January 8, 2010

Strong and Sturdy
a mature mangrove tree stood firm against the waves

The wind and the waves were stronger than I expected. Several times I almost got toppled over. Its just the second day of the year but here I am already drenched in seawater, looking for another coastal beauty along the north western shores of Sarangani bay.

I got together with several of my friends in General Santos (home of boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao) and headed to a place called Kawas in the coastal town of Alabel, a few minutes from GenSan. Unlike the previous days, weather was great this time and we were hoping to have a good sunset. I was excited to field test a new camera body my brother gave me without hesitation (after twisting his arm) after seawater damage mine during my Guimaras trip.

Late Afternoon at the Mangroves
mangroves act as natural breakwaters

It was more than a decade ago when I last visited the place. We used to go here in my elementary and high school days to collect specimens for our biology classes. It looked different now, the shoreline particularly. The mangroves at the reforestation area (found on both ends of a now established resort) are fully grown.

Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani
sundown in mono

The place was beautiful, save for the visible shreds of plastic bags and wrappers that got tangled in some roots and low branches of the trees. The local government should seriously look into this as these garbage can also harm marine life.

Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani
strong and steady

Finding place to setup for the shoot was tricky. The waves got stronger as the sun dipped towards the horizon. The wind was picking up too. Walking on submerged rocks and roots and keeping your balance as waist high waves rock you while trying to keep your camera gears out of reach of the splashes was a daunting task.

Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani
dance of the mangroves

Most of the spots we preselected were already in deep waters by the time Mother Nature showed her sunset colors. I moved to a safer location, closer to shore, rather than risk getting my gears wet.

My aching feet, bruised by sharp rocks and pricked by the thorns of shrubs, seemed like a minor inconvenience as I watched the mangroves sway with the wind against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset sky. I did not mind starting my 2010 this way.

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