Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trip Sketches: Sta. Ana, Cagayan

A very late post about spending ten days in beautiful Sta. Ana in Cagayan at the northernmost tip of the Philippines.

I had been feeling restless and troubled close to the end of summer this year. I felt I needed a change of scenery, and so I was glad a friend invited me over to spend a couple of weeks at his family's vacation resort in faraway Sta. Ana, Cagayan. I needed a break, and figured since my job lets me work anywhere, I grabbed the opportunity. I spent ten days staring out to sea, playing with my friend's dogs, working on learning modules, walking and jogging by the beach (and picking up trash along the way), eating lots of fresh fish and veggies, swimming in an infinity pool, taking photos of ridiculously magnificent sunsets, and of course, sketching.

I sat across this boy's family in the bus during the trip up north. We got stuck in traffic near the border of Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela, and, with my laptop, phone, tablet, and powerbank batteries all close to drained, I sketched instead. After getting off the bus in Tuguegarao, I took a van for the three-hour trip to Sta. Ana. Because of that traffic, I was on the road for 21 hours!

On my first morning there, I sat on the sea wall and observed the fishermen coming home. I found out that they fished mostly for 'espada' or beltfish.

The view of the sea. In between writing tasks I simply zone out look at the bright blue water.

The resort has two pools: an infinity pool and a kiddie pool. Guests were coming in the day I drew this, so the staff were busy preparing umbrellas and chairs for lounging in.

I tried to draw the usual mode of transport while waiting for mass. It's actually a motorcycle fitted with a body with two wheels behind it. It can fit around 6-8 passengers (I think).

The church where I attended mass. I had a blast trying to figure out perspective with this one.

The pool pump house and one of the boys cleaning the pool. I'm really trying hard to practice drawing people ;)

One of the beach cottages in the resort. It's fun just staying there and taking the breeze in. On the right, the resort's water tank and a few random sketches and brush marks.

We would sometimes see large vessels traveling across the water. My friend has a telescope, so one day he took it out and we observed the coming and going of boats and barges.

One day I borrowed his telescope and took a look at the fishing community again. I've never sketched using a telescope before, and I had fun!

For these sketches, I used pencils, colored pencils, a brush pen, and watercolors. I drew on a Derwent sketchbook that's not really meant to be used for wet media, but I don't mind. ;) There are days when I feel my sketching's awful, and there are days when I feel good about them. Oh well--practice makes better! 

That trip up north jump-started big changes, of which I'll tell you about in another post. ;) I'm really glad for the support of family, friends, and colleagues who understand my need to "go" and refresh, so thank you--you know who you are.

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