Masasa Sunset

Jan 25, 2014 – Marco de PH invited me and Meg to join him on a daytrip to Tingloy, Batangas. I invited Bang to tag along and share the experience. The place wasn’t as popular then as it is now. I’m glad that we were able to visit the place before the influx of weekend warriors.

I was still using my old Nikon D40 then. As always, I had my cam on my hands, but I wasn’t in the mood to shoot because of the heat. Yes, I get moody during extreme heat. So I only took a few shots. Nevertheless, I had a great time with some of my favorite travel buddies.

We had a stop at the town proper of Mabini early in the morning and Marco had a check on his insanity project- The 1634 Cities and Municipalities of the Philippines.

Fast-forward to Mabini Port. We brought banana cue and boiled corn as snacks while waiting for the ferry to start. The sweet caramelized banana on stick and tasty corn filled our hungry tummies, and made us sleepy too!

When we arrived at Tingloy, we looked for a place to stay and found a nice little lodge where we checked in. I have long accepted that when travelling with Marco, we we won’t be able to camp near the beach- as he can’t stay inside a tent nor sleep on a hammock. But we’re cool. We get to sleep on a comfortable bed. 🙂

We looked for a carinderia, and at that time, the only available option was in a place almost midway to Masasa Beach. We had to wait for at least 30 minutes for the short-order pancit, because they didn’t have ready ulam then. I think it was a holiday that time, and they weren’t really expecting tourists.

Tingloy is a small island municipality in Batangas. I adore the charming old houses there. Their police station is cute. The church and municipal hall were tucked inside the community. So we had to ride a tricycle going there.

We spent the afternoon at Masasa Beach. It was a lovely January Saturday, and we had it all to ourselves!

I didn’t have a snorkel set then and wasn’t as comforable skindiving yet, so I have no underwater footage from Masasa. Maybe next time.

We dipped in the crystal clear waters. Except for some locals who pass by going to their community, we had the beach all to ourselves.


That one photo that made my day.

We stayed on top of the rock during sunset. And as we marvel at the sea when the sun was about to go down. I noticed some kids paddling their way home. I took a photo as they got right in font of me. I was so pleased with the shot, and it has been one of my favorites ever since.


Masasa Sunset

Masasa Sunset taken with Nikon D40 – F/4.8, ISO-200, Exposure time 1/100 sec., FL 100mm

But wait. That was the .JPEG shot. I was so happy with it that I didn’t bother editing the .RAW file until recently.

I made some minor edits as I posted on social networks, that was it.

If you know me, you’ll notice that I only edit photos when there is a need. I trained myself to practice manual shooting as much as possible. So during trips, I would almost-always set my camera on manual or aperture mode to get the shots i like. I would often turn to Auto when I am getting my photo taken. I would post a few images, and get back to the grind and focus on work when I am back in Manila.


Portfolio in the Making

I have been taking photos for a while, but it is just now that I feel that I need to step up. Thus, I am building my portfolio from my photo archive, and have just brought my own .com domain,, to tell the world that I am getting serious about photography. I still have to fix the hosting though. But for the moment, just enjoy my blogs and the stories behind my images.

When I got my Spyder5Express from Spyder Philippines, I started editing some of my favorites. The unit came with a free 90-day Trial for Adobe CC. Since I now have the right tools, I went back to my Basic Photography notes and followed the color-correction workflow on Curves.

Basically, I just identified the darkest shadows, brightest highlights, and mid-tones and adjusted the curve to my preference. I just made the shadows darker, the highlights lighter, and the mid-tones a bit darker than the original.

I was surprised with the outcome! The real color of the sea popped-out. It’s now showing the blue sea and the yellow-orange sky! Amazing!



Is I go through this photographic journey, I am continually amazed by what I discover. I know I have a lot more to learn. I’d like to master the skills, but I’m taking my sweet time to practice and enjoy the process.

I hope you enjoy the final image as it shows the real colors of the Masasa Sunset.

Masasa Sunset

This is one of my favorite sunsets. These five boys were rowing their way home and gave the perfect silhouette to end a beautiful day at the beach.


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