Northern Luzon Project: Vintar, Ilocos Norte

The Northern Luzon series is a photo essay of scenes I experienced while doing a 3-month project for an NGO. The project requires me to travel to several towns in Northern Luzon to document various disaster-preparedness projects.

The laid-back municipality of Vintar, a first class and the largest municipality in the province of Ilocos Norte, is the first leg of my tour in Northern Luzon. I passed by here a couple of times more than a decade ago, but this is the first time I got to explore it more.

My first impression of it was one of richness, not just in scenery but of the people’s financial status as well. The small towns we passed by, even those on very remote areas, had large and well-built houses typical of rich farmers. The vast farmlands I saw may account for most of the wealth, and in some areas I was told that most families have at least one member working abroad.

There wasn’t much opportunity to take photos on the way to the project location because I can’t just tell the driver to stop so I could take photos. Some of the scenes were truly amazing, especially when we traveled parallel to Bislak River. I did get parts of it on the way back because I sat on the jeepney’s roof, but being on a moving vehicle doesn’t give you much options for composition.

We might be going back another time though, hopefully I could take more photos then. For now, here are some I took. Enjoy!

Wanderlust series – Panay

**For more than 10 years, I was lucky enough to have a job that not only required me to travel but paid for all my expenses as well. It was only years later, when I decided to return to Cebu and settle down for good, that I came to appreciate the wealth of knowledge and experience that I earned in all of my travels. The Wanderlust series is part of my effort to show to the current generation, through images, how rewarding traveling in your own country can be, how it defines you as a person and helps you grow into a mature individual. All photos in the series were taken with either a 2mp digicam or a mobile phone camera. If you have any questions, feel free to post one below. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Aaah, Panay island, how I both regret and praise the day my feet touched your ground. Praise, because its seemingly endless natural beauty as you go from town to town offers hidden surprises for those adventurous enough to explore them. Regret because, well, it was also here that I almost got married.

But that’s a story for another time.

For those who don’t know, and it still surprises me how a lot don’t, Panay is the name of the island where Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo is (yes, Boracay is in Panay). In the course of 5 years I was in and out of the island no less than 6 times each year but often spending less than a month each time. Yet in every visit I seem to leave a part of me behind.

I won’t go much into the details of my trips to this part of the Visayas as it is best told along with the almost-got-married story lol. So for now I’m leaving you with some images I took during my trips to Panay.

 

 

Questions? Comments? Feel free to post them below. Watch out for the next installment of the Wanderlust series! 🙂

Wanderlust series – Lingayen

**For more than 10 years, I was lucky enough to have a job that not only required me to travel but paid for all my expenses as well. It was only years later, when I decided to return to Cebu and settle down for good, that I came to appreciate the wealth of knowledge and experience that I earned in all of my travels. The Wanderlust series is part of my effort to show to the current generation, through images, how rewarding traveling in your own country can be, how it defines you as a person and helps you grow into a mature individual. All photos in the series were taken with either a 2mp digicam or a mobile phone camera. If you have any questions, feel free to post one below. Enjoy! 🙂

 

In early 2004, I was assigned at Lingayen to help jump start a research project on solar energy that required a rural setting. I was supposed to stay for only a month, but the serenity of the place captivated me and I ended up staying for nearly 4 months. There was something about the history of the area that spoke to me. It told tales of bravery and faith and a complete love for one’s country. Only 2 years out of college and coming from a nearly disastrous relationship, I naturally fell in love with Lingayen. It offered solace, peace, freedom.

But, as they say, all good things come to an end. I eventually had to leave once the project was able to sustain itself. But my stay in Lingayen was not for nothing, for it triggered realizations that became the foundation for self-growth. It developed a sense of deeper introspection in me that would come to define how I see and live every new place that I am in.

I hope to return someday and revisit these places. For now, I’ll just have to contend myself with the memories evoked by these pictures.

My obsession with the blue hour

The blue hour is the period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. This effect is caused by the relative diffusability of short blue wavelengths of light versus the longer red wavelengths. During the blue “hour” (typically the period is about 40 minutes in length), red light passes straight into space while blue light is scattered in the atmosphere and therefore reaches the earth’s surface. Because of the quality of the light, this period is treasured by artists. Photographers call it sweet light. (Wikipedia)

My obsession with the blue hour started when I saw the works of Yen Baet, a Filipina photographer based in the UK who won the annual National Geographic worldwide photo contest. Since then, I have been trying to chase the blue light every time I go on trips. Below are some of my photos of the blue hour taken in the last 3 (2017 EDIT: 6) years.

Visit my Flickr page to view more of my photos. 🙂

Summer Madness 2014, Argao Cebu

Last May, I was invited to tag along as the official photographer of one of the DJs during the Summer Madness 2014, an electronic music festival held at the southern Cebu town of Argao. The aim of the festival is to promote the tourism industry of Argao, a town often overlooked by tourists who are mostly going to Oslob to swim with whale sharks.

Here are some of my photos of the event, as well as the morning after where we were treated to a feast of seafood as well as awesome landscapes in Argao. Visit their Facebook page for more information.