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
If you are looking for beautiful places in the Philippines, then you will have a lot to choose from in our Philippines photography tour. The Philippines is one of the most underrated travel destinations in Southeast Asia. With more than 7000 islands and 160 ethnolinguistic groups, the archipelago is culturally rich and abundant with natural beauty.
As you will see in your Philippines adventure, the people are warm and welcoming. They will greet you with their smiles and make you feel at home with their genuine hospitality. The diversity and friendliness of people make the Philippines a paradise for photographers. In our Philippines photography tour, you will discover an extraordinary fact about Filipinos – they love to be photographed.
Regarding your safety in this Philippines adventure, you should know that the country is very safe. Both international and domestic tourism has significantly increased over the past decade with tourists generally only visiting key tourism areas. However, there remains a large portion of the country not affected by tourism. This is where travelers can have truly authentic experiences and see beautiful and unexpected natural wonders of this island nation. Of all the beautiful places in the Philippines, you will get to discover the untouched ones. Your Philippines photography tour will be nothing short of extraordinary.
The perfect way to capture the hustle and bustle of city life. This isn’t just a chance for you to visit a new city, it’s the opportunity to live and breathe it. You’ll discover unique locations that wouldn’t be possible without our local guides and expert knowledge. Delve into local neighbourhoods, sample authentic cuisine and experience life beyond the tourist hub.
Mabuhay! Welcome to your Philippines adventure. Jacob and his team will arrange your airport pickup or personally fetch you upon your arrival. If you plan to arrive earlier into Cebu we can help arrange some activities, lodging or tours for you prior to the start of our workshop. In the evening, we will have dinner to meet and greet everyone. This will be a great opportunity to discuss our Philippines photography tour itinerary and also your expectations about the workshop.
All Souls Day in the Philippines is an important holiday where families visit cemeteries to repaint tombs, offer flowers and light candles to remember loved ones. Many people will sleep or stay up all night in the cemetery, eating, playing games and enjoying the company of family.
On the second day of our Philippines adventure, we will visit two cemeteries to observe people visiting their dead loved ones, cleaning graves, and offering food. And since this is a Philippines photography tour, there will be many great photo opportunities. This is also an excellent time to talk and meet with locals and taste some of the local dishes that include Lechon, Sinigang, Kinilaw, Turon, and more.
On the third day of our Philippines photography tour, you will see some of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. We will travel by a local motorized outrigger boat to explore some of the islands that make up The Danajon Bank, the only double barrier reef in the Philippines (and one of the 6 in the world). This will be a great opportunity to work on underwater photography and capture stunning marine landscapes.
Your Philippines adventure will continue with visiting an isolated fishing village. Then, we will find out more about the starfish collection industry on Olango Island. At the end of the day, we can take some time for a photography workshop and to discuss feedback.
Today we will explore more of Cebu City and will start by visiting the Sinulog dancing ladies at the historic Santo Nino Church and Magellan’s cross. Here you will get amazing opportunities for photography as our Philippines photography tour aims at improving your photographic skills in a diversity of areas.
We will also spend time at Cebu’s largest market for some fantastic street shooting and visit a local guitar factory where everything is made by hand. In the afternoon, we will spend time at a local boxing gym to see aspiring boxers practice, as boxing is only second to basketball as the most popular sport in the Philippines.
On the fifth day of our Philippines photography tour, we will fly from Cebu to Tuguegarao via Manila. Upon our arrival in Tuguegarao, we will photograph the process of noodle making and then eat the traditional Pancit noodles of this region.
Your Philippines adventure will then continue by private van to Lubuagan, Kalinga. It’s a roughly 3-hour journey, but the surroundings are spectacular. We will be able to stop along the way to photograph anything interesting we come across this scenic route from the lowlands into the Cordillera Mountains.
We will spend the sixth day of our Philippines photography tour in the town of Lubuagan. We will explore everyday life in this region of the Cordillera and visit the traditional indigenous Kalinga weavers. The Kalinga are one of the 20 indigenous groups of Luzon’s Cordillera, all of whom speak different languages, practice different rituals, and have different beliefs and cultures.
As we capture interesting & unique moments, we will also learn about the colors, patterns, value & challenges of this indigenous fabric. We will meet some of the prominent elders and culture bearers of the Kalinga. Get excited about this amazing day in your Philippines adventure and watch this beautiful video about the Kalinga weavers.
Get ready for a unique experience because the seventh day of your Philippines photography tour is nothing short of extraordinary. After hiking for one hour and a half through breath-taking tropical landscapes, we will reach Buscalan, the place where the tattooed women live.
As you will find out in your Philippines adventure, tattoos in this region are used as a form of beautification and identity. Tattooing in the Cordilleras is a thousand-year-old ancient art once commonly practiced among the major warrior groups in the region.
Men traditionally got tattooed as a rite of being a warrior or taking a head which was fairly commonplace up until the time of WWII. Today, it is difficult to find men who still have tattoos especially among the younger generation. One of the primary reasons for this is the belief that male tattoos should be hard-earned by revered warriors, who have ceased to exist since the demise of headhunting.
Women on the other hand, would get tattoos to beautify themselves, signify acceptance, and show the different stages of their life. Body tattoos on women served as permanent upper garment and each design has different interpretations and meanings.
Discover what awaits you in your Philippines photo tour by watching the video about the tattooed women of Tanudan.
Today, we will spend the morning with the tattooed women in Buscalan and have a practical photography workshop. After lunch, we will make our 3-hour journey through the very scenic mountains to the province of Ifugao. There will be plenty of opportunities to stop and photograph along the way.
On this amazing day of your Philippines photography tour, you will discover traditional rice terrace villages and stunning landscapes. Ifugao is one of the most beautiful regions of the country and it offers a surprising landscape diversity.
As you will discover in your Philippines photography tour, much of the culture and life in the Cordilleras/Ifugao revolves around rice. From planting to harvest, each period represents a time that is honored and sacred in its own way. Rice is the staple crop for most of the indigenous groups in this region and they have built some of the biggest and most advanced rice terraces in the world. These terraces represent an ancient and sustainable system for communal rice production. To this day many of the tribes still practice thanksgiving rituals before planting and at harvest time.
The Ifugao are one of 20 indigenous groups of Luzon’s Cordillera all of whom speak different languages, practice different rituals, and have different beliefs and cultures. In your Philippines adventure, you will get the chance to experience some of their rituals and photograph extraordinary moments of their daily lives.
On the 10th day of your Philippines photography tour, we will take our time to understand the life philosophy of the Ifugao community. We will explore the rice culture, taste the delicious local rice wine and hear the fascinating local legends and stories. During our stay in Ifugao, in our Philippines adventure, we will also experience some of their unusual and beautiful rituals.
This day of our Philippines photography tour is dedicated to traveling & photography workshops. We will use a private van to travel from Cordillera to Zambales. The entire trip takes between 6 and 8 hours but we will be able to stop for photography sessions along the way. During this trip, we will have time to talk about photography, review photos and give feedback. We will have dinner together when we arrive in Zambales and prepare for tomorrow’s full-day outing.
Our Philippines adventure is about spirituality as well as these beautiful communities place a lot of emphasis on their beliefs. As such, today we will have a trip to Mt. Pinatubo. Pinatubo was the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century and today the landscape of Mt. Pinatubo is very different from the one before the eruption 1991. This is a sacred mountain for the Ayta, a sanctuary where ancestral spirits and Apo Namalyari (God the Creator) live.
Along the way, we will visit some local Ayta indigenous communities and learn about their herbal & medicinal plants and traditional ways of cooking in bamboo. After dinner, we will continue our Philippines photography tour to Manilla.
On the last day of our Philippines photography tour, we will explore Manila and some of its historical landmarks for some amazing street shooting.
We will visit old Manila which includes Intramuros, the Spanish colonial city, and Quiapo, the Market part of Old Manila, and the Chinese Cemetery Old Churches.
At dinner, we will do final portfolio reviews from the trip and discuss feedback. Your Philippines adventure is almost over, but you have an impressive collection of artistic photographs to remind you of the amazing time you had here.
We will all meet for breakfast and do a round-up/closing of our Philippine photography tour. Jacob and our local partners can help you organize your departure and can also give you tips should you decide to stay for longer.
Included in This Tour
13 Nights Lodging
All meals included (amazing & healthy traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Underwater photography session
All Souls Ceremony in Cebu
Private Sinulog dancing ladies photo session
Amazing indigenous Kalinga weavers photo session
The extraordinary tattooed women of Buscalan private photo session
Local rice wine tasting
Spiritual trip to the sacred Mt. Pinatubo
All entry fees
Professional Photography Guide
English speaking Local Guides
Transportation during the tour (internal flights, private van & boat)
Tour Start Date
Tour End Date
Philippines Photography Tour: Unspoiled Tropical Islands, Indigenous People & Underwater Photography Photography Tour 2020
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