Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Island Postcards

I just wanted to share a few of the pictures I've taken on the island. These were just taken by an ordinary Sony Cybershot 5 megapixel digital camera - I have yet to dabble in the world of SLR. Still, despite my lack of special photography equipment, the natural beauty of this place shines through.

I took this shot at the Beach Club on the west side of the island. A friend of mine has commented about how it's a bit on the over-exposed side because you can't see the details on the sand, but I think that has a lot to do with the time of day I took it - high noon. The intense light of the noonday sun shining on the blinding white sand just makes the blues and greens of the sea and sky even more vivid.

Amanpulo's reputation as a romantic get-away is well-deserved. Aside from being extremely exclusive and being designed to maximize the privacy of its guests, the island is scattered with secluded spots ideal for private picnics and lovers' trysts. A couple of these spots can be found on the highest point north of the island, easily accessible by Club Car. Guests can make arrangements for a sunset dinner to be brought up here, and in the dark, the way is lit with torches. During the day, the way up looks like this.

There are only 40 casitas on the whole island, though the resort is in the process of building more on the southeast. 30 casitas are located along the west side of the island, each one with its own private beach. The casitas are built a good distance from the road and from each other, and because of this the beaches are never crowded. Most of the beach shots here are from the west side of the island, at different times of the day - but the beach is almost always deserted.

This is the picture of a casita from the side of the road. You have to walk a few meters to get to the doorway of each casita, and most are actually not visible from the road.

The casitas are also not visible from the beach since they have been built within the foliage. The beachfront of each casita has two very comfortable lounges from which guests can laze the day away.

Since the island is completely surrounded by a gently sloping white sand beach, it doesn't seem too hard to find your own secret, undiscovered patch of beach. But you would be surprised to find that the resort staff has already been there ahead of you, and prepared an extra something for you to enjoy your afternoon in.

Sunsets are best watched at the Beach Club on the west side of the island, lying back on one of the numerous lounges lying on the shore. Guests can also make arrangements for a sunset cruise. Regardless of where you view it from, though, dusk on the island is always breathtaking.

It's not hard to imagine why this beautiful island has been included in the list of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Addicts of champagne sugar sand and jewel-blue waters won't get enough of this little piece of paradise.


ris said...

the place really is beautiful. and while the sands in the first photo look a bit washed out, noontime is the best time to take pictures if you're usign black and white film :) you really should try it because that way you get sharp contrasts with shadows.

really the casitas are camouflaged from the beach? bakit kaya? para walang paparazzi na makakuha ng pictures? hehe.

rayms said...

Fine... continue bragging about your trip to amanpulo... Hahahaha

Good luck Claire... sana makahanap ka ng boyfriend...

tutubi philippines said...

is there no other way to visit there? :P

i mean the backpacking way?

btw, you don't need an SLR to take great pictures particularly landscapes. any decent point-and-shoot camera will do

Offgrid said...

That photo reminds me of Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Beautiful !

docwhisperer said...

Hi claire,
Thanks for commenting on my blog, which led me to your own wonderful blog. First of all, I'm sooo jealous you are in Amanpulo, and getting paid for it to boot! Talk about a nice gig. I went so far as to check out the rates, but at $800 a night, it's way too much for me.
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing (kudos for the quirky alone posts!), which is exceptional, speaking as someone with a fondness for books myself.
As a UP Psych major, PGH grad, former internist (now allergist), reading your blog, I was starting to wonder if my parents had another kid and didn't tell me. (If you tell me you're a Theresian, then I'll know for sure)
I just wanted to say the following:
1) take all the time you need to figure out what you want to do, better sooner than later before you get too invested in things
2) Enjoy your beach break, after 7 years in PGH, you will need several years to de-frazzle your brain
3) As an older quirky-alone who was lucky enough to find her special quirky-alone friend to be with, there is hope, you just have to think out of the box (I left the country and my friend is not Filipino), figure out what is important to you and hold on for dear life.
Good to meet you CB and enjoy the ride.

dr_clairebear said...

@ raymond: hahaha! i don't mean to brag... but i do need something to write about. :) di bale, i'll be going home in a few days.

@ tutubi: sayang wala. kaya nga it's so inaccessible to people like us normally. hay.

i hear that the island of manamoc is also a beautiful place, though it's not white sand all around. the guests from here go there to picnic on a sandbar there. it's 5 hours from Cuyo by boat. You can access it ata via Mindoro.

@ offgrid: i was thinking the same when i was going around. :) it's like the island was supposed to be meant for the caribbean and sprouted up over here by mistake.

@ docwhisperer: hi! i'm not a theresian but i do come from a school that has St. Teresa as its patron and namesake, so there you go! *LOL* where are you based now? thanks so much for the warm comments. i always enjoy connecting with fellow pinoy docs, and i'm so very glad you've enjoyed reading my blog.

it is heartening to hear doctors who are now more established in their practice telling me i did the right thing by taking a step back from my hospital medical life for a while. while my family (no doctorsn there!) struggles to understand why i don't want to walk on the straight and narrow for a while, i am encouraged by those who have lived it and tell me i'm doing the right thing by staying in my middle of nowhere for a while. :)

Marjie said...

beautiful shot dear. if you hadn't said anything about the poor photo equipment, i won't even be able to tell which camera you use. i have a 3.1 mega pixel digi cam, and it only shoots well outdoors. Your pic is way beyond what I could shoot though ;)

Em Dy said...

Great pictures. I've always wanted to see what the hype was about. Thanks for sharing.

docwhisperer said...

I forgot to mention a book that I featured on my post on positive psychology (http://docwhisperer.wordpress.com/2007/08/11/positive-psychology-the-science-of-happiness/)
As a Psych major you may find it interesting. The Harvard prof Dr. Ben-Shahar wrote a great book on the course he teaches on finding happiness in work and relationships which I linked to at the end of the post.
And to answer your question, I am now based in NY where it's freezing.

Nicole said...

Now I need a vacation - thanks a lot ;)

Wonderful and relaxing post! :)

Anonymous said...

lovely shots of a lovely place. you have a knack for framing! who needs an slr eh?.. keep well.
- mike