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".
Every time I have the chance to be home, I try to "insert" a shoot in the schedule, much to my wife's annoyance.
Missus: "You did bring any clothes at all..."
Me: "Its OK, I'm here for the weekend only anyway"
Missus: "But you brought your camera and lenses and tripod!"
And it does not help at all that you have friends who would be willing to drive to the coast at 3AM.
With these brief excursions I try to unravel and discover bits and pieces of South Cotabato and Sarangani, and of course it always starts with a sunrise shoot.
My friends and I have a few favorite spots when shooting the sunrise, and depending on the time of the year and tide, we may favor one over the other. Why shoot the same locations over and over again? Let me put it this way: some people can't get enough of Angelina Jolie, we can't get enough of shooting mangroves at sunrise or sunset.
One of our favorite spots may soon go the way of the other prime parcels of beach fronts in the area: "developed". The area is off limits to the public now while its being "developed". You probably know what this means as we seem to have a peculiar concept of that word. Most often we ended up destroying the very reason people go to a place. Some development, eh?
Our tenacious group found a way to sneak it and shoot the place. Good thing the guards noticed us after the color show, and politely asked us leave the premises. No shotguns this time.
When one door closes, another one opens. A local approached us saying he knows of a place (which his family owns) further down the road that might interest us. He noticed we have been frequenting this spot and concluded we love shooting "rocks and mangroves". Or he probably just wants to have more exposure that area,
Decision point: head home or check the place out and risk further ire from the missus. Check the place out, of course! There is always time.
The place did not disappoint. The shore lined with beautiful mangrove trees. As soon as we arrived, I noticed a group of men (found out later they were Samals) fixing their net. I emptied my pockets of anything that might dislike seawater and waded in.
Their catch were a handful of squid and a variety of small fishes, and that's after a night of trawling. Richer fishing ground are further out of the bay. But today's catch is good enough for a few meals, they say.
Time flew fast and the sun's fully up. We are missing something. Ah, breakfast.
One friend suggested we have breakfast near the town proper, and then there was a mention of beautiful boats there and houses on stilts. At that moment I knew breakfast was just an excuse. But there is time, so off we go.
Along the way we passed by an interesting kid. Clarito, 9 years old, can walk up and down an almost vertical wall as if its flat. Clarito's brother Pao, now 12 years old, was the first one who can do the feat. You can say that Clarito is following his brother's footsteps.
Their parents do not seem to mind the inherent dangers, and even proud that their kids are the only ones who can do it.
Stomach's grumbling now, and its really time for breakfast. We settled for the overpriced meals in a popular diving resort. The nice view compensated for mediocre meal. Photographers eat views for breakfast.
I received a text message from the missus: "where are you? we have birthday party to attend in a few hours". There were moody cumulus clouds in the horizon. I took a couple of shots and quietly wished the missus' mood is sunnier than the scene in front of me when I get home.