My Vacay | February 2016

One country. Eight major hot-spots…a lifetime full of memories.

It’s home sweet home in the Philippines.

From Batangas, the home of well-known Taal Volcano nestled in a picturesque small town peppered with ancestral houses dating back to the 19th century, to Puerto Princesa’s one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature park featuring spectacular limestone landscape with UNESCO Underground River running through it- it’s breathtaking to rediscover Philippines again.

It’s seeing what was once familiar but in a new light. Literally, under a different lens. 4K it’s the next big thing after HD television, equivalent to four full HD screens into one, giving you, much more detail. The highlights of the month-long vacation back in February 2016 captured the island-hopping, back-to-back city wandering of resorts, cities, mountains, and beaches.

And as the drone zooms across pieces of lands and seas, taking picture-perfect shapes, it blew past Marikina City where I grew up, then it takes you as high as Mount Arayat in Pampanga, an extinct volcano rising to a height of 1,026 metres or 3,366 ft, surrounded by Central Luzon’s plains of rice paddies.

And as we keep heading north, we stop by the surfing capital of the Northern Philippines, none other than San Juan, La Union. The waves keep crashing, as my lens wander further up with a top stop in Baguio, once a hill station developed by the Americans in the early 1900s. Now, it’s known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The name of the city is derived from bagiw, the Ibaloi word for “moss”. Yet, this moss is now sprinkled with many structures, grey and coloured in tone, barely hanging on mountainside tops.

Finally, it looks over Cebu with its Spanish colonial and Roman Catholic culture imprint, the oldest city, and the first capital of the Philippines. The city’s most famous landmark is Magellan’s Cross, a Christian cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving. It’s also where the famous Sinulog Festival, a massive cultural and religious festival, breaks out into celebratory dancing and rituals colouring their streets every year of January.

Thousands of miles and miles apart from this world to another, it’s creating a whole new layer of memories – not just of good old childhood days, of growing up and growing up fast, of leaving this place for the new, but returning once again with a purpose, a visual tribute to the one year death anniversary of my grandfather Patricio B. Cambay Sr., born on April 17, 1926 and died on February 24, 2015. But also to my father Godofredo L. Cambay Sr., born July 28, 1948 and passed away April 5, 1993.

And though, it’s my lens that watched over them, I believe it’s them who’s actually watching over me.

If I return again and pass through this cycle once more, I will film it UP Diliman, where I spent most of my childhood days, to reminisce, to restore…Because our memories live in our hearts…always and forever.

-gC

Song By: The Black Eyed Peas – The APL Song

Engagement Session in Boracay 2013

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