A Photo and Time-lapse Journey Through the CORDILLERAS

For five days, travel photographer Angelo Mendoza and I explored the Philippine Cordilleras, going off the beaten path in search of grand but unseen views and waiting to catch the most amazing light. In the process, we had one of the most incredible travel experiences of our lives, right up there with my most memorable adventures abroad.

CORDILLERA MOUNTAIN LIGHT is the time-lapse film that came of it, also including footage shot over the past year in Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Kalinga.

The first two episodes of our PHOTOGRAPHERS EXPLORE series documents our unforgettable journey in search of those shots.

In part 1, we explore along the Halsema Highway, following it across Benguet and into Mountain Province, fall in love with Mt. Mogao in Tadian, and eventually stumble upon the most spectacular, unforgettable sunset.

In part 2, we move on from Tadian into the lesser-known Central Cordillera of Ilocos Sur, starting with the town of Cervantes. From there, we head up and explore up and down the dramatic, steeply-rising Tagudin-Cervantes-Sabangan Road, with its majestic views of the valley in Cervantes and the mountains of Mountain Province. We visit Bessang Pass and search for viewpoints while dealing with erratic weather, and finally drive all the way down west to the coast, seeing some of the most beautiful little-known mountain roads of the Cordillera along the way.


Produced by Angelo Mendoza & Aaron Palabyab

Shot and edited by Aaron Palabyab

Still Photography by Angelo Mendoza

Aerial and time-lapse photography by Aaron Palabyab

Additional videography and time-lapse by Angelo Mendoza

Additional Still Photography by Aaron Palabyab


A Day in the Life of a Creative Solopreneur: Christine Herrin of Everyday Explorers Co.

This week I hang out in Manila with Christine Herrin, a graphic designer, hand letterer, and the creative entrepreneur behind the Everyday Explorers Co.! She also happens to be one of my oldest and closest friends. I visit her in her studio in Escolta and we chat about the life of a working artist and solopreneur.

Hope you enjoy this new in-the-city episode and that it provided you with some useful insight!

Find Christine Herrin here: (International) (Philippines only)

Subscribe to my channel -

Shooting the Supermoon! (with no moon)

No super blood wolf moon in the Philippines, but a supermoon is always worth shooting for! Today Angelo and I rendezvous in Quezon City and try to figure out if we can find a good spot to catch what could be an epic full moonrise despite the very cloudy conditions.

Our previous all-night astrophotography adventure in Zambales:

Follow Angelo Mendoza on Instagram:

Gear used:

Sony A7RII

Sony FE 24-240 f/3.5-6.3

MeFoto Roadtrip Aluminum Tripod

Vlog shot on iPhone X

Edited on FCP X

Music licensed via Epidemic Sound

Subscribe to my channel -




Shooting Beautiful Landscapes on my iPhone X

This week I’ve made two YouTube videos on my experience with the iPhone X as a photography tool!

The first video talks about how, ever since I upgraded from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone X, I’ve been leaving my Sony A7RII at home more, for reasons including improved image processing, the telephoto lens, 4K video at 24p and 60p, portrait mode, and RAW shooting and editing. If you’re into the more technical side of things and been wondering if you should upgrade from a previous generation iPhone, this is the episode for you!

The second video talks about how my most popular landscape photo on social media this year was shot on an iPhone X and what that unexpected occurrence taught me. In this video I address the issue of the gap that exists between how we regard our work and how the audience receives it by digging into the question: If an iPhone photo that took me seconds to capture and edit is more popular than photos that took so much more effort to shoot and process, does that mean that the effort I put into the latter actually doesn’t matter?

Hope you enjoy and learn something from this week’s twin episodes! The truth is that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed shooting with the iPhone X as compared to my iPhone 6 and have gotten surprisingly good results from it. Check out my current gallery of iPhone X photos below (click on each image to see larger):

A morning in Sagada. iPhone X JPG, telephoto lens.

Elevated view of Bontoc. iPhone X JPG, telephoto lens, unedited.

Flying into Siargao. iPhone X RAW DNG shot and edited Lightroom CC mobile.

iPhone X RAW DNG shot and edited Lightroom CC mobile.

Spectacular morning landing in Rome. iPhone X RAW DNG shot and edited Lightroom CC mobile.

Tappiya Falls, Batad. iPhone X live photo converted to long exposure.

Dead tree on Sabang Beach, Baler. iPhone X live photo converted to long exposure.

Travel With a Difference - Tribes & Treks Zambales with MAD Travel & The Circle Hostel

Documenting my experience on the Tribes & Trikes tour in Zambales with MAD (Make a Difference) Travel and The Circle Hostel. It was a lovely day out starting with a 90-minute flat trek, followed by an environmental briefing and tree-planting.

Walking on the river to keep cooler on this very hot day

Carabao carts help to haul gear during the 90-minute hike

Walking with a view of the Zambales mountains

Enzo enjoying a ride on an uncooperative carabao

Our group after tree-planting on Tribes & Treks

After tree-planting, we spent the rest of the afternoon at Sitio Yangil, to share a day with the Aetas. In the process, we also learned about the local medicinal herbs, got a native archery lesson, and participated in some traditional song and dance.

We then ended the day with a perfect sunset at the beach nearby.

Signature Zambales sunset at the end of our Tribes & Treks tour

All in all, a highly recommended tour for someone looking for more than the usual tourist experience and wanting to contribute to local community and environmental preservation.

    Here's a description of the program from MAD Travel:

    MAD Travel is a social tourism platform which inspires people from all over the world to have fun and Make A Difference in the Philippines. We create alternative travel experiences that bring together people from different walks of life to share their time and talent, and to inspire each other to build a kinder, fairer world.

    Walang Iwanan, or ensuring that no one is left behind, is at the centre of all that we do. Our organization and our guests give their best to the poor, so the poor may rise to achieve their best. Working in close partnership with Gawad Kalinga, an award-winning local NGO that has already built 2,500 communities for the poorest Filipinos, we aim to achieve goals and objectives that are valued and determined by the communities we seek to serve.

    The Tribes and Treks sustainable development program aims to connect people with the land through Tourism, feed the people sustainably through Agriculture, and save Mother Earth through Reforestation. Every guest will plant trees to help build a 3000-hectare rain forest, food security forest (animals, fruits and veggies) and medical forest. So far, they have planted around 18,000 seedlings as of December 2017, but with your help, we can do more!

    Tribes and Treks Zambales is a joint partnership of Mad Travel, The Circle Hostel with the Municipality of San Felipe, Zambales, and the Hineleban Foundation.  To learn more about this trip, visit the following:

    MAD Travel: Website     Facebook     Instagram

    The Circle Hostel: Website     Facebook     Instagram

    Equipment used:

    • Sony A7RII
    • Sony RX100IV
    • Zhiyun Crane v2
    • Rode Videomic 2
    • MeFoto RoadTrip Tripod

    Hyperlapsing around Manila

    Here's "Manilapse," my first piece for 2017! Teaching myself to hyperlapse on a day around Manila last year. Turns out it's hard work to shoot and even harder to edit cleanly. Practice, practice!


    0:00-0:12 Rizal Park

    0:15-0:25 Quiapo

    0:26-End Around Manila Bay

    All shot on a Sony A7RII with a Canon EF 24-105 L IS on a Metabones adapter and a Sony FE 24-240 f3.5-6.3.

    Video Review: 4K Video and Time-lapse on the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe

    Quickly put this post together before leaving for San Diego for Adobe Max! In this video I share unedited sample 4K video and time-lapse footage from the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe, which I had the chance to try in Batanes last week courtesy of Asus Philippines. I also share my general thoughts and impressions on the quality of the footage and overall usability of the camera on the phone.

    For more on the Zenfone 3's camera, check out my post on shooting the Milky Way with the Zenfone 3 Deluxe!