Jacob Maentz is a documentary and travel photographer based in Cebu, Philippines with a passion for documenting issues related to the human condition, culture, and humanity’s interactions with the natural world
Travel and cultural documentary photographer Jacob James has a passion for immersing himself in new cultures and experiences. His work revolves around capturing the human side of life for people right across the globe, whether that’s the nuances in different cultures that make us all unique, or the simple, instinctual emotions that deep down we all have in common.
The Philippines is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the whole of Asia. Made up of over 7000 islands, the country is a photographers paradise. Despite the abundance of remote communities, the Philippines has a rapidly developing economy and many of it's cities are now sprawling metropolises dominated by towering skyscrapers. This tour will be a mixture of adventure and comfort, filled with plenty of homestay opportunities to really immerse yourself in rural indigenous life.
Adventurer by name, adventurous by nature. Our Adventurer tours are for those of you who love to take the path less beaten, to explore beneath the skin of a country and to find those magical moments of authenticity. To hear stories from those who live the wonderful cultures of this planet and to photograph real life, as we find it, wherever that may be.
Explore the fishing and starfish collecting communities of Olango Island
Stay in remote Ifugao communities and learn how to create a short body of images to capture daily life
Discover how to use light to capture unique intimate portraits of Kalinga women
Explore the crater of an active volcano before photographing the local Ayta communities.
Day 1 - Cebu (Arrival)
Kamusta and welcome to the Philippines! We will start our adventure in the bustling city of Cebu. There will be time for a meet and greet dinner where we will run through the plans for the next 12 days.
Days 2 & 3 - Island Fishing Communities
On our second and third days we will visit the remote fishing communities on isolated islands between Cebu & Bohol. This is an opportunity to photograph the lives of fisherman in this area and if you wish, there will be opportunities to photograph in and under the water too! We'll also document the local starfish collection industry around Olango Island.
Accommodation on our second night will be on the Islands to give us maximum shooting opportunity.
Days 4 & 5 - Kaamalun Festival
Next stop on our adventure will be the Kaamalan festival. We'll take an early morning flight before onwards travel to Bukidnon to spend two days at the festival.
The Kaamalan Festival will be the perfect opportunity to photograph the seven distinct ethnic groups in the region and the perfect opportunity to capture images of the atmosphere and energy of the intimate festival.
Day 6 - Kalinga
Once the festivities are over, we will head onwards towards Kalinga. This day will mostly be a travel day. We will arrive in the afternoon where we hope to spend time some shooting in a local Kalinga community and learning more about the lives of these women. Accommodation will be in a local village homestay.
Day 7 - Buscalan
A short van ride and a two hour trek will find us at our next stop of Buscalan. Here we will have the opportunity to spend the night in the village and capture informal candid images of daily life and also our fixer will arrange some formal portrait sessions too. The women of Buscalan are also renowned for their body tattooing.
Day 8 & 9 - Ifugao Province
On day 8 we will be heading to Ifugao. This area is renowned for it's beautiful rice fields and colorful, mountain tribes. This portion of the tour will include homestays so that we can really immerse ourselves to capture intimate images of everyday life.
Our second day will be spent in a different Ifugao community capturing portraits and learning how to create a series of images that tell the story of daily life in these communities.
Day 10 - Clark/Angeles
We will take an early morning trip to the Banaue rice terraces to capture the stunning vistas before onward travel to the beautiful region around Clark. The journey here takes around 6-7 hours, in which we will have lots of opportunities to photograph the stunning landscapes along the route.
Day 11 - Mt Pinatubo
An early morning excursion will take us to the crater of the active volcano Mt. Pinatubo. After that we will head to some local indigenous Ayta communities. The Ayta are different in that they're Australo-Melanesians, with more in common with the ethnic groups of the Pacific Islands than Austronesian ethnic groups like the Ifugao.
Day 12 - Manila
Our final full day of the tour will be spent on the streets capturing life on the backstreets of the Philippines capital city. There will also be a half day portfolio review and editing session where Jacob will walk you through the steps to make the most of the images you've captured along the way.
Day 13 - Cebu (Fly Home)
The End. Bon Voyage! We will return back to Cebu in the early morning to catch your return flight back home. If you'd like advice on onward travel in the Philippines, we'll be more than happy to advise you and help arrangements where possible.
Of course! If your partner in crime wants to join our adventure they’re more than welcome. All our tours are designed to immerse you fully into the culture of the destinations that we visit. We think even non-photographers would find this pretty fascinating. The only caveat we have is that this is first and foremost a photography adventure and any accompanying non-photographers would be required to stay with us at all times throughout the tour.
Yes. It is a mandatory requirement on all of our tours that each participant has their own travel insurance policy. We highly recommend a travel insurance policy that not only covers medical expenses and repatriation but also covers your personal belongings and liability. For more information on travel insurance and our suggested providers please visit our travel services section.
Also, as a traveller with Intrepid Exposures, it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visas and travel documents. Despite the fact we can’t sell you visas directly, we work with a number of partners who can find you the best solution to match your needs. If you need help arranging visas for any of our tours, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
We will try our very best to cater to any dietary needs, that being said we cannot always guarantee it due to the remoteness of some of the places we stay. We will notify you if this is the case and work with you to come up with a fair solution. As long as you notify us of any requirements or allergies when booking your trip we will do our best to accommodate any needs you have.
Yes, of course! Unfortunately our website doesn't offer this functionality yet. If you wish to pay the deposit and then the remainder in one instalment you can do so using the website. If you would instead like to pay for the trip in its entirety in one payment, please contact us directly and we can advise you on the best way to do this.
We do, but on a trip by trip basis. Some tours naturally lend themselves to extensions, others not so much. Please consult the individual tour pages for more details on the extensions offered. If you would like to create your own personal tour extension, please contact us directly for assistance in doing so.
We do everything in our power to make sure out tours run smoothly, that being said there’s certain things we can’t control. Natural disaster or conflicts in the areas we travel may mean that we have to rearrange our plans and itineraries. However, we will keep a close eye on developments in the areas we travel and notify you if there are any issues or doubts.
In a word, Yes. All our tours are covered by Protected Travel Insurance (PTS). This means that your money goes into a protected bank account and can’t be accessed by us until you get back from your trip, so should anything happen your money is 100% protected. Find out more