Category Archives: Photography

Northern Negros Occidental

Northern Negros Occidental is a happy mix of rural and city life. A halo-halo of the old and new. Happy to frequent this quaint place.

The Ruins is mistaken as a Bacolod tourist spot. However, it is actually located in Talisay City and perhaps the most popular tourist itinerary for people who visit Negros via Bacolod or Silay (Related post: A quick visit to The Ruins).

The Ruins
The restoration efforts around The Ruins has transformed an abandoned, rundown mansion into Negros Occidental’s most famous tourist spot.

Continue reading Northern Negros Occidental

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Locals take the best photos

Picture-taking is the usual must-do when travelling. Landscape shots, selfies, groufies are the go to photography routines. Getting the best photos is easily achieved though with the help of locals who are more familiar with the location. In some tourist spots, locals get trained by the Department of Tourism or Local Government Unit in order for the former to give tourists a hand in capturing the best scenes and angles of the place. Continue reading Locals take the best photos

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Camiguin mountainscape

Mt. Hibok-Hibok in Camiguin, as seen from White Island, looks very much like a hat. Reminds me of The Little Prince.

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Mt. Hibok-hibok completes the photo-binging in picturesque White Island (sandbar) of Camiguin, PH

Elephant inside a boa constrictor

I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.
They answered me: “Why should any one be frightened by a hat?”

My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. Then, I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly. They always need to have things explained.

–The Little Prince

You may read our feature about this beautiful island here: When in Camiguin.

More photos here: Locals take the best photos.

Elephant in boa constrictor image was pulled from http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/literally-psyched/the-big-lesson-of-a-little-prince-recapture-the-creativity-of-childhood/.

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Lambug Beach: Go while the beach is still virgin

1511354_10202500608495055_698914155312602297_nIf Moalboal’s beach (Basdaku) and Badian’s Kawasan Falls are too crowded for you, head straight to Lambug Beach. Located in Badian, Cebu, Lambug Beach (sometimes spelled Lambog) is about midway between the two more popular Cebu summer destinations mentioned.

Lambug Beach is very much like Moalboal’s white beach: fine off-white sands, beautiful sunset, and clear waters minus the busy and crowded feel on weekends and holidays. Bonus: a number of live corals at shallow depths during low tide.

A quick scan of blogs featuring Lambug Beach, show common descriptors of this destination as virgin, unnoticed, not-so-famous, and less crowded. But, economic activity is starting to pick up with cottages, stores, and small resorts starting to dot the beach. Better make an immediate visit to Lambug while business has not spoiled the beautiful place.

Golden sun. Sunset at Lambug Beach gives a golden opportunity for photo ops.
Golden sun. Sunset at Lambug Beach gives a golden opportunity for photo ops.
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Cottages and stalls greet you at the entrance.
Array of choices
Array of choices

How to get to Lambug Beach, Badian

Take the corner from the national highway to Lambug Beach.
Take the corner from the national highway to Lambug Beach. Motorcycles are also available for hire.

To go there, if you’re from Moalboal, ride a Moalboal-Badian multicab and go further south until you see the billboard of the Badian International Golf Course and Resort. Take a habal-habal ride to get you there directly. If you have your own vehicle, take the right turn and just follow the road, around 1.5km of hilly but paved road. From Cebu City, take a Cebu – Bato via Barili Bus.

Once you pass by the golf course gates, take a few more meters until you see a junction. Turn left and you’ll be at the public parking area in 1-3 minutes. (You’ll find a “This way to Grandeur Resort sign.” Grandeur Resort seems to be biggest among the sprouting resorts in this public beach.)

UPDATE 5/28/14: Grandeur Resort charges an expensive 2,000.00 for a small aircon room for two. This cost does not come with the usual toiletries, towels, breakfast, and friendly staff.

Grandeu Resort contact numbers.
Grandeur Resort contact numbers: 0926-2789880, 0908-9992490, 0933-3383686

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Originally, planned to go to Osmeña Peak last Saturday to make the traverse to Kawasan Falls and then Lambug Beach. But due to a sudden change in the internship schedule of my companions, the Opeak trek was shelved and we decided instead to make a road trip to Kawasan (Also read my blog on Cebu waterfalls.) and then Lambug.

Too crowded!
Too crowded!

Kawasan Falls is very much elegant with its multi-level drops and pools. However, too much commerce has spoiled the destination. Too many guests, make it a bit uncomfortable to swim especially at the first level.

Parking area near the national highway charges an expensive Php 100.00 per vehicle. You may drive to the interior, closer to the falls, to get a cheaper arrangement of Php 20.00 parking fee.

Rental rate for cottages, tables is Php 300.00. Way too much for a setup very similar to Larsians and other grill areas in Cebu.

Rafting to move you directly under the falls will cost Php 300.00 per group. Highly expensive if you compare this to whole day island hopping packages in other provinces which charge as little as Php 700.00 with free lunch.

Enjoying the ice cold water. Pseudo-swimming on.
Enjoying the ice cold water. Pseudo-swimming on.

After two hours of pseudo-swimming in the pools of Kawasan, we went to Lambug Beach. The road going there is quite a similar experience when going to Basdaku. Thought that there will be a big Lambug Beach billboard along the road so we missed the left turn junction and had to ask for directions from cows  (hehe. a good number of graze along the route) and locals.

Countryside feel
Countryside feel

Lambug Beach more than made up for the crowded Kawasan experience. Sunset was great and gave us the golden light for nice photo effects.

I’m hopeful, Badian and Cebu province officials take pro-active steps to preserve the natural allure of Lambug Beach. The corals which we rarely see among Cebu’s beaches should be protected through environment-friendly regulations over the temptations of tourism money.

PS. Just returned a few days back and was charged Php 100.00 parking fee on a public lot by a videoke owner.

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All photos from Danya with CJ and me alternating as photographers.

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After the fire

Despite the rainy season, sirens of firetrucks have blared all over Metro Cebu almost on a daily basis. Fires have engulfed many of the depressed areas of the city. Narrow roads, alleyways impassable to vehicles have aggravated the damage and extent of the recent fires.

Tragic as it is, fires that have ravaged many areas of the city expose the wide economic gap between the rich and the poor. Fires that start from the homes of the rich get put out quickly, while those that raze the poor’s homes seem obstinate and more destructive.

Last week, August 17, it came as a shock when I heard about the fire that gutted a large portion of Barangays Carreta and Tejero. The destruction came just 30 minutes after my students visited the area of Tejero for the National Service Training Program assignment.

Today, my whole NSTP class visited Brgy. Carreta to see the extent of the damage of the blaze and interview the victims who remain there without proper shelter.

Here are some of the photos I took:

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Despite the predicament, the smiles of the young remind us of a future we seek to build. A future that is more compassionate to the poor. A future that can only be built through a different kind of fire.

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Cookout 2008 | Freshies then, Seniors now

With the UP Cebu Cookout 2011 just a few weeks from now, I am re-posting some pictures three years back of the “biggest campus event in Cebu City”. The event is a deviation from the grueling academics; and a digression favoring discussion of pressing issues of the times.

Back in 2008, the seniors now were freshies then. Here are some photos of Cookout 2008 (mostly preps of NKE and LFS for the Rampahan).

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Jump and shoot

Here are the preliminary shots of what the students dub as Jump High for Higher Education Budget ahead of the State of the Nation Address of President Noynoy Aquino this Monday, July 25.

Last year, the Aquino administration slashed more than PHP 1.3B ($30.24M) from the education budget further aggravating the crisis in the education sector. This year, the students are gearing up for a stronger campaign for higher state subsidy for the education sector.

Creative forms of protests have been resorted to by students to broaden support to their advocacy.

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———————-

Below is the statement of University of the Philippines (UP) President Alfredo Pascual posted at the UP System website (http://www.up.edu.ph/features.php?i=344):

UP deserves increased budget appropriation
Statement of UP President Alfredo E. Pascual

21 July 2011
As the country’s national university, the University of the Philippines (UP) deserves to get sufficient funding from the national government. It must have the means to effectively play a leadership role in higher education and national development, and attain a competitive status in the regional and global arena. In my vision statement for UP, I already noted that “(n)ot enough funds are being appropriated annually to meet the rising cost of quality UP education, much less to sustain capital expenditures for upgrading the university facilities.”

The UP Charter of 2008 clearly states that “it is the policy of the State to strengthen the University of the Philippines as the national university” (Sec. 2) and that the national government is responsible “for the continued growth, operation and maintenance of the national university” (Sec. 28).

In this context, I issue this statement to fully support the call of concerned UP students, faculty, staff and alumni for greater subsidy for UP.

I also take this opportunity to express my solidarity with the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) in its “strong appeal for a sufficient budget increase for the qualitative functioning of public higher education.” I fully agree with the PASUC’s explanation that the stand for a budget increase for SUCs is “closely aligned with the call for national progress and development.”

On 26 November 2010, the UP Diliman University Council already issued a statement calling for greater subsidy for UP. It noted: “A low budget has a debilitating effect on UP’s capacity to fulfill its mandate as the national university. The underprivileged students’ access to quality tertiary education will be compromised. The sustained development of academic facilities and programs will also be hampered.”

This scenario is unacceptable. I therefore encourage our students, faculty, staff and alumni to make their voices heard in the call for increased budget appropriation for UP and other SUCs.

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Creative protest. Last July 19, students of UP Diliman used planking to protest government inaction on the education crisis in the Philippines. Here’s a video from GMANews.tv (http://www.gmanews.tv/video/85077/saksi-planking-ginamit-na-uri-ng-student-protest-vs-pnoy)

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Got to see Barili

Except for my family’s hometown of Balamban, I never had the chance to discover the western portion of Cebu. So off I went to Barili with my friends for my first adventure to Cebu’s west side. It was also perfect to forget momentarily the malicious cases leveled against me and my colleagues.

The group’s plan was to stay overnight at Mantayupan then proceed to Sayaw Beach the next day.

Mantayupan Falls is a sight to behold. It’s elevation is higher than all of the few waterfalls I have seen. Bring along your snack or lunch pack as there are no food stalls in the area. There’s a free grilling area though and your bottled drinks can be chilled by the cool waters.

Going for an overnight stay is not recommended since all you have there is the cool night chill. The place’s single karaoke was not working and the establishment about 200 meters away charges payment to almost everything from entrance, tables, chairs, etc.

The white sands of Sayaw Beach and the unusual bermuda grass there are perfect for those who avoid the crowded beaches of Mactan. Entrance is just Php 15.

Tricycle mode
Tricycle mode
Mantayupan Falls
Bring your own food to Mantayupan Falls since food stalls are absent in the area.
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Photo sessions for the vain.
The tall waterfall
The tall waterfall

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Sayaw Beach
Sayaw Beach
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Jump shots

Jump shots are hard to capture. But when you capture one, the image shows childishness usually uncaught in shotgun photos.

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more splash

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off to the pool, spread-eagled

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cheery group jump

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more cheery group jump

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first photo attempt of wizard fight

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first photo attempt of running jumps

More photos here: Jump Shots

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flying on a cloudy day

I don’t usually get the chance to be assigned to the plane’s window seat as I don’t bother to request check-in clerks for my seating preference. I take comfort to my ability to easily sleep during plane rides no matter where I am seated. So when I realized that I got assigned to a window seat, I took out my camera for possible photos of the skyscape.

These photos were shot last year on board Cebu Pacific Air.

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Sandwiched by cloud streaks above and cloudscape below.
 
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Do we still speak of horizon when the clouds seem like your landscape meeting the sky?
 
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Cotton buds up the sky
 
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