Saturday, April 30, 2011

Photographing the Silent Screams of Artifacts

Happy Mask, Puerto Princesa

When exploring, it’s almost instinctive to photograph the vibrant people as well as the breathtaking places. But how about the artifacts - those objects that will remind you that you’ve been there and actually at one point touched them?

Katigbak residence, Lipa Batangas

Madonna and Child Fresco, Katigbak residence, Lipa Batangas
Your exploration will never be complete if you denied yourself the experience of doing justice to those items that are screaming to be photographed! Just imagine if you decided not to give a beautiful yet delicate, antique jar a second look only to regret because on your return the artifact has already crumbled to pieces. That’s too bad.

So what’s so interesting about artifacts? It’s really what you see in the object that will trigger you to shoot. 

Door detail, Lipa Cathedral
Details of a wall painting, Grand Palace, Thailand
That could be from the intricate design and texture to how the light and shadow kiss the object. 
Capiz lamp shades, Puerto Princesa
Of course, you still need to seriously consider the rule of thirds otherwise you might end up with a catalog photo – definitely boring. 

Dream catcher, Puerto Princesa

If the artifact that you’re planning to shoot will look uninteresting in its whole, why don’t you just pick a portion of it and frame that part that will create a dynamic look? 

Chair wood carving, Puerto Princesa

Souvenir glass jarlets, D'Mall Boracay
Sometimes artifacts will present to you an image when you look at them from an angle. That’s why it’s always a good practice to scan your subject for hidden patterns, being patient in the process and lo and behold an image revealed! 

Seat handle wood carving, Puerto Princesa

Snake head-looking driftwood, Puerto Princesa
As you go from one destination to the next, artifacts will always be there - silently calling your attention, asking you to preserve them in time.
Door detail, Lipa Cathedral

Do you like this article? Share this with your friends!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Palawan…Wet Wild Wonderful

Visit this updated article with photos

Release the intrepid in you, Palawan in the south-western part of the Philippines could help you with that. Palawan is a large archipelago consisting of 1,780 islands and islets and Coron-Busuanga is the perfect jump-off point to explore Palawan.  In fact, Jacques Cousteau the father of modern underwater exploration and premiere nature lover was wowed over and so was I, so allow me to whet your appetite and invite you on a wet, wild and wonderful adventure.

Formidable Mt. Tapyas
Mt. Tapyas was a humbling experience. Mt. Tapyas was a formidable 800 steps that made me real sorry for my earthly sins.  Depending on one’s fitness the climb could take 40 minutes to half-a day. The full view of the iconic Mt. Tapyas Cross and the 360° was truly rewarding.

Twin Lagoon
Mother Nature always leaves me stunned.  Palawan has showcased splendors that caused palpitations, momentary disassociation from reality, and at times when I think my heart just came to a halt from such beauty another sight of grace jumpstarts my ticker in an instant such was the slow approach to twin lagoons. The limestone cliffs formed eons ago held me captive and curiosity peaked as to how two different bodies of water (fresh and salt) come together, the science of thermo cline at work was a treat in my lifetime.  I saw and felt the difference as I was swimming through and under a gap going to the other side of the lagoon and it was simply amazing.

Scenic Kayangan Cove and Crystal Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Cove is a masterpiece made up of rock formations surrounding the crystal clear waters. Brace for a steep climb of 300+ steps to Kayangan Lake or blue lagoon said to be the cleanest lake in all of Asia. It mirrored the view of the cliffs while it gave me a clear sense of its depth. Nature sounds of trickling water, birds chirping excitedly, even whispers are echoed by the acoustic environment.

Banol Beach
I thought I died and gone to heaven, waking up not recalling where I was just a moment ago. Imagine (with my eyes barely open) the sun in all its glory, azure skies all around me, turquoise waters almost kissing my feet, laying on sand white as snow, not a soul in sight, just the sound of stillness with a calm splash for intermission.  I thought to myself, I must’ve done something good to have landed on this place. No exaggeration, until I felt my leathery burnt skin ouch to stretch that pulled me back to reality and my senses.  Yet the piece of heaven I just described remained and now with eyes wide open it was even more divine.  Palawan has a lot to offer yet if I were to choose just one, Banol would be my place under the sun. 

Snorkel at Siete Pecados (Seven sins)
It is a coral garden bursting with unimaginable color. Having the most spectacular marine life diversity it is definitely the site for ultimate snorkeling/skin diving.

Worthy must-sees are Amanpulo the island recluse of Hollywood stars, Miniloc Island in El Nido was setting for a segment in the Amazing Race series for its telegenic attributes. Not to fail to mention, the Subterranean River National Park and the Tubattaha Marine Park which are World Heritage sites that are indeed the Ultimate Architect’s creations on magnificent display.  The list goes on for another telling, meantime head on to Palawan for your own wet wild wonderful.

Getting there
From Manila, there are domestic airlines just waiting to take you for a short ride roughly 60 minutes to Busuanga airport and 50 minutes of refreshing rural scenery riding a jeep to get to Coron town.

When to go
Summer is always the best season to travel around the Philippines, March-May are peak yet all year round seems just perfect.

Like fish in the sea, all are reasonable and competitively priced ranging from $30-100 depending on the comfort you would want for your stay.

Domestic Airlines with flights to Busuanga:
Cebu Pacific        :
Zest Air                :
Seair                    :

Tours and accommodations:
Dive Link Resort  :
Seadive Resort    :
Coral Bay Resort :
Club Paradise      :

*This article was also featured in the No.13 issue 2/2011 of Asian Geographic Passport (Get Wet in Asia).
Visit the link:

Do you like this article? Share this with your friends!