It is hard to believe that just a year ago a group of 10 campers already constitutes a huge crowd in Nagsasa cove. Now hordes have invaded the place, and its not even officially summer yet. My "mission" there last weekend was to rediscover the things I love most about the place: its soothing tranquility and its grandeur.
I was surprised to find out that the quiet Aeta settlement at the southern of the cove is now a busy campsite (the only campsite before was at the northern end of the beach) with tables and huts. Our group was the first to arrive but by noon time there was more than 150 campers swarming the place.
It seemed like tranquility will be in short supply that weekend. I did not shoot much at first, I just revisited some of my favorite spots from previous trips. Some looked the same, other have changed.
I found a quiet spot by the river at the back of the campsite. Everyone else was at the beach so the place was perfectly still. It was exactly the Nagsasa scene I was after.
I could not ask for a better sunset that afternoon. The weather was perfect. I enjoyed watching this huge ball of fire going down in front of the cove. I stayed away from the beach front of course, away from the crowd.
I did not pack my gears yet after the sun finally went down, knowing day's final display of amazing colors is still to come. And I'm glad I waited; but I paid for the treat with a few mosquito bites.
I woke up early the following morning. I knew I had to beat the crowd to the choicest of locations to shoot the early morning light. I love how the first rays of the day painted the nearby mountains golden. Their reflections on the (almost dried up) lake was surreal. Surprisingly nobody showed up near the lake until the sun was really up. I was able to shoot a few frames before other campers started going about.
The verdict: Nagsasa's landscape evolves, but its still as grand as ever. Its tranquility still abounds, if you know where to look.
Like others who love the great outdoors, I too realized that its the repeat visits to a place that yield the best photographs. The landscape changes over time, and the light is always dynamic. Combine all the elements: the clouds, the sky, the light, etc, and you have a unique moment. No two photographs of even the same exact spot are ever the same. I take pride in the fact that the photos I make are my own versions of those special moments.