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!