PHOTO ESSAY: LONESOME TO LEGAZPI

September this year when the Philippine National Railways re-opened its line further down south to Legazpi City in what Bicolanos believed as the bringing-back-to-life of the Bicol Express — the ride which became the pride of Bikolandia. Is the PNR back on the rails?

At first light today, I took a trip from CamSur to Legazpi via this lonesome line. I find behind the glare of the engine’s headlight is just another freshly coated old and decrepit two-coached train. It’s time we stop, look, reason.

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1601

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1604

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1602

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1603

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1605

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1607

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1606

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1608

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1610

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1610b

At about less than an hour to destination, the train came to a sudden halt somewhere in the bushes of Culiat, in Daraga. Although it makes a few unscheduled stops here and there, this one is bad news: we have just rammed two motorbike-riding men.

Here, a local approaches the coach to inform of the accident as crowd gathers at point of impact, a hundred meters back.

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1611

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1611b

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1609

Fortunately, there were no casualties. Engine 5007 chugged along.

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1611c

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1612

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1613

IMG_6965

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1613b

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1615

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_1615b

WHOOPEE

From where I strut is the Rinconada integrated irrigation system — an outstretched waterway right at the foothills of Mount Asog here in Iriga; rendezvous for bathing or doing the laundry. Who says you can’t wash your dirty linen in public?

I started shooting around and the kids scampered to show off their platform diving skills.

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_2015_12

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_2015_11

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_2015_17

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_2015_18

Meanwhile, a few meters up ahead on the same canal is a team of damulags enjoying the waters first-hand!

IMG_6353

MARBLE TOWN

Old folks used to tell about whenever babies look beyond you and giggle, they’re being touched by an angel. I think babies are angels themselves; their wings diminish as their limbs start to grow. When Michelangelo saw an angel in a marble, he immediately carved it right out of it’s stone.

Anyone can be an angel. In San Ramon, I took notice of this young man who was tireless in tending the needs of the people in the town cemetery. It was almost Todos Los Santos and everyone wanted their gardens well-prepared. He was everywhere. 

It’s awesome to be blessed, but some people really prefers to be a blessing. My way of giving the hand a big hand:

San Ramon Cemetery, Iriga City by Elmer Nev Valenzuela

IF YOU CAN’T SAVE TIME IN A BOTTLE

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_a095

When hell becomes workplace, heaven would be just across the street. Five hundred miles more and it’s vacation.

Vacay. Heaven.

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_b098

I looked back at the city and I see zombieland. Nice to be back to human flesh again. How do you savor every minute of it?

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_c092

You can’t save time in a bottle.

But you can take a walk with your camera.

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_d100

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_e091

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_f093

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_g099

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_h103

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_i094

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_j102

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_k101

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_l096

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_m097

CREATIVITY AND CAMERA-DERIE

I have been going through my files from last Saturday’s Scott Kelby WorldWide Photowalk hoping I’d pick something worthy of an entry to the photo competition. Nada.

Not that I have failed though. It’s just that I had 200 shots that didn’t worked.

Still, I settled for this “headless” figure I came across the pavements of Sta. Cruz as I was about to take off from the engagement. A shameless submission actually.

The annual photowalk is a social event where we meet up with fellow photographers, walk around, shoot, meet new friends, dig the streets, and basically have fun. This year, I went out with the maestros and some noobs of Litratista sa Daan — the most prominent assembly of street photographers in the country.

We even feasted on a Chinese spread afterwards.

But somehow — amid all the camaraderie — I must have forgotten about that old magic wand called creativity.

Elmer Nev Valenzuela_16