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INTERVIEW – Bryan Lubis - Dreams in Focus: A Filipino Photographer's Journey in Dubrovnik

Written by  Sep 25, 2023

In the heart of Dubrovnik, a city renowned for its timeless beauty and rich history, one digital creator has found his second home. Hailing from the Philippines, this intrepid photographer and content creator embarked on a remarkable journey to live and work in Dubrovnik, fulfilling a lifelong dream inspired by a popular TV series. Over the course of nearly two years, he has not only captured the city's breath-taking vistas but also embraced its culture and forged meaningful connections with both locals and fellow expatriates. We caught up with Bryan John Lubis to delve into the captivating story of this Filipino adventurer and his unique perspective on life in Dubrovnik.

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Why did you decide to come to live and work in Dubrovnik?

To answer this, I always dreamt of living in Europe ever since I was in high school. We have a TV show from the Philippines, entitled “Make it With You” and it was shot in Dubrovnik, like the Game of Thrones, unfortunately it finished early because of the pandemic, but I told myself one day, I’ll be there. To make this story short, after working in the Middle East, I got the chance to apply for a job here in Croatia, and guess what, it was in Dubrovnik. Being here for almost 2 years has been such a memorable experience. I’m happy seeing my fellow countrymen enjoying this place too. I decided to live here because of its people. I found them really friendly. I have learnt how to count in Croatian and even some basic Croatian words and phrases. So I’m really grateful and thankful to Dubrovnik.

We have all been enjoying your images of Dubrovnik on social media. What would describe your style as and how inspiring was Dubrovnik as a destination? How does it compare to other places you’ve been?

I’m really thankful and grateful that you were able to notice my social media. I always believe that if you are enjoying your passion, success will always follow. I describe my style as a “Lover of Beauty”, everything here in Dubrovnik is magnificent, the smiles of the people always bring sunshine every time. I always get inspired in Dubrovnik because of its beauty and history. By its people also and my experiences that help me to realize that there’s something I can show to everyone. I’m just so lucky and blessed that I’m able to work and live here in Dubrovnik.

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Your messages on your photos are powerful. What are you hoping to convey to your audience and what feedback do you receive?

I hope that my audience believe that it’s always worth taking some risks in our lives. Life sometimes will knock us down but life also teaches us not to give up. I appreciate mostly my friends for cheering me up and their support always motivates me to do better. If it’s powerful, maybe because I always want to say what I feel and what I want to feel. It’s the only way I can express myself and be relatable to other people.

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Do you find it challenging to capture images in Dubrovnik? Firstly, with the light and secondly with the large amount of tourists?

YES! Hahaha. I only use my mobile so it’s really challenging to take a good shot especially when it’s crowded and there is something I would like to take. But whatever the result of my shot, I always put a story on it. I will post it on my social media and putting a perfect song or a caption of it. I believe also, every shot is about perfect timing. It’s just up to you, how are you going to describe it.

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Is it tough to make a living as a digital creator?

It’s always tough for me. I don’t have a large audience and that’s the challenge. I never really expected that I would be working as a digital creator. It just happened, I really wanted to do this because it makes me happy and calm. I hope that my channel will grow soon because my heart is there also and here in Croatia.

Do you prefer Dubrovnik in the summer or outside of the tourist season? And why?

I prefer the summer. I love going to the beaches and meeting lots of people. I’m happy seeing my countrymen visiting Dubrovnik, in that case, it lessens my homesickness for my beloved Philippines.

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Away from photography, what brought you to the south of Croatia? What are the challenges of being a foreigner in the city?

As a Filipino Overseas Worker (OFW) wherever there is an opportunity to work, I will grab it. It may be terrifying or scary specially if you are not familiar with the place. But as I mentioned, it’s always worth taking the risk, and I believe it’s really worth it. It may be tiring, but I pray that everything will fall into place.

Are Croatians really as friendly as tourists say? How tough has it been to make friends here?

Yes! They are approachable and helpful. I’m thankful to my Croatian friends for welcoming me here in Dubrovnik since I started working here. It’s not really tough, they are approachable people. So kudos to my Croatian Friends here.

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Alongside photos you also create YouTube videos in the Philippine language? Do they attract more tourists from the Philippines to Dubrovnik?

I think and I hope that yes. Many Filipinos will send me messages and tell me that they saw my videos from YouTube and plan to visit here. I’m so thankful that they have something from me to learn when they finally visit Dubrovnik. It really touches my heart and I really appreciate them.

And finally how long do you plan to stay? And could Dubrovnik be your new home?

As long as there is an opportunity for me to work here, why not. I’ve been here for almost 2 years and it’s really hard to let go of this place. I gained a lot of experiences in this town and I love Dubrovnik! I’m looking forward to help my fellow Filipinos to work here and be their guide. I’m also looking forward to get my dream job here to become a Barista.

And you can follow Bryan John Lubis via his Instagram and YouTube channels

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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