Boljoon in my “Gibraltar” cinematic mind (my #1 Popular Flickr Photo)

Boljoon in my

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View On Black

Always bring your work to the highest level. (With the shadows and highlights across these ruins of a watch tower, a quick glance will show a girl to the left, opposite her lover, facing the other direction.)

TIP: How to harness a perfect cinematic backdrop, look-and-feel artistry in your photos… PRE-VISUALIZE THE FINAL SCENE, BEFORE YOU HIT THE SHUTTER BUTTON! 😀


Last 16th of March 2008, Flickr buddy Melvin Tezon and I, joined along with 28 people from the Accenture Group — photography hobbyists (including the driver and a Department of Tourism accredited tourist guide here in the province of Cebu, Philippines) — on a road trip that will forever change my photographic / travel perspectives. (Why dream of world tours, when you haven’t discovered your country yet?)

This is the town of Boljoon (bull-who-on), 103 kms south of Cebu City, famous for its United Nations World Heritage Site architectural landmarks.

To fully appreciate the photographic spectrum of this visual interestingness, View / Download it in 1200 x 1050 size. Remember! Flickr Community Guidelines specify that if you post a Flickr photo on an external website, the photo must link back to its photo page. (So, use Option 1.)

An excerpt from the Freeman Magazine, July 31, 1993:

The name Boljoon is coined from the word “Boljo”, which literally means an “abrupt jut, a promontory or projection towards the sea.”

It was founded in 1692 by the missionaries to spread the Christian religion. It consists of five barrios – excluding the poblacion or town proper. The poblacion is nestled cozily in a narrow coastal plain bounded by towering and precipitous cliffs on the north, hemmed on the western side by a range of luxuriant hills, pierced by the Boljoon River and fringed by the Bohol Strait on the East.

It is reminiscent of Gibraltar, the high rocky cliffs forming an impressive backdrop to the simple dwellings of these hardy Boljoanons. This gigantic wall-like structure called Eli is found at the northern portion of the poblacion. It served as a natural barrier against the Spanish invaders, just like Gibraltar.

Right on top of Eli still stands a solitary watch tower that is now covered with moss, fern and thick undergrowth like a faithful sentinel on a never-ending vigil. It is a favorite spot among nature lovers and just plain lovers, basking under the dreamy moonlight. Many a ladies’ heart were won on Eli and on particularly silent nights the wind carries their giggles.

There is not much to see or go to in Boljoon. It takes a keen artist eye and a poet’s heart to really appreciate the place (the original photo of this visual artistry was taken under the sweltering heat of the 2pm sun, but I’ve thrown in and juxtaposed a lot of midnight details to highlight the romantic mood I had in mind [italics mine]). The old catholic Church is worth a look. One of the oldest in the province, this church boasts of a huge mural painting on its ceiling, old santos and a huge cross of Christ hanging by the altar. Its patron saint is Patrocinio de Maria.


There still stands a belfry constructed during the Spanish era. It has the distinction of being separated from the church and has a beautiful architectural design. It still carries the original bells installed by the Spaniards.

There’s this one place in barangay Granada which they call the “Lover’s Lane”, close to the waters and is composed of several cave-like openings. This is where the kids usually hang out and make out.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise if Boljoon’s mayor turns out to be a poet, and a very good one at that. His name is the late Dr. Rene Estella Amper.

Here’s what the poet/mayor has to say of his hometown in one of his early writings:

THE ROCK (an excerpt)

Lime-white, looming white, gigantic: the rock squats like an echo of the greener pastures of our forefathers. Hewn out of the immemorial romance of the land and the sea, billions of years ago, it has outlasted the quivering flesh of man, having been purified by storms, having tasted the dusts of wanton uncare.

This rock, its bigness remote, its whiteness primeval bears the scars of the dreams and fulfillment of our brown brothers.

This rock tells its story to the willow-winds; it has an irresistibility to these ghostly wanderers that suck the women’s skirts and stir the water holes. And the winds giggle.
creative digital photography

Posted by C L E E ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ ™ on 2008-10-23 02:42:26

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