Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back in Zambales

Back in Zambales

By Raneil Antonio Ibay

And we’re back. Framed Shots Camera Club recently held its summer outing at Dawal Beach Resort in Barrio Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales and again experienced the beauty of Potipot Island. This trip was made possible thru the efforts of the 2009 Framed Shots Board headed by Chairman Lea Ricolcol. Roselyn Roldan was tireless in organizing almost everything while Arnold Perez who, up to the last minute was hounding us with our payments, did collection.

Our journey started at Buendia where club members met up at an ungodly 12 midnight. The reason being would be to just sleep through the 6-hour travel time. Our bus left at 12:45AM and arrived at Zambales at 6:15AM.

Nothing happened much along the way save for Kenneth making the rounds with a bottle of tequila and giving anyone who wanted one a shot, hot pan de sal being passed on along the aisle by Mariano Ong Tan Ka and a few pit stops in the town of San Fernando, Pampanga and another in a town that I didn’t take note of because of grogginess from sleep. I knew from the last stop that we were close because the sky was beginning to get light. And true enough, a couple of songs from my mp3 player and we arrived at Dawal.

A hearty breakfast with a choice of Tapa, Tocino, Longganisa and Daing na Bangus, with Fried Egg and coffee booted up our systems. After a change of clothes, we then proceeded to the beach for our very short boat ride, about 5 minutes (yes, it’s that close), to Potipot Island. It was quite a wait as there were a lot of people that came before us and only two boats from the resort. Our own group alone took 7 boat trips. That’s P400 per 6 persons, back and forth, inclusive of life vest.

On the island, everyone had a great time exploring the place, shooting photos or just chilling out on the beach. Caloy Zamora and I gave impromptu strobist lessons to the club’s new members. Jun Danganan gamely posed for the lessons as so did Humphrey Cogay, Jigz Relativo, Carrie Ong Tan Ka and Rellie Lopez.

In the water, Lea Ricolcol, my wife Rosy, Chito Cleofas, Jenny Santos, Rina Lee, Tin Leslie, Roselyn Roldan, Michelle Barretto and Kenneth Si had fun goofing around with Rellie’s new underwater camera and housing. Margaret 

Ang also used hers while Joel Garcia’s DSLR nearly got soaked by a wayward wave as he was trying to shoot us having an excellent time on the beach. It was chill time for Zab Coloma and his wife, also for Gina Alcera and Sam Asia.

Towards the end of the day, the club reunited with their pre-drawn groups and tried to capture the Best Group Shot to be judged during our next monthly meeting. The day would have been perfect if we spent the sunset at the island as originally planned but the boatman said the waves were getting big and that we should start going back to the resort. To complicate matters, they only had one boat and our group of 38 and other groups were all wanting to go back in a hurry. Everyone had reasons to be the first one on the boat. Ours was because we were chasing the sunset. I also thought that they just wanted to have our cottage rented out to another group who just came in that’s why they asked us to be ready by 5PM, an hour earlier than the agreed time of 6PM. Anyway, not refusing to let that dampen our spirits, we continued shooting the sunset back at Dawal Beach Resort.

After dinner we then had more fun singing in the videoke. Concert King Jon Macalinao was a revelation, so was Humphrey Cogay and Jun Danganan. Nick Olayao wowed us as usual and so did Gina Aguilar, Rellie Lopez and Arnold Perez. The night went on as Arnie Aranjuez was making the rounds and making sure that everyone gets their shot of tequila and later on beer. I went back to our room drunk as a fish. I was expecting another monster hangover. Thank God it was just a beer buzz.

The following day, after breakfast we went to a mangrove area that Brian Gabarda discovered earlier in the day. Everyone had a heyday shooting a local boy, Ran-ran and her mother Aling Fe and her mother-in-law Lola Aniceta. Jun and Edwin Loyola also gamely posed after some prodding after the group ran out of subjects to shoot.

Back at the resort, we prepared to leave before lunch, as the trip back to Manila will take 6 hours. On the way back, we had numerous stopovers one of which was at the Masinloc and Oyon Bays Protected Seascapes. Again, the group had a field day shooting rural seaside scenes.

Back at the bus, the trip was quite uneventful. Probably everyone was just tired. Tired but happy that the trip was a success and looking forward to another summer of fun.

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