Monthly Archives: April 2015

Samboan: Waking Up to the Sunrise of the South + a Teaser Photo of Dao Falls

We had a long weekend last week so my friend and I decided to go falls-hopping in Samboan, a fifth class municipality about 150 kilometers south of Cebu City.

We arrived at the South Bus terminal at around 1 AM for our 2 AM Ceres bus, but to our dismay, the bus did not arrive until 3:30 AM.  By then, another bus company, Sunrays, had arrived.  Despite Sunray’s non-aircon bus, we opted to take it since it was a direct trip to Samboan (Ceres was via Barili).

Because we were exhausted from work and all the waiting, we slept the whole duration of our trip.  I only woke up when I felt the first rays of sunshine on my face.

Here’s my first view of that day’s sunrise.

Samboan Sunrise 01
As the bus cruised along the highway, I relished the feel of the summer breeze on my face.  This is actually why I prefer to ride non-air-con buses during trips to provinces – it’s nice to inhale air that is devoid of pollution and smog.

Another reason why I prefer taking non-air-con buses on provincial trips is that on them, I can snap photos anytime.  (Most air-conditioned buses have immovable windows that prevent me from taking really good shots of the scenery before me.)

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Too bad I couldn’t will the bus to stop anytime to take photos, so some of my shots were either blurry or skewed.  Good thing it’s now easy to straighten photos.

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Here’s a photo that I had to crop because there was a signage by the breakwater that ruined my composition.

Samboan Sunrise 01
Here’s another one.

I love how the clouds looked fluffy.  Too bad I had to again crop this since the signage is right underneath the sun.

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If I’m not mistaken, we were in Boljoon when I chanced on the above.

From Boljoon to Oslob, I kept on snapping photos in between snacking on the sandwiches I brought with me.

Here’s  one of my better photos from this set.

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I love how the coconuts and trees framed the sunrise on the above photo.

On this photo, the fluffy clouds again made an appearance.
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This is another photo of the same scenery, but this time, I zoomed in for a closer shot.

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Morning had broken, and everything looked so serene.

Here’s another favorite because the plants again nicely framed the sunrise and clouds.

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Up next is my blog about Dao Falls, the tallest waterfall in Samboan with a 90-foot vertical drop of water.

Here’s a teaser photo.

Dao Falls
Till next!

Phoneography Challenge: Isla Naburot as Seen Through the Lens of my Samsung Note 2

Isla is our dialect for island so Isla Naburot means Naburot Island. I visited this private island resort in Jordan, Guimaras last year and immediately fell in love with its serene ambience.

Isla Naburot 04
I asked the owner what Naburot means and he said it is a root crop that was once abundant in the island.

Upon arrival, we were immediately taken to our room, which was as charming as the resort itself.  Here’s our view from the balcony.

Isla Naburot 02
Isn’t it breathtaking?  Just look at the lush beauty of the greenery that surrounds the island.  What more, Isla Naburot has no electricity so it’s the perfect getaway for those who want to get away from it all.  Just to be clear, though, the island uses solar power, but it’s not available the whole day.

Each time our meal is served, we had to go to the main hall, which afforded us views of its private beachfront.

Isla Naburot 03
Because the island is well-surrounded by other islands, its beach lacks the usual waves and looks so placid it can be mistaken for a lake, though we verified its saltwater when we went for a swim.

Here’s a panoramic shot.

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What I liked and remember most about our stay here was the food.  During each meal, we were treated to sumptuous meals of fresh seafood and fruits.

And yes, Guimaras does have the sweetest mangoes in the country.

Isla Naburot 01
I have many more beautiful photos of this serene island, but I will save them for my detailed post about Isla Naburot.

All photos are unedited and taken using my Samsung Note 2.

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This post is an entry to the Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge by Lens and Pens by Sally. We have no theme this week since the 4th and 5th week’s themes are picked by the challenger.  This 4th week, I chose Travel because while I was freeing space from my smartphone, I found so many stills from my previous travels.

Pink Tabebuia

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While I see the above flowers almost year-round, they do not appeal to me until summertime when the tree sheds most of its leaves and in their place, dainty pink/lilac flowers blossom.

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Since I do not know its name, I did a Google search and found out its Tabebuia or roble. Some people refer to this particular tree as a “trumpet tree,” but Wikipedia disagrees.

Tabebuia is native to the American tropics and subtropics from Mexico and the Caribbean to Argentina and is commonly grown as a flowering tree for gardens and roadsides.

A trivia: The nectar of Tabebuia flowers is an important food source for several species of bees and hummingbird.

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No wonder I kept on seeing bees while I was taking these photos. They were moving so fast though, so I was not able to capture them.

Here’s a close-up of a Pink Tabebuia flower.

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The corolla is very light pink/lilac that it looked almost white.  It has a yellow center.  I was lucky I found the above, as the flowers are usually in clusters.

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While daintily pretty, the flowers don’t last long.  I notice that some trees with a beautiful crop of flowers lose them in 4-7 days.  I took these photos late last week and this morning, the same tree that’s pictured above doesn’t look as pretty as pictured because 3/4 of the flowers was already gone.

That is why as soon as I saw the flowers in full-bloom last week, I made sure to take some photos.

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Here’s my other favorite from this set.  This became my favorite because of the blue sky and the splattering of lilac, yellow, and green here and there.

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My other favorite is the main photo from this blog, and it’s because in that photo, the cluster of flowers look so defined.

For more information about Pink Tabebuia, click HERE.

Phoneography Challenge: The Angkor Wat in Black and White

The Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the largest religious monument in the world. We visited this architectural wonder in November last year.

Angkor Wat b&w 01

The above was my first glimpse of the temple. Needless to say, I was amazed since this has long been in my list of must-sees.

The temple is beautiful and we couldn’t help but marvel at its intricate details, especially when our guide told us that it was built in the 12th century.

Angkot Wat b&w 05

Angkot Wat b&w 02
Angkor Wat was built by King Sryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. It was originally a Hindu temple, but later became a Buddhist temple.

Over the years, Angkot Wat has become Cambodia’s symbol (it’s in its flag) and main tourist attraction.  No wonder the place was packed with tourists.

Angkor Wat b&w 03

These are all panoramic shots because I find it easier to use this feature on a mobile phone, than on my Sony RX 100 II.

Angkot Wat b&w 04
Photos taken using a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and edited using Snapseed.

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This post is an entry to the Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge by Lens and Pens by Sally. This week’s theme is Black and White.

Phoneography Challenge: I Choose to Bloom

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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

Who doesn’t love the feeling of being ensconced in warmth?  Of knowing that she is always safe and comfortable?

Who won’t panic when gradually, the petals open one by one and she finds herself suddenly exposed to the elements?

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I will, and I would have dug deeper into the flower in search of a snug place where I can again feel safe.  Except that when the sun’s rays reach me, I feel warmer than I have ever been.

Life’s pretty much the same.  We’re always scared of going out of our comfort zones to venture into the unknown.  We do not want to take chances especially when the situation entails great risk.  We worry when change challenges what we hold dear and wonder, “Will the outcome be worth taking the leap of faith?”

But really, we won’t know until we try, will we?

So take the chance and choose to bloom.  It feels nice and warm to be ensconced within the flower’s petals, yes, but it’s warmer to be out in the sun.  (And the views outside are more beautiful too.)

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This post is an entry to the Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge by Lens and Pens by Sally. This week’s theme is Macro.  Photos taken using an iPhone 6.