This online shoebox contains random pictures, notes, whatever. I've been a professional writer-photographer for so many years now. It's a damn good excuse to carry a camera around.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

So where do I start? After my wifey's surprise Maldives treat and the Bangkok assignment in January, a few other things happened on the way to today:

There was the run to Phuket and Sukhothai where I covered King Ramkamhaeng's birthday, among other things:

Q1

Then it was off to Myanmar where I photographed Yangon and Inle:
Q2

Afterwards, I headed off with my PhotoTrekkers to Bhutan where we shot the Punakha Dromche:
Q3

Not bad for the first half of the year, I tell ya:
Q4

Then without further ado, I hied off to Kuala Lumpur to shoot Islamic architecture and hang with Hainanese old-timers:
Q5

A few weeks of rest followed, then I promptly boarded at plane to Hanoi, where I hopped aboard the night train to Sapa Valley:
Q6

... and then I found myself back in Myanmar - whopeee - for the year's second PhotoTrek!
Q7

Philippines next - this time to Coron and Calauit Island:
Q8

Which happened back-to-back with an excursion down south to meet the Manobo tribespeople of Butuan:
Q9

Afterwards I stayed home to spend the Singapore Jubilee weekend with my wife and daughter:
Q10

Needless to say I'm happy with how this year is going.
Q11
 

A little tired, but yes - very happy :)


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Managed to photograph a rare performance of Hainanese rod puppets, thanks to some friends at a Chinese marionette theatre enthusiast group. 

Pupps1

The performance was fascinating - and it was so different from the other traditional puppet shows that I've seen here in Singapore. The sight of the old folks scrambling for the coins was especially fun - until it dawned on me that theirs was maybe the last generation to have an emotional attachment to this show.

Pupps2

Being non-Hainanese, I am not sure if children take part in the coin toss. I imagine this must have been a blast for the kids of long ago. If so, these old-timers were probably the same boys and girls chasing after lucky coins, fifty years earlier when it was a much larger affair.

Pupps3

I think if we want performances like these to continue as living traditions, we need to bring the kids along. These days the Hainanese rod puppets are only performed once a year. However, if the children enjoy it they'll remember it - and hopefully they'll want to see it again and again as the years go by.

I'm hoping to catch this show again next year - and next time I'm bringing my daughter along :)


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

I'm not really used to having myself get splashed all over a newspaper front page, but it's nice to get the chance to tell some stories I've never told :

MBulletin
 

You can read the entire web version in the Manila Bulletin online :)


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

A young lady looks out to sea on the Maldivian island of Maafushi.

Maafushi
 


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Sort of. You can be on a cyclo in the middle of dusty, noisy Phnom Penh, yet be a thousand miles away if you love to read.

Boy Xerex
 

But of course, if he's reading Xerex then he must be somewhere else ;)


 


 
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