This online shoebox contains random pictures, notes, whatever. I've been a professional writer-photographer for so many years now. It's a damn good excuse to carry a camera around.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Local kids walk out to greet fishermen returning home to the village of Malaban, on the Biñan shoreline of Laguna de Bay:

 

Fisherkids
 


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Ka Idong, the man who takes care of my coffee farm:

Mang Idong
 


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

That's right now here in the Philippines. Gorgeous. Sunsets. Every. Day.

Laiya
Laiya2
Woohoooo! :)


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

It's been a very interesting week. Started it on Sunday trading water bombs with Burmese folks celebrating Thingyan at a local Singapore temple:

 

Thingyan1


Thingyan2

... and while they were basking in the spirit of their water festival, Filipinos a world away marked the start of Holy Week 2014.

 

The climax of this occasion was, of course, today. This morning I photographed penitents in Manila:

 

Hweek1

Then later this afternoon I covered one of the many Via Crucis processions throughout the city:

Hweek2

But of course, it's only Friday. There are still two more days to go in this wet, hot, holy week :)

 


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

8) What’s in Basilan?

January 22, 2013: “Is there someone waiting for you at the pier?” a smiling passenger asked. The question, however innocent, sounded strangely foreboding. We were on a ferry en route to Basilan –the fabled hometown of the terrorist group, the Abu Sayyaf – where (the locals joked) an “extended holiday” could easily cost a million dollars. Thankfully our contact met us at the dock. With a hint of dread lingering in my mind, my companions and I set out to explore this notorious isle.

 

08

The capital, Isabela, felt just like any other Mindanao town. At the market, porters looked at my cameras with suspicion at first, but then later lined up to have their Facebook pics taken. A laughing burkha-clad lady served us coffee at a carinderia. Further inland (past the army checkpoints), we photographed local kids at a waterfall, and rubber harvesters on the job. My last taste of Basilan was at a pristine beach called Malamawi, where we kicked back on bamboo benches with a squad of Marines. No gunfire, no kidnappers – this was just a day well-spent.

 

7) Malacca at Dawn

May 18, 2013: The problem with the heritage city of Melaka was that it became too busy at times. Sure, it’s got those lovingly preserved buildings along its narrow walkways, but all too often the nostalgia was lost in the massive crush of weekend visitors. I had an idea though: go out early to shoot these streets, after the night markets have packed up and all those funny tourists have gone to bed.

07

 

The neighborhood was quiet at 4AM, with only haze keeping me company as I sauntered down the avenues. Jonker street was deserted, with nothing at all – neither cars nor people – on the pavement. The antique shophouses basked in the warm light of streetlamps. Chinese lanterns adorned their facades, the paper spheres adding hints of red to the timeless scene before me. An old man on a rusty bike pedaled by, and I was brought back in time. There it was; the Malacca of old, no longer obscured.

 Want to know more about Melaka? Check out my article, A Malacca Memoir


 


 
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