Before I post the pictures from our landscape shoot in Bataan, let me just share my seemingly improbable string of accidents, one after another. After a long drive from Manila to Balanga, Bataan, my Fourground photo buddies just checked in at the hotel then had lunch, then proceeded to the one hour drive to Sisiman Bay in Mariveles, Bataan. We got lost looking for the elusive lighthouse, the directions to which we had zero information on, other than it was generally situated somewhere in Sisiman Bay. As we kept driving back and forth, our van had a flat tire. It didn’t bode well for what was to come. Finally, after many wrong turns and conflicting directions from different locals, we finally found the lighthouse, hidden well in a small cove, surrounded by rocks of all sizes, from as small as pebbles to as large as boulders the size of a small hut.
We were so excited to finally find our shy subject, that we were stomping mindlessly on the rocks to get to the lighthouse. I was more concerned with getting a firm foothold so I don’t slip or twist my ankles on the uneven orgy of rocks, than I was with looking at what I was stepping on. No more than a few minutes on the rocks, I take a huge step, my full weight on my descending right foot…and CRUNCH. It felt like someone punched the sole of my foot. Then a sharp pain shot straight up from the arch of my foot all the way to my knee and even my thigh. I lifted my foot and found an acacia thorn tree branch stuck to the bottom of my shoe:
Then I realized that one thorn went straight through my shoe, and impaled the sole of my right foot. I almost passed out at the realization. I had no choice but to pull the branch out quickly, and almost instantly I could feel lots of blood gushing inside my shoe. I didn’t want to look at how bad it was, because I might faint at the sight of all that blood, so I quickly hobbled to the shore and plunged my bleeding foot into the cool sea water. The moment I dipped my foot in, the water turned red. It wasn’t as painful as you’d expect, I was more worried at the thought of losing a lot of blood. But thankfully, the bleeding stopped within 5 minutes. I was able to shake off the pain, and was even able to finish our shoot unhampered. Of course thoughts of infection and tetanus would run across my mind every now and then, but the task at hand demanded my full attention. It wasn’t until after the sun had set, and we were in our van heading back to the hotel, when I realized I was in pain. The entry point started throbbing and when I went down I had to limp because it was a bit painful to stand on. I put anti-bacterial ointment, bandaged it, then within hours I was fine.
After dinner, I felt how tired I was. I took a warm bath, and I felt so weak that I practically collapsed on my folding bed to rest my weary body. As my head was about to hit the pillow, we suddenly heard a crash, and next thing I knew, the back of my head smashed into the concrete wall behind me, and I had this ringing in my head like someone hit me on the head with a large gong. Apparently, the legs of one end of my folding bed, folded the other way, making the part where my head was fall straight to the floor. My buddy Greg was able to catch the actual moment mere seconds after it happened:
I had a huge bukol at the back of my head. What a day, I was injured from head to foot. I tweeted about it and people were saying stuff like maybe I upset an elemental to account for my ill luck and that I should “apologize” for whatever unintentional affront I may have caused to them. It was just weird.
The next day, we went back to the lighthouse for a sunrise shoot, so we woke up at 3:30am, left the hotel at 4:30am, then was at the lighthouse by 5:30am. We did our shoot until the sun came out, and when the heat was beginning to beat down on us, even at the early hour of about 7:30am, we called it quits. We sat down under the shade to rest for a bit, then when it was time to go, I stood up, and as I pushed up from a seated position, I felt a sharp jab near my heel, and I saw that another thorn went through my shoe grazing the skin of my heel, thankfully, not enough to draw blood.
I quickly apologized in my head for whatever offense I may have caused, then gingerly tiptoed out of there making sure I watched every single step I made, avoiding the many acacia branches that littered the area. I’ve been impaled on time too many for one photoshoot. Thank goodness it was a productive landscape shoot, making all the injuries worth literally, the blood, sweat and tears. I’ll try to post the photos any time this week.