I was amused when I saw this dog from Rock Inn, the place where we were staying, running in front of our jeep as we rode up the dirt road towards the Kiltepan Viewpoint. He was panting heavily with his tongue ridiculously hanging from his wide open mouth when we got there but I thought it was really nice to have a dog as a personal escort. It was already bright when reached the viewpoint and I saw the dog continue on to the cliff-side of the peak where a few people were already waiting for the sunrise. He soon sandwiched himself in between a couple as they waited for the sun to reveal itself behind the mountains.
The Kiltepan Peak, found east from the town center of Sagada rises to 1636meters above sea level, making it an ideal spot to watch the sunrise. We arrived with the light already bright even before 5:30 in the morning, just a few minutes before the sun actually rose. When the sun rays began to spread on the landscape, it was a cinematic delight as nature unravels before our eyes.
Billowing clouds rolled into the valley like velvet covering the lower portions of Kiltepan Rice Terraces and nearby hills and plains. As soon as the valley was illuminated, clouds slowly rose to reveal mysterious shadows, misty hills and dramatic treeline. The scenery was like a part of an epic Chinese movie wherein some shaolin monk or samurai warrior waiting to jump off from tree-to-tree.
Our local guide, Gareth, who is also a pure blooded Kankana-ey, said if it rained a bit, it would have been wonderful, like the sea of clouds seen at the peak of Mt Pulag. For me the view was gorgeous as it was. The group has a shaky start trying to shoot the scene in part of our late arrival, but as soon as they were comfortable in their places, numerous camera shutters could be heard.
As always, when I find myself in a Photo Tour, much like we do in Backpack Photography, I seldom find time to really shoot personal shots since most of the time, I’m there to assist participants. But with scenery as nice as this, it’s hard not to take a really bad photo. The challenge is finding the right frame at the right moment to capture this fleeting scenery.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.