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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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May 29, 2015

mararison | culasi : mini batanes of panay

Within just a few minutes of hiking you'll transition from a sandy beach to a pine tree covered area then to a grassland that resembles the one you see at high altitudes (see Mt. Pulag grassland), but there's really not much elevation change. You can even dash from the beach to the top in less than 15 minutes.

Spot the hikers

Some of the scenery resembles the stereotypical images of Batanes with its rolling hills, early this tiny island the nickname "mini Batanes of Antique or Panay".

Sandbar traffic

There is a viewing spot there the offers a grand view of the village and the sandbar below.

Related post - Mararison: Antique's rough gem

Golden Hour

I love this part of Mararison that I spent more time here than at the beach. There's something calming and surreal about place, especially at twilight when there is no one around. So enjoy these photos as I really enjoyed taking them.

Grassland flora

Mararison flora

When I was researching about the island, I came across the mention of pitcher plants in the grassland. I thought you really have to look hard for them, until I found out that they are practically every where. And in large numbers!

Pitcher plant colony

Sunset and dusk at the grassland

Mararison Sunset

The first afternoon was spent looking for place to shoot sunset. The grassland was of course perfect. It was a day of mixed of highs and lows. The island is very beautiful. But my camera went bonkers on me at golden hour. Several buttons stopped working, like the preview button and menu button. While the essentials are working, it was like the old film days, no shot review, no pixel peeping until the files are transferred to my laptop. A bit of salt water probably found its way in while I was shooting the sandbar earlier that day. Sigh, joys of outdoor photography.

Mararison grasslands at dusk

Sunrise: a new day!

Sunrise at Mararison Island

Woke up at 4AM and hiked to the view point in the grasslands again. By this time I have already accepted my gear's limitation (and accepted that fact it may totally brick out any time) and worked out ways around it. I enjoyed the sunrise much more than I enjoyed shooting this place the previous day.


Pink Dawn

Mother Nature was much more generous with the colors as compared to the sunset the previous day.

Short hike to Nablag

A number of groups made their way up to the grasslands by the time the sun was over the mountains of Antique on the east. One group cheerlessly expressed that they though they are going to be the first ones up. I just mentally replied: "Good luck, outdoor photographers don't sleep" :)

Mararison's grassland trail

A narrow single track trail winds up and down the hills on the eastern side of the island. Some parts actually requires caution, as it has sheer drops to your left, and the trail is covered with loose rocks.

Grassland hikers

It does not take long before a steady line of hikers formed. The trail leads to the small cove with an islet called Nablag, easily accessible at low tide. The beach is a stark comparison to the sandbar at the other tip of the island, but there are no crowds here.

Batbatan Islet

The entire trail, including the one heading back, would probably just take 20-30 minutes to complete. A bit longer if you stop often to take photos, and its difficult not to stop and take photos. The place is simply breathtaking.

Traces of trash can already be been on the trail. Pretty soon discarded plastic water bottles will be everywhere. The island authorities (guides, barangay officials) should ensure that hikers don't leave their trash behind.
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