Monday, March 13, 2017

A Different Kind of Bicol Express

If theres one thing that I really love more than anything else is shooting food. This is a different rendition of a Bicol Express dish coz instead of the usual pork, they used fish. Perfect for the Lenten season.

 Im kinda blinded shooting this dish because i really how am I gonna execute it. Good thing my good ol friend Jolly helped me out with the pinterest pics. 

This is my favorite angle among the rest. I really love this job. Its fun. Its challenging. And you get to eat what you shoot... Well most of the time. :)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Sagada Connection


Have you ever been into a place where time pauses. Where complications in life is almost zero. Where simplicity is the norm and looking at clouds swooping down the mountains is merely an ordinary thing. Here in Sagada, its just like that. It's cold. simple and you get to walk a lot. Dont forget to bring your fit-bit with you. You'l get a lot of steps just by going around here. 




I came up of an easier way to share my trip to you guys. Im just gonna post all of my favorite pictures from my trip and talk a little something about it. I have this problem arranging the events so I just have to go random. Here are my top photos from the last Sagada - Kalinga Trip. Photo on top is from the mountain side going to Danum Lake. It was very foggy then. I was thankful the cloud openned up a little just to get this shot...  



This is Saagada Brew and they serve one of the best coffee in town. I also like the food in here. They also serve different kinds of tea. This place is a must visit if you happen to be in Sagada. Im sure you will love it. 



This photo was taken going to Danum Lake. We rode a jeep going to the place and the roads are kinda bumpy but its all good.  The mountain view is spectacular! You can see the rice fields on your left and on your right. Its not a long trip. I assure you, you will enjoy it. 


One thing I like from this place  is the cold weather! Its really far of from the musty , dry and sizzling hotness of manila. Its cold but tolerable. Just wear descent amount of clothes and you'l be ok. This is a photo from our bus stop I think.  Hours before reaching the town of Sagada. 


This is the view from our hotel room. The place is called Treasure Rock and according to TripAdvisor.com it is one of the best hotels to stay in Sagada. Kuya Jerry, the manager of the place is really nice. He also has a small bar where you can sing and drink all night. He can even fix a bonfire for you if you want to warm yourselves down.  


I woke up early from our bus trip. It was almost a 10 hour bus ride from Manila. I wanted to take a photo of what its like to drive the treacherous mountains of Sagada. Taking this is actually hard coz of all the twists and turns. Hands to the bus driver whose brave enough to do such a feat of driving 10 hours straight in this cold weather... 


You'l see a lot of these in Sagada. I shot this on our way to Bomod-ok waterfalls.. Its a long trek, about an hour I think going to the falls. View is really amazing. So relaxing that its theraputic. Cool in the eyes...fresh air. Its rejuvinating. 

Sometimes its all about breaking the rules. In the course of my photography career, i have been following rules on how to properly frame a photo. Disregarding the rules of composition, i still find this photo very nice. Maybe because i had a reminscin moment from my last trip way back that I almost fell from one of these... Im just happy i had the right balance now.  

We went to this place called the Strawberry Cafe. I love their coffee! Partnered with the traditional toast and eggs and bacon, it was awesome. I really love the bacon.  Its so crispy! 

Not only the food is great but also the view. You can even see a lot of strawberries everywhere. This is one of those places that you need to visit. The abundance of good restaurants in Sagada is surely a delight for foodie like me. Basically its one of those reasons I enjoyed the trip because of the good food!

Never seen a rainbow on a ricefield ever. So this one is really special to me. I was hoping theres a treasure in there...then iit came to me that the treasure is already in front of you. 

Caught up with Niko and Lorie with their sweet and intimate moments at the hanging bridge....We're almost there at the waterfalls. From here, we can hear the water gushing already. This bridge is wiggly so better brace yourself as you cross it. 


The famous Bomod-Ok Falls! After that long trek, i just have to take my shirt off and dive! Water is so cold! Freezing is the right word but its really refreshing. Be extra careful on the rocks though coz its really slippery! I actually fell while taking this shot.... 


We went to this restaurant called Masferre and man you got to try their porkchops. Its so damn delicious. I really dunno how they cooked this. Its just tasty. Kinda buttery. I love this. You have to try it. The place is really nice too if you're a photographer. You can see a lot of black and white portraits there. I believe the owner is a photographer as well and the portraits of the locals and scenery is exquisite. 

The Sumaguing Cave trek was intense! It was enormous inside. Although it was kinda damp and slippery (and bat stinky) it was an amazing experience. I tried swimming inside in one of the lakes and damn it was freezing cold! Its quite an experience! 


Once inside, you might find the rock formations pretty entertaining! Plus the guides are all witty themselves that made this spelunking trip full of laughs! 


This is the famous Lake Danum in Sagada! We stayed here for a while and when it was starting to drizzle, we went back to our jeep.  I just hope I can be as flexible as Dawna :)


at the end of the day, you just have to be thankful for all the things that you'ved seen. The food that you ate. The experiences tattooed in your mind. Sometimes its just alright to stop taking pictures and just feel the moment. Feel your very existence. My Sagada experience was exceptional and I cant wait to go back. There are some sites that I havent been to like the Kiltepan Sunrise and Sunset, the hanging coffins and Marlboro Country. Im gonna be back for sure. Watch out for my second part of my blog - The Kalinga Expedition , The Road to Apo Whang-Od. Thanks guys!



Friday, September 16, 2016

My Solo Trip to Kalanggaman Island

If you are fond of travelling to beaches with a spectacular sandbar, this is the place that you probably want to visit. Just in case you have a drone with you, you are lucky. This island is best viewed in the air! Since im poor and cant afford to buy a drone yet, I'll settle with these pictures for now. The place is pretty much amazing to me. Amazing enough to go even when you're travelling alone! Welcome to Kalanggaman Island. I'l show you my journey to this wonderful piece of land. Tara! Biyahe tayo!


This is actually a group trip. Unfortunately, all of em backed out. I cant blame one of em coz she got really sick and even got rushed in the hospital. This is actually my first time to travel alone. It's different when you travel with a group tour like the ones in group trips. There, even if you're a solo traveller, you are still travelling with a group. Sometimes you even get lucky bumpin with some of your old friends... sometimes even your ex. This one is different coz you are on your own. You buy your own ticket, You ride the plane alone. You go hitchin a van and a tricycle all by yourself. You have to use your brains and wits to endure this trip. By that, it's something challenging. Im'ma tell you I was afraid at first coz my effin conscience tells me a lot of what ifs... Damn i just got out of my bed, packed my bags and went to the airport! I got to do this coz we only live once! 

A lot of things great things happened! Things that normally dont happen when your travelling with someone. Like, my pair of nose hair trimmers got confiscated...i didnt know its illegal to bring those on a carry on... Things like sitting beside a window. When I was with.... :(  Most of the time I gave her the window seat coz she likes it there even though i really like to sit there as well. Im not complaining or anything. I just want her to enjoy the flight.  Now that Im all alone, i have the window seat all by myself. I took the early morning flight which is a good thing coz you'll see moments like this! Sunrise at 30,000 feet! It's such an awesome view! 


When the plane was above Bicol region, I saw Mayon Volcano in its most epic view! It's really amazing. I never saw Mayon like that... It's really spectacular! I'm like a kid who just went on his 1st airplane ride! I was also thankful back then that the weather is really good. Back in Manila, it was raining really hard. Maybe thats one of the reasons why some of my travel mates backed out. Sayang coz the weather going to Leyte was really smooth. 

Her name is Blanch. She's the head flight attendant of this trip. I have to admit shes pretty. Wait what?  Why am I checkin her out? Well I dunno... Maybe because we were given eyes to see the beauty of God's creations? hmm.. anyways. On with the trip! 


I have reached Tacloban at around 7am and when I got out of the airport, a crowd of testosterone filled van drivers rushed towards me asking me where I'm going... I said I'm going to Palompon City. One driver asked me to rent his van all by myself by 3,500 pesos! Hell no! One guy took me to his tricycle and took me to Abucay Terminal where the vans and busses are located going to Palompon. That guy charged me 250 pesos! I could have just rode a jeep for less than 10 pesos! Oh well. Charged to experience!


At the van, I took shotgun and paid for the seats in front! I was really comfy along with my bags beside me. I saw the winding roads of Leyte! The rice fields. The different towns that is used to be  devastated by Typhoon Yolanda. I saw their fast development and recovery. A lot of buildings are newly built but you can still see some structures ravaged by the typhoon. It was a long ride but I enjoyed it! 

I arrived at Palompon and I registered at the Eco Tourism Building. Thats the place where you can schedule a boat ride going to Kalanggaman Island. The staff there also briefed me about what to expect in the island. They told me that there are no stores in the island. There are no freshwater to drink. Theres no electricity. But phone signal is strong. Ok.. They also told me that the boat going to the island costs 3,000 pesos! Good Lord! I have to wait for some people to split the fair with. I waited for 3 hours and I almost lost hope. Good thing 3 couples arrived and there it is! With that stroke of luck, we we're on our way! But before left, I  already bought some food. I also bought a litter of drinking water for myself. I should have bought two!  Im'ma stay overnight at the island. Im going to pitch my tent there. I just bought a couple of noodles, some bread, crackers and coffee to live... 


I met these really nice people! All of em are actually travellers in their own way! One couple actually owns an online travel website and they'r doing an ocular visit to Kalanggaman! The guy at the back, Kiko, loves to travel around the country like theres no tomorrow! He really uses his Vacation leaves really well coz he travels for 2 weeks straight!!! Amazing... How I wish I can do that as well! Its great to meet all of them! 




Kalanggaman is not really that far from Palompon. If you're a seasoned swimmer or a freaking triathlete you can just swim your way to the island! I'm neither and I'm freakin fat and slow so riding a boat is probably a better idea for me. This is my favorite shot everytime I travel by boat. I just hope someday my go pro wont go diving ahead of me. I'd have to punch myself if ever that happens. From this photo, you can see Kalanggaman Island peeking! I am actually excited right at this moment! 

We're here! The beach is really nice! The best thing about this trip is that theres almost nobody in the island! During peak season, this island is packed with tourists! And that sucks. Locals said that there are times, international cruise ships once anchor docks  beside the island bringing people at the beach! Man thats crazy! I guess I came in a good day or am I? Imagine hot semi naked latinas playin beach volleyball... Ugh anyways.. Thank goodness! I cant believe  I'm really here! Its like I was sitting by my couch early that morning  contemplating on going or not and by a thrust of self encouragement from my crazy conscience, Im here!  Kalanggaman! You have been conquered by my crazy self!  Haha.  I'm so happy! 


The sand is white! Its not that fine though like the ones in Boracay, Bohol or Palawan. But I dont give a flying fck! Its a beach!!! Its my place of zen! I missed this! I missed it a lot. Took my slippers off and jumped onto the sand.... That feeling of sand hugs your feet is one of those things that I really really like.  


 I grabbed my stuff and I didnt even pitched my tent yet unlike the others. I just placed my stuff beneath a tree and went straight to Kalanggaman's famous sandbar! I just have to congratulate myself for travelling with a light camera! I love my Fuji XT1! Its not bulky and it makes awesome photos! I also brought along my GoPro for some wide shots like this. Of course like any other freaking tourist, I took a selfie! Theres a huge sign saying that swimming is prohibited around this area since the current is really strong that it may pull you down. You can swim at the middle part of the island though. As of the moment, i think my skin tone got 3 shades darker and its all good! 



I really need to have a moment at this monument (that freakin rhymes). According to the scripture at the bottom, this is the only remaining man-made structure standing after typhoon Haiyan. Can you just imagine every house, or shelter here is wrecked and wasted!  Ok... it deserves a photo! Got this on timer.  I look like a freaking dork here.   

Like they said. The island is pretty much untouched. No hotels, no stores. No booming loud music. No freaking dogs shitting  around. None of all that stuff. It's very quiet and peaceful! Some people dont want this kinda setup for a trip. But I do dig this! I can live with it. Its quite an experience! One positive note about this island is that it has a nice comfort room! Ceramic tile flooring.. reasonable height toilet. It's better than my toilet actually.  Theres even a bathing / changing area! The boatmen usually brings a gallon of fresh water for each individual for consumption. 



 I noticed though that there are solar lamp posts around! Thats a good thing coz when night came, its not dark. The place is well lit. It's easier to pitch a tent. It's easier to move. It's easier to get drunk! Yeah, we drank emperador with Royal Tru Orange as chaser! Haha!  Then the canned tuna that i bought, I mixed it with my crushed crackers! Galawang tambay lang eh no?! Hahaha! We had a great time goofin around. Talking about work. relationships..life in general. Im enjoying meeting new friends. Conquering fears. Sand between your toes. Milky way visible by the naked eye...  This is how life should be. Simple. No complications.  We just lived by the moment and it felt good... 


Would you believe a sandbar woke me up? I slept with an open tent and there.. that view woke me up. Its freaking amazing to wake up with a view like that! I got a little hungover from lastnight's under the stars drinkin sesh with my new found island friends! I just asked from the locals for some hot water for my coffee and I was...fine. Unfortunately we have to leave a little early coz my friends have other plans. So I have no choice go with em. Unless i wanna swim back to Palompon...  It's all good anyways. I had enough of sand and tan all over.. I'm good and we took off at around 7am. By 11am I was already in Tacloban and stayed at Yellow Doors Hotel which is a pretty cool place by the way. Just look for  it via Trip Advisor and it has good reviews...


I'm gonna end this blog with this photo...The thought of travelling alone is something anyone should experience once in our lives.  Just remember that dont be afraid to try new things. You'l never knew what you will discover. You'l discover new things. You'l discover strength within surprisingly. Being alone, travelling is actually fun! Always remember that people can be really friendly if you smile a lot. Always start your conversation with a smile. Just be good. Be nice. Dont be an ass. Be polite and people will treat you well. 

This is life! Feeling alive! Doing things that you normally don't do! Now I'm cringing for another solo trip! Hmm where to next? Siargao? Batanes? Romblon? Wherever it may be, Im up to it! I really enjoyed my stay here in Kalanggaman. It's short but sweet.  I will definitely go back and I hope to the one who reads this blog should explore this one beautiful piece of land...

Toyota FT-1


Sexy in every single angle. Aggressive yet sophisticatedly beautiful.  There are a lot of words to describe this brilliant piece of machine. It's like art. The curves, the detail, the engineering. They all work in harmony. I just have to pause for a moment to just clap my hands and bow down to the great people of Toyota for bringing glory to the car industry. I have witnessed something  that made me utterly speechless and almost cried.  Behold, the new Toyota FT-1 Concept Car! Get those tissues ready!



FT-1 Stands for "Future Toyota One". Medyo baduy ha pero what the heck! The people behind the design are from Calty Design Studio.  Alex Shen is the head designer of the FT-1. Every single detail of this car has its very own function. Sculpted magnificently to its utmost form. So its not just the design... it has science on it. Batman would want one. And it should be in black! 



I hardly go to Motorshows coz the scene is usally same-same...Nah thats not really the reason. Tamad lang talaga ako! But this year's Philippine International Motorshow has something different.  A carshow that I should never miss because of one thing besides the hot ladies,  - its because of THIS CAR! Once I found out that the Toyota FT-1 Concept car is gonna be displayed, I went nuts on how to go to World Trade Center in Pasay City! Thanks to my good friend Ish for hooking me up with the tickets! 



I cannot imagine seeing that face on my rear view mirror! I'd probably faint..or have a seizure! If ever theres a chance Im gonna be stuck in traffic beside it, I'd probably go out and take selfies! It's just a total head turner!  It looks very aggressive! Those headlights, the carbon fiber air ducts at the bottom... That glass topped engine display, Its insane! It looks insanely fast! and probably run insanely fast as well!


I remembered a phrase from that movie, Face Off... John Travolta said, "I hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you go..." That played into my my mind while looking at this car's ass. Man,  Look at that rear! Those tail lights! That insane spoiler that goes up probably when it reach 200 kph... The exhaust... its well placed.. It's beautiful! Having the moment eating dust while looking at the rear of this car is actually an honor...



Even the rims are gorgeous. I like the simplicity of the design. I believe those are 21 inch rims. That red accent inside makes it more grrrr....It kinda means business lookin at its "center lug" (i just made that up though) feature that normally formula one race cars have. I love its stance. Height is just enough. You cant drive this around Tuktukan Taguig though coz damn speed bumps there are huge! You probably need to hook some Airrex Suspension if you wanna drive this around Manila.  



Thats just beauty over there! Later when I sleep, i would really appreciate it if I dream of her, cruising somewhere at 300 kph ng naka windows down! Tapos i would  probably park in front of Burger Machine for a snack. Eating Bart Burger with cheese while staring at her... Ugh.. I want Bart Burger with cheese.. and Sansrival.



If you notice, the seat of the driver is almost situated on the wheels of the car. I bet when you drive this car at top speeds and you corner, handling will be a breeze! This car is so aerodynamically designed, it pierces through wind like butter! 



For me this part over here is my favorite. The contours of the face is just so mean looking.  The headlights are just insane along with the Daytime Running Lights. Inside those air ducts are like Jet engines! It has turbines in front that probably helps the car suck more air through its powerful engine.


That face is so sexy. That carbon fiber back logo of toyota is awesome! Wait for a month you can buy one at Banawe.  That front end kinda looks like a nose of a Formula 1 car! Im just wondering though, where would you put the license plates if ever? Do you still have to put plates in front if you own this car? I dunno... One thing i know, if  ever  that car is in front of me, i'd wet my pants. 








Those boomerang shaped headlights are beautiful! Too bad i haven't seen it lit. The lines and the contours at the back are really sexy. The spoilers goes up when it reaches a certain speed. Creating more down force for the car. Meaning it has  better handling and control. 


Never seen a side mirror designed like that. This probably makes it more aerodyanamic. I havent seen most of the interior of the car. I would love to take a peak but the car is heavily fenced. Too bad. I saw the steering wheel and it has a lot of buttons around along with its carbon fiber components. And for the cockpit, its designed like a Jet fighter!


At a quick glance, this car looks like a Dodge Viper! And it looks so damn good! The look, the stance, the power. It's something that any car guy would want to drive... or want! That is actually the goal of Toyota President, Akio Toyoda -  to make a car that everyone would want to drive... or would want to own! 


Seeing something that only appears in your dreams is simply a great experience. Its like, seeing Arci Muñoz in person... haha i dunno. I really wanted to see this car up close and I am grateful to witness it.  I read something that they will include this car in the new edition of Gran Turismo! I guess that would be the my closest thing in driving this car! Dreams do come true ya know! Malay mo!

The Philippine International Motor Show is up until Sunday! If you want to see this car in person, go to World Trade Center in Pasay City. I assure you, being stuck in traffic is all worth it! Tickets sell for only 100 pesos each. Again many thanks to my friend Ish for giving me a complimentary ticket! I really enjoyed it! Salamat! :)

It's been a while for a blogpost. I was really busy doing photoshoots. After ensogo and doing freelance work, Things got really hard for me. Challenging yet fulfilling. I just have to strive a little harder. Till my next blog guys! And I hope it would be sooner.