To the Philippines!

Hope for the Island (Burgos, Siargao Island, Philippines)

About this time last year, I received an email from a Canadian couple who have made Siargao Island in the Philippines their home for over a decade. This couple, Derek and Jenn Van Ryckeghem, run an organisation aptly named, “Hope for the Island”. They were looking for someone to make a film to help communicate to the rest of the world about what has been going on there over the past ten years.

I’ve spent some time in South East Asia, but I’ve never made it to the Philippines (though my wife has). Ready to jump at the opportunity, I unfortunately had to put plans on hold as we were already planning to be away in Namibia for several weeks during the summer.

Late in 2011, we decided to see if this was still an option or if another film maker had been found. We were pleasantly surprised to know that there was still an opportunity to take on this project and the timing actually worked out great for the plans we already had to be in Maui, Hawaii for three months over the summer. Over the past few months, details have been coming together, equipment has been bought and flights have been booked.

Here’s the island:

(click here for larger map)



September 18, 2011 left us in a bit of an awkward position. Having just returned from a summer in North Uist, St. Andrews, Namibia and Sicily, we left for a few hours in the morning and came home to a flat which had been broken into and all the laptops, cameras, iPods, watches and cash stolen.


Yes, that is an understatement.

Fast forward a few months of wrestling with insurance companies… we were able to get new and better laptops, a new camera and other gear that would actually be suitable to make a good quality film in the Philippines. Previous to being robbed, this was a far off dream as there was no equipment. Post getting robbed- lots of equipment.

I don’t recommend this as a normal way to get some new gear, but thankfully this turned out to be a bit of a blessing in the long run!

We leave in 6 weeks and will spend 4 weeks in the Philippines, 1 week visiting friends & family in California and then 11 weeks in Maui.


Yes, that is an understatement.