Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Children on the Road

I've met quite a bunch of interesting people while going around the Philippines  –  people I've become friends with, people I've learned lessons from, people who had left an impact in my life. But my favorite will always be my encounters with children while on the road. The fleeting moment when I see them in their most natural demeanor,  the time I start engaging then on a small talk, the time they start romancing my camera,  and finally the sad and quick goodbyes. From these short meet ups, they would usually leave behind profound and very heart-warming photos – the kind of travel photos that never fail to make me smile whenever I do a trip down memory lane.  

Here are some of my personal favorite raw and unedited photos. Go on, look,  read, and smile (or weep) with me. 

Palumbanes Island, Catanduanes, 2010. This photo was taken while I was doing a volunteer work in  Palumbanes Island, a small island  located in the northernmost part of Catanduanes. We were distributing school supplies and seedlings for the children at the school when I noticed these bunch of beautiful kids pensively looking on at the goods we were giving away. I later on learned that they were not in school yet so they could not have what we were distributing that day. But their hearts could not be easily downed. They still showed me the most gracious smiles I have ever seen.

Masbate City, 2012. Saw these school children practicing what appeared to me as a dance prod. They reminded me so much of my grade school days -- the easy-breezy-eight-to-five  life.

Isabela City, Basilan, 2012.  In my visit to this notorious province, I was warned not  to tout my camera to just anyone. But whenever I see interesting stuff like this, I do not mind flashing off my cam and breaking the conventions. This is a human interest photo  that breaks whatever notoriety this province is plagued with.  Amidst poverty and war, there is  compassion, kindness and love.  And yes, there is brotherhood, too. 

Boracay Island, Aklan, 2010. This charming little girl was building a sand castle  along the White Beach when I approached her to say hello. She didn't say a word. She just smiled.  

Banaue, Ifugao, 2011. While basking in the September sun, with the magnificent  rice terraces on the background, I met these two youngsters  going for an early morning stroll. 

Bato, Catanduanes, 2011. There's something about young Filipinos that are bold and engaging, infectious and happy. While I was busy taking photos of  Maribina Falls, I heard a faint call from the downstream "ate, ate picture man." It was an easy seduction to immortalize their  merriment. I was just too happy to oblige. 

Cebu City, 2010. While everyone was engaged in capturing a good take-home photo of  the Magellan's Cross, I  spent a good deal of time with these sibs. They are just two of the many street children who beg alms in places where most tourists go.  But most of the time,  their stories have more bearing than these places they call "home."

Catubig, Northern Samar,  2012. I approached these boys for a photo op after I saw them leading the rosary inside the church. I thought it's quite interesting how children nowadays seem to have condoned the old-age tradition of praying the rosary.  These boys rock!

Daet, Camarines Norte, 2012. I overheard one of them telling the other  to study hard so he could also afford a vacation in the future. Isn't it something to hear the children from the countryside mature so quickly? I later on joined their conversation and dreamed silently with them.

Manila, 2010. I was walking along the streets of Malate, with my good friend Risa Miyoshi, when we chanced upon these boys. They were fierce, bold and hungry when they faced our cameras. 

Calapan City, Mindoro Oriental, 2012. After a day of volunteering, teaching a group of 20 children how to make paper flower and bead a rosary, nothing compares to the feeling  of seeing a smile as bright as this one. 

Zamboanga City, 2012. I bet with everything that I have that he did not enter Mcdonald's to buy the fries.  I wonder if there will ever come a time when the Philippines  will be street children-free. 

Bontoc, Mt. Province, 2009. I saw this adorable duo while I was roaming the streets of Bontoc. I fell in love with them instantly. 

Davao City, 2012. These kids were super show-off. They did head stand and tumbling  moves  in front my camera.  Ahhh, they were just too pleased and happy to be photographed. 

Sagada, Mt. Province, 2009. My very first close up photo of a  child I have met on the road.  A young  and vibrant Sagadian.
Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales, 2009. With my friends May and Megs, meeting these Aeta kids was an awesome surprise along the way. 


  1. Ang gay (happy) ng mga bata sa Catanduanes! hahaha

  2. .. wow, i miss my childhood days_ thanks for the images Che_ how i wish I could tag along with your backpacking.... I stumbled upon your site, to feed my soul that so long missed my native land_ I say soon, once my girls are done with school, I've been away, waaay too long .. the sites and blogs you have, brings me so close to home .. Thank you so much and more power !! > gibet <

    1. Hi Gibet! I appreciate you dropping by and reading my posts. Thank you! It's good to know that somehow this site helps you reconnect with our country. Come back and visit soon! :)

  3. Remarkable that there's a smile on their lips and a beam of hope in their eyes no matter how hard life may seem. And I ask, what are we adults frowning about?



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