Sweet violin notes fill the room as giant pawikans swim through the background of a restaurant somewhere in Makati City.
We were at the Sage Bar in Shangrila and I can’t help but feel overwhelmed (and underdressed) as the who’s who of the Philippine society started to pour in at the bar. It was the launching of Eastgate Publishing’s (the same guys that do the legendary Mabuhay Magazine) Best of the Best Philippines coffee table book.
So what was I doing here again? With my typical printed black shirt, black trek pants and muddy trail shoes?
Actually, I was invited here (imagine that), not to write about the event but to simply attend it since I actually have a few photographs tucked inside the pages of the said book.
That book, the Best of the Best Philippines, is a compilation of what makes Philippine tourism tick. It features all the best places to visit in the country, complete with cute caricature maps, excellent travel write ups, and of course, gorgeous photographs.
Shangrila’s Sage bar was actually decorated with prints displayed on easels as part of the book launching. One of my photographs was lucky enough to be displayed with some of the best in the book.
I so wanted to bring it home haha.
The project came about as Eastgate Publishing’s head honcho decided to make the definite Philippine tourism coffee table book. He pitched the idea to the Department of Tourism and it probably got green lighted faster than piso fare flights gets booked.
I have to give credit to Hannah Reyes of The Yellow Adventures, the penultimate crush ng bayan for travel bloggers, for referring me to the Mabuhay peeps. It’s every photographer’s dream to have their images printed on a very nice (and heavy) coffee table book.
A few of my photos from Ilocos Norte, Samal Island and Coron made it into the book. It would’ve been nice to have a few more inserted, but with the likes of Hannah Reyes and Paco Guerrero gracing its pages, I guess I would have to wish some more.
It’s good enough that one of my submissions made it as the spread for the Coron chapter of the book. A whole dang spread. And for Coron too! One of my favorite places of all time.
I’m all good. I’m easy to please that way.
And yes, more wine please!
And oh yeah, Best of the Best Philippines is now available at your favorite bookstores for Php2,500.00, a price normal for coffee table books. It is an amazing book even with its slightly prohibitive price tag. If you have some cash to spare, do buy me one and I’ll treat you to a bucket of beer. :)