Re-photographing the Philippines

In March I will make a 3 week, logistics and planning trip to the Philippines as I prepare for my Summer 2015 retirement there.   On this trip I will begin my long planned re-photographing of places I had been before and the start of seeing and photographing new places I have never been.

When I was in the Philippines October 2006-2007 I was primarily working as a fraud and compliance manager for a call center company.  That meant living in the Philippines but working US hours, or in other words working nights to be in sync with US days.   As a result much of my photography took place on the way to or from work while riding in a company van.   On weekends I would get home at about 8 AM Saturday morning, grab a little sleep and then try to get out and do some photography late Saturday or on Sunday.  The end result was that my photo work was often rushed and did not get the attention or loving care I would like to have given it.  My photo gear was not quite of the quality I would have liked either.   I worked with a Nikon S10 pocket zoom, a Panasonic FZ50 super zoom (for those days) or an Olympus E-500 with kit lens.   This time I will be shooting extensively with a more modern m4/3 camera capable of capturing much more detail and subtle tones and colors and using pro-grade lenses of incredible sharpness.  And I’ll have much more time to give to my love for photography and travel.  My new gear kit will consist of a Panasonic FZ-1000, an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with Olympus (Zuiko) 12-40 and 40-150 (equivalent together to 24 to 300mm) pro-grade lenses.  With 3+ times the resolution and low light capabilities and significantly better glass (lenses) I will be giving my all to my photography this time around.   And I won’t have to be rushed.

So as I prepare for and enter into my retirement, one of my goals is to revisit some the places I photographed before but with more time and focus (and being less tired) plus having much better camera equipment and lenses to work with.

Of course, the venerable Jeepney’s seen above, are a cultural icon.  These brightly and uniquely decorated forms of transportation will be an ongoing project for me.  Some other places I may visit early on (with photos from my previous trips) are as below.  They and many others deserve much more of my photographic attention as I explore, life, love, history and the many facets of the Philippine Islands.  My camera will be the eye through which I share my journey.  This time though with lots of loving attention and the full use of my photographic skills.

Intramuros – The Walled City

Situated within Manila, is the old walled city built under Spanish rule called intramuros.  This area alone could easily deserve 2-3 days of my time instead of a few hours.   

Corregidor Island

The fortress Island of Corregidor is probably best know for the role it played in World War II but was built under Spanish rule, which lasted 333 years, ending in 1897.   Corregidor is a rock fortress that guards the entrance to Manila Bay.  It history, mysteries and stories are rich and mournful for many a soldier died here, Spanish, American, Filipino and Japanese.   Today it is a National memorial to wars of history.  No longer suitable as a military base due to the sophistication of modern weaponry.  It stands as a reminder to sacrifices made for better or worse.  

Manila American Cemetery (World War II Monument)

Manila American Cemetery is the largest of 24 cemeteries built and administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission both in the area and the number of graves.  16,636 military dead from World War II rest there alongside 570 Philippine Nationals who served with US Forces in the southwest Pacific.  
Inscribed on its Walls of the Missing, are the names of an additional 32,520 Americans and 3,762 Philippine Nationals whose remains were never recovered or not identified.  3,660 headstones mark the graves of 3,744 “unknown soldiers”. 

So my friends, the above is just a tiny sample of what I hope to produce but with an attention to detail, history and my own personal thoughts and photographic visions.   All of this is but a teaser of what is to come.   Retirement is doing what you love, not what you have to do to make a living.  My love is photography, travel and experiencing the many joyful facets of life and sharing my experiences with others.   It will be summer of 2015 before I make my big move but I hope to provide an introduction and sample of my future vision on my trip this next month.  
Peace, love and joy.

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