My friend, Felix, and I went to Baguio City last month just to tour this city. I’ve been there before and though I don’t find it particularly to my taste (I like beaches and sea more), he’s never gone around the city (and he’s not a water person).
Baguio is a city situated in the mountainous part of Luzon and due to its high altitude, climate is much cooler than the other towns and cities. It is also for this reason that it is a favorite haunt of those who want to escape the heat of Metro Manila. It is also famous for its flowers (celebrated annually with the Flower Festival).
We arrived early and after breakfast, we went around Burnham Park. This park is designed to have lots of flowers and since we were early, I was able to capture dew drops on the flowers.
Some infrared images taken in UP, my alma mater and a very good spot for shooting. Editing false color infrared images is a challenge but a fun way of expressing yourself. There is no right or wrong colors (except when there are people in the shot). Leaves are particularly interesting as you can edit them from white to yellow to orange to pink and even to red!
P.S., after publishing this post, I checked and realized that I’ve already posted them. But anyway, hope you can still enjoy them.
Hundred Islands is a national park located in Alaminos, Pangasinan (about 4-6 hours away from Metro Manila). It is composed of about 127 separate islands. Of these islands, only 3 or 4 are developed. The other islands are either too small, have no beach or both. There are undeveloped islands which are interesting – two of them are Monkey Island and Snake Islands, so named because of the inhabitants of these islands. Most of the islands are made of limestone and packed with vegetation, so dense are these vegetation that even if you manage to get on one of these islands, you’ll have a hard time squeezing through them.
The following two pictures were taken from Governor’s Island , one of the developed islands. Governor’s Island has the highest point (elevation) among the islands and these two pictures were taken from that point (using Olympus OMD EM5 and 12-50 lens). This highest elevation isn’t really that high as it takes only 125 steps up (through a cemented stairs). From this point, you can see most of the other islands but you’ll be hard pressed from distinguishing one from the other (other than they’re so alike, the hill is low so that in the distance, some islands looks like they’re merged).
The next picture (taken with Olympus TG2) shows Crocodile Island and Turtle Island, so named because they look like these animals. For the Crocodile Island, I can see the resemblance. For the Turtle Island, there is also resemblance to that animal but so does tens of the other islets near the area.
There is also another island called Marcos Island (named after former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos). According to our boatman, this island was named that because locals then believed that this is where Marcos hid some of his treasures. The island has a small beach and a small cave near the beach. There is also a path going towards the middle of the island.
The following two pictures (again taken with Olympus TG2) were taken at Quezon Island, named after then president, Manuel L. Quezon. This island is one of the biggest and the most developed of the islets. The island has two low rocky hills connected by a short sandbar. It is also one of the closest islands to the snorkeling area and to the giant clam sanctuary.
Quezon Island is probably the most popular among these hundred islands. There is a group of people who maintain the islands. There are two pavilions (with tables and chairs), some restrooms (which aren’t that clean and which use seawater, a couple of concrete cottages and a cute cottage on top of one of the rocks. There is also a small store that sells some food and essential at high prices. Other than our group, there were several groups camped in the island for the night but come Sunday morning, the island suddenly filled with people (who are there on daytour). We went to the snorkeling area for a few hours and when we returned, the island was dotted with people swimming, eating, etc.
For those planning to get there, it isn’t too expensive.
- Boat (can seat 10 people) – P2200 (P550 each)
- Overnight fee for all the islands – P80 each
- Tent pitch fee – P200 per tent (P100 each)
- Bus fare from Cubao to Alaminos – P395 one way (P790 both ways each)
- Shower (in one of the resorts in Alaminos) – P30 each
- Tricycle from town center to the wharf – P60 for one tricycle one way
- Food – you can bring your own food and cooking stuff
All in all, each of us probably spent less than P2000 for an overnight stay. Not so bad considering that this is the first time we say this National Park and the giant clams. Giant Clams!!!
Another photo I took on our photowalk in UP.
A picture of sunflower which I took in UP. This was taken with an Olympus EM5 with the 12-50mm kit lens and processed with Lightroom 5 and Color Efex (photo stylizer).
Sabtang Lighthouse was under renovation when we visited Batanes so there’s no way we can near it (plus we were there for only a day and have no time to visit it). It is located on a cliff very near the port of Sabtang and in a much lower elevation than the one in Basco.
Lighthouses used to be a guide to fishermen and sailors in olden times. Its light guides seafarers through treacherous storms or gives a reference on where it is safe to land where the coast is full of big or sharp rocks. Batanes, by virtue of its location (surrounded by big waves) and its rocky coast was in need of a lighthouse. As such, Batanes, particularly Basco, has its own lighthouse. Located on top of one of Basco’s magnificent hills.
With the advent of modern technology, particularly GPSs, lighthouses aren’t that necessary anymore (except for local fishermen) and have become more of tourist attractions, a reminder of days past.
Because of the booming tourist industry in Batanes (facilitated by the cheap airfare), the Basco lighthouse is in relatively good condition. I don’t remember seeing it with light but at least the structure is in good condition – painted and maintained.
My sister and my father outside the top of the lighthouse * Me and my father on the same location.
Batanes, northernmost province of the Philippines, is a group of several islands that are immediately south of Taiwan. Batan (second largest island and home to four of the six towns of the province) is dominated by Mt. Iraya. The rest is full of hills and is perfect for raising cows.
In fact, the quintessential image in most Filipino’s mind when Batanes is uttered is of a land full of rolling green hills surrounded by sea full of dangerous waves.
Here are some images of the hills (and cows) in Batanes.
A picture I took back in Basco, Batanes. Bicycle is a very popular form of transportation in Basco (and Batanes in general). The town of Basco is small so everywhere is within biking range (unless going to the next town). Also, gasoline and diesel there is very expensive (about 40-50% more expensive compared to other areas in the Philippines).
Last Saturday, my parents celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary and the family went on a trip to Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines.
Here they are posing in one of the many rolling hills of Basco, Batanes.