Category Archives: Photo Galleries

Added Photo Gallery: 1st Annual Subic Bay Festival in Barrio Barretto

Subic Bay has a new festival, and what a success it was! Joining the well-known Barrio Barretto Beach Bash is the Subic Bay Festival. While the Beach Bash is mostly aimed at daytime activities and promotes the beaches and tourism sector of Subic Bay, the Subic Bay Festival is geared more towards nightlife and entertainment in the area.

Here are a few sample pictures from the 1st Annual Subic Bay Festival photo gallery.




Please take a look at the entire Subic Bay Festival Photo Gallery

Added Photo Gallery: Daddy Dave’s 69th Birthday Pool Party

Full Gallery: Daddy Dave’s 69th Birthday Pool Party at Treasure Island

What a day! This weekend has been a whirlwind of party-time activities here in Subic. This is the weekend of “Daddy Dave’s” 69th Birthday Party, and the party has gone on non-stop! The weekend started with the Sons of Bacchus Subic Dance Competition at Lips Bar in Barrio Barretto, followed by a monster bar hop with 7 stops, also finalizing at Lips Bar, and today’s pool party. Add in the after parties and the afternoon bar-b-ques, etc, and it’s been a great, crazy weekend!

The pool party started off with decent weather. A little overcast, with a few breaks in the clouds letting in some sun. I was stuck at the house taking care of a few tasks for some clients, but kept an eye on the weather throughout. Around 2:00 I packed up my camera gear and walked over to Treasure Island. The sky was a little darker, but it didn’t look at all like would rain.

I decided to go all out today, and took two DSLRs and a Compact. I fitted a Canon T1i with a Canon 17-40 f4/L wide angle and Canon 480 EX II flash, and a Canon 5D MkII with a Tamron 70-300 telephoto zoom lens, and of course my trusty Sony WX-1 Compact which never leaves my side.

I entered the pool area at Treasure Island and took a quick look around. The pool and poolside areas were packed FULL of gorgeous girls in bikinis, all smiling and laughing and having a great time. There were probably 100 girls in all. The guests had turned out for this party, with roughly 60 people in attendance. I started getting my gear ready, planning to shoot, shoot and shoot some more! Then I looked out into the bay, and saw a huge wall of black clouds obscuring the horizon out by Grande Island in Subic Bay. After blinking a few times in disbelief, the wind hit, and chairs started blowing over, with the wind whistling in the palm trees. Less then two minutes later, the rain hit, and it hit pretty hard.

To my surprise, the girls just laughed and kept dancing, swimming, flirting and enjoying themselves. About half the guests moved under the balconies and other protected areas, with the other half staying in and around the pool, enjoying the day no matter what!

I walked around the protected areas and took some shots with the long lens, and a number of closer shots with the wide angle. Eventually I knew I had to get wet, so I stored my gear in a secure location, whipped out the trusty Sony compact, and braved the elements.

Please take a look, and I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Full Gallery: Daddy Dave’s 69th Birthday Pool Party at Treasure Island


Added Photo Gallery: Fairah at White Rock, Subic, Zambales


Full Gallery: Fairah at White Rock.

I had the distinct pleasure of spending an afternoon at White Rock Beach Resort here in Subic, Zambales Province, taking pictures of a wonderful model. Her name is Fairah, and she lives here in Subic.

It was a day of new things for both of us. She’s never modeled before, and I’ve never done a glamour or portrait shoot, directing models. I think it worked out pretty well, over all.

It’s obvious I’m still learning about photography. I made a couple of significant, fundamental errors in these photos.

1, I had set the ISO at 400 early on, as I was using a polarizing filter and it was a bit cloudy at the moment. I forget to adjust it later.

2, I didn’t consider the depth of field while shooting many of the photos. I think some would look better with a more blurred background.

I’m sure more experienced photographers will be able to point out other errors. I would welcome the comments.

These were all shot with a little Canon t1i and a Canon EF 17-40 f4.0L UM lens, with the Canon 420EX II flash for fill light. I also used a Sunpak CP filter.

So, without further ado, please take a look at my photos of Fairah at White Rock.

Full Gallery: Fairah at White Rock.

Added Photo Gallery: Aliwan Fiesta 2011

New Photo Gallery: 2011 Aliwan Festival

What a fantastic event. The 2011 Aliwan Fiesta brought 18 festivals from all around the Philippine Islands together to perform and compete in the largest combined festival in the country.

The Aliwan Fiesta is a gathering of traditional cultural festivals from provinces all over the Philippines. These photos are from the 2011 Aliwan Festival in Pasay, Manila, April 17th, 2011.

If I had the power to change one thing about the Aliwan festival, I would simply add a subtitle to the event name: Festival of Smiles.

As you browse though the photos, it is my sincere hope that you will feel the warmth and friendship that was extended to me on this long, hot day in Manila.

This year’s participants included:

Baguio City was represented by the Panagbenga festival.

Laoag was represented by the Pamulinawen Festival.

Pampanga brings the Ibon-Ebon festival of Candaba.

Bulacan’s regional Singkaban celebrations was represented by two entries – Guiguinto’s Halamanan festival and Malolos’ Desposorio festival.

Oriental Mindoro brought the Pandang Guitab festival.

Pasig brought their Pakalog festival.

Batanguenos’ was represented by the Calacatchara festival..

The Bicol region showcases the Sosogon festival of Sorsogon.

Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival was represented by Tribu Pantat and Kasadyaan champion Tribu Pan-ay.

From Cebu, the Abellana National High School to represent the Sinulog Festival.

Mindanao sent an impressive number of participants:

Jesus Soriano National High School for Davao’s Kadayawan.

Tapayan Central Elementary School for the Kapamagayon festival of Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao.

Tribu Teduray for the Kalimudan festival of Sultan Kudarat.

The Lembuhong festival of Uswag, Surallah, South Cotabato.

The Padang-Padang festival of Parang, Maguindanao.

The Kalilangan festival of General Santos City.

The Zamboanga City National High School depicting the Zamboanga Hermosa festival.

Photo Gallery: Aliwan Fiesta Photos

Added Photo Gallery: Treasure Island Pool Party – 3 April 2011

Treasure Island Beach Resort is one of my favorite places to stay when I visit the Philippines.

Located in Baloy Beach, Olongapo City, Subic, Zambales Province, the resort provides excellent value in accommodations and facilities, and offers a wonderful pool, beach front access, a great restaurant and a fully-stocked bar.

I actually moved to Baloy Beach  in January of this year. I’ve rented a house not 100 meters away from Treasure Island, and I go there often for breakfast and special events. It’s awesome to eat breakfast next to the ocean, while sitting by the pool, using their very fast and free Wi-fi to work on web sites. I’m able to use their pool and beach facilities free of charge, so when I need a break, I’ll go hang out in the pool and chat with the many expats who live around here.

Treasure Island has pool parties roughly every two months.  The latest was yesterday, April 3rd, 2011. Over 80 girls were in attendance, sponsored by 8 clubs from Barrio Barretto. The event drew a large, very well-behaved crowd of expats and tourists alike. The girls were having a great time, which ensured we all had a good time as well!

The party included all the local drinks you could handle, including my favorite, San Miguel Light beer, and all you could eat. They provided an excellent buffet that included Lumpia Shanghai with a spicy sweet and sour sauce, mini-burgers, pasta salad, meatballs in sauce and other foods. Lumpia is like a spring roll with pork, and it’s deep fried.

There were numerous events during the party, including bobbing for balls (plastic balls are tossed in the water, and the girls have to retrieve them without using their hands), a beer drinking/swimming/basketball competition. The girls drink a beer, swim across the pool, and hand off the empty beer can to their partner. The partner now has to drink two beers, and then swim back across, and toss the empty beer cans through a basketball hoop. Another one involved girls sitting on guy’s shoulders, eating an apple that hangs from a rope in the middle of the pool (suspended above), without using their hands. It’s a ton of fun!

Here are a few pics to get you started. Don’t forget to visit the entire gallery of over 235 photos!



Philippine Photo Gallery:  Treasure Island Beach Resort Pool Party

Added Photo Gallery: Baloy Beach Photos

Baloy Beach (sometimes called Baloy Long Beach) is just past the Barrio Barretto neighborhood on the National Highway outside of Olongapo City, Subic, Zambales Province, in the Philippine Islands.

I used to go to Baloy Beach and rent a small A-frame hut for about $4.00 a day. We would get up relatively early in the morning, around noon, and wait a few minutes until I fisherman would stroll by, selling his latest catch. We would usually get Tuna. The fisherman would sell two fish, about 10 lbs each, for roughly $3.00. He would then make a little charcoal fire in the sand in front of the hut, and cook the fish, complete with seasonings and a dipping sauce that was reminiscent of soy sauce, though not as salty and spicier.

There was not much else on Baloy Beach at that time. Towards the end (going away from Barrio Barretto), was a few places where you could pay for beach access with tables, nipa huts and fireplaces for about a dollar a day. Some of those are still there.

What has obviously changed is the construction of beach resorts. Today, you can stay at Blue Rock, Wild Orchid, Treasure Island, Sheavans, Harley’s, Kokomos, Johan’s Dive Resort and more. In addition, there are many small hotels and apartments/condos that you can rent just a block or two off the beach. I’ll add a gallery of those later – the geo-coding is taking a while, as it’s hard to remeber exactly where each of these smaller places are!

Baloy Beach is growing up. It’s great right now, but I can see it becoming crowded and noisy in the next few years. If you want to experience a great, relaxing place that’s not overly commercial, you should probably go in the next year or two.

Philippine Photo Gallery: Baloy Beach Photos

Added Photo Gallery: Treasure Island Beach Resort

Treasure Island Beach Resort is one of the best places to stay if you are visiting Subic Bay in the Philippine Islands. With excellent room values, a resturant/bar on site, an excellent swimming pool, WiFi throughout, and a fun, friendly staff, the Treasure Island Beach Resort is hard to beat.

I stayed at Treasure Island for almost two weeks, and had no complaints.

The rooms are are very comfortable, appointed well, and are very clean and well-maintained. The view from the balcony was fantastic. I loved waking up every morning (when was the last time you said that?), getting a cup of coffee from the resturant, and sitting on the balcony checking and replying to e-mails, etc. Watching the sunrise was spectacular.  I enjoyed staying in the suite with the balcony. The second room was great for working on the laptop, and it has a second TV. It’s also great when you have a visitor who wants to watch a different channel on TV, which happened quite often. Strangely enough, Filipinas don’t really enjoy CNN.

The food at Treasure Island is excellent. They carry the same menu as Dryden’s Resturant in Barrio Barretto, and they maintain the same standard of excellence. I can highly recommend the Chicken Curry with the milder yellow sauce – I’m not terribly adventurous when it comes to hot food. I loved the breakfasts – just like Denny’s, only better. They actually have hash browns – something we don’t get here in Panama. They also serve fresh juices in liter-sized plastic jugs – the kind you can take jogging. Those come in very handy when you are trying to replenish your body after being out in the intense sun. I remember driking fresh Pineapple, Mango and Orange Juice, though they may have more selections.

Another great benefit of staying at Treasure Island is the Voodoo Floating Bar just 40 yards or so off the beach. The Floating Bar is great fun. It’s cooler out there with a constant fresh breeze, and the bar is staffed with excellent girls, who won’t let you escape without a back, shoulder, neck and head massage.

The best thing about Treasure Island is the staff. The girls that work in the bar/restaurant are top notch; beautiful, intelligent and fun! They also do a good job of serving food and drinks. The front desk staff was very helpful. I had a lot of questions about the area, like where to rent a motor scooter, what was a good medical clinic, and where can I buy (insert your desired object here). They always gave me the best possible advice.

Check out the pics, and please feel free to leave comments.

Philippine Photo Gallery: Treasure Island Beach Resort

Added Photo Gallery: Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo

While I was researching my trip to the Philippines, I was wondering if Olongapo had changed much.

Back in the 80’s, Magsaysay Drive, the main road extending from the main gate of Subic Bay Naval Station, across the river (which we affectionately termed “shit river”), was lined with hundreds of bars, clubs, discos, resturants, hotels, and lots of little shops selling everything from custom-designed t-shirt to hand-formed metal watch bands to all kinds of clothing and knick knacks.

I was curious what Magsaysay Drive looked like today, so I grabbed my camera and took a few snapshots.

I’m really not very happy with the results. When I go back next time, I’ll actually document Magsaysay, with step by step photos from the gate to Rizal Avenue.

Philippine Photo Gallery: Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo

Added Photo Gallery: Barrio Barretto Bars and Clubs

I was lucky enough to get a vacation in early February. I had not visited the Philippines for just over 20 years, so I decided to splurge and head back to Subic Bay and The Barrio.

Prior to leaving, I spent quite a bit of time doing research on the area. How much had it changed? Were any of the bars I remember still there? What about the girls?

During my trip, I decided to take pictures of all the bars and clubs in Barrio Barretto. I accomplished that goal, with a few exceptions. I know I missed a few bars. If you have pics of them, please feel free to send them and I’ll post them here. Or, I’ll get them on my next trip, though who wants to wait a whole  year?

Philippine Photo Gallery: Barrio Barretto Bars and Clubs