Within a few clicks, I found and read about this hidden gem in Matina where a thin peninsula extended itself from the Davao gulf called Punta Dumalag. What made this location remarkable was a solitary mangrove tree situated on a rocky outcrop just offshore creating a stirring landscape scene seemingly drawn out from a photographer's dream. I was lucky that my friends from Sunstar Davao, Donna and Stella knew the place and promised to take me there.
It's a well documented fact that I never wake up until the roosters have retired for the day but realizing that sunrise would be the only time I would get to photograph this beautiful location, I committed myself to do so - with the help of four alarms.
We arrived at the beach front gate a few minutes past 5am only to find out though that it was locked. Interestingly enough, four other photographers from Manila were there to catch the sunrise too. But we all did not have access to the property.
Refusing to give up, our group composed of myself, my dad and Donna, followed Stella's lead as she suggested that we double back and enter the beachfront via the opposite side of the peninsula.
In pitch black darkness we traversed and hiked the rocky terrain using our mobile phones as makeshift lanterns. Eventually we reached a path that cut straight through the peninsula all the way to the our destination. Funny though because when we got there, the four photographers whom we saw earlier were already there, setting up their tripods. I guess they found a quicker shortcut to bypass the gate :)
Anyway, tripods down and locked, cameras on, filters on standby, we were ready for the sunrise.