Where I do it

I am currently based just north of Manila, in Angeles City, Pampanga, Luzon but I am always very happy to travel.

I have travelled to nearly fifty countries, lived and worked in ten of them. Having found myself in many interesting situations, I would like to think that I can usually find the best way forward when faced with most challenges.

Just in case the above snapshot has you scratching your head, it was taken in Syria in slightly happier times. I say 'slightly', because it was taken in 2005, shortly after the bombings in London. I was greeted at the road border by a man who, as seems to happen so often, emerged from the crowds of officials and helped me. On seeing my passport, he gave a speech which still has me reacting emotionally these several years later. The speech was basically him saying how sorry he was for what had happened in London, how his very aged mother had read the newspaper and felt the same, and how they both hoped that no one thought this was anything to do with Syria or Syrians. The couple of weeks I spent in the country proved this was likely to be true. The photograph is of the ruling family of the country depicted on the side of oil tanks. The Assads have ruled the country for more than 40 years.

Richard Messenger - photomessenger