We'll take you higher in the sky for you to see the paradise of Zamboanga del Norte from the bird's eye view through the lens of these great local artists.

Zamboanga del Norte or simply known as ZANORTE is a vibrant province in the Philippines situated within the Zamboanga Peninsula region occupying the western part of Mindanao.

The province has a lot to offer from gastronomic places to satisfy your traditional food cravings, laid-back lifestyle, historical reminiscence, festival celebrations to look forward to, amazing adventures, and to exploring hidden paradise. There are beaches, resorts, islands, falls to travel and mountain peaks to conquer in Zamboanga del Norte. Living in this wonderful province for years, I’d say that I haven’t explored the entirety of it yet. But I will, soon.

This post will take you higher into the sky for you to see the paradise of Zamboanga del Norte from the bird’s eye view and through the lens of these great local artists. For a few insights, they will answer some of essential travel photography questions.

They share helpful tips to travelers who want to have great photos as well as point us to further resources in taking your travel photos to the next level. These are great tips that you can take with you on your upcoming travel destination.

In today's feature story...

Julius Mananquil has been traveling as a photographer and video creator. He has photographed some of the best amazing islands in the country and his works have been featured in Traveloka and on several travel Instagram pages that makes him today’s one of the most admirable artist of the province in the industry of travel photography.

Situbo Falls, Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte

Any advise for those aspiring travelers who wants to have decent photos to keep for mementos but doesn't want to invest in expensive camera equipment?

As someone who started using his mobile phone to take documentaries on fishing, he said,“They must prioritize to learn all the skills before investing expensive gears. They can start by using their smart phones since most of these can produce high resolution and can also download apps that would help them edit their videos.” 

He has always fond of watching extreme video sports back in the days and since he can’t afford  to have a GoPro, he settled with sports camera instead. That’s why he added that,”Once they have already upgraded their skills then that’s the time they also have to upgrade their gears. It would be best to invest the most needed ones.”

Caracol Salug, Zamboanga del Norte
Caracol, Salug, Zamboanga del Norte

Every time I filmed that is related to travel adventures my heart always skips a beat and this always made me happy.

Julius Mananquil
Bayangan Island, Labason, Zamboanga del Norte

What tips do you have for those who are using a smartphone for mobile photography?

Almost everyone that gets into photography probably started practicing on their mobile phones. For Julius, nothing grand tips that he can give to those who are using smartphone. “All they have to do is to capture the perfect angle and moments”, he said. “I’ve known many content creators who are using their smartphones yet captured amazing photos”.

When I asked him if there are certain specs to look for a phone that can take great photos and videos at the same time, this is what he had to say, “I am not being biased but iPhone never failed to amaze me when it comes to photography. The camera and its screen color are so accurate to the exact scenes captured.”


And I have to agree.


Although I have also heard a lot of brand new android phones today that are build to have the best media quality. If you like to be technical on phone specs, then I’m sure you can find the right smartphone online that would fit your needs when you travel.

Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte

Tell us something about editing. How important is post-processing in your opinion?

Julius has envisioned himself as a great filmmaker someday that’s why he went through the learning process and really took advantage to watch free video tutorials which is very accessible around the internet today. As a content creator, he said,“I am always committed to have an excellent work in order to have an amazing photos and videos. This is how I express creativity through my editing skills.”

“Editing is always part of photography and in film making. You cannot learn editing overnight, this is a never ending learning process. You have to practice, practice and practice.” He was very patient with what he’s passionate about and hopeful that something big is going to happen for him by just trusting the process. His persistence has brought him to where he is today.

Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte

El-el Barinaga IV is a great local photographer and filmmaker who finds his inspiration for photography in Instagram and started learning the basics on his own. Since then, he has been working hard to master his craft in travel films, got into wedding industry to earn and now thrilled on doing more travel contents.

Tag-ulo, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

Any tips on how you protect your equipment and ways to make it easier to carry on your travels?

El-el always travel light so he thinks carefully on which gears are necessary for that kind of travel. For him, planning ahead of your trip can help you decide on what gears you should bring. “I don’t have any protective case on my cameras and lenses”, he said. “I just put/store them on a camera bag which I highly recommend to buy if you don’t have one.”


I myself get so overwhelm with my baggages when I travel so it’s hard for me to think about light travel. But I agree with planning ahead just like what I did with my Siargao trip.


Since I don’t have expensive gears to bring, here are some additional tips from El-el for travelers who carry loads of travel equipment. “Choose the right camera bag for your gears and I suggest to invest on it because that bag will carry your expensive gears.”  The other way to protect those babies, he says,“I regularly clean my gears with the commonly used camera cleaning kits.”

Napo Beach, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

What type of software do you recommend for photo editing?

With so many editing softwares that are available for downloads today and video tutorials to actually get started on using them, sometimes it’s also nice to get perspective from people that produce better quality photos than us. “If you can afford or think of a way *wink wink* to download Adobe Lightroom on your desktop/laptop, then go for it”, he humouredly stated.  “It’s highly recommendable”


But for quick edit in smartphones, he suggested to choose from VCSO, Snapseed and Lightroom Mobile. I personally use those three applications and they deliver fantastic result on my photos. Not to mention, the professional Instagram feed it would give you. And it’s FREE!

Villa Angelina, Dapitan, Zamboanga Del Norte

Share tips that travelers can use to elevate their travel photos?

When traveling, we tend to take photos of ourselves without really considering the background location. For me, I think it’s important to capture the details around you and not just you alone. The photo should be about the background but with you in it and not the other way around. But for El-el, “Good composition and well-balanced tones are the key to make your travel photos an eye-candy.” He also added,“Try shooting on a golden hour to make your shots stand-out.”

Dipolog Sunset Boulevard, Zamboanga Del Norte

Overall Thoughts

As a travel blogger, I know how important it is to have the best quality of photos not just for the gram but for my blog contents as well. Being able to do this feature story with two of the many great local photographers in the province that I have been living in is such a wonderful privilege to learn more on this topic and also to share it to other aspiring travelers, hobbyist, and photographers that aspires to be the best on their chosen career.

Are you in Pinterest? You can pin it for later.

aerial views
best drone shots

Did you like this article? Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube for more updates.