(If you’re the formal type, you can checkout my resume instead)
I was born Daniel Karlo de Leon on October of 1980 in Manila. Aside from being a martial law baby, I am also a storyteller, traveler, travel photographer, multimedia consultant, tourism media consultant, teacher, trainer. Knowing who I am is important to me. I am convinced that I exist to tell stories that can change the world, in big or small ways. I also believe that God loves me. Like I always say, Jesus makes me fat.
I have loved art and storytelling since kindergarten as I carried crayons and a point 2 pencil as part of my daily gear. Drawing pads are my best friend. All my notebooks had doodles on them. Textbooks and paperbacks were very important to me as they were perfect for flip book animation. I play the guitar, both electric and acoustic, and like writing songs. I used to think I could be a rockstar. I still do.
Before the betamax came to extinction, I made my first movie documentary that ran for 30 minutes for a history project. It involved a lot of claymation action. I drew comic books as a hobby when i was 16. About the same age, I was an editorial cartoonist for our school paper during high school. It was very helpful when I wanted to cut classes or make enemies. I only stopped watching cartoons at a regular basis when I was in college – I still think that was a bad idea.
I failed the UP Fine Arts Admissions talent test. I thought I could never be an artist until I found photography for the first time in 2004. I resigned from my job in 2006 to become a travel photographer. I’ve sold quite a lot of fine-art photography prints, been published quite often, and even taught photography at the School of Design and Arts of the de La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. I currently teach advanced photography classes at the Photoworks Academy. I have been conducting workshops on photography since 2007 for organizations, corporations, private and public groups, NGO’s and the academe.
Although I carry a business degree from the the University of the Philippines, I don’t remember using any of the ideas I learned although I probably have. Emotional experience is still the best teacher. My first job was a tech support rep for a contact center corporation – and yes, at that time, it was really all about the money. I was bored on the third day of the job and decided to take a step into something more meaningful -technical training, research, and development which I was able to shift into after a few months. I have been doing consulting work on training and development, multimedia promotions, tourism media, and customer service. I’ve been in the industry since 2003.
I travel a lot. In fact, sometimes I feel I travel too much. But the experiences of traveling has kept me passionate about looking forward to the next cultural experience. I find it better than getting a PHD.
Juggling travel, consulting, and photography jobs is good enough to keep me sane.
After 7 years of working, I have decided to take up photojournalism, and get a master’s degree in development communication. With that and my career pursuit in film directing, I am hoping to use what I know to promote responsible travel, fair trade, and sustainable local tourism. Hopefully I can create movies that strongly promote cultural identity.
I wish that in some way, I too can change the world. I still dream of being a rockstar though.