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Friday, September 16, 2016

Finding the Right Spot in Photographing Manila Bay

A month ago I found a niche where I could spend time to practice my landscape and night photography. I usually go to Angono Eco-Park in Rizal province which is just a few minutes away from our home.  Since I have been there for a couple of times, I decided to find another place on taking pictures.  I saw the website of one of my Facebook friends, and he was also my colleague on Chasing Lights landscape photography 5 years ago, who had photos taken in Manila Bay showing some buildings at the back of the sea front .  So I got curious and visited Manila Bay for a few times and unfortunately I didn't get some good photos due to the bad weather happened for two weeks. It was cloudy and obviously most of the time it was grey and the setting sun did not show up.  My goal was to use long exposure.

A few attempts of my shot at the Bay Center

Since I got the clue where to take these photos showing the buildings on the sea front,  I decided to walk all the way down to the CCP Complex (Cultural Center of the Philippines) till I get to what they call the Bay Center, a place where you can see some coffee shops and restaurants.  When you get to the Bay Center, probably you might be seeing some people fishing and photographers too.  So I made it there where Bay Center was also a photographer's delight taking pictures during sunset.

Long Exposure in Black and White

Another Facebook friend posted a picture the same location but different spot showing some buildings across the bay. I learned she took it at Paseo Palisoc

Paseo Palisoc is a few walks away from Folk Arts Theater.  It was beautiful there.  So this is where they run the cruises and Air Juan.

At Paseo Palisoc
Finally after several attempts of getting to the right spot, Paseo Palisoc is just few walks away from Manila Bay and it's good for taking long exposure shots because of the compositions of the scene that you would get when taking some pictures.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Sampaloc Lake in San Pablo

I seldom take some photos on sunrise unlike when it's sunset which for me can be easy because I find waking up early as quite uneasy.  But this can be new activity for me and that means a different perspective taking some shots before the sun begin to rise.  The same endeavor but different time, and a new location that I can go since sunrise is an opposite direction to sunset.

I had no idea where to shoot sunrise until one of my Facebook friends posted a photo showing sunrise at Sampaloc Lake in San Pablo City Laguna.  Since I love sunrise, I had few days to prepare and I did some researches about Sampaloc Lake.  I never tried shooting landscape through long exposure beyond 30 seconds.  Just a day before the shoot I bought a shutter release for long exposure and a new tripod.

I took the bus in Edsa through Lucena Lines on the night of August 3 and the travel time was short taking a one and a half time to my destination.  I arrived San Pablo Medical Hospital which is the jump off point if you wish to go to Sampaloc Lake.  Since it was only 1:45 a.m. I decided to stay at 7 Eleven store at the high way which is a walking distance from the hospital.  Actually there are lots of 7 Eleven store in San Pablo City even when you cross the hospital there is one store there.

A man parking his bicycle at the park

Exercising at the park is usual

Municipal Hall leading to the lake is a few distance away

At 4 a.m. I went back to the hospital because at the other side of the road on the left you can ride a jeep going to the main city proper where Jollibee and Mcdonald's operate 24 hours.

I took a walk for 20 minutes till I reached the lake and waited for the sunrise.

According to the locals and to my researches, there were 7 lakes in San Pablo and Sampaloc lake is one of them and the biggest lake among the 7.

I immediately packed up at 7:30 after taking some breakfast in the park just near the lake.

Overall the trip was fulfilling as shooting the sunrise is a seldom activity for me, compared when it's sunset.

How to Go to Sampaloc Lake

1. There are buses at Edsa that go to Lucena, Quezon, you can ride Lucena Lines or JAC Liner.  Lucena Lines is run by JAC Liner and has a free wi-fi access.

2. Tell the conductor to drop you off in San Pablo Medical Hospital, but I think that Lucena Lines go to the main city proper where you can stay either at Jollibee or Mcdonald's when you arrive at past midnight.

3. If you drop at the hospital, go to the left road and ride a jeep and tell the driver to take you to the Capitol which is the jump off point going to the lake.  Tell the driver either to drop you in Mcdo or Jollibee.

4.  Either you can walk going to the lake or ride a tricycle and if you decide to walk you call see the Municipal Hall and a park leading to Sampaloc Lake.

I hope this helps but it's pretty easy to find when you get to the city proper.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Majestic Mayon Volcano

At last I was able to capture the perfect cone of Mayon Volcano, when I visited the province of Albay.  I went to Legazpi, the capital of Albay.  Several attempts have been made to capture the volcano without hiding in the clouds.

I captured Mayon Volcano in two different time of the golden hour, the first one was sunset and the second one was during sunrise.  Although there are several spots to capture the majestic volcano, I decided to stay at the port, in Legazpi boulevard.  Coming from Naga City for a two hour ride via van to Legazpi, I was able to make it 30 minutes before the sunset.

I asked the tricycle driver to bring me to the boulevard where the volcano is seen during sunset.

When I went to the port, I have seen these guys fishing so I think this was  a good capture while it was sunset.

When it was already dark, I went to downtown and spent the rest of the hours strolling to the mall and on the streets.  I went to the internet cafe which operates until 4am and spend some hours on the internet.

Occasionally, I go to Dunkin' Donuts and ordered some donuts and coffee there, it was open 24 hours and the place was safe to stay, aside from a free wi-fi access.

At 5am, I had a 30 minute walked to the boulevard waiting for the sunrise.

I thought I had some bad captures on the volcano and when I posted the picture on my Facebook account, I received a lot of good comments.

The whole experience was worthwhile. And finally I was able to capture the volcano without the clouds covering Mayon.

There are so many spots to capture the volcano in different towns of Albay and the easiest way is when you go to the boulevard.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Venturing on Foods and Food Photography

Last Saturday, I was invited to take some photos of foods for Japinoy Restaurant. Basically my first food photography assignment since I first started to work as free-lance photographer since 2012 and most of the shots are those from the events.  Being a professional on this field, we take note of the person's flexibility that is why it is important for aspiring photographers to be jack of all trade - from travel, events, fashion and food. If you love food, just like me I always take some shots through my cell phone or dslr camera.

Then came the right moment when I was offered to do some food photography last Saturday and I was really surprised to see the quality of my shots using the different focus method and the angle where it is to take the best shot of the foods.

The nice thing I have learned in photographing some food commercials was I got to eat them for FREE after the chef served it to the table so I could take some shots for every food it is served, one at a time.

Yes I got some tastes of their specialties which Chef Marlon cooked for ads purpose which according to one of the consultants the shots will be used for fliers and display in the restaurant.

Japinoy serves both Japanese and Filipino foods and that is why the they came up with the idea to name this restaurant as Japinoy.  It is located along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City.

Perhaps I should focus on food photography and I am glad I am starting to venture on this part as I myself love to eat at different restaurants and that is really interesting photographing some foods and at the same time, you eat them for free.

Let's see on my next assignment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tanay: The Pililla Wind farm

Finally after several plans I got in to this place last Monday,  I was already in Tanay last Sunday unfortunately because of the rain, I had to go back the following day in Tanay to see these beautiful windmills across the scenic mountainous of Pililla.

I've read about some blogs on how to get there and I found out that you don't really have to rent a tricycle and pay 200 pesos one way to be able to go to the windmills and be back on the city proper of Tanay.  All you need is just when you reach the market, you will have to ride a jeepney in the terminal that go to Sinoloan, Laguna. The fare is 35.00 pesos only and you'll get big savings when done alone.

If you are not in a hurry, you can choose this option but you have to wait long before the jeepney run because seats have to be filled up until it is full.  Then ask the driver to drop you off at the windmills. It takes around 15-20 minutes to get there in the wind farm.

Finally the conductor dropped me off to the wind farm and I walk all the way through the hills of scenic spot around 20 minutes.  There are tricycles available and fare is just only 10 pesos.

When I reached the wind farm, you can see the plains of Tanay, Rizal and you get a very good view of Laguna de Bay on the other side.
On the side roads are vendors selling fruits and some souvenir items like shirts and windmill miniatures.  According to one of the vendors I have talked to, the souvenirs come from Ilocos Province.  It is noted that there are windmills in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.

I spent some few hours in the spot and it was around 5:30 p.m. that I left the place.

Now I have visited the wind mills in Pilillia, this is part of my adventure of exploring Rizal Province.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Finally Back in Pasacao

I was back in Pasacao, Camarines Sur on June 12 for a 3 day, 2 Night vacation. After all I've never been in this place for more than 2 years and the last time I was here during summer where  I spent more than 3 weeks.

I stayed at the VCS Beach Resort located in Caranan and the resort has tree houses, cottages and an air-condition room with a bathroom inside. It's nice and well maintained by the caretakers named Malen and Giga.

Sunset has always been a favorite spot when in Pasacao but unfortunately the sun did not go down to the horizon, but the gradients can only be seen which the sun creates colors in the sky.

During my 3 days in the Bicol region, it won't be complete without going to Naga City which is only 30 minute ride via van.

And finally Starbucks in Naga was my favorite spot to hang out.  The good thing about Starbucks in Naga, you can use the internet for free.

I plan to go back again within this year and see the possibilities of anything that I can do in the Bicol regaion.

beautiful clouds on the sunset shore

me, self portrait putting the camera at the bow of the boat

VCS Beach Resort one of the cottages with aircon and bathroom

Me, sitting while watching the roaring see and sunset
Robledo Coliseum in Naga City

Friday, March 18, 2016

Wedding at Talim Island in Binangonan

I had the opportunity to visit Talim Island in Binangonan, Rizal.  The last time I went to this island was in 2013.  Just recently I had a chance to go back there since I was invited to take photos on the wedding.  That was February 27, 2016.  I covered a simple wedding there with some of my colleagues from Informatics.

I left as early as 4 a.m. to catch up for a boat ride and the first boat in the morning leaves at 6:30 a.m. via Baranggay Janosa. You can see the church in this baranggay once the boat dock at a small port.  Then a 10 minute ride to the bride and groom's house.

I covered the photo shoot for the whole event which lasted at 5 pm in the afternoon.

Here's one of the photo shoot that I did for the bride:

It is a simple wedding yet so unique and what I like about this photo shoot is because it was done on a remote island that people seldom go.  This is one of the place that mountain climbers usually hike and see both sunrise and sunset which you can see the Laguna de Bay and the high rise buildings of Ortigas Center.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Road Trip: The House of Jose Rizal in Calamba

This is my first entry for 2016. I never had so much entry last year as I slowed down a bit when it comes to traveling. I hope I could do more travels for this year, not just an out of town trip but as well as outside the country.

I did the Calayan trip last year and that was the farthest so far. Hopefully I want to do Visayas and Mindanao this year, well it depends on the budget haha..

A friend of mine Jake invited me to go to Calamba, Laguna since he haven't been there at the house of our national hero, Jose Rizal.  So I acted as his tourist guide since because I was familiar with this place, the fact that I used to go to Calamba for quite a few times.

We met at Mcdonald's in Edsa Crossing in the morning as the bus going to Calamba would be passing along Edsa.  We walked from Crossing until we have reached the stop area of the provincial bus near the Ortigas Station of MRT.

Since there was no traffic and it happened to be Sunday, the trip was short and it took us approximately an hour to reach Calamba.  We got off the bus in one of the malls where jeepneys pass by but before going to Jose Rizal's house we had lunch in Mcdonald's Calamba.

Few minutes later we took the jeepney and asked the driver to bring us to Jose Rizal.  It is along Mercado St.

The house of Jose Rizal was well maintained I think it was newly painted although I am not sure when was the last painting they have done on the external of the house.

Jose Rizal's house was actually big, the land area itself is wide and is surrounded by the steel fence.  It could be imagine that when you are there, seems like you had a time travel in the past.

This is the main entrance of the museum leading to the main stair of the house.  It's just a small entrance and once you have entered the door is where you can find the sign up book and you can drop your donation in the box.

This is the ground floor leading to the main stair of the house.

This could be the study room of Jose Rizal as where his mother told him the story about the Munting Gamo-gamo.
On the second floor where the main stair is located at.

The Dining Room

This could be the bedroom of Jose Rizal

The Kitchen

The well

sitting outside where the main entrance of the whole lot was located

I had a great time visiting the house of Jose Rizal and after the Calamba trip we decided to go to Los Banos to see the University of the Philippines