For someone who has an itch to always go out of town, the past 12 months have been a roller coaster of destinations! Let me share with you my year in analogue.
What makes out-of-town trips complete for me: friends, scenery, laughter, photos, food and booze! It’s also a big plus if it’s a beach destination – I don’t think you could ever take me away from the beach. The past twelve months, I’ve slept on sand, caught my own wave and swam along fishes. I was armed with my favorite cameras – The Lomo LC-A, Holga, Diana F+, Mudan TLR and Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim. Let me tell you about my colorful 2011:
Coron is an island in Palawan, Philippines. It’s famous for its beautiful coves and beaches – perfect for all those nature-trippers out there. Being in Palawan makes me realize how beautiful it is to be in the Philippines. I love it that it’s just a 1 hour plane ride from the city I live in. This is also where I found out it’s possible to see beautiful fishes and corals at the surface of the water – with just mask, snorkel and fins at hand!
Dagupan City is a 6-hour drive from the Manila. My friend Koke owns a beach house there and we’d take advantage of it on some weekends. We had the beach to ourselves so we brought some firecrackers and celebrated the first weekend of the year there.
The first out-of-the-country trip for 2011! Even though I think that the Philippines has the most beautiful beaches, Bali was still quite the experience! I loved the culture and the food there. We also got to experience the Kecak Ramayana, this fire dance over sunset by the temple of Uluwatu.
My friend Paul got married here in February – it was just an overnight trip but I did enjoy the 5:30am sunrise while I was in the plane (too bad I didn’t have my camera in my hand carry) and the food in Iloilo is just sooo good.
March was just the right time to go to Calaguas Island. This island has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in the Philippines! The sand is so powdery and white. The waters are so clear and the gradient from green to aqua to blue is just breathtaking! Calaguas Island is found at Camarines Norte, a good 8-hour drive from Manila. Aside from this, we took a 2-hour boat ride to reach the island. It was a pain but it was well worth it upon touchdown. No resorts here, just tents! No electricity either! Just our group, the beach, (alcohol in a big cooler with ice), and the stars at night!
A 1 hour plane ride from the city of Manila. Boracay is probably one of the best beaches in the Philippines (and in the world!) because of it’s powdery white sand, clear blue waters… and it’s party scene! We always go there during summer – at the end of April since it’s Labor day weekend. We call it “LaBoracay”. There’s nothing like ice-blended Mojitos while dancing on the beach.
Cebu is a 1 hour plane ride from Manila. The city’s just about as busy but it’s an hour away from lovely beaches. And you can’t go wrong with the food there – it’s yummy and it’s cheap!
June to September was for surfing the waves of La Union. This place is around a 6-hour drive from Manila. I think I had too many weekends here. Some weekends had nice, clean waves. Some others had pretty crazy ones. After how many weekends spent here, I finally caught my own wave – no instructor whatsoever – and boy was it quite an experience!
Laiya, Batangas is a 3-hour drive away from Manila. It’s a long stretch of beach with a number of resorts. My favorite resort is the one at the end – La Luz! It’s a nice, quick escape that is perfect for weekends!
It took us a 1-hour plane ride to Tacloban and a 3-hour van ride to get to Calicoan, Samar. Last October, there were 12 of us in this trip – 10 people had their surfboards with them. We stayed at this resort called Surf Camp at ABCD beach. They had such beautiful waves here. They may be big but they were kind. The waves here were so lovely, I still dream about them until now.
Baler is a 6-hour drive from Manila. Last November, Aloha Boardsports + Travel Factor had a surf and music festival there and we decided to join in the fun! We had good waves and good music :)
Ah, and the last month of 2011 was spent in one of my favorite countries – It’s so full of culture and color… You could go anywhere in the city with the map and the MTR! And don’t get me started on the food and the shopping.
This strong sense of wanderlust in me is something else. But I loved every minute of it! There’s also nothing as great as looking back through all of those colorful analogue shots one by one to take me back to the setting. How about you? How did your analogue 2011 go?
As film photographers, our photos become part of our journey through everyday life. For this year’s series, our Lomographers encapsulate their trials, joys and the various highlights of their lives in 2011. Read more articles on the Year Ender series.