An impromptu game by the roadside.

The Cuyo Loop In October of 2006, I visited the remote islands of Cuyo and Culion in Palawan for a photography assignment and passed Negros and Iloilo in transit. This is my account of that journey.

This is the 3rd of a series. While wandering around Valladolid in Negros Occidental, a stone’s throw away from the colonial era church, I chanced upon two men in their backyard holding their fighting cocks readying these for a short game to test their birds’ ferociousness. Well, it was just a fun sport and I think with my camera on-hand, they were more than happy to “show off”.

Continue Reading "Backyard cockfight in Valladolid"


A typical jeepney in Bacolod City

The Cuyo Loop In October of 2006, I visited the remote islands of Cuyo and Culion in Palawan for a photography assignment and passed Negros and Iloilo in transit. This is my account of that journey.

2nd post of a series The reason I made a detour in Negros was to check out the Masskara. Of course, I was able to get an access pass so that I can enter the dance grounds as well as see it for myself. It was really fun, very colorful but after a few hours, the constant loop of one music used by the performers was just driving me crazy! I was able to take around 4 gigabytes of photos in RAW but unfortunately, a few days later, a technical glitch I made with my Epson P-2000 erased it totally! Unrecoverable! Darn! It was one of my major blunders as a photographer. But fortunately, it was not an assignment. Anyway, I still was able to save some of what I have.


A fisherman trawling the shore in Valladolid, Negros Occidental.

Continue Reading "A short detour in Negros"

For many years, I have set my eyes on the remote island of Cuyo, borne out of curiosity and fascination to this sprinkling of terra firma, located at the northern edge of the Sulu Sea basin between north Palawan in the east and Panay in the west. When the book project Philippine Church Facades by Pedro Galende, OSA, materialized, the fortress churches of Cuyo and Culion were included in the list to be photographed and so, I requested and got the assignment to travel to these places.


A few more fans and ferns and all is done.

map_quezon_laguna.gif “Everyone in the household, relatives and friends come out to do and assist in the preparations for the big day.” I do admire the community spirit of the Lucbanins and this is best displayed in the run up to the Pahiyas festival. Everyone in the household as well as relatives and friends come out and do the preparations as well as assist others. During this time, what remains is just the mounting of the decor and doing finishing touches.

The kiping on the other hand has been prepared weeks ahead. They just have to ensure that these are constantly dry as these become soft once the weather goes wet. In past festivals, rain sometimes marred the rather festive mood, dampening and wilting the kipings.

Continue Reading "Pahiyas, the day before"


Jackfruit, tomato, pepper… and Mr. Squash.

map_quezon_laguna.gif “The Pahiyas decorations are really stunning and the variety seems to be infinite!” What a riot of colors, an assemblage of all sorts of produce and exuberant display of creativity! The Pahiyas decorations are really stunning and the variety seems to be infinite that as one passes through the different houses and stalls, one is just struck with awe, amused and entertained.

Where else can one find a colorful mosaic comprised of different kinds and types of beans? Or lowly ginger can take the form of a butterfly’s wings? Or even pieces of green pepper can be strung into a necklace? What about unhusked rice as dolls? Or string beans into a curtain and tomatoes into an endless wave?

Below are just a few samples of these beautiful decorations.

Continue Reading "Pahiyas decors, up close"