July 27, 2015

Lady Croft ( a new jouney )

like diving, cafe racer culture is fascinating and... quite cool... once your smitten, there's no turning back...

the makeover
The Suzuki Big Boy is a fun zippy 250. While it performed like what a reliable tiny bike from Japan should, the proportions were kind of 'off' for a refined cafe racer build... Tank was too short, slim & dropped at a disturbing angle. Stock seat was too skinny while the stock tail end was meh. I've found the bike by accident while on a lazy stroll around Russian Market in Phnom Penh... 

June 08, 2015

Off the Grid, Marine Conservation Cambodia

Milky Way hanging over Paul's head
One of the strangest things about working and living in Cambodia is the amount of holidays one gets in a year. Had a five day break a month ago and wanted to try diving the Cambodian coast again (dove Sihanoukville once in 2010, a three day/ ten dive adventure). Made several inquiries with dive shops around Sihanoukville and stumbled upon Marine Conservation Cambodia, a site I remember to have passed by frequently when I was new to diving (found it way cool). Sent out an email inquiry about being a volunteer photographer over the long work holiday and after a quick conversation with Paul Ferber, the founder and brainchild of MCC, found myself headed to Kep, which was now his new base of operations. Kep intrigued  me since from Paul's description, his new office was teeming with macro marine life. It also had an interesting past as it used to be the coastal town where the affluent Khmer's used to build summer homes, till Pol Pot got to power and grabbed everything... but that my friends is another story...

May 08, 2015

Canon S100 Lens Error fix

Canon Powershot users are prone to receiving a "Lens error" message which can ruin a holiday or worst, you may find yourself in the middle of a photo competition and suffer this untimely setback.

...searching the web, found this very straightforward fix to the dreaded "Lens error" problem.
Just bring along the tiny screwdrivers and some aluminum tape all the time.. and find yourself back in the game in no time :) holiday problem solved!

April 18, 2015

Planets Underwater

Red planet

In 2012, Tony Cherbas posted an awesome set entitled Planets Underwater... here's a tribute set to his inspiring outworldly images, Tony is one of the more creative underwater photographers who consistently wins photo competitions yearly. His creations echo a true underwater artist... churning out original and exciting perspectives.

All the tribute photos were taken with Bus Stop Dive Resort, a rustic resort located in Bauan Batangas offering city dwellers the opportunity to reset... refresh, relax and unwind. Check out their facebook page here.

January 03, 2015

Wide Angle Mecca- Bauan Batangas

Turtle ahoy
In the early 90's, Bauan Batangas was probably the main base for most Manila divers when the roads to Anilao were still being completed. Currently, the area caters mostly to newly certified divers since most resorts in the area have house reefs very suitable for dive training plus resort packages for weekend overnighters bundled with unlimited shore diving are great deals for those who want to master their skills underwater. I used to dive the area a lot in 2009 and vividly remember the colorful coral overhangs of Pinnacle and Ligpo Island plus the numerous cave swim throughs in the area and decided to do a revisit... 

A supposed one day sojourn led to another...and another and finally for all my 2014 year end trips, I made Bauan my base since it suited my love for colorful seascapes plus having access to the sites via shore entry made it convenient for me to go anytime I wish. Below are just several photos I took while staying  in Bauan, I've yet to post process several hundred more...

December 19, 2014

Location of Shipwreck in San Luis Batangas

Its been a month since I've taken several photos of the San Luis wreck in Batangas and currently still receive message inquiries about it's location... Below is a map and contact number of Seasport Park and Drive (formerly Rockport Resort)  where the wreck can be accessed via shore dive. approximately 30 minutes from Anilao pier, 10 minutes from Ligpo island

November 19, 2014

Soft Coral Gardens of Moalboal- Nov 2014

The shoaling sardine million of Moalboal never ceases to amaze anyone... but this happy November trip with Naui Course Director Clemence Swee got me kinda hooked on taking photos of colorful soft corals. I've been to Moalboal many many times and as usual passed by the must do sites... Sardines at Panagsamana, Plane Wreck at Copton Pt, The Cathedral at Pescador Island, completely ignored shooting macro (while prolific, was too lazy to shift to a macro lens) and instead wandered aimlessly around Tonggo point, Dolphin House and Talisay and was fascinated with gardens upon gardens of lush coral growth alongside a healthy population of hawksbill and green sea turtles. 

If you have done Palau and Maldives, you can see much big fish like sharks and mantas but you'll find the reefs lacking in vibrance and hues. There is a reason why foreigners love diving the Philippines so much... our reefs are just blessed with so much color... since we started diving alongside them, we usually overlook at whats in front of us. Diving outside the Philippines helps us spoiled Filipino divers to rediscover appreciating the rich hues and tones of our reefs. Below are some photos highlighting the colorful dives which I have taken for granted in the past...

November 02, 2014

The Discover Scuba Diving experience

Scuba Diving was a hobby which I've initially tried to avoid. Around eight years ago, my ex girlfriend pushed me to take 'try diving' or more commonly known globally as 'Discover Scuba Diving (DSD). Working for a media agency at the time, I never really had time to spare for the rigorous training to get an open water license plus the fact I am not really fond of the water. My experience yesterday threw me back the first time I did my DSD session at Portulano Dive Reort in Bauan Batangas... the feelings of excitement mixed with anxiousness to conquer fears of the unknown juxtaposed the high expenses of this hobby... ending with the awesome feeling of realizing that YOU CAN explore the ocean...easily, safely while having loads of fun (TRIVIA, I cried and wailed "I dont want it anymore" initially, when I got down, I just coudn't stop). I've conducted a lot of DSD sessions in the past but this one was quite special since I've already made up my mind to let go of diving and focus on my friend's Mike photography business. I owe this  trip to my favorite MUA, awesome make up artist and very good friend Faye Young, who introduced me to her network of friends.  

October 13, 2014

Lake Mapanuepe Underwater- Part 1

Google Lake Mapanuepe and you will discover a host of travel bloggers who have provided much information with tons of topside pictures and images of the steeple of Church Badjaoen, a structure which can be seen protruding from the body of water which was mostly the cornerstone of their stories. The allure though of the lake are the three towns which were submerged underwater caused by Mt Pinatubo's eruption, whose volcanic debris blocked the water exit points of the settlements along Mapanuepe Valley. Being an underwater photographer, I've always wanted to check out the feasibility of  taking pictures here and actually see for myself what lies beneath.                                                                                      
I've first heard about Lake Mapanuepe from well respected landscape photographers Jon Aguirre and Sid Madarazo over bottles of beers, vodka and whisky early this year. The topic came up when we were discussing possible shoot locations and new places to do underwater photography beyond the usual divesites and marine life. After downing our shots & brews, I checked out google and as shared, lots of travel bloggers have already been and as always 
have kindly provided specific directions on how to get there. 

August 12, 2014

Maldives by Night

Tried my luck to catch a glimpse of the Manta feeding frenzy at Baa atol made popular by Nat Geo photog Thomas Peschak  but was unfortunate bad weather loomed... which forced us to do a last minute reroute. Personally did around eight dives (of supposedly 18) where I immensely enjoyed two.

Alimatha was incredible.. was a fiesta of nurse sharks, marble rays and giant stingrays with occasional fly-bys by black tip sharks, but similar to other great interaction sites, it involved feeding. The second site was a night dive in Fesdhoo Lagoon where we were fortunate enough to encounter two playful mantas which stayed with us for 45 minutes. Below are few photos from the two awesome dives