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Methinks the lot owners must have only waited for the last person to grab a photo op with their property because—when I went to visit my good friend Tina Labita Puso and her dear hubby, Erland Taghoy Puso, at their awesome abode in Tisa Hills, Cebu City-–I received a “good afternoon” smile from two young men who were busy uprooting the grasses across the street. Just a few days ago, such greenery was the great view that I had this photoshoot in front of, but now it’s all gray, like an old man’s hair. I wanted to ask the uprooters if there’s going to be a house built soon, but most of me were just too brokenhearted to even start a friendly converse.

A big thanks to Google and to my friends Peejay Martinez, Richie Caidic Sacay, Randy Saberon Quina and Sean Lim for giving me the best outdoor photography tips I’ve ever heard: The best time to take photos is either an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. Photographers call it “golden hour” or “magic hour,” because it’s when our skin glows at best, especially in an open field—anywhere open, for instance, the seashore. Since I learned about this, I’ve been making use of the picture-postcard seacoast of Gawahon, Malabuyoc, Cebu as sort of studio with the sea as backdrop whenever I feel like making someone up and having a photoshoot.

Call it vanity (as I’ve heard someone insinuating due to insecurity or self-righteousness, I suppose): It’s inarguably evident what wonders a five-in-the-afternoon-through-six-in-the-evening shoot worked for these photos. I’m not a professional makeup artist, nor am I a full-fledged transvestite—and my photographer Wilnar Taghoy is definitely not the celebrated Fadil Berisha or the legendary Patrick Demarchelier—but the woman that I tried to pictorialize that late afternoon, somehow, looks immaculate.

Ariel Allosada Allera of “Beauty Spotted by Ariel Allera: My Online Lifestyle Magazine on People, Places, Art, Culture, Pageants, Et Cetera” in Malabuyoc, Cebu, Philippines

Makeup/Styling: Ariel Allera