there and back again

I’m rarely up on the first light of morning, especially on rainy days, and that’s why I set my alarm to go off 15 minutes after the first one.  By the time the second alarm goes off, my wife has already been awakened twice, and on a weekend at that.  I shouldn’t be surprised if she kicks me off our bed when the alarm goes off next weekend.

to the fields

I missed a father and son tandem pulling their carabaos (water buffaloes) along the highway.  They zipped by really fast in the opposite direction that I almost snapped my neck while turning to look at them.  I didn’t know some people and carabaos can walk at speeds of around 60 kph.  I know because that’s what my speedometer read.
Luckily there was a similar scene farther down the highway, but I think I should have a light breakfast before heading out next time.  It’s dangerous to be running around with those grey matter still half asleep.

early morning trip

I wanted the car to appear smaller in the frame, in fact I wanted the whole car to fit in the frame but I had no intention of running into the rice fields in my watertight shoes.  Yes, I have watertight shoes, and no, water won’t drain out of these shoes once they’re filled with ankle-high water.

bread on wheels

Bread, delivered door-to-door.  These rural folks are doing it right. I’m now in Babatngon, Leyte.


Water has to be carted in water cans, same as what we have in the city.  The only difference here is that this is fresh mountain water, it is free for everyone, and there is water any time of the day.  Plus, there are faucets everywhere.

on the highway

Motorcycle drivers make preparations before heading out to the city where they ply their route.  The drivers rent the vehicles from operators at P200-P300 a day.  Fuel costs around P400, fare is P7.00 per person.  Break even is 100 passengers per day, which doesn’t include lunch money.

sharing a cup coffee

Sharing an early cup of coffee.  Yes, coffee for this little girl.  There’s no age restriction for that, especially if it is given by her father.

by the shade

Scene around the corner, away from the main highway.  Very hospitable people everywhere.  I was invited for coffee almost everywhere I went.

shoot me

“Piktyuri ako”, said this little boy.   He was asking me to take a photo of him but for some unknown reason, he wouldn’t take his hands away from his face.  Maybe he had too much coffee.


And I came across somebody’s front yard and stayed a while.  It began to rain so they invited me to sit where it’s dry.  It is ironic that those who have less are the ones who can afford to offer more.


Somebody wasn’t happy with the haircut.  Or maybe he wasn’t happy about the hair growing on his chest and shoulders.


Another pair of kids asking me to take photos of them.  This time no hands covering their faces, but they were behind bars.


Another group of smiling happy faces enjoying the morning at a waiting shed.  It is such a laid back and peaceful place.


A young man walking by, posing.  I had to oblige.


Siblings with their harvest.  It’s off to the city.

fishing boats

Meanwhile, back in San Jose, Tacloban, calm waters by the bay.


The water would have been very inviting, if not for the garbage all over the shore.

hanging around

Since it is very unhealthy to swim in the nearby waters, this little girl thought it better to just hang around.

Last week, I received the very inspiring blogger award from 2 fellow bloggers.  One is from Pam Johnson, an avid mountaineer, traveler and adventurer.  Her site is at The other nomination is from Evelyn, and her site can be found at Thank you very much! It is a great honor.


So, a few things about me:
– I run a small business selling computers and office supplies, which keeps me busy 6 days a week.
– I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering in 1993 and got my professional license a year later. I never practiced my chosen profession for the reason that I was needed in the family business.
– I used to play tennis, badminton and golf until injury prevented me from participating in active sports. This was the turning point for me to take up photography as a hobby.
– I enjoy music from the golden oldies.
– Most of my good friends are at least 15 years my senior.
– My parents have never seen any of my photos. I promise to give them a copy of the coffee table book I plan to publish hopefully before the year ends.
– To date I was able to invite two foreign photographers to do a workshop here in Tacloban City. David Fowler, a retired photographer from Nebraska who has become a good friend and mentor, and world renown travel photographer Mitchell Kanashkevich, for his first and probably last seminar.

I have always found inspiration from photographers and bloggers, most notable are the following:

Mitchell Kanashkevich – travel photographer, e-book author, blogger.
Valerie Jardin – food, architecture and street photographer, also a regular contributor at Digital Photography School.
Gail Mooney – photographer & film maker. Lots of lovely insights on her blog.
Anne McKinnell – landscape photographer
Leyley Carter – adventurer, bar none.
Humans of New York – great stories.


11 thoughts on “there and back again

  1. the great story teller thru inspiring photographs strikes again!!!! this time we get to know more of you, thanks. well-deserved recognition from fellow bloggers. Keep them coming for we will be waiting:)))) all the best.

      • take no pressure, follow where your heart and instinct take you, subject will come on an unexpected time and places. do not forget to have fun. it may be challenging but the result is rewarding. change of subjects might help. document the Cancabato Movement as it progresses. Shoot something lighter for a change. we already know your strength, maybe you need a break from where you are at your best;) good luck. whatever you deliver will be good enough for us. keep shooting, keep the camera moving, we will always cheer for you:)

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