Beautiful Sea Sunset from The Southern Philippines

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ December 3rd, 2011. Filed under: Photography.

Beautiful Sea Sunset from The Southern Philippines

Beautiful Sea Sunset from The Southern Philippines

To capture a Beautiful Sea Sunset in The Philippines

The Southern Philippines has been a no go area in travel for many years. Sea sunsets are beautiful the world over, and beautiful sunsets in the Southern Philippines are no different.

Facts from behind the lens of this photograph:

  • The island of Mindanao in the Southern Philippines is black listed by many countries for being a hotbed of terrorist groups, leading to violence and kidnappings
  • The Philippines is second only to Iraq as the most dangerous place in the world for journalists
  • Only tiny portions of Mindanao account for the troubles there, the rest of the area is safe
  • Mindanao is home to the last genuine ethnic festival on the islands (Kaamulan)
  • The Southern Philippines is the only place on the islands that’s home to the Rafflesia, the worlds largest flower
  • Many areas in the Southern Philippines remain untouched by tourists, making it a rare jewel in travel photography
  • While Mindanao’s reputation is largely negative in terms of media, the majority of people there are incredibly friendly, hospitable and welcoming.

The Story behind the photograph

These “piers” are actually wooden walkways built by restaurant owners. At both ends there is a circular area for seating that overlooks the bay.

The area during the day is nothing special visually. There is no beach, only rocks that many locals go out shell-fishing in. Moreover, there’s quite a bit of debris located around the area from a lack of waste management.

But in the evening the shallow sea water becomes quite still, reflecting light beautifully. I never really expected to this here. Nearly always camera in hand, on this occasion I was very glad of that characteristic.

I was now distracted with capturing this beautiful sea sunset!

I didn’t have a tripod. And, there was a man to the right slowly approaching in the water as he went looking for shell-fish. I had to act quickly to capture the stillness of the water.

Balancing my camera on the wooden railing in the restaurant was the only option, but that was a difficult task too. The walkway constantly bounced up and down from waiters and patrons walking along it in a seemingly never-ending parade.

Eventually I just set the timer on my camera and let it rip mere minutes before the fisherman came into view. This was the only photograph that came out without any camera shake. Objective complete, I then had to make up for my obsessive behavior and have a fine sea food dinner over a beautiful sunset.

This photography is not yet in my gallery … so I’m handing it over to you to make the choice!

Vote to put this photograph in the gallery?

Sunset over a harbor in The Philippines

Beautiful sea sunset over a harbor in The Philippines

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This is an additional photograph feature from my world travel photography gallery, documenting the story behind the picture 

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18 Great responses to Beautiful Sea Sunset from The Southern Philippines

  1. Kristina says:

    It’s a stunning photo! I love the clarity and colors. Put it in your gallery!

  2. Cynthia says:

    Lovely, just lovely. Do you every print these out? I mean with travel do you ever get a chance?

    • Nice questions. I don’t print out for myself anymore. Nowhere to put them. Hence one of the reasons I built this site. I have however printed out photos for people that request them, and for people who’s photo’s I take whom I think they’d appreciate it e.g. some of the street photos. I’ve also made prints for people looking to purchase them directly if we are in the same country at the time.

  3. Michael says:

    This definitely is one of my favourites. I only ever stayed in Luzon when I was in the Philippines and in my time there, there was so much trouble in Mindanao.

    • The troubles continue unfortunately. I heard last month an Italian priest living there for years was murdered via 8 gunshots by a man on a motorbike after a sermon. They’ve a long way to go.

  4. hayadith says:

    this ‘beach’ is beautiful..
    your picture is stunning, deserve to be in the gallery.. :)

  5. Giovanna says:

    Yes,most definetly,to the Gallery,it’s charming.

  6. John S says:

    Hi, I and about 80 of my expat friends live in Mindanao, We love it, there is almost NO troubles here. Some of the ‘boys’ have been here 25 years right down to say 5 years. There are considerably more problems in Manila, taking into account of the Typhoons, Floods, and considerable poverty. We live in Cagayan de Oro, admittedly northern Mindanao, but we never get typhoons, just rain depressions etc. almost no flooding. The city is Booming, new hotels, departments stores and restaurants being built everywhere. Three new fly overs to reduce traffic congestion also have been completed. So, Micheal, if you come back to Philippines , come to CDO ask for Kingston Lodge and you will have the best time of your life here. What I am saying is, dont believe the crap you read in the news papers. It is a lot safer here than New york, London, Paris, Sydney. Los Angeles and so on,
    Kidnapping is often done by the Military or Police, Just money, no political causes.
    There are places you just dont go alone at night, but thats everywhere, not just here

    PS. Thanks for a very interestin blog, love it. John s.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for your comment. I certainly agree with you on the booming towns over there at the moment. Likewise with the safety of the area. It was sad to read about that Italian priest who was killed a few weeks ago in Mindanao. Any update on whether it was a religious killing, or a community related problem? Such shootings happen all over the world, unfortunately they are highlighted a lot more in areas where it’s listed as conflict zone. You don’t hear about mass school shootings happening in the Philippines like they do in other parts of the world. Yet still the news of one death can set many peoples minds in motion in places like Mindanao.

      Glad to hear you are enjoying it their anyway. I remember the Marang being very good in that region!

  7. beautiful!! i’d have loved to see the fisherman and ripples, too.

  8. Leslie says:

    Great shot! Surprised to hear “The Philippines is second only to Iraq as the most dangerous place in the world for journalists”– how did you end up there? Any sketchy experiences?

    • Plenty of sketchy experiences. It’s one of the reasons I kept a certain level of anonymity when writing from there. Some of it was picked up by the media, but around the time about 57 journalists were executed. A political thing. And one of the reasons I don’t write about politics much. Somethings make international headlines, most things don’t.

  9. Vicky says:

    Beautiful photo. I never knew the Philippines was literally the second worst place for journalists.

  10. Okay, I love the Philippines and spend as much time there as possible but right now I am in the Balkans. Cold and depressing compared to the islands. Great photo I love it. In fact I need to be there now.