Stories

As a Siargao local, I’ve witnessed the surge in tourist numbers first-hand: from a tropical backwater to an internationally recognizable destination in just a couple of years. Although residents welcome new clients for surf lessons and increased work opportunities in resorts, we hope future visitors think about ways they can help us and our island develop sustainably.
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I’ve always been curious about Kyrgyzstan, so when a friend posted that she is planning to travel to this country, I immediately sent her a message asking if I could tag along. When I started telling people about my plan, I heard a lot of the ‘where on earth is that’ question. I was not surprised because it is a relatively unknown destination.
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It was during my university years when I started to realize my immense love for the art of photography. When an opportunity to go back home to Samar presented itself, I took the chance to practice my new found craft and participate in the local photography contest, armed with the equipment of my friends.

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As a kid, I grew up with a disposable Kodak camera. I used to play around with it in our neighborhood near Divisoria. Once done with the roll, I would have the film develop in Agfa shops near our sari-sari store. Little did I know that exploring and documenting my roots would be a big part of my life today.
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What gives me the greatest joy but at the same time is the biggest struggle, is to keep going. Every time I get in the water I learn something new, either about myself or the world around me. I’m constantly learning, constantly a beginner, and that’s tough. Having been raised in the city, I’m still trying to shed this guilt of building a life outside of it.
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