It’s Tuesday in our part of the world again. Time for Frizztext’s A-Z Photo Challenge. Letter this week is R, and our featured photographer, Blanche Berzamin-Acabado has chosen the theme R is for Rivers, Oceans, and other Bodies of Water. Here are her photographs and stories.
“If there is any magic on this planet, it is contained on water.” - Loran Eisely
Ever since I started dabbling in photography, I have always been drawn to taking pictures of water. Why? Two reasons. One, because when you take pictures, your goal is almost always to end up with beautiful ones that will be admired not just by you, but also by others. And I found that it is quite difficult to look for a picture of an ocean, a river, or a waterfall that does not look pretty. Second, well, I guess it’s because I’ve just been lucky enough to live and visit places with beautiful waterscapes.
As a result, I have a collection of particularly pretty photographs of oceans, waterfalls, and rivers. These pictures were taken within the last two years in Vietnam, the Philippines, Guam, and Hawaii. I love these pictures and I hope you like them, too!
Perfume Pagoda River, Vietnam
In the almost three years that I have been taking pictures, this one tops my favorite list. I took this picture in 2009 while I was on a little boat on our way to Perfume Pagoda in Vietnam. Along the watery way, we’ve encountered birds, interesting rock formations, beautiful plants, abandoned boats, and even some sculptures. But this scene, when I saw it, just took my breath away. It was so green and so beautiful. It was so serene and so peaceful. Our boat-paddler said the man was probably a fisherman checking his traps. I tried to look for some big fish on the river after she said that, but with the thick growth of algae, it was hard to see anything in the water. I haven’t gotten around to it, but I have always planned to print a big copy of this picture, have it framed, and hang it on our living room wall. If I never get to be a really great photographer, this picture will always remind me that great photographer or not, if you are given a great scene to photograph, then you can end up with a great picture.
Kawasan River, Cebu City, Philippines
In the summer of 2011, we finally got the opportunity to visit Cebu City. Just like almost anyone, I prepared a list of sights to see for our visit. Thanks to the Internet, it is easy to come up with such a list. For our Cebu City list, one of the places that came highly recommended by a lot of people was Kawasan Falls. So off to Kawasan Falls we went. It was a two-hour trip from the city and Jared was getting a bit bored on the way. Good thing we had my mom and dad with us to help entertain him along the way. When we got there, let’s just say the place was worth the long trip. We were there to see Kawasan Falls itself, but before you get to the falls, you are faced with an hour-long hike. I was with my mom and dad and Jared. Suffice it to say that Jared cannot walk for a whole hour and none of the adults can carry him as well. So, we had to hire a guide who will take us to the falls as well as carry Jared with him. The one-hour walk wasn’t so bad. The trails weren’t too rugged and they were mostly flat. The best thing about the walk was following the river, which is absolutely beautiful. Just look at this picture. Jared had a hard time taking his eyes off the water. The water was so green, clean, and cool. The Kawasan River is a fantastic prelude to the Kawasan Falls.
Kawasan Falls, Cebu City, Philippines
Well, if the river is beautiful, then the waterfalls is amazing. We finally reached Kawasan Falls after a two-hour trip from the city and a one-hour walk from where we had to leave our ride. Kawasan Falls is beautiful. It is very clean and very green. When you go in the water, the first word you will think of is fresh – next to cold. We had fun riding on the raft to reach the place where the water actually falls. This was my first time to feel how strong and heavy a waterfall can be. In fact, the force of the water on our backs was so strong that Jared got spooked. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful adventure. We had fun swimming and we enjoyed our lunch while watching the waterfalls. It’s been a year since we’ve been to Kawasan Falls and Jared still nags me about going back there the next time we visit the Philippines.
Hanauma Bay, Hawai’i
Hanauma Bay is a wildlife sanctuary and one of the most famous tourist spots in Hawai’i. It is a great place for swimming and snorkeling. This picture is a bird’s eye-view of Hanauma Bay gives us an idea of how clear the water is. I took this picture from the entrance of the park. To go to the bay, you have to walk down for maybe 10 minutes. The challenge is going back up when you leave and thankfully, the park offers its guests a trolley-ride. For our part, Jared wanted to walk back up. I had to put my foot down and say no, the trolley ride might be fun and we should just go on it instead.
Lanikai Beach, Hawai’i
I have never seen ocean water as blue and beautiful as Lanikai. Ever since my husband brought me to Lanikai five years ago, it has been my most favorite beach ever. My son, who we fondly refer to as a water baby, loves almost any beach but I think Lanikai is also his favorite. It is hard not to fall in love with its clean, white sand and clear, blue waters. We also love the fact that Lanikai is almost always never crowded. Except for unusually busy weekends, Lanikai Beach is quiet, peaceful, and always a great place for relaxing. I took this picture on our last trip to Hawai’I in 2011. I remember when Jared and I were making our list of beaches to visit, he particularly requested to go to “the beautiful beach,” which is how he refers to Lanikai.
Cliffs by Toilet Bowl, Hawai’i
This is one of my favorite pictures. For some reason, I just find it energizing. It must be the strong waves and the crashing of the water against the rocks. I took this picture in November of last year when we went for a short visit to Hawai’i. These cliffs are found in the right side of one of the most popular tourist spots in the island of Oahu – The Toilet Bowl. Yes, you read that right. Toilet Bowl. The Toilet Bowl is a natural pool made by the waves crashing against the rocks. It got its name from its shape and from the rise and fall of the water in the pool, which depends on the tides. The Toilet Bowl is right off another popular tourist spot, the Hanauma Bay.
Ipao Beach, Guam
This is another favorite picture, mostly because it has my little boy on it. Jared, my water baby, adores the beach and it is such a treat for him to get some beach time. Luckily, we live close to Ipao Beach, which is only about a five-minute drive from our place. This is him enjoying a peaceful morning at the beach.