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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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December 18, 2013

idyllic candaba wetlands: where have all the wild birds gone?


Candaba 2013

Candaba (in the province of Pampanga) became a popular birding destination several years back when people were made aware of the thousands of migratory birds that made the swamp their winter home. The influx of these migratory birds is evident during the months of November to January when the sky would darken with flocks of wild birds (egrets, ducks, etc) out to feed at dawn or dusk. The wide wetlands filled with tall reeds was a perfect feeding and breeding ground. There were times of the year when the area is flooded and left untouched by human hands because its quite difficult to access.

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October 28, 2013

sarangani: beauty among the mangroves


Back to Roots

For a few times a year I find myself, together with kindred souls, combing the Sarangani coast (Mindanao island in southern Philippines), looking for a nice place sunrise or sunset. Over time we have made a few spots our favorite and we kept coming back time and time again.
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September 30, 2013

sabah: kundasang attractions


Kundasang Sunrise

If you have your sights on climbing Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, chances are you have come across Kundasang in your research. Situated right at the foot of Mt. Kinabalu at an elevation of 2000 meters above sea, this small village (part of Ranau district), with its cool clime, is a popular mountain resort destination.
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September 20, 2013

sabah: sunsrise at masjid bandar kota kinabalu


Masjid Bandar Kota Kinabalu (City Mosque)

Kota Kinabalu’s coast is facing the west, so there are lots of options if you are shooting the sunset. But there is one place in the city that seemed to have been designed to really look beautiful during sunrise - and that is the City Mosque.

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September 9, 2013

manila bay: a series of fortunate events


Manila Bay Sunset 9-7-2013

When Manila Bay decides to put on a show, it does so with all the fanfare only Mother Nature is capable of doing.

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August 26, 2013

valencia: malabo falls (pulang bato falls)


Malabo Falls

Once in a while I come across a waterfall that's really interesting, like the wide Tinuy-an Falls, or the multi-layered Kaangrian Falls. This time its a waterfall with a very colorful character.

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August 22, 2013

negros oriental | sibulan: lake kabalin-an's tranquility


Kabalin-an Bronze Rocks

Large trees in the middle of the lake? That would be interesting to see, I thought. Normally you'd see these in swamps, and I have not been to many swamps.

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August 21, 2013

negros oriental: manjuyod's perfect monochromatic morning


Untitled

We may not always get the weather we wish for, but come to think of it, is there really a perfect weather for taking photos?

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August 14, 2013

negros oriental: manjuyod white sandbar


Manjuyod White Sandbar (Dawn)

The Manjuyod sandbar, located in Negros Oriental, has been in my sights for quite some time. Its not the sandbar per se that fascinates me (well maybe it is - its an amazing 7km of white sand bar!) but the huts on the far end of the sand bar that seem to be floating in the middle of the sea when the tide is up.

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July 30, 2013

negros oriental | sibulan: lake kabalin-an preview


Solitude

I recently went around some of the towns in Negros Oriental including Dumaguete, Bais, Manjuyod, Sibulan, and Valencia.

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July 2, 2013

mt pulag: up close with the milky way galaxy


Milky Way and a shooting star

When was the last time you stared up the heavens and actually saw, well, the heavens? If you live in the city, you may not remember the last time you saw the stars. Or maybe never?

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June 26, 2013

mt pulag: splendor of the grassland


Untitled

Rolling grasslands high above the clouds at 2,922 meters above sea, sea of clouds if you are lucky, glorious morning light breaking through the horizon, undulating layers of mountain ranges that stretches as far as you can see, and someone special by your side. One can't help but be emotional in a scene like this. Even the hardiest of the lot fall down on their knees and make life-changing decisions. "Will you marry me" was uttered several times that morning.
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June 18, 2013

mt pulag ambangeg trail: a walk in the park


Scenic

Mt Pulag (or Pulog) is a major item (bold, italicized, and probably underlined) in a lot of people's bucket list. Being the highest peak in Luzon and the 3rd highest in the country (there used to be a time when its classified as 2nd) it has been in the sights of folks would love to hike and adore the outdoors. The sea of clouds phenomenon and the sunrise at the summit are also enough to entice even the most lazy of photographers to make the trek. And with the Ambangeg trail (the "executive trail"), Mt Pulag has never been so accessible. Its literally a walk in the park!

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June 11, 2013

mt pulag: a preview


Sunrise @ Mt. Pulag

Luzon's rooftop (2,922 MASL) has been on my list of places to visit for the longest. Finally last weekend, thanks to a very good friend Erick Dantoc (the man behind http://roadworthyman.com/) who organized the climb, I was able to scratch this off the list.
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June 6, 2013

sarangani: of sunrises, fisherfolks, and wall climbers


Tropical Light 2

Have you ever had the feeling that you are a stranger to your own province? It seems like I know more or have photos of other places than my own "backyard".

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May 18, 2013

fine summer day in pundakit beach


Pundakit Island Hoppers

Pundakit is a small fishing village in the town of San Antonio that has become the jump off point to Zambales' now famous coves and islands.
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April 29, 2013

alabat island: moods of the pacific at pulong bato


Villa Norte sunset

No trip would be complete without that trophy sunrise or sunset shot. The odds may not be always in our favor, as sometimes nature will rain on our parade literally, but the rewards for trying often outweigh the inconveniences.
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April 23, 2013

alabat island: island life in villa norte


Morning bounty
I have a soft spot for small islands that are still out of commercial tourism’s radar. In an archipelago of 7,107, give or take a few depending on the tide, we still have a lot of these islands out there.

A planned trip to Cagabalete island was cancelled and thus opened up my long weekend. I got sold to the idea of going to Alabat island within minutes of a friend and fellow blogger Dong Ho pitching the idea.

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April 10, 2013

nagsasa cove: twilight colors


Twilight

Here's a collection of photos, from a recent trip, taken during twilight (including some takes an hour before twilight) in one of Zambales' best camping destinations: Nagsasa cove.

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April 7, 2013

buscalan: sunrise by the rice terraces


Sunrise @ Buscalan Rice Terraces

In a place where the fog moves in late in the afternoon and does not lift until the sun is quite high in the sky the next day, it a real treat seeing beautiful sunrise colors.

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March 27, 2013

laguna: liliw's brick church


Brick Facade

This small brick church in the town of Liliw (popular for its slippers) in Laguna is one of the picturesque churches in the province, perfect for those on 'visita iglesia' trail (especially during Lent).

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March 16, 2013

nagsasa cove under the stars


Cove Under Stars

Nagsasa cove has all the right conditions for night photography: no artificial light pollution and wide open spaces to get that huge expanse of sky filled with stars.

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March 10, 2013

nagsasa cove: jump-starting the summer of 2013


First Light

Got the change to revisit one of my favorite camping ground in Zambales a couple of weeks ago. This has become sort of a yearly pilgrimage, but I missed a year or two. This trip jump starts my summer for 2013.

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March 9, 2013

buscalan elders: remnants of kalinga tattoo culture


Buscalan Elders

The Kalinga tattoo culture may still be there but one can say that's its not being practiced like how it was it the old days. Gone are the days of head hunting and only a handful of those fully tattooed warriors remain. I had this rare opportunity to stay for a few days in the Whang Od's village of Buscalan in Kalinga and take photos of the few remaining tattooed Kalinga women. Most of them are in their 80's and 90's.
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March 3, 2013

whang od: kalinga's last mambabatok


Whang Od (Fang Od): Last Mambabatok

She's probably the main reason why people from all over make the trek to this little village called Buscalan in Kalinga. She looks far more younger than her actual age, and at 92 years old, Whang Od is keeping her people's tradition of "batok" (tattoo) alive.

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February 26, 2013

buscalan: glimpses of daily life (part 3)


Pounding Rice

Its a place devoid of most of the modern conveniences we often take for granted. Just before sundown most households are busy preparing the rice. Before you can cook it, you must separate the chaff from the grain by pounding. (This post is continued from here)
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buscalan: glimpses of daily life (part 2)


Feeding time

Being remote means the village has to be (almost) self sufficient. They grow their own rice (they have rice terraces) and vegetables, as well as rear chickens, pigs, and carabao (water buffalo) for meat. (This post is continued from here)

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February 25, 2013

buscalan: glimpses of daily life


Buscalan old feel

"Where is Buscalan?", he asked.

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February 13, 2013

bontoc: beautiful mountain light


Bontoc Late Afternoon Light

We arrived in Bontoc in the afternoon after a scenic drive along Halsema highway.  After a late lunch, we proceeded where we will be staying for the night: a retreat house located on a hill overlooking the town. The sun was getting low and the light was golden, everyone was getting fidgety, we might miss on the sunset.
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February 10, 2013

cordillera landscapes along halsema highway


First Light at Ambuklao Dam

I recently had an epic trip with a group of travel photographers. Our mission was to photograph some of last remaining tattooed women in Kalinga - part of the Cordillera, a mountainous region in the northern part of Luzon.

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January 15, 2013

lake sebu: the coin divers


Coin Diver 3

Hunched on one end of a dilapidated dugout canoe, he waits for those coins to hit the water. These silvery objects glitter in the water and do not fall straight down to the bottom of the lake, and he can easily get to them.  He can swim fast, and dive deep.

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January 3, 2013

lantaw: 2012 in photos (part 2 of 2)


Imugan Falls after sunrise
Imugan Falls

The journey continues. Here are more of my favorite photos from 2012 (you may want to check out part 1 of this post as well).

I took a breather in the month of June, but was back on traveling by July.  This time I headed to the chilly mountain community of Imugan with some of my closest travel buddies.
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January 2, 2013

lantaw: 2012 in photos (part 1 of 2)


Lake Seloton: Sunrise Lake
sunrise in Lake Seloton in Lake Sebu

I was fortunate to have gone to some of the most beautiful places in the Philippines last year. I have plenty of favorite images, and here are some of them. A good part of the year was spent close to home.  Some of my top favorites this year are photos of amazing sunrises and sunsets (but come to think about it, if you have been reading this blog for some time now, they are always my favorites!).

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