Photos and Words

A personal blog about thoughts | moods | photos by Arnaldo Pellini

Posts from the ‘sea’ category

Back to some colour at UnaUna!


Togean - UnaUnaTogean - UnaUnaTogean - UnaUnaTogean - UnaUna

We travelled to the Togean islands in Central Sulawesi between Christmas and new year. We landed in a small island, off from the main islands of the Togean archipelago, UnaUna.

We stayed in a small resort that was opened only a year ago. It is run by a young couple. He is from UnaUna, she is from Tampere (Finland). The wooden houses with the rooms have a Finnish flavour. Maybe it is the brown paint over the wooden planks, maybe the small porch where one can sit and watch at the sea, maybe it is the fresh bread that is baked every day, or maybe it is that on that small island, in central Indonesia, off the beaten track, I met 6 Finnish people all at once.

I travelled with my Olympus EM OMD 1, with the three MTF lenses I have, all of which fit in a small camera bag: 17mm 1,8, 45mm 1,8, 12-40mm 2,8. The resort looks to the East. When I realised that I thought that I would not take landscape pictures as I am more a sunset person. I checked the sunrise time and thought that for one day I could just wake up early. So I did. I woke up early the first morning. The light was amazing. The sea was calm, the horizon clear. The clouds low at the horizon over the Togean islands could be mistaken as islands themselves. The colour of the sky changing every minute . I used the 12-40mm lens at various focal distances. I really enjoyed the 20 minutes or so I spent there. So much so, that I woke up at sunrise almost every day. It was worth it. All of which made me think that for 2016 I want to go back to post/print some colour pictures again.

Mountains of clouds

These picture were taken in 2012 in Apo Island, Visayas (Philippines). I was on Apo and in the late afternoon I looked across the strait that separates the island from Negros and saw these huge clouds formations building up along the slopes of Mount Talinis.

Dumaguete: coming home?

Kookoo's Sunset

Coming home? Maybe. It is school break in Jakarta and we decided to come back to Dumaguete for a week. This is a coming home for my daughters who have this city inside them. They arrived here when they were five and three and left with us four and half years later to move to Jakarta.

All is familiar here. The small size of the city. The sea touching the Boulevard downtown. The Hayahay restaurant with it wonderful grilled fish. The Kookoo’ s Nest resort 10km on a rural road frorm Zamboanguita and from where I am writing.

All is home and travelling on the pedicab to get to downtown really feels like we have not left this city. As my daughter said to me this morning,  it feel more like we have bene traveling for a year or so and we are now back home. We have left friends here. Friends whom we can only see if we come back as they will not be able to come to visit us oversea.

My memories of living here are a bit more fuzzy then the ones of my family. I worked from home while living here and travelled in Southeast Asia and Australia for work. A couple of times to Eastern Africa. In a way I could not establish the links that a project and working with a team allows to establish. Yet, they were four and half yeas of my life and they matter.

Let’s enjoy this week and catch up with the people who lived close with us for all those years.


Kookoo’s Nest, Zamboanguita, 15/10/2014

Summer sunset in Åland

The last stage of our summer trip last July has been a ferryboat ride from Stockholm to Helsinki. We left Sweden at about 4pm and by sunset we arrived at the Åland islands. Not a single cloud. The colours were incredible.

Dedicated to my Zia Antonietta.

Near Pasar Ikan, North Jakarta

‘All is Lost’ and its sense of purity

All is Lost‘All is Lost’ is a brave movie. How else can be described a movie that has about a half page of dialogue (better said: monologue) and which is launched at a time of big productions, blockbusters, and remakes.

I saw the poster of the movie in the London underground last December. Robert Redford battling rough sea and bad weather on a sailing boat. I thought that it may be one of those end of career movies that still bet everything on the name of the lead actor and a good PR and marketing machine.

How wrong I was.

Robert Redford is alone in front of the camera for the whole 106 minutes of the movie. We speaks just a couple of times. Few sentences where he declares that ‘All is Lost’ and says his goodbye to life is accompany the opening credits. That’s it.

The rest is his struggle to keep his sailing boat afloat when in a dead calm sea a container which had fallen from one of the mega-cargo ships off the coats of Sumatra, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, hits his boat.

There are no flashbacks, no memories of the past, no indication of who this man is, where is he coming from and why is he sailing alone at his old age.

While watching the movie I thought that if one starts a sailing trip alone he must certainly know that things can go wrong and when things do go wrong in the middle of the ocean it can mean serious troubles. In a sense, by embarking on such a trip and at an old age, this man has said good bye to humanity. Maybe he hopes that things go wrong.

The container hitting the sailing boat and opening a hole just above the water is to me a metaphor of life and the realization of old age. We navigate life in our bodies until one day something hits us. It can be a disease, an accident, or simply the wearing of body parts that have worked without a fault for years and years. At one point, a moment comes when we need to make repairs, we can try to fix the hole above the water line, we also manage to feel better and to stay afloat. But the truth is that something deeper which cannot be fixed has been damaged by the passing of time. We can fix something here, but something else breaks somewhere else as in the saling boat in the movie. A chain of events that cannot be stopped.

A container maybe the last thing one thinks he will hit in the middle of the ocean. Despite all the technology on board it s a container full of sneakers that causes the main damage and from there is all downhill (or uphill). So it’s life, even though we live under the illusion that we can control it and have the instruments to navigate it without end.

‘All is Lost’ has a sense of purity about life and living which is rare to find nowadays. Great acting. A real story that touches something deep inside.

Amazing Gilis

On the north west tip to Lombok there are three tiny islands. Their name Gili, means ‘island’ in the local language. To distinguish them they have been called: Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan. They are tiny. The largest island, Trawangan, has a circumference of just 7,5 km. There are no cars on the islands but small horse carts. There are many tourists and they put considerable pressure on them. I went for some great dives in the Gilis. Saw small sharks, sea turtles sleeping on the bottom of the sea, hundred of different fishes. However the strongest image is not from underwater but at the water surface. It was the end of the dive at Shark Point. Emerging on the surface. Nine thirty in the morning. The sea is flat as a piece of paper. Intense blue water that you could not distinguish from a blue cloudless sky. At the horizon the shape of the three volcanoes near and on Bali. They were like huge silent statues keeping an eye on the ocean. That image is a memory now. The images I have are to share what a great place the Gilis are.

These photos are dedicated to Mari-Anne Okkolin who has just completed her PhD at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) with a thesis titled: Equality of educational opportunities? Experiences and insights by ten highly educated Tanzanian women. Well done Mari-Anne!

The last light of the day in Singapore

Was in Singapore a couple of weeks ago and went to Marina Bay to capture the last light of the day.

Venla swimming with Whale Sharks

Venla swims with Whale Sharks between Cebu and Sumilon island

Venla swims with Whale Sharks between Cebu and Sumilon island

Katja went with the girls and her brother Jussi for a snorkelling morning not far from Dumaguete, between Cebu island and Sumilon island (Philippines), where every morning a group of 6-7 Whale Sharks gathers to get food from local fishermen.

Weekly picture for my team – My favourite place on the island of Negros

My favourite place on the island of Negros (Philippines): the Kookoos' Nest

My favourite place on the island of Negros (Philippines): the Kookoos’ Nest

My favourite place on the island of Negros (Philippines): the Kookoos' Nest

My favourite place on the island of Negros (Philippines): the Kookoos’ Nest

Was trying to choose the weekly picture for my team in London. Could not choose between these tow. So for this week I post two photos. A couple of weekends ago I went back together with my family to the Kookoos’ Nest, 10km from Zamboanguita on almost the southern tip of the island of Negros where we live. The Kookoos’ nest is my favourite place in Negros.




Every time I go to Silliman beach, it seems different

Silliman beach

Every time I go to Silliman beach It looks a bit different. I went for a late afternoon walk and liked the clouds flying low over the sea and the shape of the island of Siquijor barely visible at the horizon. Groups of student from Silliman university had also gathered at the beach playing guitar and drinking rum.

A surfer into the sunset in Lembongan island

I was in Lembongan island east of Bali. a great sunset. I walked into the sea weed garden where during the low tide sea weed farmers work. The tide was rising as the sunset time approached. I wanted to take the a picture of the canal that seemed to lead into the sun when this surfer appeared out of nowhere. He was walking back to the harbour and his guesthouse.

Via Flickr:
Travelling in Bali August 2012

Moonrise in Dumaguete

Moonrise in Dumaguete by Arnaldo Pellini
Moonrise in Dumaguete, a photo by Arnaldo Pellini on Flickr.

I was driving the car back home from the Robison mall. I decided to take a short cut and avoid the centre of the city. I passed on the bridge near the Chinese pagoda where the view of the sea is usually really nice. That night was even better. The moon had just risen. I stopped the car and luckily had my camera with me.

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