While I was organizing my photos, I realized that I have not developed some of these which were taken when I went back to the Philippines for a short vacation. I could not remember what was the occasion, it could be that I got bored here in KL.
I asked my mother if she could come with me to Baguio since the plan to drive north to Baguio with Armel was not happening. She mentioned that we could stay in her friend’s house and it all went hell that I had to immediately find a room for two as soon as we arrive in Engineer’s Hill in Baguio.
Nevertheless, this is the first Philippine festival that I captured on camera. There were some that I have witnessed but I still didn’t have my camera with me.
As you could see, that the Ifugao culture is very rich. It roots down to their ancestors. I would want to go to the mountains and see the Ifugao Rice Terraces first hand – maybe soon.
The intricate of design hand-woven or hand-painted were designed on their clothes and costumes struck me the most. Although I didn’t have the time to take pictures of the flower gazebos and floats because it was already full of mob as the local celebrities presented themselves along the famous street of Session Road, much to my surprise after going to the market that morning with my mother, the people were already taking their places to witness the procession of Panagbenga.
You could read of why they celebrate this festive occasion somewhere but I’d like to show you how colorful they are.
I am tracking back the posts that I have lost and it goes back to December 2012.
This is my cousin’s wedding held at the small yet historical church of Barasoain in Bulacan. I never thought that the church would be that small. Inside, it is buffed up with Christmas decors but when you stand closely next to the alter, there’s something eerie you would feel.
I am not a big fan of religion, specifically Catholicism yet the joy that it brings to me when I take good HDR shots is priceless.
I didn’t many pictures when I visited Baguio again because I have been to the popular places. It is just that I was carrying my camera with me and along the way, I wanted to test what would it look like in HDR. After seeing such beautiful scenery, I thought of coming back to take more vibrant photos.
Mines View Skyline
On the other hand, I took some shots from the street procession during the Panagbenga Festival.
As my leaves pile up every month of service and to replace the legal holidays whenever I come to work, it was the time to burn some of these last month. The first time I was in Penang was when I was in transit from Thailand way back May. I didn’t have the time to enjoy its scenery because I just slept the whole night after I arrived at the main city and prepped myself to the airport the following morning. Choosing wasn’t that hard because I have heard a lot about this lively island from food, cultural events and landscapes.
I have a number of pictures I would like to share but this would be a very lengthy post if I compile it in a blog post, maybe I can add them later when I get home; i’d rather choose the relevant shots. If you want to see more, they are available on my Picasa or Facebook profile.
Let us start from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a good timing because they were celebrating their month celebration of World Heritage from June 15 to July 15. The moment we arrived there, with newly found friends, the people were astounding – there were a lot of tourists and also the locals themselves are preserving the pristine culture of Penang.
World Heritage Temple
The music players, draw, pastel and charcoal artists, singers and dancers were scattered throughout the narrow streets.
Arts By The Road
Now, let us go to the Kek Lok Si Temple. You would never miss this spot because it is one of those mostly visited places especially during Chinese New Year. Practically hiking up through an indoor staircase would give you a feel that has been developed for tourists. It was this time that I was feeling that I was being presented with too much oriental culture. I have never seen such beautiful carvings in Mandarin and Buddhist statues.
Kek Lok Si Temple
Heading up to the highest peak of Penang, the Penang Hill: For tourists, you have to pay 30 Ringgits especially for foreigners. Such good differential pricing that they can maintain an eight-Ringgits fare for the locals.
At the peak of the hill, you will see one side of Penang facing the island that goes back to Butterworth. We were not able to stay long because there’s really nothing there except for the exquisite Penang skyline.
Would you imagined that I performed all of these trips within a day? And yes, there is one more! We went up to the northern part of the island where the beach is located. Batu Ferringhi is not really that good when you talk about clear turquoise water compared to Redang or Perhentian. The beaches accommodate mostly the foreigners and the hotel fares are pretty hefty if you would consider it for a normal local tourist. Nevertheless, I am always astounded by the beauty of the of beach sunset setting, so I stayed for quite some time to experience its golden setting.
All of these pictures I posted were taken in high dynamic range. Sorting, combining three photos, mixing to the most vibrant tonal range without oversaturating everything and converting them to a computer and human readable pictures are very time-consuming, but seeing these pictures especially in print brought a big smile to my face.
I am set to return this November to attend the annual running marathon hoping for another chance to take more photos and focus on what the island has to offer in terms of its food specialty.