Wadi Rum Protected Area was declared in 2011 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its most outstanding desert landscapes, lending a surreal feel to the vast environment. If you think this is a scene from a Star Wars movie, there may be a little truth to it.
Local kids in Cateel, Davao Oriental enjoy the cool waters of Aliwagwag Falls, its stunning cascades a poignant reminder of nature’s fragile ecosystem when it was affected by the onslaught of supertyphoon Pablo (Bopha) in 2011.
“I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” ~ Andy Rooney
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!” ― Ted Grant
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela When I am down, and my grumpy self surfaces due to several reasons — period, boredom, depression, low self esteem or just being flat broke — I take time out to travel on a short or long trip, and let myself be engulfed by the sheer beauty of the world around me that we often fail to acknowledge or even notice. If I keep moving forward, my worries are left behind. Seascape of my ancestral place in Manay, Davao Oriental © Jojie Alcantara 2013 * * * *
I love aerial photography
Me captured by my sidekick Ronald inside a Cessna
“Landscapes of great wonder and beauty lie under our feet and all around us. They are discovered in tunnels in the ground, the heart of flowers, the hollows of trees, fresh-water ponds, seaweed jungles between tides, and even drops of water. Life in these hidden worlds is more startling in reality than anything we can imagine. How could this earth of ours, which is only a speck in the heavens, have so much variety of life, so many curious and exciting creatures?” ― Walt Disney Company
“Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.” ~ Anonymous
“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” ~Unknown
When 7,107 Islands Magazine (my country consists of such number of islands) launched the latest issue with the theme of “Seven Most Daring Travel Destinations”, it was quite a brave move on the editor’s part and the team behind it. How can you promote places most feared in my country due to travel advisories and media hype? Of the seven daring destinations, I have only been to four so far. Actually I had a pending invitation to two of those, but things had a way of preventing me from going at that time. In this particular issue, I got the cover photo and two beautiful destinations, Marawi City (article written by Gael Hilotin) and Tawi-Tawi, situated at the last frontier southernmost of the Philippines (my article and photos). Braving a destination despite the negative claims is sometimes worth it, just as long as you don’t take too much risk. View large pages here
“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” ― Susan Polis Schutz Taking a candid shot of my good friend, Epong Soliban, who is now a master in landscape photography Times Beach, Matina, Davao City © Jojie Alcantara 2012
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” ― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
“On the Rocks” © Jojie Alcantara 2012 “Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping stones to greater experience. Perhaps someday you will be thankful for some temporary failure in a particular direction. When one door closes, another always opens.” ~Unknown
“Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.” ~Author Unknown Woke up at 4am today to travel thirty minutes to an isolated beach destination and welcome the sunrise. A drizzle came, so I knew the sun wouldn’t be peeking in. I concentrated on the rocks instead. Because of the slight rain, the rocks were quite slippery and dangerous. It was very hard to maneuver over them while carefully holding cameras and a tripod. These stepping stones became almost my stumbling blocks. Several times, I almost slipped and fell. It was a crazy thing to do, to struggle forward towards slippier, wetter, rockier areas just to get a vantage point. Like all crazy photographers, I wanted a shot that will satisfy me. But the journey, rain and all, was worth it. All I needed to do was focus on my goal.
“What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer. ” ― William Albert Allard Simplify. A most handy and practical tip for the photographers. Simplify. A most handy and practical tip to use in life. Waking up at 4am to catch the sunrise in a remote coastal barrio within my city is rewarding and most often, my feel good therapy. © Jojie Alcantara 2012
Best viewed in large image here “It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values. You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and breathe softly through your nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. ‘I am watching you — are you watching yourself in me?’ Most travelers hurry too much…the great thing is to try and travel with the eyes of the spirit wide open, and not to much factual information. To tune in, without reverence, idly — but with real inward attention. It is to be had for the feeling…you can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle, you’ll be there.” ~ Lawrence Durrell, Spirit Of Place: Letters And Essays On Travel Lake Rosario is situated halfway up in the Mount Apo Protected Area Park, at a higher elevation blessed with cool climate …
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.