Shooting around Laguna Bay Loop

“Meeting time at McDo Silver City at 4am,” said one of the Zone V Camera Club members regarding our Laguna Bay loop On-The-Spot shoot (OTS) the night before. Deep inside, I was saying, “Are you serious?” But I replied “Sure!” and I really did come on the agreed time. Who was I to complain—it’s actually a privilege to shoot and participate in the Club’s first OTS of the year. With my sched blocked off for that event, I was motivated to come up with great photos to submit in March’s contest. Along the way, I realized this is also going to be one of the hardest shoots for me yet since I found out that there should be no editing / post-processing / cropping even on the cam. The challenge is, you have to have the right settings even before you click. Good luck to me, I thought. Nevertheless, I was determined to have a great time shooting and bonding with the gang.

The sunrise must have shaken off our sleepiness that early morning because as soon as the sun started to peep out of the clouds, we went down our cars and prepared our full battle gear—cameras, tripods, filters, the works. We caught the beautiful sunrise in one of the viewing decks in Antipolo, Rizal together with the residents and motor bikers who were resting and sipping their coffees. The morning sunshine made the fishponds in the bay and the mountains looked like gold.

We seemed to have warmed up already after numerous clicks on our cams so we were ready to go to our next destination in Paete, Laguna where a local councilor was waiting for us to tour around Paete.

But wait, along the way, along the vast plains of Mabitac, Laguna, we saw several farmers toiling under the sun. No questions asked, we went down immediately as it was another photo op moment. “Ngiti ka dyan! Baka mapadala ang litrato sa Amerika! (Smile! Your photo might be sent to America!)” said one of the farmers to his fellow.

We reached Paete and met with Councilor Obet Pascual. He first toured us to a couple of churches (where interestingly, I saw an old man with a weather beaten face that says he has lived through a lot), then to Wawa Park where fishermen set out to fish and dried small shrimps under the sun. After smelling quite fishy, we then went to the councilor’s brother-in-law who had a carving business, which Paete is known for. He said we actually went on the same date of their carving festival where they showcase all the great works of different carvers in their town. Unfortunately, it was scheduled in the afternoon, we were already in Cavinti by that time. We also went to a hill called Tatlong Krus (and by this time I felt dizzy because of the heat), with Matabungka Falls down its slopes.

“I’ve seen it all… Today is just like one of those days…”

A bicycle under the sun, waiting for a Wawa Park fisherman to ride it.

Three heads soon to be carved and become works of art.

Tatlong Krus pilgrimage.

At lunch time, we finally caught up and had lunch with the other group who started shooting around the town. Thank God for pancit ulam and other orders as I could already hear my stomach rumbling. It was like a feast with the rest of the members, sharing meals, catching up with jokes and stories.

After more shots around town, such as the paper mache products being painted on the side streets, we then set out mid afternoon to Caliraya Resort in Cavinti, Laguna where the rest would stay for the night. Others still got busy shooting around, while the rest hung out for a while and ordered merienda and a round of cold beer. Another group went out on a different shoot mission to Pagsanjan Falls.

Everyone was looking forward to the reservoir and sunset shots in the late afternoon. This was one of my favorite memories in the OTS when we went to the reservoir—suddenly everyone was like child again, excited to go down the slopes to have a better view, find a better angle, to take the best shots.

Here’s my take on the Cavinti reservoir. Everyone must have a stock photo of it. :)

And of course, my favorite: sunset shot!

My group set-off to Manila after sunset. Our last leg of the loop tour was at Pagsanjan, Laguna where we shot this monument which every car, bus, jeep, tricycle passes thru whenever you go in and out of Pagsanjan.


The whole OTS experience with no editing / post-processing / cropping was quite liberating for me. I realized that sometimes the best photos are those that happen “serendipitously.” What made it more fun was being able to shoot with a group of people who share the same level of enjoyment for photography—people who love looking at and looking for beauty. I’m already looking forward to the next OTS with my Havs (or this time, my Sanuk) and cam. :)

3 thoughts on “Shooting around Laguna Bay Loop

  1. Pingback: 30 Places before 30 | The Traveling Havaianas

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