I love photographing people.  Every person has a story to tell and sometimes the simplest movements--the twitch of an eye, the sway of the hips, a lopsided grin--can speak a thousand words.

In my line of work, I've been lucky enough to have met people from different walks of life.  It was back in the early 2000's that I was in the field or in an out of town coverage more often.  Too bad, I wasn't yet that much of a shutterbug then and digital and phone cameras were still a rarity.  Luckily, later on, I never left for a shoot without a camera in tow and was able to capture the faces of some of the most interesting people I've met.

And I would like to share some of their stories with you.

October 2011.  An old woman preparing to play the guitar for an Aeta ritual dance at the Pastolan Village in Subic.

October 2011.  The Aetas of Pastolan Village.
For years, they have struggled to claim ownership of their ancestral land in Subic.  Finally, on September 2011, they were granted the title to 4,200 hectares of land from Bataan to Subic through exhaustive efforts and talks between the National Commission on Indigenous People and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

October 2011.  The children of Pastolan.

October 2011.  The same Aeta boys amusing each other while waiting for their parents.

October 2009.  A Meralco lineman.
The moment the skies cleared after Typhoon Ondoy devastated Metro Manila in 2009, the linemen of Meralco sprung into action, working double time to restore the electricity in the affected areas.

July 2010.  Lawrence Chan.
Lawrence is a stamp collector who conducts walking tours using stamps as his map.  His advocacy:  to revive the art of philately while re-awakening the Filipno's interest in the history of Manila   (Read my entry about him here.)

June 2011.  Villagers of Botolan, Zambales.
When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, thousands of people were displaced.  After the eruption and the lahar subsided, some were able to return to their original homes.  But most of them had to build new homes in resettlement areas like this one in Botolan, Zambales.

June 2011.  One of the villagers recounting how they survived the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

May 2009.  Inday Dyaryo.
Meet, Inday Dyaryo (Miss Newspaper), a mother who supports her family by selling newspapers every morning.  Inday Dyaryo never finished her studies--a path she doesn't want her children to take.  So with every bit of energy that she has, she took every odd job she could find in order to send them to school, including selling newspapers. It was her customers who affectionately nicknamed her as Inday Dyaryo. 

(Photo taken by my old Motorola RAZR V3.)

September 2006.  Poks, the one-legged surfer.
Poks is a surfing icon in La Union.  When I first met him, Poks was just a simple local 
overcoming his disability.  Years later, I would meet him again, but this time, he would be 
in a Billabong sponsored surfing attire with a more confident disposition.
(Photo taken using my now-kaput  Canon Ixus)

November 2006.  The Aeta children of Mabalacat, Pampanga.
It takes about an hour's walk and  three hours worth of climb to reach the remote village
of  Haduan atop the mountains of Mabalacat.  These children, who are rarely the recipient of help,
struggle to finish their studies sans the uniform and sufficient school supplies.

(Photo taken using my now-kaput  Canon Ixus)
November 2006.  Another child of the Haduan Village. (Photo taken using my now-kaput  Canon Ixus)

What I'll be doing in the next few years, I am yet to figure out.  But, if I'm lucky, I'll get to meet more people, be allowed to take a glimpse at their lives, and learn a thing or two from their stories.

With the Aetas of the Haduan Village in Mabalacat, Pampanga.  (Photo taken by Dhes Handumon)


  1. Iloveurshots, definitely! Wud u mind if I ask ur cam? Esp the B&W shot, so nice! I wanna go project like this one someday.. Dream ko din to eh. Sana lang makabili ng magandang lens...

    1. Thanks, Mitch! Currently, I'm using a Nikon D60 (a model which I think is phased out already hehe), alternating between my kit lens and a 35mm prime lens. But some of the pictures here were also taken with my then Canon point-and-shoot and camera phone :)

      Go go go! Photography projects are always a nice outlet. I would love to see more of your shots too!

  2. So beautiful and heartfelt - love your images.

    1. Thanks, Helen! It's because the subjects are really beautiful :)

  3. these are just stunning! so glad you knocked at my blog! ;oD i simply adore the capture of the two little boys giggling!

    happy travels!!

    1. Thanks for dropping by! It's one of my favorites too :) It's like it's a worry-free world!

  4. Lovely shots! I like viewing profile shots but I don't have much of a knack for it. I'm more on landscapes and stills. =)

    1. Thank you, Tin! Now taking photos of stills, that's something I have to learn :)

  5. These are all winning photos. The stories behind them are heartfelt. This is an inspiring post. This is what I want to focus on too the next time I go out of town. Just like you, I love photographing people.

  6. People are the most interesting subjects, don't you agree? Take one person and you can capture a myriad of stories :)

  7. great portraits! thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment...
    you really captured the people at the right moment!
    sunny greetings+hope you visit Europe very soon:-)


Other stories you might be interested in: