Tag Archives: Photography

Baguio on my Mind

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It’s officially summer here in the Philippines and though I have always loved the sun, the sand, and the sea, the sweltering heat of the sun these past days was just too much. I want to be back in San Francisco where it’s cold even at summer, but since SFO’s too far, I’ll settle for Baguio, the country’s summer capital.

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Baguio, I am so missing you right now. And I’ve been missing you more since I saw some Baguio photos I took way back in 2009.

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Photos touched up via Instagram.

Sunlight Streaming Through the Clouds

Crepuscular rays

at Fisherman’s Village, Batanes

I love this photo because it has three of my favorite photography subjects: the sun(set or rise), the clouds, and the sea.

And I just love how the sunlight streams through the clouds. It almost looks like sunrise breaking in but this was actually taken about half an hour before the sun would set.

When I googled “Sunlight Streaming Through the Clouds,” I learned that this phenomenon is called Crepuscular Rays. Alternative names are Divine Light, Buddha’s Rays, Gateways to Heaven, God’s Rays, Jacob’s Ladder, Beams of Jesus, Shafts of Light, Sunburst, etc.  Interesting.

Looking at it does make you remember God and His wondrous creations, doesn’t it?  No wonder photos with crepuscular rays are a favorite in religious calendars and books.

Each Day is a New Day

I once wrote about how Plantation Bay’s Galapagos Beach and Wharf is my favorite spot come sunrise since it has the best view of the rising sun in all of Plantation Bay.

Today is no different. I was temporarily sidetracked from jogging/walking when I saw this splendid view.

Colorful Sunset

I have an almost similar picture of Plantation Bay’s boat during sunrise posted here. While the subject is the same, each photo is made unique by their different composition, which brings to mind the caption I wrote on my Facebook page for the above photo.

It’s amazing how we can be on the same spot every day but see different views because God chooses to paint the sky in a different set or shade of colors each day…

Here are two more shots from today’s sunrise.

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Photos taken using just my iPod Touch since I normally don’t bring my camera or mobile phones with me when I jog.

I’ve been living in Plantation Bay for nearly four years now. I’ve watched sunrises in the same spot countless of times. Still, I don’t (and never will) tire of looking at such beautiful creations. For in the same way that no two people are exactly the same, so too are God’s everyday painting of the sky.

Beautiful Batanes

I’m sorry for not updating this blog for weeks. I was swamped with work then headed to far-flung Batanes for almost a week to rejuvenate.

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Fundacion Pacita

Batanes is found in the northernmost part of the Philippines, and is the country’s smallest province in terms of population and land area. It is a beautiful place that has been on my must-visit destinations list since I saw it featured in a magazine a decade ago. Though I’ve long wanted to go there, I was hampered by the fact that it’s quite inaccessible (only one airline travels there as of this writing) and the fare is quite expensive that no one among my friends was willing to accompany me there. As many of them would say, it’s cheaper to go to our neighboring Asian countries than visit Batanes.

Last January, I got lucky and finally found a friend who was willing to splurge on a trip to Batanes. Turned out it too has been her dream destination for years.

Being in Batanes is like journeying to another world, another time. The place is stunningly picturesque and unspoiled.

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Chavayan’s cliffs and shoreline

With its hills and mountains and vast expanse of water, Batanes looks nothing like many of the islands of the Philippines – and I’ve been to many.

taken while driving

And unlike other Philippine beaches, most of Batanes’ beaches are rocky. It was amazing to see the waves crash against the huge multi-colored boulders that according to our guide came from Mt. Iraya.

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Boulder Beach Valugan

chadpidan boulder beach

Boulder Beach Chadpidan

The rolling hills and massive cliffs were also a sight to behold. As another friend who was there last year said, these looked straight out of that Sound of Music scene of Maria singing, “The hills are alive…”

Rolling Hills

Rolling Hills

at Marlboro Country

at Marlboro Country

Their lighthouses scattered in the province’s islands were also very picturesque.

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Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills

mahatao lighthouse

Mahatao Lighthouse

sabtang lighthouse

Sabtang Lighthouse

The native stone houses also charmed me, especially since it’s so unlike the usual cement or wood houses of Filipinos.

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Sabtang

The people of Batanes are called Ivatans and they are the kindest and most accommodating people I’ve ever met. In the Philippines, especially in the provinces, it’s common to see people smiling at you. In Batanes, they go the extra mile by smiling then greeting us. I even noticed some Ivatans putting their palm to their chest and nodding while saying their greeting. In one island, two children did the pagmamano (the now rare Filipino tradition of raising an elder’s hand to one’s forehead as a sign of respect) on us, which was quite a pleasant surprise.

All these and more (to be discussed in future posts) made the trip a most memorable one. As I now keep telling my friends, traveling to Batanes should be on everyone’s bucket list. Trust me, it’s something you shouldn’t miss.

sunset at rolling hills

Sunset at Rolling Hills

Cebu: Sunset at Balamban

When I was a child, one of my favorite scenes to draw was that of mountains with the setting or rising sun.  For someone spared with the gift to draw but with a flair for coloring or color coordinating, I found it easy to draw triangles for my mountains then color them with any dark hues and make the sky as colorful as I could.  Once, a friend mentioned it didn’t look real enough so I snapped back that it was just a drawing…

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And yet, when I saw the above scene during a recent trip to Balamban, I was struck at how it looked so much like a painting and yet it was so real.  Here’s my favorite shot:

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Truly, God’s creations are as stunning as he is magnificent that when I see such a beauty, to quote Mahatma Gandhi, “my soul expands in worship of The Creator.”

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