Welcome to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Igorota

Now Blogging from the Philippines, Cambodia, New Jersey, Austria, Ireland, Spain, the United Arab Emirates & Maryland!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

meet the igorota-toting sisters, part 1

Meet the globe-trotting girls who go the distance with Mr. Igorot and Miss Igorota (or for brevity’s sake, Mr. & Miss Iggy). The sisterhood is growing, and so is the dolls’ itinerary! These wonderful women share a passion for travel and a snapshot-ready attitude. Together, they see the world through the eyes of their adopted travel buddies, making it possible for Mr. & Ms. Iggy to be the doll ambassadors of good will and travel thrills. Here are the fearless & fun-loving Filipinas who have taken on the challenge of transporting Mr. & Ms. Iggy from Strawberry Farm to different places and have them “Say Cheese!” (well, not literally)

Presenting, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Igorota:

Fortuitous Faery/Conniechiwa:travels with "Jersey Iggy."
this jersey girl is married to her 7.2-megapixel digital camera and almost never leaves home without it. she believes there's no such thing as too much picture-taking. she believes she is the megapixel fairy with a memory stick wand.

Princess Ody: travels with "Euro Iggy"/"Vienna Vixen Iggy."
I am just your ordinary average-everyday-sane-psycho Supergoddess.

Sailormoon: travels with Mr. Igorot/Mr. Iggy/"Makati Maven Iggy."

Interview with the Sisters

Hi! Where are you originally from?
Fortuitous Faery: Capiz: the Seafood Capital of the Philippines. It’s also known for something else, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s all been hearsay. You know, the stuff of fairytales and folklore. I grew up and studied in Manila.

Princess Ody: I was born and raised in Austria and spent the first 12 years of my life there. Years 12 to 23 were spent in the Philippines. I'm pure Pinoy and pure Batangueña.

Sailormoon: Tacloban City, Philippines.

Where do you live now?
Fortuitous Faery: New Jersey: the "Garden State". Migrated here with my family in 1998. Went back and forth between the Philippines and Jersey while still in school.

Princess Ody: I've been living in Vienna, Austria since June 2007.

Sailormoon: Makati City, Philippines.

How did you become part of the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Igorota”?
Fortuitous Faery: The story of how I acquired the doll is here. Inspiration struck me when I visited Quiapo Church in Manila. The doll was in my purse, and so was my camera. When I took that first photo, I told Gingmaganda that the doll was going places with me. Gingmaganda was supportive of the idea, and she was my first co-blogger. The rest is history.

Princess Ody: Gingmaganda asked if she could send me the igorota doll and if I could contribute to the project. I immediately said yes.

Sailormoon: Hmmm...I got asked by Conniechiwa and Gingmaganda.

Why did you decide to join this blog? (Any coercions, bribes, threats?)
Fortuitous Faery: I created the blog for Miss Iggy, so naturally, I’m the first to join.

Princess Ody: Miss Iggy was too charming to resist!

Sailormoon: Definitely by coercion and undue influence. :P

Have you ever traveled/do you travel with a toy/doll/object other than Miss/Mr. Iggy?
Fortuitous Faery: Back in the Philippines, our van had a little plastic Korean figurine with a suction cup so she was meant to be stuck on the dashboard. Her name was Cong-Cong, she stood on a swing like a parrot. She went everywhere the van went. We brought her with us to New Jersey to live in our new van, and she’s traveled to as far as Canada up north and as far down south as Florida (where I’ve never been!). But I’ve also featured a tiny Happy Meal toy from Build-a-Bear in my blog when I traveled to Lake George in upstate New York. She was a bunny named Pawlette Coufur. That was the only place she’s been.

Princess Ody: I used to travel with a nice little teddy bear named James Blund.

Sailormoon: Yes. Before, I used to have a small stuffed bear. Now, I have a baby giraffe & Mr. Iggy as travel companions.

Do your family and friends know that you blog for an igorota doll?
Fortuitous Faery: Family: yes. My sister is the anti-Miss Iggy. But she’s gotten used to her. Friends: some!

Princess Ody: My family probably doesn't, but my friends sure do!

Sailormoon: Some of them do.

Has anyone told you you’re crazy for taking photos of a doll in public places?
Fortuitous Faery: They don’t exactly use the word “crazy,” but the chuckles, shocked expressions and eyeball-rolling are equivalent to it. Some have accused me of practicing voodoo. Hey, I figured life is short, and you have to be a little crazy when creating art. Yes, travel photography in blog format is an art—and when you use a doll as a subject, that’s taking it to another level. I’ve seen crazier things in New York City, and Metro Manila for that matter. Art is about risking being ridiculed, but it’s also about doing something that’s fun, something you believe in, and it's cathartic. I’ve been told by an aunt that I probably will never get married and that Miss Iggy (they call her “Ang Manika”) is my daughter. I told her that I’m already married…to my digital camera. Haha.

Princess Ody:No, but if I could read their thought bubbles "crazy" is probably written all over them! And if ever they would tell me I'm crazy, I just play the tourist card! My human travel buddies are quite amused. They love Miss Iggy!

Sailormoon: Yes.

Have you ever been to Baguio City or anywhere else in Benguet Province? If yes, what’s your favorite thing about Baguio/Benguet?
Fortuitous Faery: Baguio City, a lot of times especially as a young teen. It was the ultimate road trip for us. There’s so much I love about the City of Pines, such as the long and winding roads leading there, the nippy, pine-scented air, the fresh vegetables you can buy by the bagfuls, the flowers you won’t see in Manila, peanut brittle, strawberry-everything…I can go on and on!

Princess Ody: I've been to Baguio once. I loved the cool air, the nice people, the smell of the pine trees, and choco flakes!

Sailormoon: Yes, I've been to Baguio. Other than the cool weather, I love their ube jam, peanut brittles and of course the s-t-r-a-w-b-e-r-r-i-e-s!

What kind of camera(s) do you use to photograph Mr./Ms. Iggy?
Fortuitous Faery: It’s a Sony Cybershot DSC-P200 7.2-megapixel camera. Sometimes I borrow my sister’s Sony Cybershot 5-megapixel camera, when she’s not looking.

Princess Ody: I use a Sony Cybershot W80.

Sailormoon: Usually my cameraphone...kase mas madalas ko siyang bitbit (because I carry it often).

So far, where have you traveled with Miss/Mr. Iggy?
Fortuitous Faery: In the Philippines: Metro Manila, Rizal, South Cotabato. In the United States: New Jersey, New York, Detroit (airport), Massachusetts, North Carolina (airport), Pennsylvania and Texas. Elsewhere: South Korea on a layover.

Princess Ody: Ms. Iggy and I have been to Thessaloniki (Greece), Gelnhausen and Frankfurt (Germany) and of course the streets of Vienna.

Sailormoon: I take Mr. Iggy wherever I go. Usually to work on weekdays & out of town on weekends. Lately, we went to Baguio City to visit his relatives and friends there.

What dream destination(s) would you like to visit with Ms./Mr. Iggy?
Fortuitous Faery: Where do I begin? Mostly Europe…like Prague, Ireland, Italy. But more feasibly, I’d like to take her to the West Coast, such as California—San Francisco, especially. In Asia: China to see the Great Wall and the Bird’s Nest, and Cambodia to walk where Lara Croft did, and also to reunite with her sister there who lives with Sreisaat in Phnom Penh. Oooh, and New Zealand, to roam the land of hobbits! But I should really start with the rest of the Philippines!

Princess Ody: Hmmm...for urban adventures, Miss Iggy and I would loooove to visit Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid and Barcelona. For island getaways, Phuket and our very own Philippine islands.

Sailormoon: Hmm...I want Mr. Iggy & me to explore the Philippine Islands muna, then I want us to go to beautiful places in Europe!

What’s the hardest part of traveling with your doll(s)?
Fortuitous Faery: Trying to stay “incognito” when photographing her in public places. Also, getting the perfect shot in just two attempts. I still haven’t photographed her by the New York Times Building (the first thing anyone sees when they alight from the Port Authority bus terminal in NYC) because the perfect spot is right by the taxi queue! One of these days, she WILL have her photo there! Haha!

Princess Ody: Nothing really! ;)

Sailormoon: Ayoko siya madumihan. (I don't want him to get dirty)

What travel souvenirs do you take home from a trip?
Fortuitous Faery: First and foremost: photos! You can take as much as you want and as much as your memory stick can handle. I used to be a souvenir junkie with fridge magnets, keychains, shirts. Now, it’s mostly just postcards, a mug and maybe a local food product (like the hot pepper paste I bought from Korea). When on a plane, I keep the inflight magazines. Oh, and something I started collecting lately: Christmas ornaments featuring the place I visited. I had a lot just by visiting different cities in Texas. Oh, and pressed pennies! I guess I'm still a souvenir junkie.

Princess Ody: Small snowglobes! For places that don't have snow or don't sell snowglobes (like Bratislava), I buy little glass things. And plates for my mom.

Sailormoon: Pictures, food, unusual stuff...

What do you like most about where you live?
Fortuitous Faery: The fact that I experience the four seasons, that I’m only a bus ride away from the Big Apple, and that there’s no sales tax on clothing and shoes unlike in other states.

Princess Ody: The public transportation is so well-connected, one can survive without a car! It also has a nice mix of the old world and modern times.

Sailormoon: Other than the people & the beach, it's definitely the food (i love seafoods!) .

If your Igorot/Igorota doll(s) could talk, what do you think would it say?
Fortuitous Faery: She would sing, “I started a blog…which started the whole world trav’ling” (with all due respect to the BeeGees) Other than that, it’s mostly “Where will you take me next?”

Princess Ody: "Ilabas mo ako sa bag mo!" (Get me out of your bag!)

Sailormoon: That there's too much to do and too many places to visit!

What travel tip would you like to share with us?
Fortuitous Faery: Research a place before going, so that you know which attractions to visit and recognize what you’re looking at and not miss a thing. If the place has a public transport system such as a subway, study the map, the stops, and connecting lines that will take you to your destination(s). Know where the tourist information centers are so you can get free maps and even discount coupons to some attractions. Check the weather forecast in advance so you know what type of clothing and accessories to bring. Pack clothing that you can easily mix and match, and as much as possible, choose the ones that aren’t too bulky. Do I sound like a mom already? Haha. Try to eat the local delicacy, like say, fish and chips in London. Don’t make it look too obvious that you’re a tourist (ergo, I don’t have those big DSLR cameras although I do want one), guard your travel documents with your life…and of course, don’t forget your camera, and by Jove, have fun!

Princess Ody:

- Wear comfortable, but photogenic shoes.

- When traveling in summer or to a warm country, bring a light jacket/cardigan or a pashmina in case sleeveless shirts and/or shorts are not allowed inside some establishments (like churches, for instance).

Sailormoon: Try to travel alone - it's definitely fun!

Thank you, ladies!


doi said...

I enjoyed reading the post. Very informative and I can just imagine how you each try to capture photos of Mr. & Ms. Iggy. Thanks for sharing your story. I can't wait to read more!

roentarre said...

This is a special edition for sure. I love your photos in this post :)

the donG said...

this is really cool. i get to know more the people behind ms iggy and mr iggy.

faery, we're using an almost the same camera. they both belong to the d-series.

good luck on the three of you. keep the pictures coming. i think it's not crazy taking photos of dolls on travels, in fact i enjoy travelocity's icon as well, which is usually featured on magazines.

fortuitous faery said...

doi, roentarre & dong: thank you!

dong: you mean travelocity's traveling gnome? not sure if they copied the idea from the movie "amelie" or if they came up with it first. but i think some of travelocity's ads may be photoshopped.

i do like their slogan, "with travelocity, you'll never roam alone!" hehe.

the donG said...

yes travelocity's gnome. i think travelocity used it first but im not that sure. i too first saw it in the movie amelie. i too like that slogan.

Marites said...

that's so cool! i find having an igorota doll travelling with you all:) Faery, we have the same cam and yes, i also would love to have a DSLR someday.

dinadelias said...

hi! being a native of Baguio and an avid traveler i am very much taken by your posts! i love reading them.

kudos to the sisterhood!

louann said...

I'm glad to have across your blog thru AL's blog. Upon seeing your blog name, I thought you were natives of the Cordillera's. I'm from Baguio and I enjoy reading your blog.

fortuitous faery said...

thanks for visiting, louann! i'm pleased to inform you that one of us is a native igorota! :)

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