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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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April 28, 2009

lake sebu: t'boli homestay

T'boli House
T'boli house on top of a hill

A great way to enhance your Lake Sebu experience would be to skip the lake resorts and stay with one of the locals. An even better way would be to stay with a T'boli family.

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April 24, 2009

lake sebu: hikong bente (falls #2) up close

2nd Falls
Falls #2 of Lake Sebu's 7 Falls

Falls #2 is becoming a very popular destination in Lake Sebu nowadays. The road leading to the Falls 1 and 2 is well developed - a far cry from what it used to be (although I would advise you go there on either a 4x4 vehicle or a motorcycle). Falls #2 has become the official "face" of the Seven Falls, primarily because its the tallest of the 7, and the glen where it is located is much bigger than where the others are.

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April 16, 2009

lake seloton: lake sebu's sunrise lake

Green Lush Valley
Lake Seloton in the morning

Can you count how many are the words "lake" in the title? That is the number of lakes in the town called Lake Sebu. The town bears the name as of the largest of the 3 lakes there (the 3rd one is called Lake Lahit).

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April 13, 2009

cabacungan: tambobong's premier sunset spot

Kabakungan Folly (test shot)
flickristasindios in Kabakungan

If you happen to find your way to Tambobong this summer (I heard the place was crowded last week during the Holy Week), don't miss Kabakungan cove if you plan to shoot the sunset. I went there with the flickristasindios a few weeks back and the place did not disappoint us. I have been there a couple of times already, yet Cabacungan seem to offer something new each time.

Its best to go there around 4PM (lowtide) via Nalasin just behind Crocodile Island. Your banca would not be able to go near the shore if you choose to go directly to Cabacungan cove because of the rocks and the chasm (exposed during lowtide) that borders the shore.

lowtide in Nalasin (enroute to Kabakungan)

From the Nalasin its a short hike to the cove. You would be passing by interesting rock formations that turn rust colored as the rays of the warm afternoon sun hits them.

Its a perfect place if you want to do some unique outdoor portraits. We had a model with us that time so our "short" hike was punctuated with 5-10 minute shoots.

Reflection of Beauty
Nalasin reflections

There is a great POV just beyond the shore, on top of a small hill enroute to Cabacungan. From there you'll be offered a different perspective of Nalasin.

Lee Ann @ Kabakungan Cove
spicing up the hike

Once in Cabacungan, you can position your tripod almost everywhere and still get a great POV of the sunset. While waiting for the sunset, you can visit the cave nearby and swim in its emerald pool. Or you can watch colorful fishes trapped in small shallow pools that dot the exposed rocky beach.

Kabakungan Sunset Textures
Kabakungan sunset textures

I positioned myself on top of a huge rock to get a view of the seaweed lined ledge. From there I got a clear view of the setting sun as well as the different textures of the rock and seaweed covered sea floor.

Kabakungan Anti-Sunset
Cabacungan anti-sunset

The water was really low when we were there that we were able to see a ledge leading to one of the entrances of the cave. It was a totally different point of view, one that is facing east - the opposite direction of the sunset. The western sky was devoid of clouds but we were lucky to have low lying clouds in the opposite direction.

Cabacungan is still good for a couple of trips, I think. More point of views to explore and considering the fact that lighting conditions are never the same, I think I'll still be able to get a few interesting shots from there.

Few folks are aware that the clouds opposite the sunset are often lighted to a glowing orange or pink a few minutes before sundown. The colors intensify a few seconds after sunset. This is part of the "afterglow" effect.
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April 1, 2009

tambobong: an indios experience

Indios in Balinmanok

With my back still sore from sunburn from a trip to Tambobong couple of weeks ago, I was back there last weekend with a group of photographer buddies from a Flickr group called flickristasindios. These guys are known for their street photos but the group has grown over the past year to include fashion photographers, landscape and outdoor photographers, and everything in between.

Our day started early. We arrived in Tambobong around 5AM, perfect to catch the first rays of the sun. While the rest of the gang went to the beach to find their POVs, Buboy (a travel buddy I brought to Tambobong a few weeks back) and I prepared a breakfast of adobong pusit (squid) and fried daing (dried fish) - enough to jump start the day.

Indios Invades Tambobong
preparing for the day ahead

Whats different about this outdoor trip is that this time we have a model in tow. Our first destination was the shipwreck in Balinmanok. Its really nice to go there early in the day when the waves are not big. With a cooler filled with ice and beer, cameras ready, we are set for a morning of fun.

As soon as we arrived in Balinmanok, the indios went straight to "work" - this includes hitting the hammock with a cold beer or finding a spot for our model to pose. I went to the beach to find my favorite "Nemos", but not before I took some "model shots" :).


shy Lee Ann

emerald stare

I know these are not my typical outdoor shots, but hey these are taken outdoors so they can still count. Some of us did manage to keep our promise to enjoy the beach and take less photos.

Francis and Reejoie
beach jumpers

With the cold beer almost depleted, we went back to our host's house for lunch. The only time these photographers rest is when they are cleaning their equipment. Right after lunch we had to find a new location to shoot, so I led them to a cave with an emerald pool just a few minutes hike from our camp. This time I did not bring my camera, so I'll just show some of the images I took there from my previous trip.

Cave Explorers
Cave explorers

Lovers in the Cave
Lovers in the cave

The cool water in the cave was enough to rejuvenate our tired muscles. Its was a stark contrast from the hot and sunny beach (not I that I don't like it that way). I had to keep reminding them of the time, otherwise they would have stayed here until dark.

We went back to camp just in time for the low tide. The sun's glow started to turn golden. Perfect for a low tide sunset shoot in Cabacungan.

Model shoots I can do without, but sunsets are another story. And Kabakungan offers endless possibilities for sunset scenes. After catching a short breather, off we go to Nalasin, our entry point to Kabakungan Cove.

Here's a preview of our Kabakungan sunset:

Cabacungan lowtide sunset

Up next:
  • Cabacungan sunset shoot and Colibra island castaways
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