Solitary by the Lake

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

October 2013: The project I was working on in the Philippines was just starting but it felt like I already needed a break and I remembered the advice of my former mentor: “When wanting to relax your mind, focus on the scenery around you and be one with it”

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

But, needing a scarce but higher dosage of relaxation, I always took the advice a notch further: I drive to a wonderful scenery not only to commune with it but also to photograph it.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

My favorite mountain retreat in the Philippines, Lake Sebu, happened to be just a short drive away and it offers the relaxing scenery I needed. I immediately began with the mountains and the sprawling green rice fields.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And then drove to the lakeside where floating huts, fish cages, fishermen and the elements of nature combine forces to keep me busy with my camera.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

The bamboo poles that make up the floating fish cages create exciting lines and shapes in the photo frame.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

By the time I got settled in a lakeside bungalow, fog was already creeping over the mountains and darkness started to fall over the lake.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

At a balcony overlooking the lake, I sat alone, relishing the view until the lights on and around the lake gradually took over and the sights of both my eyes and my camera’s lenses started to dim.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And when there was nothing else but darkness around me, I slowly crept to bed but was back in the balcony even before the sun was up.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And sipped my morning coffee by the calm waters of the lake.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And then the distant mountains started to recover their shapes

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And the trees began to regain their colors

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And then the first sunlight of the day hits the mountains’ faces

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And all the reds, yellows and greens awake to the glory of the morning

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

At the lakeside, the huts started to stir

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

An early riser started to mend his fish cages

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

Other dug out canoes came out of their hiding places

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

As their masters started searching for the potential catch for the day

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

The soft morning sunlight also sent a mother out on her boat to check the nets

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

And then the whole lake erupted in light and colors. Like the lakeside folks, the lotus blooms have fully rested and were now ready to face the challenge of the sunlight.

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

Only a day had passed and another has just started at the lake but I was already full of the much-needed healing I came for. It was time to face the challenge of work once again.

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