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.
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
Beautiful photo, Devin! I hope to go to the Philippines one day, preferably with one of my Pinoy friends. One day! Thanks for the inspiration.
Beautiful, Devin! I am forwarding to the guitarist I play with, Ric Ickard, and his wife Lace, who are from the Philippines.
That you Xochitl and Terry for the kind words.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I am glad I got lucky when I did, the Philippines is a stunning, photogenic place. I will be adding more from this trip in the future.
When I went to Bali, right after ‘9/11’ of course the same warning, surrounded by the largest Muslim pop in the world…I’d bought my tics etc. months before, so glad I went…I can see you’re very glad you went, beautiful photos, enticing artilce…
Thanks for visiting the Philippines, hope you had a nice time. 🙂
I did. Once day I hope to get back there.
Glad to know you went and had a blast in my home country.
You’re right, sometimes the news/advisories are “overblown.”
This a good example of how travel can put preconceived notions to the test when you’re actually “there.”
Very true Ron,
I have learned so much by ignoring popular opinion. ONe of these days I will return to the Philippines.