Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, junior Andrea Liamzon thrives on adventure. A foreign languages and art history double major, Liamzon has visited 22 countries (and lived in five) in her quest to explore other intellects, roam other lands, and learn about the world.
Growing up, Liamzon's interests changed drastically, but her exploration eventually led her to art. Through tinkering with computers, she discovered that what she truly loved was to express herself through art, poetry, and design.
Liamzon said: I started playing around with digital design when I was 12. I kept on using others' photos then realizing that I should be using my own. I have loved it ever since.
She took this picture at Festival of the Black Nazarene at Quiapo Church: The festival attracts millions of people coming in the wee hours of the morning. I came at 3 took this shot of a man posing like Jesus. In the background is a national broadcasting network documenting the event, and in the foreground a man taking a photo from his cell phone. I love the contrast, small scale, big scale. A little irreverent, with the image of the Black Nazarene on the floor.
Fueled by her passion for art, Liamzon dreamed of attending an art school in another country. Despite her high hopes, the state of the Philippine economy made it impossible for her parents to support her anywhere else but at home. After reconciling her dream with the economic reality, a scholarship opportunity appeared and changed everything. After a grueling selection process, she received a United World College (UWC) scholarship to Lester B. Pearson College in British Columbia, Canada.
Of her UWC experience, she said: It has allowed me to come to terms with my own adventurous spirit. I have swum with Philippine whale sharks, hiked the Pacific Coast trail of British Columbia, and bungee-jumped in Costa Rica. I have talked to Burmese and Sudanese refugees and to an Iraqi who witnessed the War on Terror.
For her next adventure, Liamzon searched for a college with a small, welcoming environment where she could explore her options, voice her views without fear, and share her culture and what she learned at Pearson.
Lewis & Clark fit all her criteria, and with the support of a Davis UWC scholarship offered by Lewis & Clark and the Shelby Davis family, she joined the Lewis & Clark community in the fall of 2006.
Liamzon says the aid she has received from scholarships and fellowships has supported her international education and exploration. Liamzon credits her Pamplin Society Fellowship with helping her afford books and other expenses. She also said: I do a lot of saving to travel, but I also often couchsurf and stay at houses of all the friends I've made over the past four years.
Since coming to Lewis & Clark, Liamzon has focused her studies on art history and foreign languages. Fluent in Tagalog and English, she also speaks conversational Russian and Spanish.
Liamzon studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia during the fall of 2007 and is currently studying abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador.
Of her current trip, she said: The overseas program in Ecuador is a culture studies program, which means that we are not only learning Spanish but also anthropology, ecology, and salsa.
Liamzon said: I consider myself a Global Nomad. I feel that, through studying and traveling, I have begun to see things that I wouldn't have had been able to before.
Documenting all the places she's seen and people she's met in her travels, Liamzon creates photo galleries on her website that are devoted to each destination.
Liamzon captured this photo while in China in 2006: This shot is a watermelon vendor, just before he is confronted by a mad man on the street.
She says that she is still puzzled as to how all of her interests will coalesce in the future. She would like to help her country rise from the difficulties it has gone through over the past years, potentially working for Philippine tourism in the future.
As for other career aspirations, Liamzon is interested in curating a museum, increasing diplomatic ties with Spain or Russia, or working for National Geographic.
Liamzon said: What I most like about photography is the fact that the person taking the photo has to be present to take it. If we can be moved in powerful ways by images of the earth and people, imagine how invigorating it is to actually be there!
Though she is not sure yet exactly what profession she will end up in, Liamzon says that what she truly wants is simple. She wants people to see what she sees and feel what she feels when she views the world in utter amazement: I want to make a difference--big or small--that will somehow make the world a better place to live in and a better place overall.
For many Lewis & Clark students, moving to Portland, Oregon is just one more stop on a lifelong international journey. With one of the country’s most robust programs for Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Global Nomads, Lewis & Clark takes pride in its commitment to international students. Today, approximately 120 international students from six continents and more than 44 countries study on campus.
Bringing unique international perspectives into the classroom, student groups, and the larger campus community, TCKs and Global Nomads expand and energize the college’s global awareness.
To document their experiences and share their views of the world, junior Andrea Liamzon and first-year student Remy Neymarc have harnessed their passion for photography to stunning results.
Neymarc, who was born in Chicago and grew up outside of Paris, shares his story and some of his favorite images in the following video slideshow.
Born in Manila, Philippines, Liamzon has visited 22 countries. In the accompanying slideshow, she shares the journey that brought her to Lewis & Clark and offers some the most memorable photos she’s taken along the way.