After a visit to Apo Island in December 2004, Daniel Simon from my Peace Corps group pointed out that Apo wasn’t selling any post cards that featured the Island. Since Apo is one of the top destinations in the country, this seemed like a problem that really needed to be fixed.
From the many visits I have made to Apo to dive, I had a pretty good selection of underwater shots of the Island, so I offered to help Mario (the barangay captain at the time and dive master) produce a set of cards that the local women’s co-operative could sell as a livelihood project. Mario also wanted to raise money to support Apo’s new turtle conservation program.
I got to work on the design and photo editing, and Kristin Gilliss helped me edit the short descriptive paragraphs about Apo on the backs of the cards. With some help from my friends at the provincial tourism office, we got a great price from local printing press Dumaguete Asian Printers to produce a small initial run of the four card designs. The first batch of cards came off the press in February 2005 and since then several thousand cards have been sold.