The Indigenous Hipster

This is a collection of indigenous Cordilleran people wearing hipster garb, without the irony. A photo story.
These ladies are friends who dress up for Baptist church. Love the outfits! 

These ladies are friends who dress up for Baptist church. Love the outfits! 

Indigenous hipsters and their outfit during market day in Bontoc. Look at the amazing top, head gear and scarf. This lady must come from a rich tribe compared to her friend who wears a simpler garb. Great taste knows no age or ethnicity. 

Indigenous hipsters and their outfit during market day in Bontoc. Look at the amazing top, head gear and scarf. This lady must come from a rich tribe compared to her friend who wears a simpler garb. Great taste knows no age or ethnicity. 

Hi! 
This is a photo blog of my journey to the Cordillera, a region in the Philippines I fell in love with. The Cordillera is made up of countless mountains and endless space. Some mountains are inhabited by only a hundred few. Some of them have turned into “city” mountains that hold thousands and thousands of people. The original owners of these lands are called Igorots. They are known for their fiery personality and their bravery. They are beautiful people with almond shaped eyes and amazing faces. What’s interesting is that in this region, mounds and mounds of Salvation Army clothes are dropped off from all across the world. We call these fashion thrift shops ‘Ukay Ukay’. As there are no shopping complex in Cordilleras, these Igorots, most of them have never been to a huge city, end up wearing clothes from all over the world. Coats, ties, skirts, boots. Those vintage clothes hipster kids today buy to look “vintage” is basically just, well, clothes to these people. The quirkyness you will observe is not the indigenous trying to be ironic, it’s all they have. The Ukay ukay store is actually a good thing because it makes this amazing region fashionable and much much more interesting. This blog is full of sarcasm, self deprecation, satire, questionable facts, enlightenment, weed, unpretentious writing and plain craziness. But it’s really just a way to practice and share what I love - photography. And to tell you how beautiful my country is. Look at this culture, the Philippines is amazing.

Hi!

This is a photo blog of my journey to the Cordillera, a region in the Philippines I fell in love with. The Cordillera is made up of countless mountains and endless space. Some mountains are inhabited by only a hundred few. Some of them have turned into “city” mountains that hold thousands and thousands of people. The original owners of these lands are called Igorots. They are known for their fiery personality and their bravery. They are beautiful people with almond shaped eyes and amazing faces. What’s interesting is that in this region, mounds and mounds of Salvation Army clothes are dropped off from all across the world. We call these fashion thrift shops ‘Ukay Ukay’. As there are no shopping complex in Cordilleras, these Igorots, most of them have never been to a huge city, end up wearing clothes from all over the world. Coats, ties, skirts, boots. Those vintage clothes hipster kids today buy to look “vintage” is basically just, well, clothes to these people. The quirkyness you will observe is not the indigenous trying to be ironic, it’s all they have. The Ukay ukay store is actually a good thing because it makes this amazing region fashionable and much much more interesting. This blog is full of sarcasm, self deprecation, satire, questionable facts, enlightenment, weed, unpretentious writing and plain craziness. But it’s really just a way to practice and share what I love - photography. And to tell you how beautiful my country is. Look at this culture, the Philippines is amazing.

INDIGENOUS HIPSTER MYANMAR EDITION

Hi! I’ve been travelling around Southeast Asia and I haven’t been to the Cordilleras (where my photo project started) for awhile now. I’m currently in Myanmar backpacking. I’m pretty sure you’re aware of how the country has now opened its doors to tourists after decades and decades of being locked by its dictator government. I am hoping to bump into, Aung San Suu Kyi. Anyway, Myanmar’s “closed door”  phase meant that the country has been somewhat “preserved” in some sort of timewarp, one that has yet to be influenced by capitalism or Hollywood. There’s no McDonalds or Starbucks here. No Nike or Addidas logos, at least not in the countryside. Capitalism is on its way but hopefully later rather than sooner. So for now, Myanmar feels like it’s stuck in 60s or 70s or  80s. Personally, I hope it gets stuck there forever.

Here are some photos of Burmese fashion…

As I took portraits of villagers during a pagoda procession this kid went up to me and gestured that she also wants a photo. So cute! Wish I can find her and send her this photo. May be one day she’ll find this site. Inle Lake, Myanmar

As I took portraits of villagers during a pagoda procession this kid went up to me and gestured that she also wants a photo. So cute! Wish I can find her and send her this photo. May be one day she’ll find this site. Inle Lake, Myanmar

Indigenous hipster’s version of man purse. Myanmar

Indigenous hipster’s version of man purse. Myanmar

Indigenous hipster eco-friendly ride of choice — the horse carriage at Bagan, Myanmar

Indigenous hipster eco-friendly ride of choice — the horse carriage at Bagan, Myanmar

Indigenous hipsters’ market outfit includes plaid shirt and an eco bag. Inle Lake, Myanmar

Indigenous hipsters’ market outfit includes plaid shirt and an eco bag. Inle Lake, Myanmar

Bike and blazer - Inle Lake, Myanmar

Bike and blazer - Inle Lake, Myanmar

Print on print at Shwegadon, Pagoda
 

Print on print at Shwegadon, Pagoda