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Nikon D90

Surf & Music Festival 2012 Day 1 – San Juan, La Union

La Union, Music, Photography, Travel Factor By November 5, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 11 Comments

Meet-up was at The Podium’s open parking lot at twelve midnight, so we were all hanging out at Starbucks as early as eleven o’clock. I haven’t been on a trip with my Travel Factor friends in quite a while, the last time we were together was the Tambaron Island trip in Bulalacao, Mindoro last May. (Click here for the blog on that.)

We left the parking lot a little after one in the morning and arrived at Sebay Surf Resort close to nine in the morning. It was a really long trip, especially since I’ve had experience with my surfer friends PJ and Gerard when we’d take Manila-San Juan in three hours, yes, 3 hours, because that’s how fast Gerard (de Sagun) drives! We didn’t mind though because our room was going to be available at noon and we spent the entire morning just hanging out, checking out the beach, the girls, the surf, the breeze, all from the comforts of the restaurant of Sebay.

photo by H from a Samsung Note phone

The last time I was in Urbiztondo for surfing was January 2011, and the last time I went on a decent surfing trip was in Baler, March 2011. I went a number of times to Bagasbas in Camarines Norte while I was based in Naga but I never did get to do any surfing there. I haven’t really surfed in almost two years – so, even though I tried to get ready for surfing a few days before this trip, I took it easy on Day 1. About an hour of riding some white water, and no paddling even. Soo…. lazy.

We spent more time hanging out with friends at San Juan Surf Resort, drinking Pinacoladas from Sunset Buckets (a cousin of the Boracay Bucket). The above photos are from my friend Ayie’s camera. Thanks Ayie!

I spent so much time hanging out with friends that I wasn’t dressed yet by the time Up Dharma Down came onstage. Never mind the bath, we quickly changed into shirts and shorts and headed to the concert area. We weren’t gonna miss Up Dharma Down!


Ean Mayor [drums and loops] 
Carlos Tanada [lead guitars] 
Armi Millare [keyboards, vocals] 
Paul Yap [bass]

UpDharmaDown - Surf and Music Festival 2012 Day 1

UpDharmaDown - Surf and Music Festival 2012 Day 1

UpDharmaDown - Surf and Music Festival 2012 Day 1

Up Dharma Down was the first band to come onstage after DJ David Ardiente‘s set and the crowd was just starting to trickle in.

Surf and Music Festival 2012 Day 1


The Before-and-After El Nido Photo-documentation Project – Rizal Street

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography By October 9, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Many of the photos of Rizal Street that I have now are taken in 2012. In 2006, there wasn’t anything interesting much about this street that I did not take a lot of photos of it. Rizal Street is what visitors coming in from Puerto Princesa will take and see first when going into El Nido town.

Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan

Now, as development moves from the poblacion towards Corong-Corong, more and more lodging and pension houses are being built along this street.

I have this grand plan of blogging about ALL the accommodations in El Nido town, including the ones in Brgy. Caalan and Brgy. Corong-corong, but this will not materialize, I suppose. There are now so many of them, from low to high budget, that I just did not get the time to cover them all.

I did try to start with the ones on Rizal Street, beginning with Viewdeck Cottages, but that blog will have to wait.

On Rizal Street, coming in from Corong-corong, these are what you will see:


Lualhati Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan


Cliffside Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan

Cliffside Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan


Sei Nazion Cottages, Rizal Street, El Nido, Palawan


The Before-and-After El Nido Photo-documentation Project – Calle Real

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography By October 8, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , 6 Comments

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)

Public School Fence

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

White House 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)

The White House

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.

Municipal Hall Corner

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.

Palawan Cherry

Palawan Cherry Blossoms


Entalula Island, El Nido, Palawan

Life in El Nido, Palawan By September 21, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

It was a 4-day-long weekend and we planned on going to San Vicente, Palawan to check out the long beach BUT we were told we were going island hopping that Saturday, and we never say no to that.

It turned out to be a very beautiful sunny day!

Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan

Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan

Pinagbuyutan Island, El Nido, Palawan

The sea was calm and I took photos of Pinagbuyutan Island (also known as Ellis Island, above) and Miniloc Island (below) as we were passing by.

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan


Marimegmeg Beach, El Nido, Palawan… on a GENER-ous Day

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Photography By August 21, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

The typhoon Gener was whipping the islands with non-stop heavy rains and winds, classes were suspended, and yet, one of our faculty members who had just arrived and had not been to the beach since, wanted to go to the beach. So we headed to the nearest pretty beach in Brgy. Corong-corong – a trike’s ride away out of town proper and a few minutes walk down a muddy path.

There are a few beach resorts on this strip of beach, right before travelers from Puerto Princesa arrive at the town proper of El Nido. Las Cabanas is one of them. In fact, there is a Las Cabanas signage right by the road. But for the most part, this beach is a private one, and you need to bring your own food or drinks or your beach mat.

We we’re blessed with a little bit of sun for some time, which allowed me to take the following photos.

El Nido, even in bad weather, is still breathtaking!