I’ve always liked taking close up pictures. When I first bought my first SLR (60D which was broken due to seawater), my first non-kit lens was a 100mm macro lens. Anyway, here are two close ups of insects – a butterfly (or probably a moth due to the hairs on the wings) and a dragonfly (possibly a damselfly). Taken with OM-D and 12-50mm lens. With the closeup capabilities of most kit lenses (.2x – .37x), I’ve barely brought the macro lens when I go out.
Some brown birds in Cagbalete Island. Shot with a Canon 7D and Tamron 70-300mm VC at 300mm and then cropped. For shooting birds, you really can never have too long a lens. The birds would fly away whenever I get closer.
December 17-19, 2011
Oyet and Kyt.
After the fun time we had in Polilio Island, I planned a trip to Cagbalete Island – one of the first islands I saw while looking at wikimapia. Cagbalete Island is found on Lamon Bay (Pacific side) off the coast of Mauban, Quezon. Based on pictures on the internet, Cagbalete Island has a beachfront extends a kilometer or more during low tide.
I planned the trip and had my friend Kyt arrange the lodging in Pansacola Resort where we got a small discount.
There were supposed to be 9 of us going to the island. Josh had a nightout on Friday night and was drunk so he overslept and was not able to come. We met in JAC Liner bus station in Kamias, which is the only bus to have a direct trip to Mauban, Quezon (530am). The bus trip takes 3-4 hours in the morning (no traffic) and still passes by Lucena Grand Central Terminal.
We arrived at Mauban and had to take a tricycle from the Mauban bus terminal to the port. Some of us also went to the public market to buy food and other stuff for cooking.
The boat is supposed to leave the port at 9am but it left at around 1030 or later. Due to the limited schedule of boats to Cagbalete, the boat owner just wants to have as many passengers as he can fit in the boat. The boat is filled to capacity (probably more than capacity) with people and merchandise (sacks of rice, blocks of ice, groceries, etc.).
The boat ride is supposed to be just 45 minutes but due to the strong waves (Typhoon Sendong is wrecking havoc in Mindanao but some of the effects can be felt in Luzon), it took us 1.5 hours of dizzying boat trip (many of the kid passenger actually vomited).
At the time we arrived there, it was still high tide and the beach was filled with seaweeds. Jem and Badz cooked lunch while Jason, Kyt and I took photographs and Eman and Nido just rested.
The sands of Cagbalete.
When the tide is finally low, we beheld the beauty of the beach. It was finally time for us to have some fun!
Oyet just being Oyet.
Jem and Badz photoshoot.
Eman buried in the sand (photo by Badz).
During low tide, the water is so shallow that even if you’ve walked a kilometer, the water level will still be just up to your knees. Getting wet then means rolling in the sand and getting wet by the wind. Thus, the snorkels brought by Jem and Oyet and the goggles that Jason and I brought went unused.
Jason and Kyt.
Jem cooked one kilo of spaghetti and they roasted (over charcoal) a kilo or more of pork. Jem and Badz also cooked sinigang na baboy (my favorite).
That night, we had our socials which involved using the liquor we brought The Bar and another liquor (probably Emperador Light). And finally time to sleep and rest our tired bodies.
Mattresses provided by the resort (middle), my tent (left) and Jason’s tent (right).
There is enough space for all of us to sleep in the cottage and the resort provided mattresses and mosquito nets. However, Jason and I decided to sleep inside the tents we brought (we set up the tents inside the cottage).
Kyt, with hair flying in the wind.
In the morning, we all prepared to pack and go home on the 1pm boat trip back to Mauban. However, it seems that Sendong had other plans. The effect of the typhoon went up north and caused strong waves. All boat trips to and from Cagbalete were cancelled. All of us called or texted our officemates to inform them that we cannot go to work Monday as we’re stranded in the island. We thus had an extra day in the island. In the morning, we just lazed around and I just did some pictures of shells, plants and flowers.
We also decided to see the east side of the island (the port is facing west towards Mauban, Pansacola is at the southern tip and Villa Cleofas is at the eastern side).
The east side of the island features the bonsai island, a rocky island submerged during hightide and exposed during low tide. It has century old mangrove trees (so they say).
At that time (afternoon), the tide is at its lowest and we were able to walk from Villa Cleofas to bonsai island without any problem (the islet is just in front of Villa Cleofas).
The low afternoon sun as seen on bonsai island (left) and the mangrove tree on bonsai island (right).
Nido, Eman and I swam beside the island (though the waves are strong and crashes to the rocks of the island). Of course we took photos (what else is there to do) and looked at some of the creatures trapped in the shallow pools of the rocks (there are some black starfish-like creatures with long spiny tentacles).
The clouds lifted momentarily and we hurried back to our cottage to photograph the setting sun. Alas we were too late. From bonsai island back to Pansacola is about an hour walk at a leisurely pace of 30 minutes at a fast pace. It was already dark when we arrived at our cottage.
Dinner that time was canned goods bought from a sari-sari store. Oyet and Jason also bought Boracay Rhum (cappuccino flavor) and lambanog na sasa. Boracay Rhum doesn’t taste so good but it’s nectar compared to lambanog na sasa. The lambanog smells like spoiled food and tastes like feet (not that I’d tasted feet but it’s what I imagined feet would taste like). Sufficient to say that I’d never drink lambanog na sasa again.
Sunrise the following day.
The following day, we had to hurry in the morning so we can catch the 7am boat back to Mauban. We sneaked a few minutes shooting the rising sun (more like streaks of light showing through heavy clouds). We almost missed the first boat trip back. Thankfully, the boat owner returned for us. It was a full boat! (Locals and tourists who were not able to get off the island the previous day plus those who are really scheduled to leave the island Monday).
The boat trip back to Mauban was only 45 minutes as the storm has passed and the sea was calm. In Mauban, we met the owner of Pansacola Resort and then we boarded a van for Lucena, ate at ChowKing in the Grand Central Terminal and then boarded the bus back to Manila.
Getting stranded on an island is not that bad if you’re with good and fun company
Our Lost/Survivor/Next Top Model picture in Bonsai Island (Jason, Nido, Eman, Oyet, Kyt, Jem, Badz and me).
Canon 60D with 100mm macro lens.
This is one of my favorite flower shots. This is the center part of a five-petal flower (the name I don’t know but it grows near the sea). As those who do macro photography knows, nailing focus (and DOF) is very difficult at macro (or close to macro) distances and this is no exception. The picture may not be perfect or the DOF not deep enough and the focus not perfect but I’m glad it still looks good.
Shot with Canon 7d and 100mm macro then cropped. A stork, heron or egret in Cagbalete Island. I don’t have a telephoto lens yet so I make do with a 100mm macro then cropping the pic (this picture is about 30% of the whole picture).
Shot with Canon 60D and 18-135mm kit lens. This was shot while we were waiting for our boat to leave the port for Polillo Island. The wind was slightly strong and the umbrella old.