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Explora Movers 2: Millennials pushing Filipino culture forward Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.
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Explora Co-Founder Perry Sumakote at the second Movers meetup. Photo by Mike Aquino.

Being out there sharing our advocacy is no joke. It takes a lot of commitment, drive, and most of all, guts. When clouded with fear, we don’t even know whether it’s going to work or not. But when we do make up our mind, it’s all or nothing. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. What matters is we pursue our dreams. Before we know it, things just fall right in place, all at the right time.


In our August meetup at Explora Movers, we invited three brilliant minds who are deliberate in pursuing their passion projects in the tourism industry. Explora Movers are people who are fearless in making concrete, positive changes in their chosen communities, whether it is by conserving heritage sites, protecting natural attractions, or empowering locals through ecotours and immersions.


About thirty people attended the event, an informal gathering over beers, pancit, barbeque, and sweet treats. This was held at Explora HQ in KMC Solutions, Sheridan Rockwell Ortigas. The gathering was a continuation of our last discussion about solo travels, food trips, and experience economics. This time, it’s all about pushing Filipino culture forward. Interestingly, our Movers for the night were just in their twenties!

The Movers

Ellie de Castro

Independent and lively Ellie de Castro is an archaeologist-in-training and a National Geographic Young Explorer. In her talk, she shared her experience about excavating artifacts in El Nido, Palawan. This includes a 9,000-year-old cremation burial, the oldest in Southeast Asia. She’s setting up a museum alongside the cave site as well as inspiring the youth to protect the cave, conserve its heritage, and make ecotourism work.

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Ellie de Castro (in orange shoes) and her friends wearing Ikat weaves.

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National Geographic Young Explorer Ellie de Castro at the Movers meetup. Photo by Mark Aquino.

Lorenzo Vega and Jaime Recto

Forward-looking Lorenzo Vega is the visionary behind the award-winning Siklesa, a kalesa-inspired, motor-drawn carriage designed with its signature banig. Sourced from Samar, the handwoven banig represents each unique sub-culture in the Philippine Islands. During his talk, Lorenzo along with designer-architect Jaime Recto presented the beautiful vehicle as an ingenious mode of transport to rediscover the Philippines.

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Siklesa inventor Lorenzo Vega (in gray) and Explora Co-Founder Perry Sumakote.

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Architect Jaime Recto and entrepreneur Lorenzo Vega of Siklesa at the Movers meetup. Photo by Mike Aquino.

Bernard Joseph Guerrero

Fiery and engaging Bernard Joseph Guerrero is a culture writer and one of the leading authorities on the heritage of Paoay, Ilocos Norte. Since 2011, he’s gone around the Philippines delivering lectures and workshops on sustainable tourism, heritage management, and tourism mapping. In his talk, BJ discussed about our generation’s heritage amnesia and how he’s combating this by engaging visitors through his tours Paoay Trilogy, The BJ Experience.

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BJ Guererro and his guests in Paoay.

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Heritage warrior and culture writer Bernard Joseph Guerrero at the Movers meetup. Photo by Mike Aquino.

More Photos

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The informal gathering at Explora Movers.

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Explora Co-Founder Perry Sumakote (in blue) with Dominic Samoisette, Dr. Imee Rajagukguk, and DOT-NCR Regional Director Woodrow Maquiling, Jr.

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Explora Co-Founder JR Felipe (in long sleeves) with Jennifer Angeles (in red) and Ellie de Castro.

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Charles de Jesus and Ina Bacud.

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Writer and photographer Mike Aquino.

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Explora Movers Jaime Recto and Lorenzo Vega of Siklesa.

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Explora Mover Michelle Yu (middle) with sister Kimberly Yu and writer Marty Arnaldo.

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Explora Co-Founder and CEO JR Felipe.

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Robbie Savares and Brian Kevin.

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Explora's Chief Writer Michelle Tobias (middle) with writers Marty Arnaldo, Mike Aquino, and Louise de Luna.

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Explora's web developers Clinton Bugtong and Michael Escueta and graphic artist Noodle Donato.

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Alice San Diego and Trixie Ablan.

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Explora's Core Team with the second batch of Movers.

About Explora Movers

Explora Movers is a group of passionate individuals interested in exchanging ideas about Philippine travel, sustainable tourism, and tourism-based local businesses. Members from different sectors come together to inspire each other through talks and discussions and seek other like-minded people to collaborate with to boost one’s business, organization, or personal advocacy. Read more.

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