The creativity behind #PhilippinesUnplugged

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 traveled 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 from behind the cameras and the music.
“Through each other’s eyes”

We’re never more alive than when we travel. And despite being far from home, sometimes we never feel so at home.

Part of our Philippines Unplugged adventure was for Skinny Living to write a song inspired by the country and their experiences, and for us to capture this creative journey for you in film. Travel for
musicians is like creativity on steroids. We had a lot of jeepney rides, boat trips, sunrises, sunsets and beers to think about why.

A break from the routine

When you change up your daily routine, you rewire your thinking – you have new stimulus and can tap into different parts of your brain. Combine this with the sensory overload that is Asia, and what you have the is the ultimate hotbed for new ideas and ways of thinking.

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The band behind #PhilippinesUnplugged

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.

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The reality of #PhilippinesUnplugged

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 traveled 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 from behind the cameras and the music.
“Don’t stop till’ we reach the highest high”

No travel company had ever done anything like this before, or told the story of a destination in this way. This was our opportunity to show how travel inspires us creatively. For the band, this would be their songwriting. For you when you travel, it would inspire something different. But the process is the same.

And our muse? Our muse was the Philippines – one of the most fascinating, truthful and staggeringly beautiful landscapes on the planet. And we had just landed.

The reality was wilder than we could have ever imagined. It’s hard to pick out the highlights, but here are a few.

Travelling as a creative team is a different type of travel

You experience each moment, while at the same time seeing it with a wider sense of storytelling – of how you can bring it to life for the audience who aren’t there with you yet.
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#Feature Friday Mr Ollie Ali

Written by Tor White, Global Creative Director

We are doing #FeatureFriday a little differently today. We are going to show case one of our favourite photographers we have been working with lately…

We are totally committed to showing you guys a world that is real: full of real people and places and experiences… with all the crinkles and cracks as well as the beauty! This is why we have our own STA Travel creative studio and champion authentic photography, video, writing and music, all crafted by a collection of incredible young travellers, our STA teams and talented creatives we get to meet.

Last month I asked our friend and incredible photographer Ollie Ali if he’d be up for travelling around the world on one of our BlueTicket’s to capture photographs for the covers of our 2016 global brochures. Strangely enough he said hell yes!

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UK Band Skinny Living in Cornwall, with Airbnb and STA Travel

Tor is Global Creative Director STA Travel, music lover & adventurer.

In August this year, STA Travel kicked off a new music platform called STA Travel Sounds. Skinny Living, a four piece band from Wakefield were the first band we put in the spotlight, with their stunning track “Like A Ray” which they recorded in Cornwall – a part of the UK that resonates with them deeply.

In September the guys hit the road for a three week tour around the UK. After they finished, we hooked up with Airbnb (who we’re now partnering with in the UK to help widen our accommodation selection even further for all our customers) and we asked the guys if they wanted to go back to that special part of the world and have some time to rest, regroup and chill together after a mad time on tour.

We left central London on Friday by train, an easy four hour journey down to the South coast to St Austell.

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