Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Khmer Nightlife

It's a public holiday in Cambodia and the streets of Phnom Penh are jammed with locals going out and about:

The number of motorbikes here reminds me of Plaza Burgos in Vigan on a weekend night. Phnom Penh is just like Iloilo or Bacolod City - pretty laid back - except that the expat community here is quite large. In fact, the sheer variety of restaurants here is staggering. After seeing the killing fields, the S-21 prison and the Royal Palace, the next best thing to do here would be to eat and drink. .

The occasion last Monday was the coronation anniversary day of King Norodom Sihamoni:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Assignment: Phnom Penh

Thirty years ago, this would have conjured images of dusty war zones and killing fields, AK-47's and the Khmer Rouge.

Prison cells at the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh

Part of a journalist's time here might also be spent hanging out in a place like the Foreign Correspondents'Club (the FCC for short - and it's not the image posted above!). Though the current FCC along Sisowath Road only dates back to the UNTAC days in the early 90's, it isn't hard to imagine that its cream-colored walls oozing with colonial nostalgia dates back to the war years. Back in my hobbyist days, I would dream of hanging out in a place like this after a hard day of shooting, my cameras stowed nearby while having beers with fellow photographers.

Last Saturday I did just that. But the adventure feeling wasn't complete, though, because I wasn't photographing soldiers.

I was photographing fashion designers.

Romyda Keth, designer of the Khmer label Ambre.

But hey, this is a good thing for Cambodia. If a photographer still has to go here to cover war, a decade after order was supposedly established, this would mean that there hasn't been much improvement since then.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Thin Red Line

There's a thin line between brave and fucking stupid:

And I think I crossed it the other day in Cambodia:

My guide said it was perfectly safe. But maybe - just maybe - if there was a stray mine down there and I happened to step on it... I don't want people to say I blew my leg off for a photo-op. Man that was stupid.

But thankfully for me and that cow, there were no mines and we walked out with our body parts intact.

And now I have a fucking stupid photo that I'll tell my grandkids about. Hahahaha!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Puppet Parade

Backstage of a traditional Khmer puppet show in Siem Reap, Cambodia:

Shot on assignment for Bangkok Airways' Fah Thai Magazine

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back to Angkor

Here again amongst the stones, the ruins, the gnarled old trees

Local gardener at Koh Ker, Preah Vihear Province.

Monk and Bayon Temple, Angkor.

Shot on assignment for Siem Reap Airways' Sarika magazine.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Write it Down, Scotty

Tattoo artist Scott de Silva works on his human canvas:

Taken at Shark Tattoo Studio at Serangoon Gardens. Shot with a Panasonic FX-12.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mom, Mavi, Horse

My niece Mavi and her mom Viv at the Chinese Garden:

The horse doesn't have a name :)

Shot using a Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III for Asian Photography magazine.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Switching Off

Bali, beach and Bintang beer:

The nice thing about staying in the Kuta/Legian/Seminyak stretch is that you're never far from the water. Every afternoon the local vendors would set up beer stalls where one can kick back and enjoy the sunset. Sitting on a plastic chair with soft sand under one's feet and a (cheap) Bintang in hand, cool wind and the warm light of a fading sun in your face. And not a bloody cargo ship on the horizon. Can't have that in Singapore... :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bali Hai

More images from Bali:

Legong Dancer:

Ubud Streetcorner:

Monkey Forest Bike Road:

Stone Guardian:

Uluwatu Temple Devotees:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hi Bali!

Been here since Thursday night and am loving every moment of it:

A woman splashes water on a shrine during a purification ritual at the Agung family shrine in Denpasar, Bali.