A spear fisherman hunts for breakfast

a spear fisherman hunting for breakfast


As he was walking to the other side of the beach, I immediately stood up, ran towards him, signaled to him, and he looked at me and stopped walking. I said in local dialect if I could take his photo. He nodded and smiled. It was then that I took this shot.

» Photographer: Carla Abanes

» Location: Badian, Cebu, Philippines

» Website: Just Travelling Solo


» A spear fisherman hunts for breakfast

This photo was taken in Badian, Southern Cebu in Central Visayas, Philippines. I was just doing my usual morning ritual of watching the sunrise with a hot cup of black coffee. The tide was low and the water was very clear, you could see fishes the size of my palms playing near the shoreline. Just then, from the corner of my eye, came a man, slowly walking and wading in the water, about in his forties, skin browned with age and sun, muscular and holding a long spear. He was just standing still at one point, avoiding to make any ripples, then suddenly, quick as lightning trusted his spear into the shallow clear water. From his actions, I was guessing he didn’t catch the fish. I suddenly sat up, seeing all this action before me. I have never seen spear fishing before, let alone a spear fisherman! 

As he was walking to the other side of the beach, I immediately stood up, ran towards him, signaled to him, and he looked at me and stopped walking. I said in local dialect if I could take his photo. He nodded and smiled. It was then that I took this shot. I asked him if I could wade with him into the water while he was doing his traditional way of fishing. He politely said no. He said that It would disturb the water and scare away the fishes. He was hunting for his breakfast and lunch. “Wa pa koy pamahaw mam.” (I haven’t had my breakfast yet) He said. He bowed and walked away.

My heart sank at this. There I was just waiting for a perfect photo. He was waiting for the perfect fish to come along. I got my perfect photo. I prayed the perfect fish to come along for him to trust his spear into. I wished him an abundant catch. As I turned around, I said to him “Salamat kaayo, manong. Puhon makakuha ka ug daghan isda” (Thank you very much, I wish you will catch many fish today.) This photo and this entire Cebu trip, has humbled me too many times. I want so many things in life, more gadgets, more travels, but this man was just looking for his fish for breakfast. 


a spear fisherman hunts for breakfast

WHAT IS PHOTOJOURNAL ALL ABOUT

Photojournal is all about expressive or dramatic photos that tell a thousand words. Each photo represents the photographers emotions at the precise moment of capturing the picture which, in some aspects, is immortalized through digital print.

I aim to showcase some of the great works of other people and share their experience through a significant photograph. Everyone have a story to tell, but sometimes there are no words to express them; however, through photos captured from the photographer’s perspective, that memory and emotions, even though words can’t explain, will hopefully touch the viewers understanding of the photograph – and maybe, even relate to it.

Therefore, Photojournal is all about curating these pictures that have distinctive meaning, not because of its overall artistry, but for its importance to one unique individual.

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65 comments

  1. I love the photo and the surroundings in the background. Great capture and great description.

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    1. Thank you, Danik!

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  2. I love when I am traveling and can catch a glimpse of TRUE local life! (Not just the tourist stuff). It really makes you appreciate the culture and the people, which, IMHO is just as (if not more) important that seeing all the "famous" sites

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    1. I couldn't agree more, LeAnna!

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  3. What an amazing capture! I'd love to go spear fishing, it's crazy to think that's how some communities feed themselves.

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  4. Such an interesting encounter. Love insights behind the pictures!

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    1. Thank you, Shane!

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  5. What a gorgeous photo, and such a sweet tale attached to it! :-)

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  6. Such an inspiring photo and wonderful description. Travel does this to you: it puts our life in perspective and makes us humble. Congratulation for the caption.

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    1. Thank you, Marlene! Carla sure does have a wonderful story :)

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  7. Cool photo and story! I love the concept of your photojournal. "If a picture paints a thousand words . . . ."

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    1. Hi, Howard. Thank you very much for your kind words. It is a way to express beautiful photographs and it is nice that a lot are appreciating it :)

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  8. That is a great shot :)
    Great to read the story behind the picture.

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    1. Thank you, Thuymi!

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  9. Such a meaningful photo. I am interested in doing this!

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  10. It is wonderful to see the simplicity in others lives. Nice story!

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    1. That is so true, Lisa!

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  11. Wow, that is an incredible photo. I am heading to Cebu in October and now your picture makes me want to go tomorrow ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Maria! Carla sure did an amazing job :)

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  12. Love this!

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    1. Thank you, Eman!

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  13. Love the photo. I would really love to be featured in this blog one day!

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    1. Hi, Elena! I would love to feature you, please send me an email if you have something!

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  14. Fantastic photo, plus can't get more sustainable and footprint friendly.

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    1. Thanks, Sara!

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  15. As a city person it's interesting to see the everyday life of people in the rural area.
    I hope he caught a lot of fish that day :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Kenny. It is indeed fascinating how other people live their lives.

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  16. What a beautiful tale accompanied by a fantastic photo. I would very much prefer to hunt for my lunch in a lake or a sea instead of a supermarket.

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    1. It would be a very nice experience, Elena. It is much better freshly caught by your own hands!

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  17. I loved your photo and the the story behind it was very touching. In the modern world, it is rare to see such innocence in one's face. Thank you so much for this wonderful capture!

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    1. Thank you, Salini! Carla did an amazing job capturing this beautiful photo :)

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  18. Loved the photo and the description of it. I have forwarded did to my boyfriend who is a photographer, and he might send you one of his pics for a feature.
    Thanks,
    Cristina

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    1. Hi, Cristina! Thank you so much and I'm looking forward to his contribution to this growing list of inspiring photographs that tell a beautiful story :)

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  19. What a great story! Just goes to show that a photo really is worth a thousand words.

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    1. Thanks, Carly!

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  20. This picture is amazing and I would run from a far just to take his picture!

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    1. I would as well, Hanna if given the chance :)

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  21. I love this story! What a great moment to witness.

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    1. Thanks, Aisha!

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  22. Great photo and story. It is so wonderful when you happen upon something intriguing ad natural like this.

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    1. Thanks, Melody! Carla did an amazing job :)

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  23. Such a powerful story - these kind of moment really do make you appreciate everything we have in life. Beautiful photo.

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  24. A photo with a story, these are the ones that truly make an impact :) What a weapon he has, and a lovely smile.

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  25. Bisaya diay ka Mam? Nice story. :)

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    1. Hi po! Hindi po ako Bisaya pero si Carla po yata marunong mag Bisaya! Tagalog po ako :)

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  26. That was really interesting to get the background to the photo. It's a great shot! I would like to see someone doing spear fishing

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    1. Thanks, Christine! Carla did an amazing job capturing such moment. :)

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  27. Nice story, Carla!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Elisa!

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  28. He's very interesting look. It's no wonder you wanted a photo of him. I love moments like this. Brief connections that you'll always remember through this photo.

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    1. Spontaneity at its finest :)

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  29. Very interesting photo. I've never thought to complete a post/story around a single photo. I may have to give this a try!

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    1. It would be nice to see what you come up with, Nathan!

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  30. It must take great skill and instinct to catch fish with a spear! Great photo, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, a great skill indeed. Imagine waking up catching your own produce for free! Its awesome I suppose :D

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  31. What a stunning photograph - you've really managed to capture the whole idea of living off the land and reverting to nature in the photo. Great job!

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    1. Thanks, Sophie! Carla sure did an amazing job :)

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  32. Such a great shot of him. This photo is more than just a shot, but obviously sends out heaps of stories <3

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    1. Thanks, Mary!

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  33. That was an interesting encounter you had and you have taken a great shot, a pity you could not accompany the man on his fishing expedition, but yes his breakfast depended on his catching the fish and he would obviously want no one to disturb him.

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    1. Indeed, Vyjay! It is quite impressive how some photographers capture such strong message.

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  34. Such a lovely idea - a photo says a 1000 words as the saying goes!

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    1. That is so true, Gemma! Photographs are the best way to express emotions :)

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  35. Nice story and photo, and good idea about the project!

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    1. Thank you, Chandi for your kind words. I wish the project will be successful!

      Reply

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