Month: September 2011

Follow your art

“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” ― Pablo Picasso Fishcages of Bislig City (I shot this on a late afternoon from a hill, click photo for bigger view ) I used to be a dancer who ended up as a writer who ended up as a painter who ended up as a photographer. I was bursting with so many dreams that a few times I sacrificed most to focus on a few.  Whatever we do in life, let’s strive to leave a positive mark and believe that our small role in society can make a difference. Bislig is the capital of Surigao del Sur, and is laden with beautiful natural attractions like Tinuyan Falls (Mindanao’s little Niagara), Lake 77 and Hagonoy Island. View more photos in my gallery.  

Journey inside Croc territory

December 16, 2010 This crudely made video was uploaded from my mobile phone on a night I stayed in the floating community of Lake Mihaba, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. This was my travel inside the beautiful Agusan Marsh the second time around. The following scenes I took were edited and uploaded to youtube from my trusty old Nokia N8 when I was able to get a signal inside the marshland. We stayed in a floating house with a generator (it was dark so I wasn’t sure what I was typing). This was the community evacuated when a child was beheaded in 2009 from a crocodile attack (or freak accident since the residents insisted this has never happened before). Traces of bite marks were etched from the banca she rode in. After the sensational news and evacuation, the community came back again to live here, because this was the only way of life they know.

Standing coffins of Manado, Indonesia

Between 1994 and 1995, I was traveling to Manado, Indonesia doing my very first travel brochure project (the income of which I bought my first PC) for a Swiss client.  I only had a film camera then and it was to document for the brochure.  Back in those days, my composition and output were still unsatisfactory for me.  It was my very first travel in Southeast Asia. This photo above was taken of me (I forgot by whom) standing beside the Waruga Stone Graves in Sawangan Village, Manado. For a  little interesting history, this ancient cemetery consist of 144 sarcophagi (coffins) which dated back to the Megalithic age. Made of unique stones with holes in the middle and a triangular lid, the coffins have carved motifs which will tell you the dead’s profession, hobby or interest (a drawing of a female giving birth to a child means the grave of a midwife). The most remarkable thing was the funeral ritual. The corpse was seated and tied on a chair until it became stiff. The corpse …

A labyrinth called Life

“Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness. ” ― M. Scott Peck Shot in Temple of Bayon, Angkor Complex, Siem Reap, Cambodia (January 2011) Read more of my adventures here

On an endless road

“MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.   Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone”. — Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude” Photo taken in a temple complex in Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia …

No man is an island

“Only when we see ourselves in our true human context, as members of a race which is intended to be one organism and ‘one body,’ will we begin to understand the positive importance not only of the successes but of the failures and accidents in our lives. My successes are not my own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of my labors is not my own: for I am preparing the way for the achievements of another. Nor are my failures my own. They may spring from failure of another, but they are also compensated for by another’s achievement. Therefore the meaning of my life is not to be looked for merely in the sum total of my own achievements. It is seen only in the complete integration of my achievements and failures with the achievements and failures of my own generation, and society, and time. “ – Thomas Merton, from No Man is an Island Above photo is a 3-hectare island of Barangay San Victor with powdery white sand beaches, …

Dolphin Chase

“It was a remarkable day for us. We ended up coming across different species, ones I have to look up on my field guide book again. Normally, the long-snouted Spinner and bottlenose dolphins were the most familiar ones the locals would see, but for them the new pod was unfamiliar, shiny black or dark gray in color, bigger and slower than the usual spirited and bouncy ones. They were around us, fins protruding, and disappearing underneath our boats (my wild guess is that they are short finned pilot whales, but judging from the varied fin shapes there could be a mixed pod of sorts). I gave Richard my other small camera to use, and he inadvertently filmed the dolphins while the lens cap was still on (later, I would be listening to an audio of jubilant shouts and laughter with the monitor in pitch black).” – excerpt from my published article “Chasing Lumbalumba” Read my full article here – Chasing “Lumbalumba” (Dolphin Watch in Mati)

Davao’s Floral Float Parade

Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2011 Pamulak Float Parade Around 115 contingents participated in what was touted to be the biggest number of delegates who joined the 26th Kadayawan sa Dabaw’s most festive Pamulak or Floral Float Parade.  Uniquely designed floats of various shapes and sizes showcasing the abundant vegetation of Davao Region snaked their way along the assigned routes where a huge crowd is scattered from as far as the starting point in Magsaysay Avenue. With the biggest win, Abreeza’s first experience with the floral float competition earned it a deserving championship with a whooping P500,000 in cash prize for the Open or Big Category. View my full article published in SunStar Davao Aug. 25 (“Abreeza shines in Pamulak Float Parade”) or More of my Kadayawan’s Pamulak Float Parade Photo Gallery here