Archive for June, 2010

Mexico Evening 1 (June 20): Solstice Celebration at the Mayan Riviera with locals & hippies

Posted in Accomplished Projects, Projects, Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 by Josan

I found the Solstice celebration at Sacbe, such a holistic experience. The atmosphere just had that feeling of home. I was really exhausted from lack of sleep from the trip, but I was so stoked when Les told me that  there was going to be lots of hippies, artsy peeps and yogis in the event. La vie boheme! 😀

I wasn’t really expecting much, but at the end of the evening, my jaws dropped from the amazing performances by the artists part of the show. I was fascianted by the wide range of talents and the performers ability to multi-task one talent with another.

One of the performances was a group of ladies & later on men playing the drums while dancing. The original video wasn’t as dark as it got converted in youtube so you can’t really see the other drummers in the background. It was awesome, because there was a live flute musician playing in the background, the music by the flutist was so beautiful. 🙂

Mayan drummer

These masked drummers below were the ones behind the ladies in the youtube performance. The 3 sets of drumming performances presented in the show were authentic Mayan performance, and it felt special to be introduced to the Mayan performance art through these drumming performances 🙂 since I enjoy dance meditation facilitated by spiritual native drummers in Vancouver.

Girls drumming

The drumming performance was ended by a Mayan drummer who played drums on fire, before the fire dancers  presented their stunt.

Fire drummer

I got so mesmerized by the first fire dancer that I forgot to make some photos, but I did take some photos of the 2nd fire dancer and some videos of the other fire dancers.

Fire dancer # 2

There were four fire dancers who performed during the Solstice celebration. I have a few videos of them. Here are some of them.


June 20 (Sunday): Mexico. Fresh out from the airport free flow writing

Posted in Accomplished Projects, Projects with tags , , on June 23, 2010 by Josan

Out of Cacun airport

Growing up from the Philippines, I knew how it was like being in a tropical country. It’s been 7 years since I came back to my home country. My house mate owns a land with a palapa in Sacbe, a jungle in Cancun. He also has a time-share to 5-star resorts around Quintana Roo State area. When I found out a couple of months ago that he was coming over to Cancun this month, I jumped in to join him for a little bit with tropical dreams. A 10 day adventure with a fantasy of doing underwater photography of people. When I stepped out of the plane in Cancun International Airport, I felt like a fried egg from the humidity in the air. Les waited for me at the airport’s cafe watching soccer while eating ceviches. I just had to have those ceviches so when he asked me if I wanted the rest from his big platter of leftover ceviches, I jumped for it. No resistance. Just gobbled it. I was stuck in Edmonton Airport the night before, and I was planning to sleep under one of those rows of chairs in the airport, and be right in time for my 6:30 am flight to Cancun the next day. I didn’t get any sleep at all since at dawn is when the cleaning people bring out their noisy cleaning machines to disturb the isolation of the airport. Ahh. Adios sleep. I just decided to do some studying for my yoga teacher training. I was able to accomplish a lot of reading, but the uncertainty that all the information just read stayed put in my head was doubtful. Without any sleep, I looked forward to the idea of breakfast in the airplane amidst airplane food’s reputation of horribility, instead we only had an option of cookie and tidbits with drinks. So ceviches when I landed in Cancun was just plain awesome.

Snake separating highway

The surrounding area had some sort of nostalgia. A tiny bit like Manila with its similarities. The humid weather and aggressive taxi drivers harassing potential passengers. The Mayan people look so much like Filipinos: dark, short and pudgy nosed. They were warm with that mix of flirtatiousness and all-smiles. Well, that’s where Filipinos originally came from through boat hundreds of years ago, from the Mayan Riviera…so duuuhh… Every couple feet within the airport vicinity I got hit on by these flirtatious young Mayan men, they were pretty persuasive flirts, but instead of feeling harassed, I found them hilarious, so I joked with them and laughed off their flirty wordyness.

The drive to the resort was interesting. The nostalgia got disrupted when I saw vast spaces of Westernized and commercialized resorts and animal sculptures in the middle of the highway. Manila didn’t have much vast space based on how I remembered it. It didn’t have big thousand acre  resorts and it didn’t have big snake sculptures in the middle of the highway.

Main entrance to the Royal Hacienda Resort

Entering the resort vecinity

Royal Hacienda entrance

Entering the resort vicinity

The Royal Hacienda’s Grand Coral entrance was fancy. It was touristy and grand. The colors made me happy, since fun colors have a way with me. It looked comfortable, but I had to admit, I was worried of the idea of being stuck in resort mode. I wanted to see, hang out and mingle with locals in a non-pretentious atmosphere.

Another angle of the Royal Hacienda

Royal Hacienda 1

Jacuzzi at Royal Hacienda

My inner hopes came true when Les told me that we were going to the solstice performance celebration happening all day, during my 1st day in Cancun. it was an event at Sacbe where he gave me a short tour of his palapa, and we watched the evening shows. The performances by local performance artists were top notch. It was AMaAaZING! I had soOoo much fun. There were lotsa white hippies from Playa del Carmen. I met a couple of Les’ local artist friends, they were quiet a diverse of characters. 🙂 It was a good beginning for me in Cancun.

Josan is gone for 12 days

Posted in Projects on June 19, 2010 by Josan

Hello there,

I am in Cancun, Mexico right now pursuing one of my dream goals in life, which is making beautiful photos of people underwater in a tropical setting.  If you are interested in checking out updates of my photo shoot there, continue on checking this blog

I will respond to your message when I get back in Vancouver on June 30. Enjoy the beautiful Vancouver summer! 🙂 xo.


References for Underwater Shoot in Cancun

Posted in Photographer/Artistz Spotlighted on June 6, 2010 by Josan


Sam Champion on BP Oilpocalypse

Brian Skerry‘s Underwater photoshoots for National Geographic

Jeremy Jackson on How We Wreck the Ocean


Jason Leopold on How come BP is not under criminal investigation?

Fishing Jones on Bluefin Maul Bait Ball