Journal 52: Philippines Day 15


Last day in the Philippines — and Last day for the Southeast Asia Journals:

This last day in the Philippines was very bittersweet for me.  While I have loved this trip and been able to do a lot from it, it also symbolizes the end of my journey throughout Southeast Asia.

From the Philippines alone, I have made a full length feature documentary spanning the middle to the north of the country.  A gallery of more than 300 photos was produced from the HDR image above to the black-and-white still-lifes that capture the essence of its timelessness.  Documenting in journals and articles, I have savored my thoughts and reflected on the amazing times that can’t be conveyed in visual media.  And then, of course, are the amazing friends and experiences that will remain in my memory throughout the rest of my days.

Here, I am setting up for taking the picture shown above. What a great shot it turned out to be.

But for the rest of Southeast Asia, I will have similar and unique experiences that memorialize my time in each country Ivisited.  Each province had its own rules — attempting to better itself for the benefit of its inhabitants.  Each town remains in my memory with its own feel — its own energy.  Each village carried an air of playfulness or excitement, based on the number of children running after me as I walked through.  Every beach drew different waves.  Every face brought new emotion.  And they all add up to something deeply personal for me as I worked my way through every country in the region.  Every country except one.

Photographing the Bomod-ok Waterfall, Sagada, Ifugao.

I have visited all but East Timor.  I tried to get there when I was in headed east in Java.  But it simply wasn’t in the cards for me to make my way there.

Of course, I don’t mean that in the sense that I will never be returning.  In fact I will be back this fall to start filming on a huge project that will hopefully take me through all eleven countries of Southeast Asia.  But I will be talking more about that in upcoming journals.

This last day in the Philippines really brought home the sense of awe that I remember having upon the first day that I arrived in Thailand.  And while the surprise may have dulled with each new experience, that sense of awe has never faded.  The culture and diversity that exists here is more than just the metaphorical “world apart” from the western society that encompasses most of my memory.

And these were my thoughts as I walked along the beach, leaving behind me the incredible place that, while no less impressive, stands as a symbol representing the many years, countries, miles and memories that I have spent and acquired in this part of the world.

Quite a moving experience indeed — pun proudly intended!

The final part of the six-part series is below, please enjoy it.  And be sure to watch the full length video on my Youtube channel HERE.

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