Jacob Maentz

Nationality: American.

Occupation/Location: Professional Photographer/Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

How did you find about the Philippines?

I originally came to the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2003. I was fortunate enough to have had a wonderful experience during my volunteering time in Puerto Princessa, Palawan and repeatedly found myself coming back to the Philippines after my service was complete.

What Philippine locations have you visited?

I have been able to visit a lot of locations around Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. Although, in the past couple of years most of my travels have been around the Visayas. Living in Cebu makes it easy to get out to surrounding islands.

What are your opinions on the following things about the Philippines?


Beautiful beaches and tropical get-a-ways.


I enjoy trying all the different types of food I come across. I really like the street fish tempora and lechon kawali.


Asian culture is very different than most western cultures. I find the emphasis Filipinos place on their families to be one of the strengths here regarding culture. I also enjoy all the fiestas.


Filipinos are some of the nicest and most hospitable people I have come across. Not only will Filipinos go out of their way to make you comfortable, but they are always very happy and bring good energy to any environment. I recently had a friend visit me from Russia who is also a photographer. He asked me when he first arrived if I thought it would be ok to approach people on the streets here and ask to take their photographs. I told him it wouldn’t be a problem and that most people would happily smile for the camera. When he finally went out shooting he couldn’t believe how easy it was to approach people. Children would even come up to him and ask to have their pictures taken. He was amazed because in Russia it is very hard to approach people and ask to take their picture, let alone get a smile.

What do you dislike about the Philippines?

Politics, hot and humid weather.

What do you like about the Philippines?

The people, beaches and laid-back atmosphere to name a few.

Your favorite place/s in the Philippines.

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