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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 16, 2014

alibijaban island: of paradise colors and local hospitality

Sunset by the Shipwreck

A little speck down on the south eastern part of Bondoc peninsula, fine cream colored beach, beautiful mangroves, no tourists, and the best part: raw and rugged shoreline that would make a landscaper photographer happy at sunrise and sunset.

Related post: alibijaban: welcome to an island paradise

Our short stay in the island yielded some new favorite images. The middle part of the island on the western side (some 1.2 kilometers from the barangay center on the southern end) have some of the best looking mangroves I've seen.

Mangrove Row at Sunset
mangrove row

Near the mouth of a river lies what remained of a small ship, reduced to a few timbers. Photos of it from some years back clearly shows the structure of the hull. Huge waves from probably washed away some of it, with a few pieces ending up as someone's firewood.

Boat Skeleton Sunset

It made for an interesting foreground, nevertheless. Though the tide was receding, the mangroves are still out of reach.

Sunset by the Shipwreck
sunset by the shipwreck

surreal sunrise and a taste of local hospitality

On our second day we woke up early well before dawn and walked to the southern end of this small capsule shaped island. The moon was bright and the horizon looks promising. The air was exceptionally still and I could clearly hear the sound of our feet squashing out the sand as we walked on the beach

The plan was to round the southern tip and make our way to the eastern side, only to be blocked by a rock wall. No beach to walk on going to the other side.

We decided to back track to a point where we think we would have the best view of the sunrise given the limits of our location, sat on the beach and waited for dawn. This quiet moment, waiting for the sun, anticipating some colors, and simply watching the world stir start a new day - these are the things I love about sunrises.

Not before long, a man walked toward us and invited us to his home for coffee. "You still have plenty of time before the sun rises", he said. Complete strangers, who he could not probably see the faces clearly, invited to his home for coffee. Alibijaban hospitality.

We followed him to a small hut, inside was a boiling pot on a wood-burning stove, and he proceeded to make us two cups of coffee. He introduced himself as "Domeng". His wife kept on apologizing for the little that they have, and Mang Domeng offered us rice porridge if we cared for some very early breakfast. Best coffee I have tasted, if I would say so myself.

After finishing our cups we went down to beach again with Mang Domeng. We were hoping to use his boat as foreground on this rather empty shoreline, but he was leaving for town. We saw another small one under a tree - this turned out to be his as well, so we borrowed this instead. "Knock your self out ... " -  I could imagine him saying that as he left on his bigger bangka.

Still Sunrise 

It was one of the most surreal sunrises I've seen, as surreal as the date itself that morning: 12/13/14.

For a moment, everything stood still. The breeze was so light, just enough to let you know its there, but careful not to ruffle the water's surface. The fishes were probably careful not to cause ripples too, so were the egrets which normally busy feeding at dawn. Why? I am not sure, maybe because this date - 12/13/14 - we will never see again in this life time :)

Still Sunrise
still reflections

The sunrise colors may be muted, but the mirror like surface of the water created some surreal reflections. As a bonus, we got to see Mt. Mayon (Philippines' perfect cone volcano) clearly even if its some 100 kilometers away, on another peninsula in the Bicol region.

Mt Mayon, so far yet still visible
vision of Mayon from Alibijaban

Related post: Visions of Mayon

It was a pity we had to cut short our trip (we would have been able to shoot 1 more sunset and sunrise) due to a low pressure area that is threatening to pass through the region, possibly forming into a typhoon. We did not want to risk getting stranded in the island. But even with the brief stay, the island and its people have shown much generosity. 
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December 15, 2014

alibijaban island: welcome to an island paradise

Its one of those islands you probably would not know unless someone really point it out on the map. And with the 7107 islands in the Philippines, that's quite understandable. But if you are into unexploited destinations, this one should be right near the top of your list.
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December 1, 2014

photohunt: of pineapple fields and fiery coastal sunset

Pineapple Fields Forever (Mt. Matutum)

It was one ordinary Sunday, with no real itinerary. Sure we had some hazy idea where we'd want to go, but there was no real pressure to be anywhere. But sometimes its these unplanned trips that yield the good images.

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