Arts & Entertainment

Filipino Photographers on Their Most Patriotic Photos

Capturing love for country with a camera.
IMAGE Francisco Guerrero
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For this year's Independence Day, we spoke to some of the photographers we've worked with and asked: of all the photos you've taken, which best represents Filipino patriotism, or the state of the Philippines today? Here are the images they chose, and what they had to say about each:

Jilson Tiu


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"Filipinos are always faced with tons of problems and difficulties that slows down the Philippine progress. But at the end of it all, we never forget to smile."

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Francisco Guerrero


"This is an image I made a few years back, in Lake Sebu, [South Cotabato,] Mindanao. The woman’s name is Oyog. She is a community leader, dancer and teacher with the T’boli people. She is sitting on the from porch of the School of Living Traditions, a place where the children come after official school hours to learn the T’boli cultural practices. Weaving, song, dance, myths, she teaches them as many aspects of their culture as she can, hoping that through the new generation these practices will be preserved.

"Behind her, the Philippine flag and the DepEd grade school building. [It's] what I wanted to say with this image. As the Philippines moves forward in this globalized age, we are losing a lot of the cultural and ethnic diversity that gives our definition of Filipino its plural and varied aspects. Recently I have been hearing the term 'Filipino Civilization' more and more often. I think this an important shift in the way we think about our indigenous peoples and our pre-Hispanic history. It seems as if, from our collective memories, our history starts with the arrival of the Spanish. Anything before that is glazed over as a mixed grouping of tribes and traders intersecting. As we have added to our knowledge of pre-Hispanic history, we are starting to see a much more complex evolution of the cultures in the Philippines. We were incredible sailors who could cross continents, and evidence now supports the theory that our peoples traveled as far as Hawaii and the Polynesian islands thousands of years ago.

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"There is a wealth of knowledge and cultural identities that our indigenous people can teach us, if only we stop looking at our definition of being Filipino as singular and strictly modern."

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Joseph Pascual


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"A woman and her two children sit under an umbrella, as it rains at the November 26, 2016 protest in Luneta against the Marcos burial. I find this image meaningful, because of the quieter forms that protest can take."


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"A man carries a lifelike model of Jose Rizal, during the August 26, 2013 Million People March in Luneta. What both comforts and saddens me here is that while we recognize our heroes, we have so few, and they serve more as imagery than anything."

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ERRATUM: An earlier version of this article contained a line locating Lake Sebu in Lanao del Sur. It is in South Cotabato. We apologize for the error.

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