PANGASINAN | Intense Sunset at Bolinao’s Patar Rock Formation

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock Formation

The land was bathed in glowing magentas. Waves relentlessly pounded Patar’s distinct shoreline, the natural elevated seabed extending some meters into the roiling sea acted as my personal breakwater and my landscape playground. The tide hurriedly crashed in, I waited as it filled my mesa; I lightly touch my camera’s shutter waiting for the right moment when the water ebbed back to the sea and pressed it at the crucial split second as another set of waves crashed into me.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationThis is the only reason I stayed a day more in Patar, Bolinao. There were a few more caves, another waterfall and probably some more sights I was unable to visit during our tour of the place but my interest was focused on only one thing, Patar’s unique rock formations and how I would capture its beauty during the golden hour.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationThe quest to find the perfect vantage point started early. I don’t want to be caught dead standing on a mediocre foreground once the sun starts going down. So I scoured the area, looking for interesting formations and checking its safety level. The waves were having their rock n’ roll sessions and the last thing I wanted is for my camera (or even worse, me) to be dragged into the mad sea of Patar.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationAn hour of walking and the light started to change. Slowly, warm colors started to glow at the low horizon, making a graceful gradient to the blue sky above, and the rays of the silently retreating sun casted an additional glow to the already golden sands of Patar. I took position and readied myself.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationHunking down low, I tried to capture the fringes of coral stones hugging Patar’s beach, imagining them as monstrous tentacles reaching out to the sea. The open hut situated on the hill opposite the formation provided a good middle ground for the photo and the warmth of the retiring sun bestowed me with the perfect background.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationUnfortunately, the colors of the sky weren’t as intense as I imagined it to be. With the sun already halfway below the horizon, I was almost losing hope of capturing my own lasting version of Patar’s landscapes.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationThe magic began as the sun disappeared below the sea. The sky turned into an intense shade of magenta and the land was bathed in crimson. Barefoot, I braved the edge of the mesa drop and was instantly lost on the day’s intense afterglow.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationThe waves were coming in and the light was dropping fast. But I just had to get this. This is what I came here for. I anchored myself tightly and prayed that no rouge wave would come to pull me into the chaos of the chasm.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationAnd in those few precious instants, I got my shot. You just knew when you’ve nailed it even before the image preview comes on at your camera’s LCD. I could have packed up and rested, contented and confident that I finally have my Patar Rock Formation photo, but I just have to get more.

Sunset at Bolinao's Patar Rock FormationIt is, up to this day, the most intense kind of light I’ve ever seen. And I was at the edge of Patar’s coastal drop as long as it lasted.



Bolinao Location Map

Bolinao’s Patar Rock Formation
Address: Brgy. Patar, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Entrance Fee: None

GPS Coordinates: 16.316927,119.782444
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here


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  1. the formation looks mystical on your shots ;-) good thing you did not give up. you captured the wonderful seascape there

    1. Thank you Phioxee, I got lucky with the colors, really intense!

  2. napaka-intense nga! and you nailed it. naks. ayaw ng "mediocre foreground" - ikaw na master idol boss! :P

  3. wow! perfect God-smacked skies!

  4. Grabe Christian. Thanks to this photo. Though I dont know how you do it and what filter you use, I still very amazed with these photos. Good thing you anchored yourself tightly that no "rouge waves" could pulled you out from the safe ground.:-). Congrats again bai, you have a great captured photos.

    1. I used an ND filter for the slow shutter and long exposure shots Bonz :)

  5. You have a picturesque photography. This is really great! :)

  6. Im scared of the waves here.. So, I would never stand on the edge of its massive slamming. Thought the same way too, Bolinao's Rock formation would be mystical during golden hours. The magentas are good, well pleasing. B-)

    1. Sayang Francis, andun kasi yung best vantage point eh :P