Are Foreign Travelers Safe in the Philippines?

August 26th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

This started out as an answer to a friend’s question, but has expanded into something that merits its own blog post. Please share with as many people as you can.

“Are Foreign Travelers Safe in the Philippines?”

I always tell people that all the bad things that happen in the Philippines are all unrelated to each other. And it’s true. Sure, foreigners are being kidnapped in Mindanao, tourists are being hostaged by the busloads in Metro Manila, and people are leaving explosives in the toilets of UA&P. But at the same time these events are happening, daily life on an idyllic island somewhere in the Visayas or in a verdant valley in heart of the Cordillera continues, unmindful that our standing in the international community has just been irrevocably screwed. This is the double-edged irony of the Philippines’ 7,107 islands: Some events are just too far away from some people for them to be overly concerned or minutely care. This is the first thing people interested in coming to the Philippines must realize. The country is, in truth, 7,107 different and independent places (much more, even). They are related only by the fact that they belong to the same archipelago on this lonely, typhoon-battered edge of the Pacific. Most of the time, the country’s right hand doesn’t know or doesn’t care what its left foot is doing. And so, armed with accurate information and a quick eye for trouble, anyone can drop in any time they want AND expect to return home safely with gigabytes of memories of a truly awesome time. No matter what the headlines suggest, THE PHILIPPINES IS STILL A PARADISE. There will always be a few rotten eggs at the top of the basket (And they are there anywhere you go in the world; any experienced traveler will tell you that.), but there are nuggets of gold in that bushel as well. Those with the heart to dig deeper will always be rewarded.

Looking for Iconic and Insightful Travel Images?

March 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Looking for iconic and insightful  travel and destination photography for your magazine, website, or  advertising campaign? Check out the Outsidebound Images collection at Daiichicolour.com!

The Journey Begins Anew

August 22nd, 2008 § 3 comments § permalink

2008 is almost over and all I have to show are photos from this year’s Pulilan Carabao Festival. Compared to last year, I didn’t hit the road much this ‘08. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.

When David Alan Harvey asked me a year ago about what I wanted to do besides travel photography, I actually didn’t know what to answer. My style of travel photography is already different from other photographers. I wasn’t just taking pretty pictures; I was making insightful images. He said I was doing a great job, so what’s this about doing more?

Not traveling as much this year (and not taking any travel photos as a consequence), I think I’ve finally figured out what David was getting at. I’ve been shooting a lot of other things lately. I’ve been shooting a lot of other things that I thought I would never shoot. The change is not just in my subjects — the way I make photographs and my vision of myself as a photographer have been infused with a lot of new discoveries, too.

I guess it’s along these lines that I decided to put up this blog. In the last few months, I didn’t just shift gears; I have begun a journey down a completely new road, with David Alan Harvey’s words ringing in my ears over the wind: “Just go out and do the work.” Build it, and they will come. (Oh, yeah!)

Regarding the pitiful state of my travel life in 2008, on the other hand, all is not lost. I’ll be in Singapore this October, and now that the Smart Mountaineering Club has just opened a new Training Season, I’ll be hitting high ground once again, among other things.

There are new Tales to be told. Are you watching closely?

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