Project Pilipinas : Coron, Palawan

A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO, I DECIDED TO PUT MY VAGABONDING TO GOOD USE BY STARTING AN ONLINE PROJECT CALLED "PROJECT PILIPINAS".  READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE.


(Photo by Branden Milla.)


*Photos on this post were taken from both my September 2011 trip and June 2012 trip.
*All underwater photos were taken by Conrado Vidad Jr. and Ainna Vidad. 


"Coron next month! Game?"  When I got this message from my friend, Mark, it took a while before I replied.  I've been to Coron, Palawan with my family before and it wasn't really on my list of "Place to Visit" for the year.

But I'm glad I agreed to come the second time around.  Because, really, no matter how many times you've been there, Coron's beauty will never cease to take your breath away.




The temples of Siem Reap

The road to the Angkors in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
"We've been in war for years.  We're tired of hatred.  We just want to be happy."

This was Mr. Kim San's reply after I remarked that all the Cambodians I've met so far were genuinely friendly and seem to be always smiling.  It's been more than a year since my friend, Ces, and I went to Siem Reap Province, Cambodia and up to now, I still keep in touch with Kim San, our tour guide.

His father was one of the hundreds of thousands killed during the genocide which spanned from the 1960's to mid-1990's.  And at age 12, Kim San was caught in a crossfire.

At one point, I stood silently and wondered how these temple cities, built during the Khmer empire, survived a very dark past.  And then as I continued to explore the Angkor region, I understood how one can be drawn to these architectural treasures whose walls echo stories of war, grief, survival, and finally, a people healing itself.


The Angkor Wat



Arguably the most popular among the temples, the Angkor Wat is mesmerizing both in daylight and sunrise.

People

I love photographing people.  Every person has a story to tell and sometimes the simplest movements--the twitch of an eye, the sway of the hips, a lopsided grin--can speak a thousand words.

In my line of work, I've been lucky enough to have met people from different walks of life.  It was back in the early 2000's that I was in the field or in an out of town coverage more often.  Too bad, I wasn't yet that much of a shutterbug then and digital and phone cameras were still a rarity.  Luckily, later on, I never left for a shoot without a camera in tow and was able to capture the faces of some of the most interesting people I've met.

And I would like to share some of their stories with you.


October 2011.  An old woman preparing to play the guitar for an Aeta ritual dance at the Pastolan Village in Subic.