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WWF CT Business Summit Photo Exhibition in Manila

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19 – 20 January 2010

Sometime early November last year, we got an email from Dr. Lida Pet-Soede, WWF Coral Triangle Programme Leader to discuss an idea of having a photo exhibition of our expedition in Manila during the first WWF Coral Triangle Business Summit in January 2010. We knew this was going to be a feat as we were in the thick of our journeys and going to distant lands with hardly any mobile signal, let alone internet. But we said yes. We’ll do it.

Knowing it was going to be tight, we recommended our warrior team – Alya Honasan to edit the photo captions and Felix Mago Miguel to do the design. It was a bonus that they live in the Philippines! But my biggest worry was how to make Yogi do a selection. Lida suggested 50 images and having to choose from thousands, this was not going to be easy. The expedition was in itself full-on and we were going to leatherback feeding and hunting territories! So much to do and so little time.

I made an early selection and sent it by snail mail to Felix from Ambon by late November. Yogi vetoed my selection and this made me force him to make one as December was fast approaching and pretty soon, the Christmas holidays. It was like pulling teeth. So while in remote Kei Islands, Moluccas, for eight days, Yogi sat diligently every afternoon in a boiling hot house of our home-stay to make a selection from scratch. Mornings were spent looking for leatherback turtles and afternoons were picture selection time. He was dripping from sweat and the electricity conked out every other hour or so. There was a fan in the room but it was blowing hot air to an already hot room. The afternoon sun was on our side of the room and the brick walls served like an oven absorbing all the sun’s heat. Yogi was like a polar bear in the tropics, roaring madly and sweating like a faucet. Sorry, no pictures to prove how hot it was.

But the result was amazing. We have done so much during these nine months of the expedition. The selection was exploding with stories. By second week of December we FedEx two DVDs to Felix from Ambon and these very DVDs of the Yogi’s selection got to Felix ahead of my earlier snail mail “disapproved” selection! Then it was up to Alya and Felix in the Philippines to weave their magic. At this stage, we were depressed from witnessing leatherback turtle hunting.

So eventually, on the eleventh hour, I managed to secure a great sponsorship for printing the exhibition from an old friend Ariel Tresvalles of YKL Color Fuji in Manila all by email! Many thanks Ariel. You’re really a star!

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cuts the ribbon to open our photo exhibition. Shame we weren't there . . .President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cuts the ribbon to open our photo exhibition. L-R Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, WWF Coral Triangle Program Leader Dr. Lida Pet-Soede, PGMA, WWF Philippines Chairman Vince Perez & Environment Secretary Eleazar Quinto. Shame we weren't there . . .

Here is the weblink and summary of how the CT Business Summit went. With Lida beside her, the Philippine President Gloria Arroyo cut the ribbon and opened the exhibit event!

Lida had goose pimples seeing the Philippine President spend quality time looking, reading, admiring and asking questions about the images!Lida had goose pimples seeing the Philippine President spend quality time looking, reading, admiring and asking questions about the images! More reading our captions by PGMA and Vince Perez.More reading our captions by PGMA and Vince Perez. PGMA asking questions about the photo stories of our expedition PGMA recalls a diving experience inspired by the photographs of our expedition

The summit & exhibition were big successes but we were not there to see it 🙁 we were still in the thick of our expedition (10 months and counting) diving Raja Ampat from Misool Eco Resort 🙂

The wheels are turning with the WWF Coral Triangle team starting to fund raise to help us make a book out of this great expedition. From the photo exhibition, eleven pictures were sold. An online auction also went up on eBay. We heard from the WWF grapevine that the exhibition will be traveling to Singapore and Kota Kinabalu sometime soon. Hope we get to see it at some point.

The panel on life reef fish trade. The groupers are very red aren't they?The panel on life reef fish trade. The groupers are very red aren't they?

I still have to figure out how to get the full exhibition into this blog as the pdf file is quite big. Bear with me, maybe I’ll just post some 10 panels and not all 70 panels.

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  • emma fung

    love seeing these children hungry for knowledge of the world around them —- they look wonderful. nice post, good to catch up on your wanderings. Happy New Year freundie friendies!

  • Rachelle Macapagal

    Keep up the wonderful work and keep spreading the word about conservation!

  • Lida Pet-Soede

    Stella and Yogi

    we missed you at the exhibit but because your photos where there and Alya did such a wonderful job of telling your stories of your journey through this beautiful region it felt that you were there with us. Its been a priviledge to work with you and we are very thankful that you help us showcase the need to preserve this area for its people and wildlife. hope to see you soon!

  • Ariel Tresvalles

    Till next time friends, love to work with the pros, I’ll always be here if needed.

    Ariel Tresvalles here.