Late May 2015, I became a part of a group of nature and news photographers to capture images during a photo safari organized by Oceana Philippines. Each of us had our own styles and strengths ensuring we show different facets of the protected seascape, Tañon Strait. For six full days, traveling from Bantayan Islands of Northern Cebu to Dumaguete south of Negros Island, we visited beaches, island hopped, snorkeled, dived, strolled through historic towns, shopped at dry fish markets, went on a river cruise, walked on mangrove boardwalks, stayed a night at a reef station and chased dolphins in the wild. It was an exciting expedition where we were thankful for favorable weather conditions allowing us to easily capture the wonderful scenes during the trip. A set of carefully curated images were printed and became part of a travelling exhibit which includes the World Ocean’s Day exhibit in Libis and toured in parts of Cebu and Dumaguete. Half a year later, we got excited too hear that the planned coffee table book was already out, sooner than expected. The book “Images of Tañon Strait”, is like the culmination of this project.
“Where is Tañon Strait?” I asked a friend when he told me about the project. I’m sure I share the same sentiments with other Filipinos who have no common knowledge of Tañon Strait which happens to be the largest marine protected area in the Philippines bounded by two islands Negros and Cebu. I was invited to be one of the photographers for the Oceana Photo Safari on Tañon Strait together with underwater photographers Gutsy Tuason and Danny Ocampo, travel photographer Oggie Ramos, chief news photographer of Cebu News Daily Tonee Despojo and chief photographer of the Freeman, Ferdinand Edralin. For six straight days the group captured the beauty and bounty of Tañon Strait above and underwater. And this recent World Oceans Day, June 8, 2015, Oceana Philippines hosted a photographic exhibit showcasing images captured during the photo safari.