“In the 7,000 plus islands in this archipelago are the 7,000 plus chances we have to create a different narrative of our day to day life.”
These are the words of Anna Garrido, a Filipina who sought to capture the moments of one blissful summer and create a mini travelogue that tells a story of wonder, loss, and love for a place she calls “home.”
At first glance, her mini volume titled “Vol. 1 Tropical Adventures” is merely a collection of photos and anecdotes inspired by the experiences she’s had and the memories she’s formed in each place, from the old city of Intramuros to the sunny beaches of Coron, Palawan. However, delving deeper into the magazine, one would eventually come to learn the grief hidden within the pages and the eagerness to turn that pain into something beautiful and inspiring.
“I thought that this particular summer I took the photos with my friend in the volume was quite impactful–thinking this would be the summer I finish grieving my grandmother’s death,” Anna shared to When In Manila. “This mini volume is my way of remembering/ maintaining what that summer meant to me as a young adult.”
“I’ve always been interested in art and history having grown up with it [in the older district of Manila], but tend to keep my work private, and on the whim of the moment. I think I have always been driven by the stories of my grandmother and the life she has gone through and strive to be as driven in my own life,” she added.
The end result of her healing process is a beautiful travelogue that offers readers a different lens on these certain locations as seen through her eyes. “Manila in the very sense is what it means to be a modern day Filipino. Striving to give the best work one can, be itself, whilst giving everything it has to those who come,” she writes profoundly in one page. “It is easy to criticize the shortcomings of place and people, but it is not easy to watch and realize what it took to be Manila.”
“Any future mini volumes I make is always a homage to the growth and personal trials I had gone through. And really, just trying to connect the stars in my life,” she told us during our exclusive interview. “Hopefully, others who shy away from sharing their work can also come out.”
“There’s so much I hope people can get off my magazine. The most important message is, there is as much and even more to love and to see outside Manila that we can open ourselves to. And that beyond westernized standards of beauty and living, let’s live our fun tropical life. Stay adventurous.”
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