By Tor White. Global Creative Director STA Travel
Last year, STA Travel and Tourism Philippines embarked upon a pioneering new project. Philippines Unplugged would document the journey of British band Skinny Living as they travelled through the island province of Palawan. Raw, unscripted and all-access, this film series would show the beauty and honesty of the Philippines. The footage and photography would capture a world of authentic people and unfamiliar places; and the lyrics would tell their story, with Skinny Living writing an exclusive track for us on the road.
Here are our highlights behind the cameras and the music.
“Come take a trip with me”
Ryan, Rhys, Danny and Will are Skinny Living – our first STA Travel Sounds artists from back in 2015. From smashing our Sounds stage at Bestival on the Isle of Wight, to playing in a converted railway carriage in Cornwall as part of our Airbnb film series, together we’ve worked on some incredible projects.
However, none would depict the relationship between music, travel and discovery like this one. The band hadn’t been to Asia before, let alone to the remote Filipino island of Palawan, and the experience was transformative. From the madness of tricycles on mud roads, to making music at sunrise on the beach; watching the story unfold from behind the scenes and behind the camera was incredible.
We interacted with everything, and the influences were many. But here are a few that really hit us.
A local affair
From the school kids who sang their hearts out with us at their school on a secluded island, to the chilled and friendly folks we met in each village… the Philippines IS the people.
There’s no other way to describe it. Tropic storms that rolled off the surf into the luscious greenery… you could almost feel the jungle growing in front of your eyes.
Being a group
Travelling as part of a tour didn’t give us less independence – but more. Being able to “switch off” and be free from figuring out where to be and what to do, especially in our limited time,
meant we could just “be” and experience the adventure as it happened.
Oh, and something else got a good view of the band’s first experience of the Philippines. The drone.