I had read the U.S. Government State Department warnings that the Philippines and should be avoided. The notice pointed out that a radical group had been doing terrible things in Sula an area near an area I planned on going. I did not listen and instead toted a fancy digital camera with me everywhere, ate some of the most challenging food of all time, and won a US versus the World in Tug of War (Yes, really.) competition on my first press trip solely based on the strength of In The Know Traveler.

In the end, I would argue that State Department warnings are more likely pinned to smaller countries with less political might than the threat of danger more horrible or more frequent than most large U.S. cities, but this is another story.

This photo was taken by me during the first night celebration of the ASEAN Tourism Forum. The streets were packed with delegates from 30+ countries and thousands of performers from the Philippines. The girl in the photo has always been memorable for me and one of the rare times when I took a photo where all the tumblers fell into place. Me taking a good photo does not happen all that often. This was also one of the first photos I had ever taken where I asked if it was okay to take a photo. Up to that point I would either not take the photo or try to sneak one when I was hoping to get a portrait of someone interesting — these are both terrible ideas when it is so easy just to say “hello.”

I hope to make a “Pic of the Week” as part of my Sunday routine to provide a little travel inspiration. Below are a couple of honorable mentions on this same night.

For more
Pic of the Week: The Philippines
Pic of the Week: Japan
Pic of the Week: Paraty
Pic of the Week: Santorini
Pic of the Week: Kamakura

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