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STA Travel Blog

Photoshooting the Philippines with Instagrammer Jordan Hammond

In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, it is safe to say more and more of the travel inspo we get comes from online platforms rather than old school brochures. Be it dreamy locations shot using drones or GoPros, the travelling game has become more aesthetic and visual – enabling us at home to dream, escape and plan our next destinations through others’ trips!

One of these dreamy locations is the Philippines. With a choice of 7,000 islands to visit, beautiful beaches, hikes and landscapes, it is a destination that has something for everyone with many ‘Insta worthy’ settings. I decided to catch up with one of STA Travel’s most reblogged Instagrammer with over 30k followers Jordan Hammond (@jordhammond), who is currently travelling around this wonderful bucket-list country with his girlfriend Sophia, and who’s content has really convinced me that life really must be ‘more fun in the Philippines’…

What inspired you to take a trip to the Philippines?

As you mentioned earlier, an increasing number of us are inspired to travel through the medium of social platforms. For me, Instagram was the main source of inspiration. So many incredible photos were being shared from the Philippines towards the end of last year, and from that I knew I had to make it my first trip of the new year.


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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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5 Reasons to drop everything and go to Vietnam

Do you like to eat mouth-watering food? Drink exquisite coffee? Explore UNESCO world heritage sites? You do! Well welcome to Vietnam. With its floating markets, world’s largest cave, delicious Pho dishes and incredible floating islands, it’s a truly unique country full of hidden treasures. The backpacker buffs here at STA Travel have put together 5 VERY important reasons why you should drop everything and head to Vietnam now. Read on wanderluster…

1. The Mekong Delta