Images of Sisiman Bay’s lighthouse have been making splashes across photography forums recently and a photo club in our area was not to be left out.
I chanced upon a photo safari from the guys at CAMANAVA Photo Club through a mouse click and having no scheduled trip for June, I grabbed the opportunity to shoot the other side of Manila Bay. The shoot was supposed to be an overnighter, with us leaving at noon to catch the sunset and heading back to Manila right after sunrise. Unfortunately, as with most planned trips, hiccups were to be expected. The main organizer of the trip cancelled out the night before the trip and those that signed up started dropping off too.
Still wanting to go despite this, I managed to find three guys who were still willing to brave it out. The overnighter though was cancelled and we would only shoot the sunset at Sisiman.
So off we went. We left the chaotic Balintawak Market at one in the afternoon, circled the Manila Bay via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), then passed through the scenic Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway (SCTEX) and arrived at Bataan by five in the afternoon. Our head-honcho needed to deliver some stuff first at Orion before we headed to the bay.
The sun was set to go down by 6:25PM and we were rushing to Sisiman by 5:45PM. After turning left off the main road, the sight of the sea finally greeted us. The sun was already starting its fiery descent and we only have a rough idea where Sisiman’s lighthouse was. After a picturesque downhill drive and a few wrong turns, a hundred-foot high towering rock hill indicated that we were heading at the right location.
It was 6:00PM when we finally alighted from the van, gear towed on our back, the warm humid air of the bay beckoning us. The sun was fast making its way down the west and it was still a few minutes trek to the water.
At last, the skeletal remains of Sisiman’s lighthouse was in view. Side-lighted by the setting sun, the lighthouse dramatically towers above crags of rock jutting off the soft waves of its coastal waters. I can definitely see why this off the map location has been drawing Manila’s photographers left and right.
Cameras, tripods and filters were set. The coast was covered with eight-inch rocks and going from one place to another for that perfect angle required careful movement and concentration lest you trip and break a bone; or worst break your camera. Traversing its water upped the challenge further with loose giant slippery egg-shaped stones the only foothold we had.
The harshness of the place contributes to its majestic beauty, and for exactly one hour our cameras tried and capture the essence of Sisiman Bay.