Philippines

The Philippines (officially known as the Republic of the Philippines or RP) is an archipelago nation made up of more than 7,000 tropical islands. Broadly categorized geographically into the regions of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao which cover 300,000 square kilometers (116,000 square miles), the Philippines is home to more than 90 million people, making it the 12th most populous country on earth. It’s also the place where I was very lucky to serve as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer from 2004 to July 2006 where I was assigned to work with the marine biologists from the Silliman University Marine Lab in Dumaguete. While I was in the Peace Corps, I was also very lucky to have the opportunity to travel and scuba dive extensively throughout the country and was able to bring my camera along for the ride. The photos in this photo gallery cover the highlights of many of my favorite spots in the Philippines (with more being added in the future). From the clown fish and coral reefs of Apo Island near Dumaguete to the karst limestone cliffs and deserted island beaches of the Bacuit archipelago in Palawan you’ll get a sense of the amazing adventure travel and scuba diving opportunities that are available to intrepid travelers and get a bit off the beaten tourist trail to visit the Philippines.


Best Photos of 2015: A Year of Adventure Travel
Spent the last day of 2015 looking back through the highlights of one of the most productive years I've ever had exploring the world with a camera. From more than 20,000 photos taken this year, this gallery in…
ISLANDS Magazine Apo Island – Get Here Feature
ISLANDS Magazine ran my shot of the beautiful lagoon on Apo Island as a double page spread in their February 2015 issue as their 'Get Here' destination. Scrambling to the top of Apo Island's iconic 'Boluarte R…
Best Photos of 2014: A Year of Travel in Pictures
Hard to believe how fast 2014 went by, but it seems as things get more and more busy, the faster time seems to pass. So many highlights from this past year, I've cut them down to just the very best of the best.…
Dumaguete Buglasan Rodeo: Palm Trees & Cowboy Hats
Standing next to the dusty corral I thought to myself if I blurred my eyes and couldn't see the palm trees I might think I was back in Montana instead of Dumaguete. As a part of the provincial Buglasan Festival…
Live Music at Hayahay: Frying Nemo Plays Dumaguete
After two months of playing and practicing around Dumaguete, Frying Nemo was starting to gain some momentum, although at the end of August Steve De neef our lead guitarist had to return to his home in Belgium t…
Snorkeling the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary
It's always great to have visitors from home stop by, and in July my friend/mentor/former boss Kenny Mendez from Trout Unlimited came over to the Philippines with his family to visit relatives on the island of …
Scuba Safari from Dumaguete to Apo Island
Before our friend Noriko, a JICA volunteer from Japan assigned to help teach new pottery methods to local people in Dumaguete, returned home we planned a group dive to go to Apo. It was a trip just for the day,…
Dumaguete Santacruzan Parade: Wanna Be Famous?
At one of the provincial tourism meetings I've attended in Dumaguete I was asked to be an escort for Santacruzan Parade in May. I was surprised to be invited, so I said "yes" right away. After getting my tradit…
From Dumaguete to Apo Island: Scuba Getaway
After a visit to the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary in Bohol, Kris and Kristen came over to Dumaguete to see Apo Island's famous marine sanctuary. Their friend Emily from back home was traveling through SE Asia, so…
Perfect Conditions at Apo Island’s Coconut Point
After two great dives in the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary, Kris and Kristen wanted to compare it with Apo Island. They had heard a lot about Apo, but hadn't had a chance to visit there yet. As it turned out their…
24 Hours in Dumaguete: Exploring the Gentle City
After leaving Palawan, Preston and I headed back to my Peace Corps site in Dumaguete. It was fun to show him around some of the highlights of the town here since he's the first family visitor, and I had to make…
Scuba Diving Apo Island During the Peak Season
Our first stop in Dumaguete when my brother Preston came to visit was Apo Island. He wanted to experience some of the best diving the Philippines has to offer, and to me Apo is the best place that I've ever bee…
Sea Kayaking Palawan: El Nido to Monkey Point
After our adventure to Dilumacad Island, Preston and I decided to paddle around in Kris and Kristen's bangka boat for an afternoon without the gear that we took on the overnight trip. We pointed the little craf…
Diving El Nido: Scuba Diving Day Trip In Palawan
Preston and I decided to start off the visit to El Nido with a dive trip. Barely 24 hours after he had arrived in the country, we were suited up with scuba gear and underwater to see the different varieties of …
Experiencing Apo Island Life at Liberty’s Resort
Since my friend Steve is the first visitor from home I've had to my site in Dumaguete, I wanted to be sure he had good things to say about the place when he got back to the States. Apo Island is pretty much my …
Shopping Dumaguete: Exploring the Local Markets
Buying fresh food is a part of daily life in Dumaguete, and the local produce market is the best spot to pick up the ingredients you need for breakfast (pamahow), lunch (paniudto), and dinner (panihapon). The D…
Exploring Manila: Big City Lights & Stinky Streets
For most Peace Corps volunteers, a trip to Manila is something to look forward to (because of the food) and something to get over with (because Manila is not a really pleasant place). Coming from a small city l…
Dynamite Fishing, Mount Mayon, and Diving Bicol
In July Corey Ridings, a Coastal Resource Management volunteer from my Peace Corps group invited me to her site in Bicol to take photos of the San Miguel Island marine sanctuary. The local barangay captain was …
First Trip to Apo Island: Exploring Dumaguete
In May 2004 I visited Apo Island, a tiny former volcano located about 45 minutes by pump boat from a small fishing village south of my Peace Corps site in Dumaguete. In 1986, the forward thinking residents of A…
Tagbilaran Fiesta & Carnival: Craziness in Bohol
Fiestas are a huge annual event for every community in the Philippines. The timing of the fiesta varies according to the patron saint of each city, town, and village, but they all have a few qualities in common…
Things That Aren’t Supposed to Be Funny, But Are
Sometimes things that aren't supposed to be funny turn out to be hilarious. Maybe it is the neighbor who builds a 30 foot tall mural of himself in front of his house completely obscuring his otherwise nice view…