Tag Archives: Island

That’ll be fun

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keep your head up boys and survive the best way you could

For months I tried to find the excuse to re-visit my childhood hometown. Being born and raised during my teenage life in Tawau, Sabah, this place has a soft spot in my heart. I miss the food … I miss my old childhood friends and I miss talking in the Sabahan dialect too.

This time around, my excuse is … I am re-visiting islands around Semporna for the second time. Had a good deal return ticket from KL to Tawau and spent a few days hanging out in Tawau with my childhood friends while enjoying the weekends at the islands surrounding Semporna, hunting the light with some new friends.

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the sea gypsies of islands surrounding Semporna, Sabah

I miss the salty air and the beautiful endless open sky. As we were speeding off to Selakan Island from Semporna jetty, I can’t help reminiscing the old sweet years when I used to spend my weekend doing island hopping with my compact camera. Carefree years … when my camera was just so light and the years where I carried my flippers more than my camera.

I am feeling old … only old people reminiscing their old sweet memories.

My second visit to this beautiful place. The first time in 2015 when I was still fresh in this photography world, at that time everything looked new and exciting to me. Guess what … the second trip is as excited as before, I am born to do this … to wander around my surrounding and just fall deeper into my own world while doing … the THINKING, lol (so much to think about).

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gypsy girls swinging carefreely

Timbun Mata, Bodgaya, Maiga, Selakan, Gusungan, Ormadal and a lot more surrounding islands that we can explore. The setting of each island looks damn good during sunset and sunrise. And, I noticed something different this time around with my new travel mates … they play with the drones more than their cameras.

A new way of enjoying our beautiful surrounding which is aerial photography. Now everybody can fly … me? I think I would just stick to my paramotor addiction. Flying with a group of motivated adventurous paramotor pilots and enjoying the raw aerial view with my own eyes, self-satisfaction. I get to feel the fear of the unknown circumstances while flying … while the drone players fear that they would lose their drone signal and later would lose the drone.

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a girl drying fish at the beach in Maiga Island

What makes a place interesting?

For me … it’s the people that reside in the place that makes the place compelling. In here the sea gypsies people are well blended with their nature. Life is simple.

But for a thinker … you’ll get worried just by looking at the children paddling here and there aimlessly. I always believe that every child needs to go to school, at least to learn reading, writing, calculating and reading the Quran.

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Zainab and her lunch for today

By giving that basic skill to our children we fulfilled at least the very minimal responsibility as a parent to them. Giving them the skills will help them make a better choice in life. It is up to the parents though. I saw a few schools here in some islands. Maybe they just choose not to send their children to school.

Ahh well … enough worrying, at least they are happy with their choice of life. As I said earlier … it’s a simple life, no ruffles.

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sunrise in Maiga island

I always want to say this at the end of my writing … that I want to visit the same place again and again. 3 days 2 night is not enough … it was cloudy during the 3 days that we were there and on the second day, we were chased by the storm during sunset at Bodgaya Island. I think a week would be good.

The cloudy stormy sky is the best time to capture time-lapse as the clouds would move rapidly. Sharing my time-lapse video here for y’alls. Amazing moment captured using my small gopro6.

And last but not least, belanja a picture of me under the stormy cloud for my fan out there (perasan … lol am being cynical here) and for those people who are not so my fan, please underestimate me, that’ll be fun. Annyeong …

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Underestimate me please, that’ll be fun

 

Cheers

MM

ps: if life gave you lemon, make lemonade.


Strange colors in Sabtang Island

Batanes Island: View from my balcony

Batanes Island: View from my hotel balcony

Ahhh … a fantasy island indeed.

The weather was unpredictable during our stay in Batanes Island, Philippines last week. Strong wind, cloudy sky and scattered rain here and there … had made my hunting (for lights and colors) more challenging than usual but experiencing the “heaven on earth” kinda landscape that surround the island  … has lighten up my heavy heart. The crispy clean air had magically chase away my stubborn Indian cough that had been ‘lovingly’ sticking to my throat for weeks (after completing 2 courses of antibiotic the cough still linger).

The island is so spacious … empty hills and mountains with only green grass field and a few here and there trees. It entice the feeling of flying in me … the wanderer me riding the wind while exploring the hills surrounding the island lol.

More photos of Batanes Island from my D800 will be uploaded to my Zenfolio photo profiles soon.

Spacious Batanes ...

Free flying with just the wind … no glider and no paramotor engine needed here

After a few days being surrounded by the gloomy weather, we decided to take a short boat ride to the nearby  Sabtang Island (30-45 minutes boat ride away). A small island with estimated around 1800 people and they are economically depending on the sea (most are fisherman).  We refused to be at the mercy of the weather. Hunger for light and colors … we were all over the place … exploring the island until there were no more light left on the horizon.

At 2pm: We arrived at the Sabtang port

At 2pm: We arrived at the Sabtang port

At 3:15 pm: San Vicente Ferrer Church (Sabtang)

At 3:15 pm: Some maintenance work at San Vicente Ferrer Church

We spent our afternoon looking for the perfect spot to shot sunset at the not so nearby (about one our ride on an open-style truck) fishing village. The weather at Sabtang Island was not as bad as it was in Batanes Island … so we were expecting a nice sunset that afternoon.

For those who love to shot people or streets, Batanes and Sabtang Island is obviously not for you. As for me, I adore beautiful landscape but I need subjects on my landscape … and these islands are so secluded that you need to be extra creative to be able to capture the gorgeous view with your camera.

Internet connection in Batanes Island is super duper weak … but my life has never been depending much on the wifi connection anyway … so, it was not a big deal to me (how I wish). But it is getting harder for me lately to stay isolated from the internet. This past few months GayaIzzah.com needs more TLC (tender, love and care) from me … I know, I need to get used to working hmmm and less playing.

Being an introvert, staying disconnected from such need towards creating extra noise for attention is always my ultimate goal. So … I think that I am sucks at updating GayaIzzah.com fb and IG status everyday … just to create a scene or a viral so that my lovely GayaIzzah.com would get more and more followers. Hmmm … tough job!

Yup … so I was telling you about the closed to zero internet connection in both Batanes and Sabtang islands (especially in Sabtang) right? It was heaven to me … so quiet and peaceful … I was not complaining at all … but my customer did lol. One of the many reasons why I love traveling … is because it is so quiet when you are out there alone.

At 3:45 pm: Spotted a secluded beach on our way to the fishing village

Another side view of the scluded beach

At 3.47 pm: Still here for a quick shot around the secluded beach

So, we were hanging out at the village enjoying the afternoon breeze, waiting and praying for a colorful sunset. It was kinda cool hanging around with the villagers while watching fishermen unloading their catch of the day to the shore.

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At 4:30 pm: We hang around the fishing village

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At 4.30pm: Fishermen loading up their catch of the day

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At 4:30pm: Hanging around the beach while the fisherman uploading their catch of the day

At 4:30pm: Looking at dried fish at the hanger facing the sea

At 4:30pm: Dried fish at the hanger facing the sea

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At 4:30pm: Still hanging around here waiting for sunset

At 5:30pm: Still walking around the village looking for moment

At 5:00pm: Still walking around the village hunting for moment

Dried fish hanged along the village

At 5:45pm: Enjoying sunset at the village

Sunset at Sabtang Island

At 5:45pm: Sunset at Sabtang Island

I have a few more interesting shots of the sunset in Sabtang that I would probably upload it to my Zenfolio photo profile later. It was a very interesting afternoon indeed.  We were lucky to have a clear sky that night … so, our next target for the night was … hunting for milky way.

At 4:00 am: Practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:00 am: Practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:00 am: Still practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:00 am: Still practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:30am: Hunting for the gorgeous milky way

At 4:30am: Hunting for a gorgeous milky way

AT 5:40am: Watching the first morning light

AT 5:40am: Watching the first morning light on the shore

At

At 6:20am: Enjoying morning light

At 6:30am:

At 6:30am: With my warm and lovely friend … an unexpected companion

At 6:45 am:

At 6:45 am: Still here with my companion … i like him! a great companion!

I met all kind of unexpected warm souls while traveling. Souls that warm my heart … and this new companion that I met in Sabtang is one of a kind soul. If I can have a dog of my own … I want this type of dog. He accompanied me during my early morning shot, he followed me everywhere during my sunrise moment, he lead my way around the bushes on the hills, he sat with me on top of the hill and he accompanied me while I was enjoying my golden light moment … darn! my yellow grumpy cat at home doesn’t do that … gosh! I want a dog … I bet if I have a companion dog like him … I can wander alone, confidently around beaches and bushes in Malaysia taking pictures of beautiful local landscape … I need a dog!

But … with Malaysian crime rate hiking up day to day … I think I will need a bulldog as my companion dog 😛

At 5:50am: Trying to catch the morning light behind the cloudy horizon

At 5:50am: Trying to catch the morning light behind the cloudy horizon

Honestly, I felt a bit discontented with this trip … reason being that the unpredictable weather had made it hard for me to experience the true light and the genuine color of Batanes Island. Too bad huh… but who knows one day I might have a chance to visit Batanes again.

I am preparing myself for my next trip to Maiga Island in Semporna, Sabah on Thursday next week. More landscape and milky ways to feed my D800 lol. Wish me luck ….

Cheers

MM

 

p/s Dada Macusi … in case if you are reading this. I will make it a point to call you up next time if I happen to visit Philippines again, there are so many places to explore there …and chasing whales in Babuyan Island sounds so cool 😛 . Take care …


2-cats and a family

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells - Dr Seuss

studio matsuda

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells - Dr Seuss