Monthly Archives: May 2015

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nightscapes

Night 0

“Night is a world lit by itself.” – Antonio Porchia

I have always loved the above quote because it is the embodiment of my love for nightscapes. There is something beautiful about shadows and darkness and light working together to create scenes that differentiate them from their daytime appeal.

Night 1

In the morning, the above photo would have described a tropical paradise.  The water would have been blue-green and there would be clouds and palm trees and white sand.  Guests would be present, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, or just plain swimming.  Come night time, though, the scene takes a somewhat haunting tone, but it’s still as beautiful, perhaps even more intriguingly so.

I love night time so much that I even blogged about it here. An excerpt from that same blog reads,

The stillness of the night beckons to me. I don’t know but there has always been something about the dead of the night that appeals to me. Maybe it’s because there is a certain surge of power in knowing that while the world is resting, I am the solitary moving figure unclaimed by sleep’s spell.

The above still rings true. There are times when unclaimed by sleep, I would don my exercise attire and run off into the night. Or I would just set out, find my quiet spot then enjoy the views before me.

Night 3

Sometimes, I get lucky and chance upon a full moon, or a sky blanketed with stars.

Night 4

All photos taken at Plantation Bay, my workplace cum home in Cebu, with an iPhone 6.  Editing courtesy of Apple’s photo editor, Snapseed, and Mextures.

This post is an entry to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge.  Head to Lens and Pens by Sally to view the other entries.  One is free to choose a theme on the 4th week, so I opted for Night Photography.


Samboan: Binalayan Falls

After visiting Samboan’s Dao Falls, we headed to Binalayan Falls, which is also called Hidden Falls and Triple Drop Falls.

It’s easy to see why they called it Triple Drop.


This was easier to conquer than Dao, and the trekking time was also shorter (about 15 minutes).

After my friend paid the entrance fee of only Php 10 per person, we headed to the falls.

This coconut plantation was located at the bend right after where we paid the fees.

Binalayan 01

Again, get ready to get wet because to get to the falls, you have to cross about 2-3 streams.



The falls has 2 drops, and this was my first glimpse of its first drop.

Binalayan 17

Its waters flow straight into this stream surrounded with palm trees, ferns, and some other flora that I couldn’t identify.

Because we were tired from our walk, we spent some time at the swings by the stream. Here’s a photo of our guide Alex, at the tandem swing.

Binalayan 02

In front of this were these individual swings made of old tires.

Binalayan 03

After our short rest, we continued our trek up the falls.

At the first drop, we passed by these children.

Binalayan 04

This is a close up of the first drop, which honestly wasn’t that impressive.


A short trek from there was the grand second drop. 47 feet of waterfalls in 3 streams thus the name, Triple Drop.

Isn’t it beautiful?

I loved the lush greenery surrounding the falls’ base and the contrast of the water against the stone.

While its basin is smaller than Dao’s, I actually find Binalayan/Hidden/Triple Drop falls prettier than Dao because of its unspoiled look.

Binalayan 12
The water was also cool to swim in, though one has to be careful when swimming here because the pool seemed shallow one moment, but when you walk around, would have sudden drops.

Here are more photos of this beautiful falls at different vantage points.

The above was taken by the walkway while the photo below was taken at the center of the stream.  I decided to cut the stream of water on the succeeding photo to focus on the canopy of trees at the falls’ base.

We had the falls to ourselves for about 15 minutes before a family arrived. By then, we were shivering from the cold, so we decided head back.

Binalayan 07

Oh, before I forget, here’s a collage of my photos at Binalayan Falls. I had more, but since my friend who took them using her camera still hasn’t uploaded them, I had to make do with whatever’s on my camera.

Binalayan 21

Before trekking back, we again took a short rest by the stream. By this time, more visitors had arrived and all the swings were occupied.
Binalayan 20

On the way back, we again passed by the same coconut plantation that we saw earlier.

Binalayan 22

Here’s my favorite photo of coconuts.  This became my favorite because of the way the trees looked tall, dainty and graceful in this photo.

Binalayan 05
We met this cute dog too.

Binalayan 06

At the entrance, we passed by the fall’s signage, which had a photo of a dog swimming at the stream. The dog looked similar to the one we met by the coconut plantation.

Binalayan 23

Binalayan Falls is located in Barangay Bonbon in Tangbo, Samboan, Cebu.

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Innocence

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” ― Paulo Coelho

Their squeal of unbridled delight was what drew me to them.  “Ate, ate,” they chorused when they saw me approaching.  “Picture-i mi.”  (Rough translation: Elder sister, please take our photo.)

I smiled and marveled at their friendliness.  I was a stranger to them and yet, they were not the least bit shy about asking for a photo and were looking at me with those trusting, soulful eyes.

I did not need to coax them.  The moment I aimed my smartphone at them, they gamely posed for the camera.  “O, tan awa.”  (Look here.)

And they huddled around me, giggling while pointing at their beaming faces.  “Guapo!” (Handsome) they teased the boy on the far right of the above photo.  He laughed.  We all did.

I never knew their names, but I will always remember how that day, they made me happy simply by being with them and reminding me that happiness needs no reason, just a disposition.

Photo taken in Mocaboc Island in Bohol.  Here’s the original photo:

Children 02
Black and white editing courtesy of my Samsung Note 2’s Photo Editor, Snapseed, and PhotoGrid.  I made the first photo looked aged using Pixlr-o-matic’s Janine filter and Dim frame.

This post is an entry to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge.  Head to Lens and Pens by Sally to view the other entries.  This week’s theme is Black and White.

Brave Tales #3: The Sun Goes Down

Just another set of photos taken while I was out biking.


It almost looked like a full moon, doesn’t it? But it’s actually the sun going down.

It was beautiful to watch it hide among the clouds, only to peek again and show its beauty.

Ultimately, it bid the day adieu and left me with just these colorful skyline to admire.

Just beautiful.

All photos taken in Lapu-Lapu in Cebu.

Tough Love

Mother and Daughter
photo credit

I was maybe eight or nine.  Mommy and I were playing Scrabble.  And she was clobbering me, her scores outmatching mine.  At that young age, I wondered why she would not let me win a match even just once.

Now I know why.

Mommy’s refusal to let me win showed how she believed in her daughter’s ability to go toe to toe with her.  It also showed her refusal to stroke my ego by letting me win albeit untruthfully.

Mommy taught me how to lose.  And in doing so, she taught me how to accept defeat with grace.  But she did more than that.  In teaching me how to lose at such a young age, she armed me with valuable lessons and truths about life that helped me get to where I am now.

For instance, she taught me that life is not always about winning.  In as much as our game of Scrabble was more about having fun during the game, life is also more about having fun while living.

Mommy taught me that I cannot expect people, even those whom I  love to always go easy on and be gentle with me.  Once in a while, people will knowingly or unknowingly hurt me and I must forgive them for that.

She taught me that in life, I get to face bigger foes and many difficult challenges, but tackling them head on is better that backing down and not learning anything at all.

That losing does not mean the end.  Life goes on.  And so we must too.

That perseverance will take me to where my defeated self cannot go.  I can definitely do better and get it right the next time (I won my first match against Mommy when I was about ten).

More than anything, my game of Scrabble with my mommy has taught me that love can get tough, but it’s love just the same.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!  🙂