Postcards from Pinas. A sneak peek of stories and memories

Posted by on February 27, 2015

Sunset Philippines

Just a couple of days ago I returned from my recent adventure in the Philippines. An adventure which was a brief whirlwind tour through cities, islands and remote villages. Although I had only ten short days and an insanely packed itinerary which occasionally had me traveling faster than my mind could handle, the trip was just wonderful. But rather than the many attractions along the way, the most memorable thing was once again the hospitality, kindness and welcoming attitude of the Filipino people. You will never stop to amaze me and I am grateful to call some of you my dear friends.
After just one day back in the country it just clicked and it was as I’ve never left. Last time I came as a tourist, this time I came as a friend and it made for a whole different experience. I traveled to meet old friends and to make new ones and both just worked out perfectly. 

An eventful journey

I finally managed to have a blog meet up which took place in the center of Manila in the best location one could wish for. Readers and followers took the time to come out and say hello and it was great to take this blog thing from the virtual world into the real world.
I then took off on a three day motorbike excursion along the not yet trodden path on Cebu Island where I met interesting people everywhere I stopped. Lee, the Canadian resort owner and Filipino by heart, the hard working blacksmiths in the barrios or the ever cheerful women in the many public markets along the way. As multifaceted as the country is, so are its people.
The next stop was Bantayan, an island struck hard by the recent typhoon Yolanda. I learnt about the reconstruction efforts, helped building new houses for the victims of the super storm and met amazing people who go out of their way to improve people’s lives on the island.

Memories made and stories to tell

Each one of these episodes made for a great story on its own and I will start telling them all here on the blog. One after another with the images I took along the way. To give a little sneak preview of what is about to come, I compiled a few images which I call “Postcards from Pinas”. I hope you like them. Feel free to send them around or save them.

Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again.

Manila Bay night

The lights of Manila Bay

Fisherman returning

Hard working fisherman coming home with their catch

Pig head on meat market

Balamban meat market. Holding the trophy.

Kids playing on boat

No worries just fun. Kids playing on a anchored banka.

Room with a sunset view Philippines

My room with a view.

Moalboal setting sun by the beach

Serenity in beautiful Moalboal

Children of the sea. Moalboal.

Children of the sea. Moalboal.

Blackmsiths in the Philippines

The hard working blacksmiths somewhere along the vegetable highway of Cebu Island

The friendly ladies from the fish stall of Balamban public market

The friendly ladies from the fish stall of Balamban public market

Stranded boats in the Philippines

Stranded on Bantayan Island

Little rascals in a Gawad Kalinga Village, Bantayan.

Little rascals in a Gawad Kalinga Village, Bantayan.

How small things can make people happy. Bubbles in Bantayan.

How small things can make people happy. Bubbles in Bantayan.

Philippines cock fighting arena

In the cock fighting arena of Bantayan on a Sunday afternoon. Madness.

What’s left to say before my next challenge awaits me? Despite the briefness of the journey, I found it very hard to leave. I not only left a country behind which I now consider my second home, I also said goodbye to good friends, not knowing when we will meet again. My last days passed in a strange blur of sadness and melancholy. As I got to chat to a few OFWs at the airport, waiting for their flights out, I got a very small glimpse of how it must be for them to leave everything behind.

I want to believe that it wasn’t a goodbye but until we meet again. And that’s also how I want to close this little preview: Until next time, take care, stay safe and paalam / adto nako.

Kuya Philipp (Pipoy)

45 Responses to Postcards from Pinas. A sneak peek of stories and memories

  1. raisa

    These shots are beautiful Pipoy! Good luck and take care!

  2. kathy

    Awww… Indeed a short and sweet visit. Love the pic of the Manila Bay. Never really saw it that way! 🙂 And for the rest of the lovely pics, as usual you really captured the interesting way of life of the people of the places that you visit. Curious on how you ask the kuya with the pig’s head to pose for you? It’s just sooo funny! And the kids’ smiling faces, always making us wish to be kids forever, innocent and just being happy. By the way, will be in cebu/bohol this weekend and in the next few days, getting away from the hustle and bustle of Manila. 🙂 All the best in Canada!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Kathy, I went down to Manila and MOA on Valentines Day. How crowded it was. Everyone seemed to have a super time down there and for me it felt like a homecoming. It was on my first day, just after having arrived in the city. Good memories. The Kuya liked the posing but was also encouraged by a female colleague of his. She told him to do it and was laughing hard hehe. Good time on the market I have to say.
      Hey good for you that you get to leave the city for a bit. Try to relax and take in the serenity of the islands. Happy travels my dear.

  3. dines

    Hello PipZ. it is a very heartwarming preview…can’t wait to read the rest of your stories. Your pictures are wonderful, make me miss Subic , my family and friends, and this all early in the morning 🙁 But you know , with your heartfelt blogs coupled with stunning pictures, you’re making it difficult for you and for all of us too who are abroad . Now we all wanna come back! Sometime soon…see you in Pinas, (or somewhere else before that) and I still have to show you Zambales !) . greetings, Ate Dines 😉

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Thanks Ate, I appreciate your feedback once again. I know that pictures like this might be sort of bitter sweet but in the end, I think the good vibe prevails. At least for me, especially if I look at the cool kids. We will sure see each other again and of course Hans …either here or there …. Cheers and have a good day.

  4. Allan C.

    Awesome pictures! Best of luck to you in Canada as you start a new chapter of your life and embark on new adventures.

    Take care always.

  5. Jenny

    amazing pics….yes,it is hard to leave the country that you used to be or as a second home but u are welcome to come back anytime to see again all your awaiting friends and for sure more friends to come on your way.Love the way you are in our country and to all filipinos

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Jenny, thanks so much for the warm welcome and your kind words. I will for sure come back – to see old friends, make new ones and to explore of the magical archipelago

  6. Mariel

    I love how you capture all the small things in life that are actually the most important ones. Your photos are absolutely amazing, Pipoy! My goal this year is to explore more of my country, one adventure at a time. 🙂 Honestly, how do I leave this country… I’m thinking of studying abroad but the thought of leaving the Philippines saddens me 🙁 HAHA keep it up! I love your blog! I’m already plotting another adventure even before my first trip of this year this March! 😀

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Mariel, glad to hear that you enjoy the pictures. That is great feedback for me. It’s great that you have more adventures planned, exploring is just the best. But yeah, if somehow have the chance to study abroad, I would go for it. It can only be positive – it will broaden your horizon and make you the well rounded person that you wanna be. You can always come back to Pinas ….

  7. Esabela

    I super love these moments! Like I told you from the Vancouver trip you posted, I am definitely a fan! Thanks for all these

  8. Jhanis

    Beautiful photos Phil. I wish to be as great as you are in photography someday. It was nice meeting you!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      I am not so great my friend. Just a humble guy pursuing his passion. Keep at it and you will improve bit by bit… Thanks for stopping by my friend …

  9. Obet

    Amazing Philipp.. always take care… hope yo see you again soon… where you at now? it’s summer time again here in Philippines… time to escape from the Metro… #beachMode

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Obet, how have you been? Too bad you couldn’t come out to the meetup in makati. I am in Canada right now. Where is your escape from the Metro going to be?

  10. Teresa

    You are an excellent photographer. You have captured the elements of what makes the Philippines unique. I have lived here in California for almost eight years and was able to go home twice last year only because my Tatay was ill and later passed away. Since then I have desired to be back in Asia every year if I have the means. This year I wanted to visit Nepal after passing by Davao, my native city. There is something about my culture that I have longed to be in- the warmth, hospitality, humour, the lightness of things even in serious matters such as death, loyalty. These are attributes I consider treasures. I have worked with Germans years back and they have all loved being in Manila. Some left and others stayed and had families in Antipolo Rizal. You are not a tourist when you capture the essence of what it truly means to be a Filipino. Vielen Dank!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Teresa, you summed the special character of Asia and the Philippines very well. Maybe that’s why I always feel so at home once there. I am happy you liked the photos and appreciate your kind feedback. That keeps me going. Your trip sounds nice as I also still wanna travel through Nepal. Let me know how it went and send some pics ;). Thanks again and all the best

  11. Christian | Lakad Pilipinas

    Ganda ng photos Phil! It was nice meeting you at Z, too bad I couldn’t tag along in Binondo 🙂

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Christian, thanks for stopping by my friend. Getting a compliment on the photos from a professional like yourself means a lot to me. Thanks so much brother. Don’tfeel bad about Binondo. You know what happened? I got up at 10 and went outside, not feeling too well. I took the LRT to Taft and felt the need to eat something. So I had some chicken and rice at Jollibees in the station. Afterwards my hangover got so bad, that I took the next LRT back and went back to my room to rest. What a waste… so nothing missed. We gotta do Binondo and the Pasig ferry another time though. Hoping for your guidance. Take care and always good light 😉 Philipp

  12. April Violet

    Wonderful postcards and it’s great how you captured the culture, scenery, life of Filipinos…look forward to your stories behind the postcards! As always, the kids shots make for beautiful photos…those lil cute, silly rascals sure know how to pose 😉 The man with the pig’s head is quite intriguing…will be one interesting postcard to share. So, what did you think of the cockfighting?
    Your mention about OFW made me reminisce about my encounter with one on the plane that he ended up adding me on FB…and when I look back now my own father was one too.

    It truly is the warm welcome and hospitality that makes a memorable experience and happy that you continue to experience such. Having not met you personally, you come across as a humble and kind person which I’m sure makes Filipinos so drawn and mirror that same attitude towards you.
    Your postcards convince me to visit Philippines instead of the Caribbean or Hawaii for my next vacay…I will make it happen 😉
    Btw, what is adto nako? Tried to GoogLe but didn’t really find a translation.
    Hope Vancouver living is going well so far and I really hope to meet up with you later this year…best wishes always Philipp

    • Jenny

      Sometimes need to use commonsense ….adto n ko means andito na ako(im already here).He not a filipino but he trying to put some filipino words which makes me impress more

      • Philipp Dukatz

        Hi Jenny, actually I wanted to say something like goodbye in Bisaya and some of my Cebuano friends told me these words. So I figured it would be right haha. Maybe they got it wrong as well… Oh well…. Gotta learn next time I am over 😉

        • Rachelle Nessia

          No, your Cebuano friends were right Philipp. Jenny doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Adto na ko means “I gotta go” or “Goodbye”. It’s Bisaya. It’s not Tagalog.

          • Philipp Dukatz

            Hehe, thanks for the clarification rachelle. I thought so…. Bisaya is the way.. I gotta pick it up for my next visit …. Cheers!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi April, thanks for your kind comment here. Like I said, the filipinos never fail to impress me … over and over again. That’s why I like being in this country so much. Such a good experience and sometimes I think being there makes even me a better. Don’t know how to best explain this.
      So the cock fighting: For me as European it is something that I wouldn’t support or something. I am really an animal lover. But I take it what it is, an important and grown part of Filipini culture and that is why I find it super interesting. Everything that goes on there, the energy, the shouting, the smoke from the barbecue, the haggling and comparing of the roosters. It is quite a sight for us whoare not used to it.
      And yes, I always try to be humble and kind to everyone I come across. In the end, we should all treat others people like we ourselves want to be treated. So there you go. Sometimes it is more difficult when you are in a bad mood, tired or just not as approachable. But I am always trying to be my best.
      So the saying at the end is supposed to be Bisaya, meaning something like good bye. Some friends told me the words so I was sure they’d be correct. But yeah, they had a hard time coming up with a saying so maybe it is not the most perfect one.
      OK April, thanks so much for staying with me here and following along. I sure appreciate it… take care and until we meet… Best regards, Philipp

  13. Kings X

    next stop is Patar beach in Pangasinan if you like uncrowded & pristine beach 🙂

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Would love to go there one day..wanna join? 😉

      • Kings X

        Sorry Boss Pipz,Im stuck here in saudi. working 🙂 maybe someday would like to go there in the northern side cause its so underrated unlike bora etc..which is crowded.

        • Philipp Dukatz

          Hi Koko, I hope you can make it there one day. It is sure worth it… super nice….. Best of luck in Saudi ..

  14. Terry from TerryTreks

    Awesome adventure! I just left the Philippines and am missing it already. Indonesia seems so confusing in comparison. My posts will go live to my website next week.

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Terry, how long didyou stay now afterall? Did u end up extending your visa? Indo is quite the conrast haha,where you at and wat’s your plan? I really miss the Philippines …

  15. Mits

    Awesome! Good that you were able to go to Port Barton, Palawan this time.

    • Philipp Dukatz

      I unfortunaelyhaven’tbeen to Port Barton yet… must be cool though …. didn’t have the time when I did Palawan …

  16. peter montgomery

    hi Phil
    the fils is a hard country to get out of your system . i know it more than most [arrived first time 1978 , married to a beautiful filipina , 2 children , live in aussie but holiday on biri island , northern samar ] . hope to meet up with Chris , Dolf and yourself one day . keep the travel blogs coming .

    regards peter montgomery

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Peter, you are saying it. I am thinking about ways to be there for longer, to actually live and work in the PI. Maybe you have tips or advice. I’d definitely appreciate that… If you like, you can just shoot me an e-mailor reply here? How is life in general then and when is your next Biri trip due? Great to hear from you again Peter and I do hope, that we will meet each other again …. Thanks Peter and all the best …

  17. Leo Avila | OverdrivingWithLeo

    As you put it, goodbyes are not forever. Truly, time spent in The Philippines are lingering moments for a lifetime. You really captured the beauty of the country with your shots! The abundance of amazing places to visit, Filipinos friendly smiles and the simplicity of life here, you never missed a single important thing to feature. We all look forward for the time you’ll get to go back here!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Leo, thanks for stopping by and your kind feedback. I am happy you liked my pictures and visual impressions from Pinas. Posting them was sure my pleasure. I really hope I can be back soon …. Thanks again and all the best, Philipp

  18. Bianca Camille Peralta

    Beautiful Photos! <3

    Thank you for appreciating and loving the Philippines 🙂

  19. Ian

    Thanks for visiting Philippines.:) I love the HD photos you have here. 🙂 Come back soon.

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Ian, thanks for your feedback. Glad you like my photos Pare. I will definitely come back… hopefully soon…. Cheers