“Sobrang saya, sobrang overwhelming ng feeling… (I feel so happy, so overwhelmed). I want to keep learning and inspiring other people, and share more stories.”
Graduating college student Paolo Garrido just won the title of AirAsia’s next storyteller at the AirAsia CreateCamp travel reality show, and will now be part of AirAsia’s team creating stories and videos of different travel destinations.
After judges went through 500 entries, Paolo was among the five finalists who took part in the AirAsia CreateCamp, a boot camp across Bohol, Palawan, Mt. Province, and Leyte, where current AirAsia storytellers mentored the finalists on photography, videography, and crafting a good travel story. Each episode features one province. At the end of the episode, finalists’ creations are shown.
See the five finalists being introduced in this teaser below. Also, you can watch all four episodes at the end of this blog post.
All finalists are either college students or fresh graduates, and are passionate about travel.
Jaip Saluba from University of Iloilo and Ray Baguilat from University of Baguio both have filmmaking experience, and it shows in their travel stories. The shots they choose are beautiful, with a sense of artistry, especially in their close-ups.
Here is Ray’s video on Leyte:
Here is Jaip’s story on Palawan:
Cara Durano and Bea Paragas are both reflective and poetic in their approach, which the creative writer side in me appreciates.
Here is Cara’s photo story on Batad:
At some point during the course of the camp, I voted for all finalists when I realized that I liked their entries. I actually could not make up my mind who I wanted to win, but when I was forced to pick only one last night during the announcement of winners, I picked Paolo.
Paolo can at times be practical and factual, at times poetic. While he does not have the breadth of Jaip’s and Ray’s filmmaking experience, what pulls in the journalist and passionate traveler in me is his desire to get into the heart of locals’ stories and attempt to share them the way locals would.
“Importante na i-immerse mo ang sarili mo, at pag na-immerse ka na, doon mo malalaman kung ano ang pwede ipakita sa lugar na yon at sa mga tao,” he told me. (It is important that you immerse yourself, and once you are immersed, that is when you will know how to portray a place and its people.
Here is one of Paolo’s CreateCamp outputs, which is my favorite among his entries, as it beautifully portrays a travel destination through the eyes of a local:
Paolo is at the moment working on his college thesis, which aims to promote his home province Laguna. True to letting locals share their stories, he actually handed cameras to locals to make their own stories, with wood carvers from Paete, women making embroidery in Lumban, and buko pie makers in San Pablo. Paolo will be editing the footage into one video.
With Paolo’s awareness and sensibility on the importance of locals’ point of view in travel stories, I am hopeful that there will be more stories sharing not only the physical beauty of a place, but also its heart – especially its people. I believe that knowing and appreciating a place like this can encourage people to become more conscious and responsible travelers.
Below are some more snaps and information from the AirAsia CreateCamp Grand Finale last night, where four of the finalists came:
I am excited for all the stories the camp participants will create in the future.
Below are all four episodes of the AirAsia Create Camp. Each episode is around ten minutes or less.