After trekking up (up!) the mountain side to stay at the lodge near the center of the town, we had to trek further up to a Akakoy Nature Park for a cultural experience. Aside from a native house-building demonstration (which was quite fascinating as they used hardwood and zero nuts, bolts or nails), there was also a bit of dancing and singing.
Part III of my trip to Mayoyao, Ifugao! I’m itching to post about Laneway, but at the same time, I’m sort of prolonging this feeling. I have a bunch of backlog, though, that I’ve promised people, so I’m slowly getting rid of that. All these photos were taken by Gracie Vergara, for whom I feel camera envy. Seriously, I’m a Nikon user (at least, by way of SLRs) and I considered ditching my Nikon obnoxiousness and maybe a kidney for her camera, a Canon 5D Mark II. I’ve since come to my senses, mostly because I am astonishingly poor right now.
Anyway. Here are some photos of the trek from our first day:
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We slept on rice sacks on the floor. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that before, but it was extremely uncomfortable. It was worth it, though, because we woke up to this:
Sometimes I don’t use up all the film I have in my camera, so when I have them processed, they’re a jumble of adventures and mishaps. It’s fun looking through them, especially when enough time has passed between the events. I took a Sproket snapshot of The National’s Singapore show, but it must have been too dark (even with the flash), that I won’t even post the outcome. I wish I took more shots. Oh well, lesson learned.
I’ve come to realize that a) I don’t really like Lomography film (except for the X-Pro Chrome and Tungsten variants), b) I’m not very good at film photography, and c) I need to learn how to read light.
It’s hard to make film photographs not come off as snapshotty. I guess that’s my main goal, after everything. It’s funny, but usually, when I’m not good at something, I drop it like a hot potato. It’s not a trait that I’m particularly proud of, but there you go. Funnily enough, this particular failure has made me very persistent. I won’t quit until I get good enough at it, or if I run out of money, spending it on seemingly frivolous things like film (read: things that are expensive that I don’t even earn from).
At about this time last week, I was cozying it up with three other people on a bunch of rice sacks on the hardwood floor of a Spanish-Ifugao house built in the 1950s. We went there on a rice-planting (Pfukhay ad Majawjaw) and cultural trip—something close to experiencing an Ifugao culture that is similar to but not quite the same as those from Banaue. Stick and co. filmed it for their thesis. It was a really good experience.
We left Thursday night and arrived Friday morning. After a short rest at the Milcah Lodge, we gathered up some of our stuff and trekked down the mountain for “homestay,” which basically meant that we invaded someone’s house for a night.
The trek down was kind of scary because we had to walk on the “rims” of the rice paddies and balance ourselves with everything else we had been carrying. Which is tons hard when, all around you, there’s just so much beauty you rarely get to see in the city.
Addresses and directions are sort of funny, too.
“Where are we going?”
“That part down there with the three coconut trees.”