When one of the local weavers told me that the cave sometimes caused cameras to malfunction, making photos blurry or completely erasing shots, I was skeptical. However, I did not want to risk angering the spirits of Saob; I asked permission quietly as I went deeper into the cave with my two film cameras, following Ate Melissa, a banig weaver who was also a tour guide. This was my first time to travel without a digital camera (save for the one on my smartphone) and I was already anxious enough about getting good, clear shots without the worry of spiritual tampering.
Alas, only one camera made it through. I did get a few black and white shots on my point and shoot at the start, but I stopped to load a new roll of color film and that’s where things went wrong. I heard a slight catch in the whirring as the camera automatically wound to the first frame, but I was afraid of opening it up and losing some frames. If I had not been told about the previous experiences of tourists in the cave, I would’ve shrugged it off as a rookie mistake made by someone handling a newly acquired camera – it could’ve happened anywhere in Samar. But the thing is, it happened it Saob.
Oh well! Good thing I have these shots from my Canon A-1. These were shot using a roll of Umi800 by FilmNeverDie. I have a few more photos that I shot with a Kodak Colorplus 200 and Ilford HP5Plus, which I’ll upload in a separate post.
The last frame is the one shot developed from my Nikon L35AD – the camera that did not make it.
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