“Where is Tañon Strait?” I asked a friend when he told me about the project. I’m sure I share the same sentiments with other Filipinos who have no common knowledge of Tañon Strait which happens to be the largest marine protected area in the Philippines bounded by two islands Negros and Cebu. I was invited to be one of the photographers for the Oceana Photo Safari on Tañon Strait together with underwater photographers Gutsy Tuason and Danny Ocampo, travel photographer Oggie Ramos, chief news photographer of Cebu News Daily Tonee Despojo and chief photographer of the Freeman, Ferdinand Edralin. For six straight days the group captured the beauty and bounty of Tañon Strait above and underwater. And this recent World Oceans Day, June 8, 2015, Oceana Philippines hosted a photographic exhibit showcasing images captured during the photo safari.
In the age of independent and do-it-yourself travelers, are travel agents still relevant at this time? I’d like to think so yes. I’m an independent traveler but I find value with using travel agents too when the need arise. Here are some reasons why it is smarter to use Travel Agents at times and visit the upcoming PTAA 22nd Travel Tour Expo 2015.
I’ve always been fascinated by the textiles created by the various indigenous people of our country. I myself have visited their places and have seen with my own eyes how they weave and crafted these pieces of works. To them, the designs and patterns, influenced by their surroundings, nature and belief is inherent and flows naturally through them. In Ayala Museum’s newly opened exhibit at its 4th floor galleries, the “Art and the Order of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles” showcase to display the indigenous Philippine textiles in a different light.
It’s all about how the somewhat mundane and simple processes of life transforms into a work of art. Behind familiar art forms are writings and anecdotes on art history. The exhibit “Articles of Disagreements” unearths the rich Lopez Museum archives and showcases not only the artworks but the process – agreements and disagreements in relation to art. Among the featured artist on spotlight are Maria Cruz, Buen Calubayan and Nilo Illarde.
My passion for Batanes still lingers even if I’m back in Manila. When I received an invite for the opening of the art exhibit “Kaynakman nu Ivatan (Treasures of Ivatan)” I decided to attend since the place is near my area and I’m very much interested on how the artworks look like. The art exhibit is at Galerie Y in SM Megamall. It was a simple opening, nothing fancy and let the art speak for themselves. I got to talk to some of the young and talented members of Yaru nu Artes Ivatan group whose works are displayed, namely Xavier, Jaypee and Javier. They are all based in Batanes but have been in Manila since the first week of April to prepare for this exhibit.
I have been following Jacob Maentz‘s work at his website/blog at www.jacobimages.com for a few years now. It always amazes me how it could take a foreigner to truly appreciate the significance of our indigenous people’s culture and he does this with keen observing eyes and moving images captured in sincere perspective and beautiful light. Jacob is not the usual tourist who would go to a place only for a few days and take pictures. His Peace Corps background in the country has helped him learn to blend in and become part of a community. Jacob would usually stay for weeks with a community of indigenous people, live with them and more often befriend them. What results are stunning captures of these people’s lives from a vision of an insider. In his first solo exhibit “**Forgotten Ten**”, Jacob shares his work spanning a year and a half of documenting the indigenous people of the country (from the Mangyan, Agta, Tagbanua, Kalinga and more) which makes up about 10-20% of the country’s population, hence the title of the exhibit.