A world by the water  

A world by the water

Photography by Chris Colls

Amanpulo, Philippines



Just over an hour’s flight from Manila, Amanpulo appears as if from nowhere, a stretch of white sand breaking through the wash of blue. Waking from a gentle, propellor-induced slumber, guests land on the island’s very own private air strip – blissfully marooned for as long as they choose to stay. Home for the days ahead.  

Photographer Chris Colls and his partner and muse, Alexandra Agoston continue their journey across the Aman globe here on Palawan’s secluded shores, capturing a place of sheer, wild beauty found in its rawest form. Where casitas hide under lush jungle canopies and sandy tracks lead to deserted coves.   


Amanpulo opened in 1993, a small coconut plantation shaped into one of the world’s most idyllic retreats by visionary Filipino architect, the late Francisco Mañosa. An architectural archetype, sensitively manifested in the Philippines' ancient and foundational customs, Mañosa’s use of indigenous materials such as coconut, bamboo and cane lend effortlessly to the all-natural appeal.  


Three decades later, the resort – a series of standalone pavilions and casitas linked by winding pathways – is not only a sanctuary for its guests, but for the species that thrive in its surrounds - alive with varieties of jungle, corals and ocean life. Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles nest on the island’s shores and lull beneath the waves. Hibiscus flowers scent the air and Monitor lizards take their daily steps across the sand. This long-standing relationship between Amanpulo and its environment touches all those who visit, leaving them mesmerised and in awe. 


“There’s a sensory spectacle to the powder-soft sands. The azure water. The coral reef. It’s easy to be inspired by what surrounds - the definition of paradise found.” 


“Of all the Amans we’ve visited, Amanpulo is where nature is found in its purest form allowing the environment to take centre stage.” 


“There are times when it feels like you are the only guests on the island. Each day we found a new stretch of sand to call our own and were able to write our own story.”


New York based fashion photographer, Chris Colls, developed his creative expression through his interest in photography, art, and architecture which he continues to pursue with a relentless passion. Chris’ imagery and artistic vision have contributed to internationally renowned fashion publications such as Interview Magazine & Vogue. He works with many established luxury brands, and his celebrity collaborations includes actors, musicians and models from across the globe.   

Australian born model and artist, Alexandra Agoston, has graced the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. After being scouted walking down the streets of Paris, Alexandra made her runway debut for Christian Dior by John Galliano. She has since worked alongside some of the industry's most respected creatives, as the muse of Jean Paul Gaultier and Comme des Garçon. Alexandra is an ambassador for Parley, an organization taking action to protect our oceans. 

Chris and Alexandra split their time between New York and Paris.