WATCH: Wow Tapes’ Travel Videos—From Masbate and Beyond

Get a closer look on our collaboration with Wow Tapes from Italy, some LGUs, and the resulting video.

By John Ray Lomugdang
May 23, 2016


It all started with one unassuming post in social media about this video made by a group from Italy about their backpacking journey around the Philippines, which was shot in four months. At first, I thought it was the usual online travel video. In other words, it’s the kind of video that you won’t even bother sharing because you know your 5-year-old nephew can produce something better.

But I was wrong.

This group was something else—their video editing style demonstrated such excellent taste in aesthetics yet grounded enough to showcase real and unpretentious experiences. From a technical standpoint, their transitions, swift pans, and perspectives were refreshing, with color grading that were pleasing to the eyes. After watching their videos, I knew immediately that I need to contact them so I can re-post their work. Everybody needs to see them. And in my opinion, they know exactly how to showcase the Philippines and its destinations with the use of videos. And they do it so darn well.

I sent a message to Simon Gonzaga of The Big Black Backpack, the one who posted the video. I asked him if he could connect me with the creators: Wow Tapes from Rome, led by Fabio Reitano. Originally, I just wanted to ask permission to feature their work. But after a few emails, messages, and some negotiations, we all agreed to do a project together.

Wow Tapes: Philippines from WowTapes on Vimeo.

The Masbate Project
The Masbate Project was originally a collaboration for the Juanderlust project where our winner, Dave Agbayani, along with Jonas Roque of Wandering Weekend Warrior/ Juan Hugot Away, and Pia Bernaldo of the Facebook Page I Love Masbate, will attend Masbate’s annual Rodeo Festival. Coincidently, the local government, led by Vice Governor Kaye Revil, also invited Simon, his friend Lovey, and the Wow Tapes team composed of Fabio and his colleagues Simone Menin and Eli Siddetta to create a tourism video. Since we were all in the same place at the same time, we decided to work together for one week.


The team went around the province, visiting various sites from Halea National Park and Mt. Mayong Payong to Catandayagan Falls. We shot clips of these places at daytime while documenting the festivities of the Rodeo Festival at night. When I joined them at the end of a trip to Ticao and Burias, I witnessed how meticulous and dedicated these guys are–working as early as 5 am and calling it a day at 2 am. Good thing they were well taken cared of by the Masbate Tourism Office.

To reward the team and to add more footages for the video, we went to’s hotel partner in Ticao Island, Altamar Beach Resort, for a one night stay. This was where most of the hyperlapse and time-lapse footages for the video were shot, with the help of the resort’s general manager, Roderick Cortes, who graciously offered the amenities for the whole team. According to Fabio and Simone, the experience at Altamar Beach Resort was one of the highlights of the shoot, and the resort was “super” and the most comfortable place they stayed at in Masbate. It was also the perfect setting for the whole team to unwind with scenic views of Mt. Bulusan and Mt. Mayon inspiring us.


The next day, we headed to Animasola and Sombrero Islands in Burias, located at the far northern part of the province, which is around four hours away by boat from Altamar Beach Resort. This leg of the trip tested the endurance of the whole team, especially the Italians. We recorded some footages while going through another bumpy six-hour boat ride back to Masbate City. Totally, we spent around 10 hours on the boat and an additional one and a half hours in both locations.

The resulting video below justifies all the hard work and sacrifices of the whole team in Masbate. Wow Tapes in particular also showed their dedication by completing the video in six days—“rushed” as Fabio described it. I could only imagine how much more amazing the video would be if the prolific but humble director had more time to work on it.

Wow Tapes: Masbate from WowTapes on Vimeo.

What Lies Ahead
Our friends from Italy, who fell in love with the Philippines, remind us that nothing but great things are in store for our tourism industry. I hope their creations attract more international tourists to the Philippines and inspire more Filipinos to appreciate their country better. Coupled with a group of enthusiastic individuals around them and their serious work ethic, Wow Tapes will make it big soon, and I have no doubt about it. I also have no doubt that posting that comment on their first video to get in touch with them was one of the best business decisions I’ve made.

They may not realize it yet, but Wow Tapes is slowly setting the standard and changing the dynamics in producing travel videos, especially for this social media-crazy country that constantly craves for inspiration and recognition. There will be more videos from them in the coming months, and we are proud to support them along with our partners.

And if they exceed expectations, it’s just appropriate for a bunch of dedicated people who started shooting videos just for fun—and what a better place to do it than the Philippines.