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About Me

My photo
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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July 30, 2009

balagbag falls: rediscovering real's cascading treasure

Balagbag Falls
Balagbag's double cascade

It was a rainy week. A low pressure area (LPA) in the South China sea was threatening Luzon's west coast while a typhoon is zipping by the north eastern side. While most put their weekend travel plans on hold, I was on a 4AM bus with two friends to Real, a small rustic town facing the Pacific Ocean, on a falls hunt. I decided to pack light and return to Manila in the afternoon so I just brought minimal photo gears and a small lunch (3 pieces of boiled sweet potato and 2 pieces of banana).

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July 21, 2009

gumasa: a sidetrip paradise destination

Sidetrip Gumasa Spread
Sidetrip Travel Mag (April-June 2009)

The beautiful beach of Gumasa in rustic town of Glan in Sarangani province (southernmost tip of Mindanao) recently got featured in Sidetrip travel magazine. Two of my photos were used for the article.

Sidetrip Gumasa
featured white sand beach of Gumasa

True to what the article mentioned, Gumasa's white sand beach is pristine and untouched by large scale tourism. Its considered to be the "Boracay of the South", sans the resorts, and the blaring dance music and parties.

You might want to check out my previous entries about Gumasa:
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July 13, 2009

samal island: a summer day in paradise

Paradise Vinta
colorful vinta in a clear morning
Now that the rainy days are here, its nice to look back at the sunny summer days, the fine beach weather, blue skies and white cotton clouds. We had one perfect day a couple of months ago in an aptly named resort called Paradise in the island of Samal.

Samal island (officially known as IGACOS or Island Garden City of Samal) is a small island (although its the largest there) in the gulf of Davao in southern Mindanao. The island is surrounded with fine white sand beaches and pristine waters, and great dive spots and fish sanctuaries.

I prefer the western side of the island (the one facing Davao city) when ever my family is with me. My kids particularly like Paradise resort because of its shallow waters and a teeming marine life just a few meters from shore. We often go there whenever we are in Davao.

Paradise Transport
Paradise pier

The resort is just a 10 minute boat ride (yes that short!) from their dock in Davao City. They have a parking lot so its OK to leave your cars there.

Sunny Summer Days
a sunny summer day

The place has all the bells and whistles of great resort: well staffed, fine accommodation, clean facilities, sports and playground areas, and great food. Plus a great avairy. I don't really care much for all of these, give me a tent on nice beach and I'd be contented. But the kids love it, they buy ice cream and run into an air-conditioned room when it gets too hot. My kids have ingenious ways of leading me to the ice cream stand and souvenir shops.

Paradise Low Tide
early morning low tide

Low tide was just after sunrise when we were there, its perfect timing for a dip while the sun not yet scorching hot. You won't need to go far to snorkel, just a few feet from the end of their pier and you get to see a whole lot of fishes. If you want to go further and deeper, they have dive equipment for rent and PADI certified dive instructors.

Summer Memories II
cotton clouds on a summer day

What you'll see in Paradise resort is just the "tip of the iceberg", so to speak, when we talk about the Samal island experience. There's a whole lot more in Samal: sea turle sancturies, bat caves, and waterfalls. I'm planning a trip there again sometime in August, this time without the kids in tow.

If you want details on Paradise island resort, you may visit their website here.
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July 6, 2009

lake sebu: tasiman vistas

Sepaka Stream
cool stream in Sitio Sepaka

I was finally able to get to Brgy. Tasiman the last time I went to Lake Sebu. Its a remote barangay perched on the mountains on the northern side of the lake. Tasiman offers a unique view of the lake side town below but few tourists ever venture there, probably for security reasons (the fact that its remote and its in Mindanao is enough to scare most, although I personally think its one of the peaceful places I've been to). Most would be contented in staying at the resorts and visiting the nearby 7 Falls or Lake Seloton.

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