Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) was founded in 2015 by volleyball players Bea Tan, Charo Soriano, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano. Their goal is to make the Philippines Asia's Hub for Beach Volleyball offering high-level competition and breathtaking beach destinations.
Eco-friendly Hotels For Weekend Getaways from Manila! [Eco Hotel PH] - YouTube
Checking out Villas by Eco Hotel, Cabins by Eco Hotel, and Containers by Eco Hotel! These properties are each just a few hours drive from Manila and are interesting options for weekend getaways from the Metro.
4:17 Roofdeck Camping and Grilling at Containers by Eco Hotel
I was invited by Eco Hotel Philippines for their Bloggers Day event where they took a group of us around their Batangas and Tagaytay properties. They run a chain of "green service hotels" that apply "green principles to its structure and practices in order to minimize its impact on the environment." Their websites states that "As one of the top eco-friendly hotels in the Philippines, we set a benchmark for our establishments through a series of concrete environmental initiatives. Our practices go beyond ensuring the lights are off when not in use. We apply waste reduction practices wherever and whenever possible. We also have a recycling program integrated throughout the hotels. We reduce carbon emissions and energy use with low-energy generators and highly efficient cooling systems."
With sustainable practices a critical shortcoming in most of the local tourism industry in the Philippines, I decided it would be good to see if and how they lived up to their word while also delivering a compelling experience for guests.
Eco Hotel Philippines May 2019 Bloggers Day Event. Photo: Eco Hotel Philippines
Trying out My Dream Travel Cameras! At the #VlogWithSony PH Launch 4K - YouTube
Checking out my dream travel cameras at the #VlogWithSony event and the official Philippine launch of the Sony RX 0 II! And even got to see the #1 lightweight lens on my wishlist!
Ever since Sony announced the RX 0 II, it's been constantly at the top of my wishlist. At time of posting (mid-2019), there's nothing on the market that matches its unprecedented combination of a larger 1" sensor, flip out screen, action-camera like 4-way "proofing" (waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and crushproof), internal 4K, mic input jack, and advanced features like a built-in intervalometer, all in an extremely small and light body that's truly pocketable. I need to really get hands-on with it to give a balanced, detailed review, and to see if the reportedly short battery life (just over 30mins) is really a problem.
Aside from that, I was also able to check out another camera high on my wishlist, the Sony A6400. Its headline features are its flip out screen and advanced Real-Time Tracking autofocus, which are geared squarely towards vloggers, but it also has improved overheating performance and eliminates the 30min recording limit that previous iterations had.
Finally, I was also very happy to have finally gotten my hands on the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM, which is at the very top of my lens wishlist. This shockingly small and light lens (compared to other 24mm f/1.4s on the market) may be the best wide (not ultrawide) astro landscape lens currently available--at a price to match.
All in all, it was very interesting to see how Sony's new push into the the vlogging and content creator market, with lightweight cameras that offer features and accessories (like the Sony grip that offers electronic zoom and shutter control) specifically thought out to aid selfie-style shooting. As a filmmaker who's recently gotten into vlogging, I think the combination of their heritage of advanced pro and prosumer camera features along with features designed to appeal to vloggers is nearly perfect for me, at the very least, as an owner of two Sony Alpha cameras already.
In a previous vlog, I happened to meet Bea Tan, one of the co-founders of BVR, current Perlas Spiker, and former Ateneo Lady Eagle from the 2014 UAAP champion team. Four days later, I was along for the ride for the Dreamwave Open in Puerto Galera for an amazing weekend of sports and tourism!
Founded in 2015 by volleyball players Bea Tan, Charo Soriano, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, BVR’s goal is to make the Philippines Asia's Hub for Beach Volleyball offering high-level competition and breathtaking beach destinations.
All you need to know about Masungi Georeserve and its Discovery Trail! This unique hiking trail close to Manila is equal parts beautiful engineering, fun rope course, and nature conservation success story.
If you're looking for one of the best travel experiences you can have close to Manila, Masungi and its trails should be at the top of your list. Slots are in demand and tightly regulated, so be sure to book in advance at their site here [not sponsored/affiliated]: https://www.masungigeoreserve.com/
Primary source material: “A walk to remember,” Mabuhay Magazine March 2019, by Alya B. Honasan
Video written, shot, and edited by Aaron Palabyab
Special thanks to Colene Tan, who invited me on this trip and appears several times in the video. Follow her on Instagram:
Royal Air Inaugural Flight to Puerto Princesa + Top Things to do in Puerto! - YouTube
Onboard Royal Air’s inaugural flight from Clark to Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan! I also list my favorite destinations in Puerto Princesa, including its two world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Royal Air was formerly a charter airline that’s now looking to compete with the big local legacy and budget carriers. They call themselves a “hybrid boutique airline,” offering full-service style amenities and service at a budget airline price, and they have the best legroom I have experienced in any local economy class flight. (Please note that this flight was paid for by Royal Air but these are my honest thoughts and impressions.)
If you want to learn how to become a better photographer without spending a fortune on gear, check out my guest post over at Submittable.com! It’s got highly actionable tips to help empower you to up your photography game and inspire you to use your creativity and skills to level up significantly. Thanks for reading!
Excited to be able to finally share this! Almost exactly a year ago, my artist partner Agnieszka Rowińska and I won the Creative Filmmaking Award at the Syrp Everyday Humans Short Film Competition for our very first collaboration, a profile on her that we made at Nes Artist Residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland. It features my video and time-lapse work alongside her art and animations, along with music from fellow resident, American composer Jason Richmond. You can watch it below:
Since then, Agnieszka and I have collaborated on numerous other projects, including more short films, an installation, and a photography series. We now call ourselves Kometa—check out some of our other work here!
A Day in the Life of a Creative Solopreneur: Christine Herrin of Everyday Explorers Co. - YouTube
This week I hang out in Manila with Christine Herrin, a graphic designer, hand letterer, and the creative entrepreneur behind the Everyday Explorers Co.! She also happens to be one of my oldest and closest friends. I visit her in her studio in Escolta and we chat about the life of a working artist and solopreneur.
Hope you enjoy this new in-the-city episode and that it provided you with some useful insight!