Travel blogger captures the beauty of the Philippines
Walking the familiar path of Taft Avenue, Manila on a buzzing Friday night, it felt quite different to enter a joint in an eskinita whose interiors remind you of an artsy bistro in Quezon City.
Exile on Main St. Bar and Restaurant’s signboard hangs between a condominium being constructed and student-friendly restaurants on Leon Guinto Street in Malate.
That night on June 8, the opening of art director and travel blogger Martin Flordeliza’s photo exhibit titled “People and Places” at the said restaurant was intimate but full of laughter. People asked Flordeliza how and when the shots were taken, and when he forgot, his friends ribbed him and reminded him how, when and where he had taken the shots.
There was an air of lightness and sincerity at the event, in contrast to the perky and animated world outside the restaurant.
-- Photos by Martin Flordeliza
Travel blogging to showcase PHL's beauty
For Flordeliza, travel blogging was just his simple way of sharing with his family and friends the beauty of the Philippines.
Since he started his travel blog, Walks of Kulot (WOK), in 2009, he never thought that he would one day display his travel photos.
After joining Flordeliza on his getaways to Palawan, Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro, and Bacolod, his friends encouraged him to exhibit his photos.
“Nung una, ayoko nga mag-exhibit kasi parang ang ‘feeling’ naman masyado. Hindi naman ako talaga photographer. So naisip ko na ‘wag ituloy. Pero with the encouragement of my friends and family, I pursued the exhibit,” the art director of Open Inc under ad agency Lowe Philippines said.
Although the exhibit was Martin’s leap toward being a “photographer,” he confessed that he is still not comfortable with the “photographer” tag; he still regards himself as more of a travel blogger who wants to capture the beauty of the country.
Still, he admitted that the exhibit is a “stepping stone for something bigger in the future.”
“WOK doesn't have thousands of followers in FB but being able to share my photos and articles to a few people is fulfilling enough. Just be passionate about what you do and everything will follow," he said.
Flordeliza’s works have been featured in several publications including Lonely Planet, Travelbook.ph, Destination Palawan, Juan Magazine Philippines, and Airphil Express Online.
“Having this exhibit might be something I never thought of, but if it's something that could help in promoting our country then I would be doing it again in the near future,” the advertising management graduate of De La Salle University said.
“I look up to a lot of travel bloggers most especially in the Pinoy Travel Bloggers community, and I think we all share the same vision—that through our blogs we hope to inspire others to patronize local tourism,” he added.
From a distance, the hues in Flordeliza’s photos captivate one’s attention—blue and green, brown, and orange and red colors adding more flavor and drama to the picture display.
The arrangement of the photos looked random at first, but stepping back, one can see there is a story being built: from happiness (summer island photos) to sadness (almost sepia photos).
“‘Yung mga pictures and blogs were about the places… at ’yung mga tao na naging significant sa isang vacation with friends,” Flordeliza said.
Although the exhibit shows just a few of the photos published on his blog, it is still worth a visit. Each photo, after all, tells a story in itself. –KG, GMA News
People and Places runs until June 30 at Exile on Main St. Bar and Restaurant, 2428 Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.