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  • Writer's pictureJCBorlongan

“Third time’s a Lake Mapanuepe charm”

Alpha Camera Club was once again at Lake Mapanuepe for the 3rd time as we look forward to capture Mother Nature at its finest while wandering over vast green landscapes amidst the cool breeze of fresh air.

Our journey started at half past midnight of March 3 at Eton Centris where we joined our designated tour organizers, Tropang Gala – their name an apt description of our club as well.

Dewey Sergio, Jun Santos, Cris Cleofas, Joy Ganaden, Buccino de Ocampo, Jhing Montes and our two guests, 8 all told, were on board for the Zambales edition of the club’s 2023 Photography Adventure Series.

After pee breaks along the way and quick rounds of early morning chow at Mcdonalds Olongapo, 7-11 and Ate Lydia’s Lugawan in San Marcelino, the creeping sunrise met us at the overland trails leading to the secluded campsites at the Lake.

Lake Mapanuepe on this side is an off-grid camping site with no electricity and beyond the reach of existing cell sites, a situation that allows visitors more time to commune with nature, renew bonds of kinship and friendship with family and friends.

OTS started as soon as we got our gears out, clicking to our hearts content while Tropang Gala began setting up camp complete with tents, chairs, mess hall and improvised kitchen. Lunch was so good and the mood so calm that everybody was out for the count in no time at all, snoring in tune with the chirping of the birds.

Nap time done, we covered the western side for our afternoon shoot and tried several long exposure shots which tells us that a wise photographer never ever leaves home without a tripod and filters.

Dinner was another awesome gastronomic experience and shut eye a bit early in anticipation of dabbling in astrophotography, but unfortunately, we were denied this chance because the moon was bright, the Milky Way nowhere to be seen and the ambiance aggravated by the chilly mountain air. We also had a visit from a venturing friendly cow who came to rummage at our make shift mess hall for some treats – mooooo!

In the morning having been fortified with coffee, we covered the eastern side of the Lake for the sunrise shoot, landscape, silhouette shots, pet photography, and some more portrait shots.

We broke camp before lunch and proceeded to a native Aeta village where we met the local chief in his full native “bahag” and barefoot as the day he was born.

Our photography adventure in Lake Mapanuepe is an experience worth repeating, preferably and hopefully with many more of the club’s members.

The trip also tells us that this won’t be the last, but a third among many times, as we at Alpha always say – “Saan tayo sa sunod?”


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