Join our Philippines photography workshop to explore Palawan, the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region is also the most beguiling. Pristine water, lush rainforests and an incredible diverse wildlife define this yet-to-be discovered paradise. You will stroll through traditional fishing villages, paddle on underground rivers, photograph tropical flora and fauna, and capture colorful sunsets on white-sandy beaches. The highlight of our photography workshop will be the stay on Flower Island, a private island with its own pearl farm. You will be able to document the process of farming and harvesting the rare gems – something not a lot of people get access to. Our adventure will be framed by a stay in Manila, the Philippines’ bustling capital, which allows for exciting street photography.


    • Explore the busy streets of Manila with your camera
    • Paddle boat tour along an underground river
    • Visit a private pearl farm to document the harvesting process
    • Discover Miniloc’s unique ecosystem and pristine lagoons
    • Document the life in traditional fishing villages
    • Photograph Manila’s busy street scenes
    • 1:1 sessions with Better Moments expert James Whitlow Delano



More about James Whitlow Delano

James Whitlow Delano is a Japan-based visual storyteller. His work has been published and exhibited throughout the world and led to four award-winning monograph photo books, including, “Empire: Impressions from China” and “Black Tsunami: Japan 2011”.

Projects have been cited with the Alfred Eisenstadt Award (from Columbia University and Life Magazine), Leica’s Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, PDN.

In 2015, he founded EverydayClimateChange (ECC) Instagram feed, where photographers from 6 continents document global climate change on 7 continents.

ECC documents how climate change is not happening “over there” but it is also happening right here and right now. ECC is not a western view on climate change because photographers come from the north, the south; the east and the west; and are as diverse as the cultures in which we were all raised.

Delano is a grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.


In his webinar, James Whitlow Delano shares his inspiring photographs from assignments around the world as well as from the Philippines. He talks about one of his reportages that led him to a private pearl farm situated on tiny Flower Island off the coast of Palawan. He documented the farming process and harvest of the rare pearls and took stunning portraits of the workers.
James also talks about Palawan’s incredible flora & fauna, culture, and the locations we will visit on our Philippines workshop.


On Location

  • Private hands-on lessons that will help you take your photography skills to the next level.
  • Instruction and training in the best photography techniques, including personal hints and advice.
  • Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground, background and middle ground.
  • Street photography – in small villages and busy cities
  • How to take photos in different lighting conditions.
  • How to approach local people in a natural way.
  • Portrait photography techniques: depth of field, composition, selecting the best possible available light.

In Classroom

  • Post processing workflow
  • How to prepare a photo reportage for magazines and agencies.
  • Expert review and constructive critique/feedback of the images taken during the day.
  • Basics of visual storytelling: Learn from James Whitlow Delano, an experienced photo journalist whose stories were published in Time Magazine, National Geographic, and others.



We recommend you to arrive one day earlier to get over your jetlag and adjust to the local climate and get the first feeling of the country. Manila, known as the “Pearl of the Orient”, is the nation’s capital city. This bustling historic city is full of things to see and do — including museums, parks, theaters, shopping malls and a plethora of restaurants to choose from. The Philippines is quickly becoming a destination for foodies, and Manila is well known for its varied cuisine and street food markets, like the Legazpi Sunday Market, Quiapo Market, and the country’s very own Chinatown, Binondo

Better Moments can help you to book a hotel and arrange a transfer to pick you up at the airport.



The legendary Manila Hotel holds a small museum of its celebrity guests, including Mac Arthur, Pope John Paul II and many others. Just walking distance is Rizal Park, the Manila Aquarium and Intramuros, the old colonial Spanish walled city.
For those who arrived before the start of the workshop, we invite you on a photo walk around the capital to capture the busy city life, people and Manila’s historical landmarks.

In the evening, we will meet in the hotel lobby for our welcome dinner where you will meet Better Moments expert James Whitlow Delano and your fellow travelers. After dinner, presentation by James about his work and the workshop itinerary.



After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, we will spend the morning with a classroom session until it is time to depart to Manila’s domestic airport for the flight to Puerto Princesa. From there, a private transfer will take us to a jungle resort about 15 minutes away from Sabang (2h ride). The rest of the afternoon can be spent to meet the locals and to explore the lush rainforest around the resort and the beach nearby. The local flora and fauna is a great photo theme while the beach is the place to be during sunset when the sky’s pink color gets reflected on the wet sand.

Overnight at the resort & spa.



Breakfast at the hotel followed by a ride to Sabang, the fishing village and gateway to St Paul’s National Park. We will take a boat to the underground river, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that we will explore onboard paddle boats driven by the park rangers. You can choose if you would like to return to Sabang by boat or if you prefer to hike the very scenic jungle trail to take photos of the incredible flora (about 2h, good physical condition required). After this adventure, we will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in Sabang. In the afternoon we will go for a walk around the fisherman village to take portraits and capture street scenes.

We will return to the hotel in late afternoon for an image review and critique with James Whitlow Delano.



Breakfast at the resort before we travel to Taytay in Northern Palawan. There, we will visit the old Spanish fortress overlooking Taytay Bay – a great location for photography. A boat will take us to Flower island in the middle of the bay. Flower Island is a private tropical island off the beaten tracks. It is owned by a Frenchman who has a pearl farm just nearby.

After dinner at the hotel, we will meet to review the photos taken during the day. James will provide constructive feedback and criticism to help you improve.



Breakfast at the resort. Today we will visit the Pearl Farm to learn about pearls culture and its symbiosis with nature – and to take photos of the farming, harvesting and the whole process in general. For lunch we will head to the beach and if you like, you can throw on some snorkeling gear and explore the marine reserve. After an eventful day, we will travel back to Flower Island.

Dinner at the hotel, followed by an image review and presentation by James about visual storytelling.



After breakfast, we will go on a walk around the island to discover its nature and wildlife and to climb the island’s lighthouse. In this tropical haven you will find endless possibilities for nature and landscape photography. In the afternoon, James will hold 1-on-1 sessions to give individual, in-depth feedback. For sunset, we will meet on the beach to take advantage of the golden hour and sunset colors.

Dinner at the resort.



Today, we will continue our journey and travel to El Nido, which is known for white-sand beaches, coral reefs and as the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep karst cliffs. We will spend the rest of the day exploring El Nido mainland with our cameras: the beaches, the village, the sunset over the bay… there will be something for everyone, landscapes, portraits, and village life.

Dinner at the resort, followed by an image review of the images taken during the day.



After breakfast at the resort we will catch a boat to Miniloc Island Resort in the middle of El Nido Bay. This luxurious resort is nestled in a private cove on a limestone island. It is the perfect base to explore the surroundings. If time allows, we will use the afternoon for island hopping to discover more of the bay’s wonders.

Dinner on Miniloc island and presentation by James Whitlow Delano on his post production workflow.



We will spent the entire day exploring Miniloc’s evergreen rainforest, its unique ecosystem, and the surrounding islands (e.g. Entalula – an island only accessible to the guests of El Nido Resort). You will be able to photograph the island’s famous lagoons and unbeatable tropical biodiversity.



Breakfast at the resort. Late morning or afternoon transfer to El Nido airport for our flight back to Manila. Transfer to Conrad Manila Bay Hotel, fronting Manila Baywalk. Rest of the afternoon and evening free explore the modern city with your camera or to go shopping. The Baywalk is fronting Manila Bay sunset so make sure to not miss our last sunset on the Philippines.

Tonight we will have a farewell dinner followed by a thorough review of some of the best workshop photos, with a glass of sparkling wine.



Today we return home. However, if you like to extend your stay in the Philippines, Better Moments can give you advice on what to see and do.


Get Inspiration

Enjoy Your Catalog with stunning photos from the Philippines

Including workshop itinerary, expert bio, quick tips and equipment list


Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.


  • 7 – 17 November 2022
  • 11 Days
  • Number of guests: 8-16
  • Local transport
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
Not included
  • Additional excursions
  • Travel to and from the workshop destination
  • Visa and taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance

Ask Us

Do you have any questions about the workshop or would you like to go on a private customized tour? Send us an email.

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€ 6,250 in shared double room.

€ 7,270 in single room.

Groups sign-up a group of 4+ participants and receive a group discount.

All prices are per person.

Better Moments is a member of the Travel Guarantee Fund, your guarantee that traveling with Better Moments is a safe experience.

We don’t want you to worry about losing money on your workshop booking. Therefore, you will receive a 100% refund of the workshop price – including your deposit – if we have to cancel any of our workshops due to coronavirus.


Better Moments - Map Philippines workshop



Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the international airport of Manila. The airport is located about 10 km south of Manila’s city centre.


Most nationalities can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. You can also get a tourist visa from the Philippine Embassy before you travel, which will allow an initial 59 day stay.


Palawan’s dry season starts in October so November is a good time to visit Palawan. The climate is a bit humid but overall, the temperatures are cooler than during other months with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celcius.


Filipino, along with English, is an official language of the country. It is a standardized variety of the Tagalog language, an Austronesian regional language that is widely spoken in the Philippines.


Philippine Peso (PHP)


Check with your doctor which vaccinations or medications are recommended for this destination. Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, as some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together.


  • Manila had to endure many disasters but today, skyscrapers pierce the hazy sky, mushrooming from the grinding poverty of expansive shanty towns, while gleaming malls foreshadow Manila’s brave new air-conditioned world. The congested roads snarl with traffic, but, like the overworked arteries of a sweating giant, they are what keeps this modern metropolis alive.
  • Fort Santiago is Intramuro’s premier tourist attraction. Beautiful gardens, fountains and plazas surround the Rizal Shrine museum.
  • The Chinese Cemetery is far from your ordinary cemetery and instead feels like a residential suburb with streets lined with mausoleums – some of which feature crystal chandeliers, air-con, hot and cold running water, kitchens and flushing toilets.
  • Filipino food has traditionally received a pretty reputation on the global culinary scene, but many trend forecasters are predicting Filipino cuisine is the one to watch. Dishes like Adobo, Lechon, Pansit, Sisig, Sinigang and others are worth trying.
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