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Ewan Koh

I Dive. I Run. I Shoot. I Write. Almost all photos are shot by me & are unfiltered. @h_collective Community Member. Proudly Philippine Made. 😊🇵🇭

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"Homebound" . A love & farewell letter to a dear friend. Broken into 2 parts. . It took me a while to not only find the right words to use, but also more importantly, to find the courage and the strength, to write this piece. . It has been a week of random crying and sad moments. I still can't believe you are gone my dear friend. It was just only a few moons ago when we were talking about your trip to Nepal. I was so excited for you. Nepal for you is what Japan is to me, these places meant 2nd home to us. . Which is why, when the news of your death in the Nepali mountains, while you were on your way to the summit reached me, my heart broke into a million pieces. I have never imagined that in that place where the earth kisses the heavens on its cheeks, where you always wanted to be, will be the same place where you will say goodbye. . At the beginning, I had so many questions, so many whys. Why you? Why now? Why like that? Now, I just have wishes for you. . I wish that you weren't in pain when you went into the light. I wish that it's true what they say, that before we go, our whole life flashes before us, and that in those flashes, you saw everything you needed and wanted to see to make your heart full & happy. Lastly, I wish that at least even for a millisecond, you saw me smiling back at you or even hugging you. . My heart is still broken, it’s still in pain but I find peace and solace in the fact that you left this world, probably not in your terms, but at least in a place that you’ve always wanted to see, and doing what you've always wanted to do. . You know, I’ve been finding the right time and words to post this photo for months. It’s from a trip that I took, w/c we agreed to do again when we both get the chance. I was baffled why a photo that’s so beautiful such as this one, I couldn’t find anything to write about to go with it. It’s a photo of three friends enjoying the beautiful sunset in a remote area in Palawan. It was taken right before the light said goodbye and the darkness said hello. . *Letter continued in the comments section* #Philippines #Palawan #PortBarton #Love #Death #Friends #Goodbye #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Sunset

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"Water Girl" . Advisory: This is a long post & divided in 3 parts. . Summer of 2018 will always be a memorable one for me, for many reasons. It was a year of many firsts and worthwhile seconds for me and my friends. . Among the many firsts for me this year is finding myself in another part of the MIMAROPA region. It took us a total of 16 hours one-way, to get to this island. I remember, when we were on the small outrigger canoe, which is the last of the 6 modes of transportation that we had to take to get to it, we all just felt so tired. When we finally saw the small island town from afar, we all just felt glad that we took this trip. . I will never forget how surreal it felt when I first stepped into that small town plaza. It was as if I stepped into a time machine and went back a couple of decades. The town looked like it was still in the early 40’s. . I can still remember how the cool sea breeze momentarily took away our fatigue that afternoon. I can also still see in my head to this day, how the late afternoon sun bathed the town plaza in its golden light. . The entire place, that moment in time, and me being there with friends was just magical. Everything was just picture perfect. . But if there’s one soul that'll always remind of the island of B, it'll be the girl in this photo. Her name is P and we met under one hot and humid afternoon by the beach. She was washing some of her family’s clothes in the community water shed when I chanced upon her. . I will always remember how shy she was. She only spoke in nods and smiles when I started talking to her. I can still remember how she looked away when I asked how many siblings did she have. I even second guessed myself if I said something offensive and even asked her if I did. She just shook her head and with a tiny voice she said that she’s just embarrassed to tell me how many sisters and brothers she has. . “2?”, I asked. She shook her head and continued shaking it till we reached number 7. . *Story to be continued in the comments section* . #Philippines #Weekend #Luzon #MIMAROPA #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Travel #Portrait #Sony #BnW #BnW_Creatives @bnw_creatives @sony @sonyphinc

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"Chasing Moonrises" . I will never forget the moment when I took this photo. It was just right after a conversation with a friend. In the middle of an uninhabited island, we talked about the difference of ecstasy and contentment. We went on and on as we have somewhat different views on the matter. Eventually we just agreed to disagree. . For me, ecstasy has always just been a state of mind. Ecstasy for me is fleeting. It’s just like the sand castle you build on a windy day at the beach. Eventually, the raging waves will come to take it away. From what I’ve heard even the drug of the same name, operates the same way. It’s temporary. Once the catalyst is gone, the feeling fades away. . Contentment, on the other hand, I treat as a state of the heart and soul. It aims for permanence. It’s a slow burn affair. It takes a long time before it hits you but when that time comes, I think it will make us all feel relieved. Relieved, because you’re no longer part of a rat race. That finally, you’ve broken the shackles that have bonded you for so long. . If it was my choice, and my choice alone, I will pick the latter on any given day. For when you’re content, everything else will follow. Ecstasy, joy and even happiness will all be in your periphery because your heart is full and your soul is complete. . That’s the difference of the two for me. Now if you ask me how do we get to a content state of heart, that my friend is the 60M dollar question isn’t it? Is there even a formula for it? How about a proven model to follow? Alas, if only life was that easy. . What I’m sure of though, is just like this perfect moonrise, we will all eventually arrive at the right place, at the right time to see one. With the right attitude/mindset and a dash of humility, fate might even be kind enough to not only give us the perfect moonrise but also the perfect companion to watch it with. . So cheers to all who’s still chasing their perfect moonrises. Revel in the fact that once the sun is gone and the night has completely taken over, you will go back to your own heart or even to your companion, if you were accorded one and say; . “I’m done. Now, let's go home and have some fun."

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"Bread & Fish" At the southwestern edge of our country lies the very remote Balabac Group of Islands. It's a place that will never ever be accurately described by words alone. Terms like magnificent, mind-blowing, or stunning will never be enough to depict how beautiful this place is. With all it's majestic beauty, Balabac will also always be my perfect example of how in the midst of pervasive paucity, a strong heart and unequivocal belief that things will be alright, makes all the difference. Our adoptive family suffered major losses both caused by the typhoon last Dec and also by some other external factors. In the last 12 months that we have not seen each other, I can say that their lives have been turned upside down in such a short span of time. While Nanay (Mum) and Tatay (Dad) were telling me these stories on our first morning together, I only felt sadness and dismay. I just couldn't believe some of the stuff that I was hearing but just like how the island slowly recovered from the devastation, Nanay and Tatay have already pushed forward. Despite of what have happened, they still chose to look at the brighter side of things. They still chose to see the glass as half full and not half empty. Just like these two fishermen in the photo. Before taking their picture, I asked them how was their catch for the day. Apparently, even if it was already half past five in the afternoon, they were just starting to prepare their gear. I then asked them if they're expecting to get a huge yield once done, they said no then they quickly interjected; . "It's okay. There are days that you win the jackpot and there are days when you just get spare change but that's how life is anyway. You can't win all the time. When you lose, you just need to look forward to the next day, prepare and hope that things will be better." . I smiled and nodded back, and as I peeped into my camera's viewfinder and composed this photo, I remember whispering to myself; . "Listen kid and you must listen well." . #Philippines #Manila #Palawan #SuluSea #Balabac #ilovePH #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #SinoPinas #Travel #Landscape #Beach #Beautiful #Sony #SonyAlpha @sinopinas

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"Blue Rectangles" . A man pulls his bright iris blue luggage towards the direction of a door with a somewhat similar hue. . Was he aware of it? Did he even realize that he was color coordinating with the environment? I guess we'll never know. . This is Dublin, Ireland. A city that bears the #Irish pride. Whose people rivals mine when it comes to warmth and humor. Where the folks who lives in it, as my Irish colleague says, can find poetry in a pint of #Guinness. . When I asked another colleague what it meant to be Irish, she quoted a famous quote about her people; . “To be Irish is to know that in the end, the world will break your heart.” . After that all I could say was, God bless the Irish! 🇮🇪 . #Philippines #Manila #Ireland #Dublin #Europe #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #StreetPhotography #Travel #Journey #Beautiful #Samsung #S7Edge

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"Onsen Town" . Posting a video after a long time. . This clip was taken from a hot spring town located in the mountains of Kumamoto, Japan. It's a few hours away from the big city but it's well worth the trip. . This place is amazing. Really amazing! I love how rustic and close to nature this place is. Yes there's human life around you but 90% of the time all you can hear is nature singing. . It's just fantastic. . #Philippines #Manila #Japan #Kumamoto #River #Mountains #Snow #Winter #Onsen #Ryokan #Kurokawa

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"Lazy Sunday" . This is why you don't leave me and my dog with nothing to do on a hot, humid, powerless, Sunday afternoon. . We'll just spend it taking countless portraits. . My dog is the sweetest. Love her to bits. ♥️♥️♥️ . #Philippines #Weekend #Manila #iloveMNL #Asia #Dogs #DogsofInstagram #Spitz #Animals #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Sony #SonyNEX5 #Meike #PhotoOfTheDay #HiInfluencerCollective @sony @sonyphinc

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"Paradise Lost" . This photo was taken as the sun sets in the fine and powdery white shores of Boracay Island, Philippines. . Sunsets are always an amazing reminder of how the world can change in a matter of seconds. That fleeting moment during sunset where the light plays a tug of war with the incoming darkness is truly a magical experience every single time we see it happen. . I've been a frequent visitor of the island and I've seen it change drastically in the last decade. From an island who doesn't even have a stable power source decades ago to an island that now can comfortably accommodate almost 2 million tourists per year. . To my surprise, I found out this visit that the island now has a mall! A mall in the effin' island! 'Couldn't believe it. To make it worse, there's even a low rise condo community being built as I type this. . As it all sunk in, I remembered a chat I had with the owner of a beloved cafe in the island, years ago. She's American, but has chosen to live a life in Boracay. . That afternoon we talked about how the island has changed and that she might soon need to close her cafe. Rent has gone so high that one day it'll be impossible for her to continue on. . As we both sipped our teas and looked at the amazing ocean view from her cafe's 2nd floor, she softly said to me; . "There will never be another Boracay. People keep saying that all these other islands are the next big thing but they will never compare to Boracay. It's just sad that all of these can end up as paradise lost soon." . Silence ensued between us. Probably we both knew that she is right. That we're losing the island. I was losing my go to favorite getaway island but more tragically for her, she might lose her home for the last 3 decades. . As the sun started to set, we said our goodbyes to one another, and I promised to come back whenever the opportunity arises and to drop by her cafe, because we'll never know if that visit will be my last. . Once that happens, paradise has indeed been lost. 😔 . #Philippines #Manila #Boracay #Aklan #Asia #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Travel #Unfiltered #Sony #SonyNEX5 #Meike #PhotoOfTheDay #MagnumPhotos @sony @sonyphinc

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"Afternoon Siesta" . A cute neko 🙀 (Japanese term for cat) enjoys her siesta time under the warm Okinawa sun. . She's so relaxed that she's not even bothered by me taking her photo or by another tourist who's exploring the castle grounds. . I wish I can chill like her. . #Philippines #Manila #Japan #Okinawa #Cats #Pets #Animals #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Travel #Sony #SonyNEX5 #PhotoOfTheDay #HiInfluencerCollective

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"Art Lovers" . A couple quietly walks past an art installation at the HKIA. . Oh Hong Kong, it's so nice to see you again.😊 . #Philippines #Manila #HongKong #Asia #SinoPinas #Weekend #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Travel #Sony #SonyNEX5 #Meike #PhotoOfTheDay #MagnumPhotos #HiInfluencerCollective @sony @sonyphinc

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"Lovely Bones" . Everyone, this is an Aspin dog. . For the uninitiated, an Aspin or Asong Pinoy is the kinder and more appropriate term to describe the mongrel dogs of the Philippines. . The previous term used to describe them was Askal, short for Asong Kalye or Street Dog in English. It's definitely a term that's derogatory and something I refuse to use and absolutely hate hearing. . No one really knows where the Aspin originated from. Although some biologists believe that they are a close relative of the Australian Dingo. . Featured here is Whitey, the old but still beautiful pet Aspin of my parent's neighbor. She was enjoying the overcast skies and cooler temperature when I took this photo. . Dogs 🐶 are absolute ❤️. In any shape or form, they are pure love materialized. . #Philippines #Manila #iloveMNL #Asia #SinoPinas #Dogs #Pets #Love #Photography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Sony #SonyNEX5 #Meike #PhotoOfTheDay #MagnumPhotos @sony @sonyphinc

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"As Above, So Below" . Behind the backdrop of an impending volcano eruption, somber clouds hover over Bali and creates a beautiful tapestry on the mirror like shores of the Legian beach. . I guess a volcano that’s having a tantrum is not enough to scare everyone into hiding. . Life goes on, indeed. . #Indonesia #Bali #iloveBali #Philippines #Manila #Travel #Surf #Beach #Fishing #Volcano #Reflection #Sony #SonyNEX5 #Meike #PhotoOfTheDay #MagnumPhotos #LocalFrameMovement @sony @sonyphinc @localframemovement

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"Gone South" . At the western edge of my country lies a cluster of mostly uninhabited islands. They're called the Balabac Group of Islands and are located at the end of the Palawan province. . This area is actually closer to Sabah, Malaysia than it is to the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa. The food is more Malaysian than Filipino and the dominant religion is Muslim rather than Roman Catholic. . The photo above is certainly not enough to give justice to the majestic beauty of this place. Imagine a place of white powdery sand, turquoise green waters and pine tree lined shores. It's so amazing that you can even actually cross from one island to another just by walking on kilometers of fine white/pink sand bars. . Of course, everything great and beautiful has its tradeoffs. This area lies in a volatile region where insurgency and unexpected armed conflicts can happen anytime. That's why when you go here, everyone is advised to be always alert and assume the worst. Risky yes but then again you can't live your life living in a bubble, right? . If my friend & I didn't go here last April, then we wouldn't have seen the most beautiful sunsets and moonrises this side of the planet. Or we may not have met the kindest of people from the south. Or have not been able to enjoy an entire island, complete with the fine white sands, and crystal clear waters all to ourselves. . Going there we also both realized that sometimes, those who doesn't have that much in material possessions are actually the ones who are most generous and ironically, the happiest ones. They're happy because they know the true meaning of the word contentment unlike most of us. . I'm continously finding proof that in this journey that we all call life, happiness and contentment will be defined by what you have done with what you have and not with what you don't or what you may have lost. . This is why we decided to go back and take their course offering, Life Lessons Module 2 next year. Imagine, learning life lessons in one of Earth's most beautiful places. Amazing, right? . #Philippines #Palawan #Balabac #Bugsuk #Travel #Sunset #Beach #Islands #Seascape #Landscape #PhotoOfTheDay #MagnumPhotos

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"La Trinidad" . Good friends and great coffee, in the surfing 🏄 capital of Western Luzon. What's not to like? . P.S. The yellow light is your friend. Let it embrace you. . #Philippines #Manila #iloveMNL #Asia #LaUnion #IlocanoiGers #Coffee #Coffeetime #Photography #StreetPhotography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Travel #Sony #SonyNEX5 #PhotoOfTheDay #MagnumPhotos @sony @sonyphinc

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"Water Works" . With the soft lights of an impending sunset also bathing them, two kids play in the reefs while looking for some edible clams. . Life is all about perspective. When I asked these kids what they were doing, they told me that they were looking for some clams so they can add a bit more food for their family's dinner that evening. When I asked, what if they don't find any today? . Both kids gleefully said, that it was okay. We'll just try again tomorrow. The simplicity and sincerity of their reply, totally shut me up. . I have a feeling that a lot of the adults I know, can learn a valuable life lesson from these two. . #Philippines #Weekend #LaUnion #IlocanoiGers #Photography #StreetPhotography #Photographie #Foto #Fotografia #Travel #Sony #SonyNEX5 #PhotoOfTheDay #MagnumPhotos @sony @sonyphinc

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