In this special Holiday Season, I am sharing the joys of Christmas all the way from my beloved Davao City
Experimenting with my macro shots of a flower smaller than my thumb, using natural light by the window in my room. I held it up against the light between my thumb and forefinger. A flower in bloom, no matter how tiny, is always a sight to behold.
In 1997, street photography in Indonesia started my journey to photojournalism, eventually pushing me to explore portrait, landscape and travel which is part of the field I specialize in. Come take a walk with me for one day, as I share how I observe, compose and capture scenes in a different, thought provoking perspective.
“When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts.” ― Mary Baker Eddy, Poems by Mary Baker Eddy
The iconic Giant Holiday Tree was lighted on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 in the City of Tagum, Davao del Norte, to officially start the festive season of Christmas, and coinciding with Tagum’s 3rd Food Festival, one of the 14 monthly celebrations cooked up by the city with the most festivals.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” Captured this scene along Marilog District, Davao City View large image here I believe it’s a nice, positive image for me to start my year right, with a resolution to commit to a daily photo blog. :-)
Shoot for Hope Photo Workshop for a Cause (Dec. 30, 2011) Shoot for Hope was organized in a matter of days, just less than 2 weeks. When Typhoon Sendong ravaged areas in neighboring Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, we immediately gathered our very good friends to come up with a fundraising event.
Christmas after the storm (Dec. 2011) A lone parol (Christmas star) hooked to a bamboo pole stands tall on the bridge overlooking the scenario that Typhoon Sendong brought havoc in Iligan last Dec, 16, 2011. In a backdrop of uprooted trees and the other bridge that fell, an attempt of reviving the Christmas spirit still brings Iliganons hope after the storm.
SHOOT FOR HOPE, DEC. 30, 2011 AT THE MARCO POLO HOTEL Six Davao photographers unite for a day in voluntary efforts to raise funds for Typhoon Sendong victims in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities. Learn techniques from the guys who have the experience and skills in different fields of photography, while your support goes to families in need this Holiday Season.
Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning. ~ Barbara Kingsolver It was day 2 of my stay in Cagayan de Oro, where I wanted to document images of hope from the Typhoon Sendong natural disaster in both CDO and neighboring Iligan, which occurred on Dec. 16 of 2011.
In Davao, the tradition is even more significant because we do not celebrate Christmas in a loud way (fireworks have been banned since 2001 so our city has zero firecracker-related injuries during this holiday season).
“Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things – with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.” ~ Corazon Aquino Am still here in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City where the recent typhoon (Sendong) that devastated both areas in CDO and Iligan claimed hundreds of lives and hundreds more missing. It is almost Christmas, yet I’ve decided to hitch with a friend who handles corporate public affairs of their big establishment, and set to deliver thousands of bottled water in both locations.
Christmas… that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance — a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. ~Augusta E. Rundel
Taken early Christmas dawn in General Santos City, when fishermen caught this 74-kilo Moonfish, or Opah, a very expensive delicacy in countries like Hawaii. In the Philippines, it is called “Diana”. I was told by the fishermen that it was a lucky day for me because it’s not often (every 15 days or so only) that they have caught two “Dianas” in one day. Opah or moonfish (Lampris regius) is one of the most colorful of the commercial fish species available in Hawaii. A silvery-grey upper body color shades to a rose red dotted with white spots toward the belly. Its fins are crimson, and its large eyes are encircled with gold. The moonfish’s large, round profile may be the origin of its name. Moonfish landed in Hawaii range from 60 to over 200 pounds in round weight. A pelagic wandering species, it is often found in the company of tunas and billfish. In Hawaii, the Opah was viewed as a good luck fish by old-time longline fishermen, who would give it away as a …
Mana Davao Davao may be illuminated to the brim with Pasko Fiesta celebrations around town, thanks to the projects of the city government and supporting sectors, but there is one special area that stands out during this holiday season. Mana Davao (or Mana Davao Casa de Artes y Antiguos), a high end antique shop along Bajada highway, is a tourist landmark for several years now. The vibrant and stunning, festive montage it produces every year never fails to draw crowds every Christmas (not to mention the traffic it happily causes in the highway). Thousands of lights are set up in fantastic production, drawing excited people like moths to a flame. This year, MANA totally sets a higher standard of creative accomplishment with the spectacular Christmas tableau (I suspect it’s a “Going Green” theme) that lights up everyone’s faces, kids and adults alike. Never mind the electric bill afterwards. The people behind Mana know they deserve a spotlight in Davao’s history for making Dabawenyos proud. More of my Mana images here
Mana Davao (or Mana Davao Casa de Artes y Antiguos), a high end antique shop along Bajada highway, is a tourist landmark for several years now. The vibrant and stunning, festive montage it produces every year never fails to draw crowds every Christmas (not to mention the traffic it happily causes in the highway). Thousands of lights are set up in fantastic production, drawing excited people like moths to a flame. Here is my tribute to Mana Davao, along with one of my favorite childhood song.
As a proud Dabawenya, I went around to shoot the spectacular lights and festive atmosphere in my city through the annual Pasko Fiesta sa Davao, thanks to the city government and supporting sectors. Throughout December, certain roads are blocked to accommodate makeshift stalls and eateries, for fun walks and activities in the evenings. It does cause traffic in most areas for public transports, and commuting may be a bit difficult. Then again, rain or shine, people were everywhere. Sharing with you scenes I captured one drizzling evening from People’s Park to San Pedro Street. Davao may be quieter during this season but we make up for it through bright lights and cheerful sprits. More of my Christmas captures here
For Manong Insoy (seated, front), a tricycle driver based in Sped School, Bangkal, sharing the Christmas spirit is taking time out to install special lights on his public vehicle, even when his passengers felt like they were being transported by a vibrant UFO on the road. His was the only colorfully lighted unit in the waiting line, and he is quite proud of it. Photo by Jojie Alcantara
MAJESTIC TOOG: PHILIPPINE’S TALLEST LIVING CHRISTMAS TREE For Gil Andipa, a Manobo native who works for the Department of Natural Resources (DENR), climbing trees was a part of his life since childhood. He possesses skills that allow him to scale trees and work on grafting and collecting samples. But he has injured a rib or two from falls when he was younger. On Sept. 28 of this year, he got involved in a project which was enthusiastically started by the citizens of Alegria, a small barangay in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. He was paid to scale the tallest tree in town to install Christmas lights, twice, because no one would dare. Not only was it a tall order, pardon the pun, but a huge amount of electric lights must be acquired to illuminate a living Christmas tree at night. Read my full story here