Skip to main content

Echoes in the Distance

Punctuating all those photo shoots this year was a chance to facilitate in a summer camp for Compassion Philippines leading a topic on Retreat and Reflection. Since most of the events I end up shooting takes me away from church, it was timely and appropriate. Nevertheless, even as I was informed of the venue for the camp, my mind fritters off to the photo opportunities that can be found in the area.

The camp was the Rizal Recreation Center which was just off San Pablo City which was known for its seven lakes. I have been there to shoot more than once in the recent years so it was familiar territory. Even more familiar because I was traipsing around the area in the early 1980s when I attended those Conservative Baptist camps in a nearby resort in Nagcarlan, Laguna then later teaching an extension class for Penuel School of Theology in San Pablo City proper during the early 1990s.

Pentax KM + SMCP K 50/1.4 + Fuji ProPlus II

So I planned a sunrise shoot in Sampaloc Lake with my son, Khalil, accompanying me. I wanted to shoot a sunset as well but time would not allow it. The other times I shot a sunrise in Sampaloc Lake was a bit of a letdown because it was raining. This particular time the sun was out and the lake was pleasantly calm.

And quiet.

Quiet enough even as Khalil and I conversed about camera settings that something comes to the heart in that communion. Echoes faintly whisper something from the past; not literal as there is an eerie quiet as if in a silent movie where fishermen in the lake and joggers start appearing and doing their thing but without a sound.

The yellow ball of the sun reminded me of a time in Cadiz City where during a missionary sojourn, I looked out one morning to the mist just slightly covering and hiding the sugar cane fields with the sunrise in the horizon. The still waters reminded me of my youth in my dad’s fishpond in Mactan Island in those doldrums when the wind was still.

It was a retreat.

Not because I learned something but because my heart was somehow ‘home’ again.

It was refreshing.

Not because I was empowered but because I was loved again.

Pentax K10D + SMCP FA 20-35/4 AL


Popular posts from this blog

What Ever Happened to Job’s Wife?

You know the story, a man named Job suffered traumatic losses where fortune, family and health were wiped out almost simultaneously as a result of some divine event—but I’m not about to discuss as who is responsible for the "what's" that happened and the “why’s” behind the morality of this story.

Job virtually was left alone save for four friends who initially consoled with him and later struggled with the moral issues that I do not intend to deal with as earlier mentioned. Instead, I want to raise the question of Job’s wife. In the midst of the calamity, loss and death, she somehow survives and stays around to annoy her husband.

“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’” (Job 2:9-10a).

The only profile we have of her is Job’s reference to speaking as a “foolish” woman. His wife, at tha…

Agua Santa

(ALL PHOTOS: PENTAX K-7 + SMCP DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AL WR)

Agua Santa is an old resort in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines before contemporary and trendy spas became chic.  Los Baños is located south of Metro Manila, the economic and political center of the Philippines.   It was discovered by a Spanish Franciscan Missionary Pedro Bautista in early 1590 and he found that the place had hot springs and understood that the water was medicinal.  Los Baños sits in the foothills of Mt. Makiling, a scenic and dormant volcano in Laguna.

Bath houses and the main pool now empty.

In 1603, the Franciscans built a Nipa Hut that served as a hospital dedicated to the Immaculate Concepcion with the name Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa.  Eventually, Pedro Bautista was sent to Japan as Ambassador of the King of Spain in 1597 and was martyred along with his companions for their faith in Nagasaki, Japan.  They were canonized as saints on June 8, 1862.

The main pool now decrepit and deteriorating in the elements.

Hapid 2016

Hapid, Ifugao - Part 3 [ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6]

To describe Hapid as being in the middle of nowhere may be an understatement: to go there you basically have to go north along the Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) which veers toward the east side of Luzon, going through Nueva Ejica and Nueva Vizcaya.  Just before reaching the northern end of Nueva Vizcaya, you turn to what appears to be a secondary provincial road that goes to Ifugao; the road narrows a bit but traffic becomes way lighter as you realize that most of the traffic on the Pan-Philippine Highway is going further to Tuguegarao, Cagayan.  That “secondary” road ultimately takes you to Banaue, the tourist destination known for the Rice Terraces.  Other than that, everything is uneventful.  The last major urban area was back in Nueva Vizcaya (Solano) after which the vestiges of civilization (i.e., fastfoods) are gone.

Somewhere after Solano you pass a small town called Lamut and somewhere there you turn off into a…