When I lived in El Nido in 2005-2006, I made it a point to take photos around town right before I left, using my point-and-shoot Pentax Optio WP. Just in case I didn’t get to come back ever again, I thought to myself. The photos around town that I managed to compile were not taken on the same days, so the quality of light was not the same all the time. I really did not have a system for that.
Though I was in and out of El Nido every year since then, I only stayed for a few days, a week or two at most. So when I came back to El Nido in 2012 to stay for a relatively longer period of time, I decided I was going to do the “Before and After” El Nido Photo-documentation Project.
This time I had a Nikon D90, with a wider lens that takes better photos through and through than my old camera.
It was some work. I transferred all my old snapshots onto my cellphone and went around town, taking photos, using the snapshots on my phone as a guide. The “After” photos should be taken at the same angle as the “Before” photos. I had about 75 photos in my phone. 75 photos that were NOT all replicated by the time I left again for Manila.
I had my daughter along so it was not a good idea to take her on photo walks with me. Even though El Nido town is very small, taking a three-year old with me to walk in the streets under the hot sun, was just not something that could be done. So I decided to take photos by areas, coming back to shoot on other days.
But September is not a month for consistent weather either. Some days, it rained all day. I spent a considerable amount of wasted time, just waiting for the rain to stop, or the sun to come out, or the perfect timing, or my daughter’s good mood. Sometimes I took photos from the wrong angle. And a number of times, I took the wrong photo altogether. Funny project I must say. But interesting. Interesting enough for me to do it regardless of varying circumstances.
Since I have been back in Manila, I have been going through all the photos I accumulated while I was in El Nido for 2 1/2 months. And there really were a lot.
Here are the first batch of photos. And hopefully, I can add a little story behind each every now and then. And hopefully, those little stories are near the truth, and not something I just made up.
For portrait shots, “Before (2006)” is on the left, and “After (2012)” is on the right. For landscape shots, “Before (2006)” is on top, and “After (2012)” is at the bottom.
El Nido Elementary School (A public school)
We lived on a house located in Osmena St, at the back of, or can also be said as right next to the El Nido Resorts/Ten Knots office, depending on which street you are at; but in front of the El Nido Resorts office, across the street, is the El Nido public elementary school. Aside from the fact that the trees are, of course, bigger, they also have a new fence. I remember that afternoon when a helicopter landed right in the middle of that expansive grounds.
Ten Knots/El Nido Resorts office gate
Though the photo on the left (2006) was taken from inside the yard while the photo on the right (2012) was taken from the street, I just really liked how the gate has changed.
Ten Knots/El Nido Resorts office (also called the White House)
It used to be a two-storey white-washed building that we all called the “White House” simply because it was all white. Every time I think about the White House, I still think of the wrap-around porch, and how we used to hang out a lot there. The before and after photo is the left side the building. It is located at the corner of Calle Real and Osmena St. so I can take photos of its front and left sides.
The Intersection of Calle Real and Abdulla St.
I remember standing at that corner, where Inggo store is, and taking that shot in 2006. It was March 2006 and the Palawan Cherry trees were in bloom. I loved those Palawan cherry blossoms.