The title says it all: I’ve been shortlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards for the category Best Photography for Responsible Tourism! The organizers officially emailed me about it last September 18 – I read the email at 1am as the 17th was my birthday – but the official press release came just a few days ago.
As someone who’s been working in the responsible tourism industry for the past six years, this is definitely one of the Top 10 Most Exciting Things to Ever Happen to Me. It’s not #1 – I’m reserving that spot for when I get my master’s diploma – but it’s pretty damn close. I don’t even have to win (but of course it’ll be awesome if I did!) as being shortlisted is already an honor.
This is the photo that was shortlisted:
This photo was taken last April 22, 2013 during the Earth Day beach cleanup in Dilumacad Island, El Nido, Palawan. The guy on the left is Zandy, while Kuya Jovenly is the one on the right. They’re Marine Sports Guides of El Nido Resorts and they, along with other resort staff, volunteered to clean up El Nido’s beaches during their off-duty hours. That’s some serious love right there. The bags contain trash that was either left on the beach by irresponsible tourists or that washed ashore.
I was invited to attend the awards ceremony to be held during the World Travel Mart on November 6 in London but alas, I won’t be able to go as I’ll have to pay my own way (or as Filipinos like to call it, KKB or “kanya-kanyang bayad”). Ah well. They’ll be live streaming the event so at least I can still watch. Wish me luck!
This week’s photo challenge revolves around the theme “Sea”. If ever there were a perfect photo challenge for this blog, this would be it. So what does the sea mean to me?
The sea means meeting things head-on. Yes, even that oncoming wave.
The sea means going with the flow. Every day is an adventure.
The sea means looking at the bigger picture. When you’re stuck, take a step back and reassess.
The sea means having fun!
The sea means taking care of the environment that sustains us all.
And finally, the sea means embracing life. There’s so much to see and so much to do!
My recent US trip ended in Orlando, Florida, where I met up with an old friend, visited Hogwarts, rode lots of thrill rides, swam with dolphins, and fangirled over a long-time TV crush. This was my third time to visit Orlando and my friend’s first.
The design team at Universal Studios-Islands of Adventure deserve all the awards for making The Wizarding World of Harry Potter come to life! It felt like I stepped onto the set of the Harry Potter films. It was a surreal experience and I took pictures of almost everything.
This was my third visit to SeaWorld – I was twelve the first time I came – but it never gets old. I credit that visit with inspiring a love for the ocean that’s lasted all these years.
Sam Witwer! Let me say this again: SAM WITWER! Getting this photo and autograph entailed getting up at 4:40 am and leaving the apartment at 5:30 am. It was absolutely worth it! The funny thing is that this photo just emphasizes how white he is and how dark I am. And hey, I’m wearing my Rebel Legion shirt. Yahoo!
And last but certainly not least, I went on vacation with an old friend. Meet Les: we met each other when we both moved into our dorm room prior to the start of our first year in high school. We’ve been friends ever since. When we got to college, the other dormers thought we were twin sisters!
I still haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and write but hey, I did manage to find an hour to edit and watermark some of my photos. After spending two days roaming around the downtown area, Seattle may just become my favorite city in the US.
The Space Needle – the ultimate Seattle icon
Pike Place Market – quite possibly my favorite place in the city.
Ate the best clam chowder in the Pacific Northwest at Pike Place Chowder. So worth the wait!
Learned more about First Peoples of the Pacific Northwest while roaming around the Seattle Art Museum.
So I got to tick an item off my bucket list last May. Of all the places in all the world, I got to visit Alaska. Alaska! I saw glaciers, mountains, icebergs, a bald eagle, and a humpback whale. A humpback whale!!! *ecstatic* It pains me to say that I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and properly organize my photos, notes, and thoughts but some of my favorite photos are ready to share. So ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present Alaska through my eyes. I can’t wait to go back.
The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau
The Norwegian Gem as it leaves Skagway
So. I already work on an island and most people go to islands when they go on vacation. So where does an island girl on vacation? In an area with freezing cold temperatures of course! Am currently on a Seattle stopover before proceeding to Alaska. Wish me luck! Looking forward to seeing humpback whales and glaciers instead of bottlenose dolphins and sand 🙂
Want to beat the summer heat? Grab a mask and flippers and dive into El Nido’s clear blue water. It doesn’t get any better than this.