"I was waiting on you to change. Waiting for you to see something different in me. Thought it might spark the idea that you should be mine. Then I went to the water and saw myself moving with the waves. I’m too free & in constant motion, & you try to shape me but somehow I lose form. You could never hold me. & I can’t keep you." #prose #sunblvd #morethanmusic #photography #scenery #chicago #julianrodriguez Shot by @juliantherodriguez I love this guy.

My Manifesto

Hello, my name is Julian Rodriguez.

I enjoy entertaining people.

This is where you’ll find out everything about me. From now on, feel free to follow me and my work online to get my best content at





Here’s a little background. I was born in Manila, Philippines and have a passion for images and experiences. Most, if not all of the work you will see as of now, are from simple tools. A GoPro white edition, a Canon 600d  and few lenses.

To put myself in people’s shoes, to feel what they are experiencing, is what I enjoy doing. After that, my goal is to be able to capture that feeling and be able to present it to an audience, and that is YOU. There are many ways to express oneself which adds to the challenge.

I was always a curious kid. I’d always go places on my own and take photos although I’d never thought much of getting into photography nor film. I always thought I’d end up becoming a priest (long story about my grandmother) or a fireman. I studied in a co-ed Catholic school and played football most of my life. I grew up in an upper-middle class neighborhood in the south of Manila, attended university at the De-La-Salle College of Saint Benilde, in the gritty-city part of town.  Pretty regular life so far. 

 In 2009, I was Kidnapped. On April 15, at around 11:15 pm. I had replaced myself with my sister who was the intended target of 5 masked ex-military men who entered our computer café with pistols and angry voices. With my eyes covered with sunglasses wrapped in packing tape, I was brought 8 hours north of Manila. A huge ransom was asked from my parents who clearly did not have that exorbitant amount of money.  Cut to me in a small, dingy room wearing a black shirt, cargo shorts and my sentimental Sanuk shoes given by my girlfriend then. After 5 days of capture and 3 meals a day of ant-infested leftovers with drinking water that smelled like fish, I gave up. I told God whoever and wherever he may be that if I ended up killing a man to escape, I would be sorry for not being sorry.   You get the point.  With a long metal nail that I pried and shook off the cement wall, I waited quietly in my bed feigning sleep. As fatigue got to me after a few hours of thinking “This is it, holy shit, I’m gonna die”, I started to actually fall asleep.  I then heard a loud tire screech outside the small unfinished-cement house I was put in.  Men shouted at each other, then loud bangs, multiple bangs. Rounds were hitting the outsides of the walls around my room. I woke up, pushed the bed against the door to deter anyone coming in. BANG! The bed was out of the way, the door was wide open and a man with an automatic rifle was pointing down at me telling me to get down on the ground.

There were many instances before that day on April 19th that I had told myself to get out and do something new…anything new. I had always brushed it off, telling myself that I could do it another day. I’d always have time in the future… always.  I was wrong. 

“Let’s go!” The large man in the blue jeans and beige ammo vest shouted. I responded with “My shoes! My shoes!” and stupidly proceeded to crawl to grab my shoes on the other side of the small room. I was snagged out of that house faster than a cheetah with a jetpack. The anti-kidnapping police had found me and shot their way into my room and given me a second lease on life.

On the midnight ride home, the men who fight to live and live to fight told me jokingly that in three years, they would ask me what I did with my life since then.  It’s been 5 years now.

I’ve slept on then-strangers’ couches in Europe, America & Asia. I’ve shot documentaries from little tiny wooden boats inside an underground river to the tops of Manila’s skyscrapers.  I’ve gotten a tattoo with a stick and a grapefruit thorn from the kindest 93 year-old tattoo artist up in the Kalinga Mountains, I’ve filmed 4 seasons for the American TV show Survivor as a glorified crash test dummy, swam like a “merman” with spandex skin, ridden a helicopter to take photos of a casino to show the Philippine president, and most recently, circumnavigated the country of Bermuda for 11 days on a stand-up paddleboard to raise awareness for ocean plastic pollution. I’ve been to the Bermuda triangle. All with my camera.

Now, like a dream come true, I host a sports and adventure show called Gameplan. It’s still pretty new to me. I got the job through a contest to send in a video to the company and introduce myself. I won!  They’ve sent me to do quite some interesting stuff and I’ll be showing you more of it.  The show has such passion for adventure and sports that we’ve matched up quite well.

Being just a regular guy who eats and drinks and plays computer games like anyone else, I can’t believe how just saying yes to yourself can actually take you to places you’d never thought possible.  I’m now taking these experiences and using them to tell you that you can do the same.  You attract what you love but it doesn’t hurt to put a little effort to speed up the process.  

Now, as I sit here in my small, hot apartment in Manila,  I promise you what I can. Whether it be photo, video, through words or brushstrokes, I promise to create meaningful and memorable art with all my passion and experience behind it.  

My name is Julian Rodriguez, at your service.


Watch on santapalabra.tumblr.com

A esta hora cierra #JulianRodriguez la apertura del #FestivalSantaPalabra Mañana seguimos!!!