Ilocos Norte is a tedious 10-hour land trip from Manila. When I am no longer the indefatigable traveler I once was who would endure a lengthy ride without the heavy-eyes, my usual recourse now is to curl up in the backseat and comatose for the whole duration of the trip. I used to take pleasure in the journey more than the destination. But that was twenty or thirty years ago. Now, it’s the other way around. You say mellowing. No, this isn’t about advancing in years, or a forty-something infirmity I assure you. This is more like a travel burn-out (3 long journeys in 4 weeks so far).
Advancing in years is my septuagenarian boss who loves reading out loud every signage, posts, notes, ads or any writings his eyes could lay into on the road. Once, on a trip back to Manila, there was this long line of cars by the roadside, each boldly marked FOR SALE. As we passed by these merchandise, he goes: “For sale. For sale. For sale. For sale..”
So we took the midnight cruise on our way to Ilocos Norte. Sleep the ride away and wake up to the view of endless rocky beaches on one side, and tobacco fields the other. This is the closest we could get to teleportation. This expedition is in part aimed in collecting a good deal of materials for a project I’m working on for KLM’s ON ASSIGNMENT. A photo narrative I would later call TRANS-ILOCANDIAN WIND. The idea is to travel across Ilocos Region, sweeping major points of interest one after another. All in a short 3-day span.
OnAssignment(Philippines) is an annual battle royale of Pinoy photographers, professionals and enthusiasts. Stuffed with fabulous prizes, the competition is heavily contested every year. And with so many aces out there, I’m taking my chances here like a suntok sa buwan. At any rate, this Ilocos trip, is itself, a reward enough. To see places is a reward enough. Every travel is a great affair.
Ilocos Norte FTFT. My first tread here on this skirt of Luzon. If on a map the island of Luzon is like a mitten with the thumb on the left, I have been all over it except on the index finger. That’s been settled today and — the first time is always electric.
Unfortunately the camera misbehaved. The shutter won’t fire and the lens won’t focus. There’s just no sign of life. I rushed outside the St. William Cathedral and tried to figure what’s going on as calm as a millpond. I am no stranger to this sort of bug anymore and I trust my Youtube science will spot the glitch. And it did. And of all the bummer — I have a busted flex cable! To the unacquainted, camera flex cable gives you the POWER of auto-focus.
See what it’s like for a purblind to be without the autofocus:
See what is life like without the flex cable.
I came, I saw, I conked out. But of course there’s always the MANUAL focus. More on Ilocos Region up next.