Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Islas de Gigantes | Sunrise On Rain Clouds

ISLAS DE GIGANTES | Sunrise On Rain Clouds
Sunrise Photographs From The Vantage View Of Gigantes Norte Lighthouse

Known as a place of beautiful group of islands in the Eastern Seaboard of Panay, Isla de Gigantes is hardly the place for where people flock to witness a stunning Sunrise or Sunset. Why should it be? Its foremost offering of back to basics trips and island hopping is more than enough as a source of distraction to visitors flocking into its shores. Who knows that finding the spot for this type of photography endeavor is as easy? It was as simple as asking a local who knows and understands the place better.

I am yet to write my own feature post about these islands, right before some big shot travel blogger friends gets their hands on these. Believe me when I say I've scoured Google for travel guides and photographs that can help me plan the trip, travel guides are fairly easy to come by, what of the many blogger's who rant about the scenic specialness of the place. But finding photographs shot in fair and meticulous manner is hard to come by. I tend to forget that people nowadays have easy access to camera that they can take personal photos wherever they go. I barely found photos that are good enough as a presentation of this place, the few good ones are from travel blogger's that I am already following because of the trail of great photography they provide. My hats off to them! More so, there are only a few Sunrise or Sunset photos that is tagged to the place, and this gave me the determination to make it, this type of lights display come to us almost everyday in this tropical country and I am just one of those that appreciate it very much.

Since my arrival 2 days ago, from the time I took these photos. I've walked to the shores on every Sunset, and woke up early for before the veil of the Sunrise, waddled through knee deep low tides along the mangrove areas near the Gigantes Hideaway Resort, finding the perfect spot while chasing the Golden Hour without finding good luck on a good shot. I was in a wrong place, period.

I came to take photographs and was feeling left out that all I might be able to bring home are photos of the islands shot in broad daylight during the Island hopping excursion. I've been to a lot of Island Hopping trips, though it remains my favorite kind of tour, I was looking for something different, and then I found just the place. I was with my brother, and we were on our second day on Gigantes Norte, before taking breakfast I was ask by my guide if I would like to visit the Gigantes Norte Lighthouse. I didn't know there was a lighthouse in here, so I didn't pass out the opportunity to take a look, and so it came as an unexpected surprise.

Already I've wasted the Golden Sunrise raking through muck in the mangrove area just to get a picture of Sunrise with good composition. The sun was fairly high and heating up the area fast when we arrived in the Lighthouse. I didn't expect the location in the lighthouse to be a good spot. But there it was, facing the East on a high rocky cliff, the new medium size Iron Lighthouse in stark amalgamation to the old house of red bricks and adobe beside it. I was having a great time then, as I stood on top of the tower, taking the scenic view at 360 degrees. Not until I was reminded by Kuya Marnie, the habal-habal driver that I still need to take breakfast before the island hopping so I had to take my leave, but not before leaving a promise to be back here the next day before the Sunrise. Sunset is out of the question, as it would be spectacular on the other side of the island dipping in the western horizon, the sky blocked by the limestone rocks and mountains of the Island. I'll be blogging the lighthouse and the photos with it in another post.

Hence my final day for this trip came. And I woke up at 4:30 AM, leaving my brother behind who wants to catch more sleep. Kuya Marnie thought I was joking when I requested to come back to the Lighthouse on Sunrise instead. I was literally the first guest to wake up, and was alone waiting in their Habal-habal gathering area. Every driver is probably sound asleep in their chambers. Every minutes wasted, leaves me feeling frenetic, luckily he came about 30 minutes later, looking embarrassed that I was up early and he wasn't. I didn't want to ruin my day, so without further delay I took the ride when the sky is already lightening, and the rainbow colors are splashing in the sky. It was ominous, the cold morning air is different and there is a threat of dark rain clouds gathering, I was crossing my hands all the time, luckily the lighthouse isn't very far. 

Getting there just in time, alone because the Lighthouse caretaker is nowhere to be found (probably still sleeping), and Kuya Marnie left me on my own device as he needs to fetch the other guest who also intends to visit here. Mounting my tripod, taking photos of the lighthouse behind interesting cloud formations reflecting purple and lavender colors, while waiting for the dark clouds to provide a good backdrop on the peeking Sun. I wasn't so lucky, the clouds covered most of the area in a span of an hour, placing dark shades in every frame I took, the only consolation I have is that the horizon above the water remains that of the Golden Hour Light, casting glorious colors of red, orange and yellows, while the break in the clouds provide lots of shades of blue. When the pea size rain water fell, I turned everything around, deciding to take photos of the clouds and the distant shadows of the islet nearby, it looks ominous, like the first drop of rain in a dry summer, it was full of promise. Looking at these photographs, blaming myself for not doing a better job at editing the photos, the good memories adhere with them, and it probably was what made it all worth it.

On The Map

Isla de Gigantes group of islands comprises mainly of Gigante Norte and Gigante Sur as its major volcanic islands with scattering of islets around it. Located in the western part of the Visayan Sea and approximately 18 kilometers Northeast off the mainland of Panay. The islands belong to the political domain of Municipality of Carles, Iloilo Province.

Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, True Explorer...

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  1. great pictures! but for some reasons, the impression i got is.. sinister(?) i love the third pic..

  2. Yes Kimmy!
    I realise that too, the brooding shadows and skies did it.
    Possibly, this also reflects my feelings when I was shooting these photos


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