Welcome 2014

Punta Dumalag, Davao City   © Jojie Alcantara

Punta Dumalag, Davao City © Jojie Alcantara

“Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer.” ― Peggy Toney Horton Continue reading

Davao’s Simple Christmas Spirit

Christmas in Rizal Park, Davao City  © Jojie Alcantara

Christmas in Rizal Park, Davao City © Jojie Alcantara

Davao’s Simple Christmas Spirit

In this special Holiday Season, I am sharing the joys of Christmas all the way from my beloved Davao City. I am hoping this will bring to fellow Dabawenyos the nostalgia, happiness and pride I showed my childhood classmate, Agnes, together with bestfriend Sesil, when they accompanied me around town capturing the lights in the streets. We are helping Nhess heal and recover from an emotional trauma in Tacloban (she worked in a hotel where several of her staff died in the recent typhoon tragedy), and is now relocating back to Davao.

Me and buddies Sesil and Agnes at the park
Me and buddies Sesil and Agnes at the park

One wonderful Sunday I thought of cheering them up by surprising them with the simple spirit that makes us proudly Dabawenyos (people from Davao), happy to be living in a ‘no-risk (911 and Task Force), no-smoking, no-liquor, no-speeding, no-fireworks, no-kidding (cctvs in the streets)’ city, despite the silent but meaningful Christmases we share every year. As soon as the lights went on around the park and in the trees, the amazement on their faces was priceless.

Buddies Sesil and Agnes at the Rizal Park  © Jojie Alcantara

Buddies Sesil and Agnes at the Rizal Park © Jojie Alcantara

Happy Holidays with love and joy from Davao City!
All photos taken along San Pedro Cathedral, Osmena Park, our bedazzled City Hall and Rizal Park last Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013)

Davao City Hall at Christmas   © Jojie Alcantara

Davao City Hall at Christmas © Jojie Alcantara

Art of Street Photography Workshop

street photography poster of Jojie Alcantara
Click to enlarge

“The question is not what you look at but what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Street photography is the most challenging form of discipline because it is spontaneous, unpredictable, and a reflection of lifestyle and culture, good and bad. The documentation of candid moments in public trains you to be a keen observer, sheds your inhibitions, teaches you to socialize better, and gives you faster motor reflexes. It is good training to spot decisive moments that separates ordinary snapshots into memorable art.

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.
(~Jojie A.)

Jojie Alcantara is a writer and multi-awarded photographer who maintains a column in SunStar Davao, Manila Bulletin, is a chief photographer of M Magazine and contributes to other international publications. She maintains blogs, and to date has more than 18k followers on Facebook.  She is a solo traveler and loves to shoot from the hip a lot.

Learn more about your photographer here.

Limited slots only. Please contact organizer Jocelyn Nefiel 09192002246

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Reach out to an angel

Angel within reach by Jojie Alcantara

Angel within reach | Jojie Alcantara

“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

Love, hope and prayers for all those affected in the recent typhoon that hit a part of my islands.  Currently, relief drives are being carried out every day to reach out to our brothers and sisters in the hardest hit areas.  There is a spark of hope in the smallest of prayers if we can send out even one to them.

Here’s a very nice reflection on angels

Tagum’s Giant Christmas Tree Lights Up Sky

Tagum Lighting of Christmas Tree Ceremony by Jojie Alcantara

Tagum Lighting of Christmas Tree Ceremony by Jojie Alcantara

Tagum Lighting of Christmas Tree Ceremony

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. Continue reading

Sunset over the valley

Sunset over the valley   © Jojie Alcantara

Sunset over the valley © Jojie Alcantara

“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.  :-)

signature jojie alcantara

Shoot for Hope: Workshop for a Cause

Shoot for a Cause Photography Workshop in Davao

Shoot for a Cause Photography Workshop in Davao

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. Continue reading

Christmas after the storm

Christmas in Iligan by Jojie Alcantara

Christmas in Iligan by Jojie Alcantara

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. Continue reading

Shoot for hope

Shoot for Hope poster

Shoot for Hope poster

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. Continue reading

Morning after

Sunrise in Cagayan de Oro  © Jojie Alcantara

Sunrise in Cagayan de Oro © Jojie Alcantara

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. Continue reading

Rainbow after a storm

Rainbow over the valley by Jojie Alcantara

Rainbow over the valley by Jojie Alcantara

“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. Continue reading

Home for Christmas

Panoramic shot of San Pedro, Rizal Park and Davao City Hall at night during Christmas

Panoramic shot of San Pedro, Rizal Park and Davao City Hall at night during Christmas

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

Continue reading

Fish be with you

Opah or Diana catch in GenSan City Complex by Jojie Alcantara

Opah or Diana catch in GenSan City Complex by Jojie Alcantara

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 gesture of goodwill rather than sell it.

This particular photo of mine won Grand Prize on BetterPhoto.com, January 2010 competition.

To view more about the tuna catch in GenSan City Fishport Complex, view my album here.

Mana Mania

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 Mana!

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.

 

Pasko Fiesta sa Davao (2010)

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

Razzle Dazzled

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

A Tall Order

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