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Patrick Love Photography bio picture

Simply put,

I love carrying around a camera, and trying to get people to look into the lens.

Category Archives: Philippines

Malapascua Island

 

Malapascua Island isn’t just a great destination for divers.  Land lovers will also find that it’s paradise.

Malapascua Island, Philippines

4-day weekend with friends on Malapascua Island!  We stayed at Tepanee Beach Resort (link).  The owners are Italian, and take special care to make sure you are comfortable and well-fed for your entire stay.  The restaurant at the hotel serves delicious regional Italian dishes, and there are a number of other European-owned restaurants on the Island.  I don’t think we had a bad meal our entire stay!  But food wasn’t the only highlight.  The swimming, diving and beaches were just as amazing. Below – Malapascua Island is the only place in the world where you can predictably find Thresher Sharks.  There is a cleaning station about 45 minutes from shore.  The sharks feed on giant schools of sardines out in the deep water, and then come in for a nice cleaning.  Maybe someday I’ll have the chance to watch the sharks feed.  I can’t imagine a more amazing experience.  Here’s a video, in case you are curious (link). You must rise well before sunrise to be out on the water early enough to see the sharks.  On our way out, we even saw several sharks jumping out of the water as they chased fish! After a day of diving and sunshine, we enjoyed blended mango drinks, great company, beanbag chairs and a nice sunset.  Looking back, it was one of those moments where all was right in the world, and you couldn’t ask for anything else. 

Philippines From the Air – Navion Air

One of the coolest things I’ve ever done was booking a private plane for a 5-hour tour of Luzon.  You can book your own tour with Jim Boyd at Navion Air (link).  Starting at Jim’s private hanger, at Clark International Airport, we took off and climbed up above the crater of Mt. Pinatubo.  Looking down into the lake that sits inside crater brought back memories of the time we hiked to the top, and went swimming inside.  Heading north, we flew over the rice terraces near Baguio City.  They are known as some of the largest and oldest rice terraces in the world.  After that, we flew over to 100 Islands National Park, and then down to Iba, where we stopped for lunch, and went for a short walk on the beach.  Going further south, we were able to look at our favorite protected bays and campgrounds from above. Finally, we made our way over our home in Subic Bay, and then back to Clark.

Below – A hot spring on the flanks of Mt. Pinatubo has been built into a Korean-Style bathhouse. Below – Looking into the crater of Mt. Pinatubo Below – Rice terraces near Baguio City Below – 100 Islands National Park Below – Reefs just barely submerged Below – Our plane parked at the Iba airstrip.  Built in 1949 (64 years ago), our little four-seater comfortably carried Anne, her mom Sue, our pilot Jim, and I around for the day.  With all the flying I do (I average about 75,000 miles per year), these were hands down the best.  Too bad Navion Air isn’t part of the Star Alliance. Below – I can’t believe I used to live just a few miles from this!  Some of my best memories were the times we would finish school on Friday, catch a quick boat down the coast, and be camping on an empty beach before sunset.  Swimming in the bathtub-warm, and perfectly calm waters early the next morning was always the perfect way to completely relax after a week at work.

“Have you been to Boracay yet?” is a question everyone in the Philippines asks.  The keyword is yet, because eventually everyone in the Philippines goes to Boracay.  Boracay sits comfortably on the throne as the Philippines number one vacation destination.  In fact, it was rated as the world’s #1 island in 2012 by Travel + Leisure Magazine.  It’s not just that it has beaches, it’s the sand that is as soft and smooth as powdered sugar, it’s the always-just-right-temperature water, the sea breezes and warm temperatures, and enough beach-side hotels and restaurants to keep you entertained for several months.

We stayed at the Bluewaves Beachhouse.  Perfect location, and they bake amazing bread there for your morning toast and eggs.  My favorite meal was at the Lemon Cafe.  The lemon martini is a cant-miss item on the menu.  Unfortunately, we went back for a second time, and the drinks were awful, so consistency might need to be improved.

Coron, Philippines – Scuba Diving

Diving in Coron mainly focuses on about 30 WWII Japanese wrecks, and salt water/fresh water lakes.(below right) A caterpillar tractor inside one of the boats.   (below) Nudibranch – soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusk which sheds its shell after its larval stage. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. WikipediaGoing into the wrecks could be a bit unnerving.  This trip marked the first time we dove below 100ft.  To add to that, it was inside of a boat, and we had about 7 minutes before we had to begin to ascend.  We trusted our dive master, who had been through the wrecks thousands of times.  I couldn’t help but think that if he had a sudden heart attack or something, we would have to find our own way back to the surface.  That would have been very difficult, and even more scary.  below – Mandarinfish, one of the most beautiful fish in the world.    below – Kayangan Lake

below – Clown fishBelow – Lion Fish, the second most venomous fish after the sting ray.  Non-lethal to humans, most of the time.   Below – Kayangan Lake is mostly fresh water.  There is a layer of spring-fed, lighter, freshwater that is the temp of a hot bath.  There is also a layer of heavier, cold, saltwater that is replenished at high tides and during storms.  How the heavy water stays on top of the lighter water, I have not idea.  Apparently a barracuda got trapped inside the lake.  We got lucky, and saw it swim by.  The profile of a face can be seen in the rock below.

Night – Philippines

Kids without Electronics – Tao Philippines Adventure

99.9% of kids I see are always plugged into some type of electronic device.  As I was thinking about why I like these images, it donned on me that this is actually what kids do when they don’t have smart phones, laptops, tablets, hand-helds, desktops, mp3 players and all other types of gadgetry.  Quite a departure from sitting quietly, dissociating and staring at a screen.  I see joy, risk, togetherness, happiness, exercise, collaboration, creativity, all-five-senses-being-engaged-at-once activities.  This is how a lot of learning and development happens.  I don’t mean to be critical of children.  This is turning into a journal entry that I’m writing to/about myself.  I’m one of the worst offenders, when it comes to the “plugged-in” life.  This serves as a reminder at how awesome it is to just get out there and do something, talk to someone, force yourself to have to create your own significance.

BTW – This happened while the Seahawks were busy destroying the 49ers in the C-Link, 42-13.  One of my favorite memories from 2012. 

Cock Fighting, Christmas Edition

What was my favorite memory from this Christmas?  Cock fighting ranks right up there as one of the best.  Cock fighting in the Philippines uses a 4-inch blade.  This is much longer than cock fights in other countries.  Consequently, cockfights usually don’t last too long here.

First, the two owners have to get the roosters frustrated with one another and ready to attack.  They do this by letting one bite the other in the head and neck. 

TaoPhilippines Expedition – Portraits

Faces seen between El Nido and Coron. 

Tao Philippines – Linapacan Island Adventure

Photos from an 8-day open expedition.  Below, is a map from the company’s website.  It gives only a rough idea of where the boats go.  They actually sail without strict itineraries.

Pre-dawn walk on a warm beach.

On the day before Christmas it is a really scary time to be a pig.  There were a lot of pigs tied up and slaughtered on Christmas day.  We even got to watch.

We did a lot of snorkeling on the trip.  For someone who has spent some time snorkeling and diving in some pretty great places, everything that we saw was pretty meh.  However, the warm water still felt amazing!