EASTERN SAMAR • OCT 08 I missed out shooting for Seair InFlight's last issue but I was lucky enough to get another feature assignment, this time, to shoot this rather obscure surf/skimboard/caving/trekking/eating destination. Here's the beautiful sunrise unfolding on the rocky shore of nearby Divinubo Island which made the opener of the feature in Seair InFlight's December 08-January 09 issue. THE GIFT OF GASPAR ISLAND • MARINDUQUE • NOV 08 - Another long weekend seems preposterous to waste so made a trip to Marinduque with pals, ironwulf and lantaw. The trip is memorable not for the actual duration of the bus & ro-ro ride but for the long wait which doubled the travel time from 6-7 hours to 12. In any case, here's a sunrise keeper from Gaspar, one of the Tres Reyes Islands off Marinduque. COMING AGAIN TO CAMIGUIN V.3 • NOV 08 - 2008 marked the first time I visited three places for the third time. And I add Camiguin to the list of Sagada and Batanes. Not that i minded. Not at all, not even after losing my Nikon D200 in a nasty fall in Katibawasan. Seeing White Island back to its pristine state without the vendors and hawkers was just heavenly. If you dig beaches without the artificial fanfare, make it a point to drop by this sandbar of an island and see this wonder for yourself. BOUND FOR BONGAO • TAWI-TAWI • DEC 08 - The southern tip of the Philippines has always been on my radar for a long time. With a long Christmas-new year break, I wouldn't want to pass up the chance to go down, down south. far from being a picture of strife like what the mainstream media paints it to be, Tawi-Tawi was on the quiet side peopled by some of the warmest locals I've ever met. We would definitely want to come back to island-hop in the near future to explore more. Watch out for my posts on this destination coming up next.

This 2009, I hope to see you all again on this blogspace, and hope to hear from you as well as Lagalog reaches the 5-year mark this January 20. God bless and many happy trips to all.
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