“When the storm is over and night falls and the moon is out in all its glory and all you’re left with is the rhythm of the sea, of the waves, you know what God intended for the human race, you know what paradise is”. ~ Harold Pinter
Photo above: Whitesand Beach, San Ignacio, Davao Oriental © Jojie Alcantara, 2011
This isn’t actually a nightfall shot. I shot it at sunrise set in seemingly dramatic storm clouds. But it didn’t rain. These are Pacific waves, and they are regularly as wild and untamed looking as in the image you see.
My family and clan are blessed with land that spans both coastal areas and highlands in the remote province of San Ignacio, Manay, Davao Oriental where there is only one main road that goes through it.
We may not be that wealthy, but we are rich in coconut trees and virgin shorelines that remind you of Hawaii (I think, as googled on the net). Our ancestors have discovered, bravely cut through a wild forest, persevered and fought for the land, cultivated it, and preserved it for generations. My grandparents never thought of selling to investors (and nobody thought as potential tourist attractions back then).
In my childhood days, my cousins and I frequented the sea (since our old ancestral house was built on the beach) and played the whole day. It was a way of life that was simple and wonderful. If we needed food, we buy fresh fish from passing fishermen or chase one of our goats for caldereta. Our caretaker climbed coconut trees to extract sweet buko concoction for guests. We tasted of saltwater the whole day.
But back then, I didn’t appreciate how beautiful our environment was until I became a photographer. I started inviting friends over to visit our place and I began to appreciate its beauty through their eyes. It used to be a long 6-7 hour drive away from Davao City. With good paved roads, it can now be reached in less than 4 hours, and only 30-45 minutes away from Mati City.
What used to be our secret playground and hideaway is now open to the public when my cousins recently built small cottages on the shoreline and named it Whitesand Beach Resort. No entrance fee, just order food or rent out cottages.🙂
The Ferrando cousins have all grown up and we lived far apart in different lifestyles, barely seeing each other for years. But the strong bond remains on this rich white sand treasure.
This was my childhood paradise. It still remains so until now.