2004 was the year I made the switch from shooting only Fujichrome Velvia slide film to digital photography. As I left the States to begin my Peace Corps assignment in the Philippines I picked up a Canon Digital Elph S400 (four megapixels) and a Canon underwater case. Between learning to scuba dive during my Peace Corps training, and being assigned to work at the Silliman University Marine Lab, this was how I began to learn about taking pictures underwater. This was also the year of my first visit to Apo Island. Notable trips included the Guimaras mango festival (I think this is still my favorite food-related festival even today), a trip to Bicol and the first sighting of Mt. Mayon, as well as a trip to Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket, Phi Phi Island, and Koh Lanta), overland to Malaysia through Penang to the Taman Negara rain forest, as well as a trip to Luang Prabang in Laos and the surrounding area.