Lake Buhi, Buhi, Camarines Sur, Philippines - November 09, 2014
These are neighborhood kids that live in a tiny open village on one of the active volcano’s called Mount Iriga, also known as Mount Asog, in the Philippines. With a completely different dialect, I used hand signs to get them together for the shot. They were hesitant as they were unsure what that black thing (camera) covering my face was.
After showing them the photo they suddenly became relaxed and engaging. Most of them, I should say, not all… The eldest boy grabbed my arm and asked me to keep on taking photos. They kept on posing and making wacky faces and had a great time. They wouldn’t stop.
Arnel is the leader of the group. In traditional Filipino culture, the eldest sibling is responsible for his/her younger siblings. If one or more siblings gets hurt, in trouble, disobey, etc… the eldest sibling would get the punishment. Period.
(Joy) She was the most nervous out of all of them from the very beginning. I managed to capture her cracking a little smile. She might be shy in front of a camera but I have a feeling that she’s the wildest one out of the whole barkada (group of friends).
(Junior) The youngest one was a character. He would put his fingers up his nose while no one else was looking. I tapped him on his shoulder and as he turned, I snapped the most candid photo ever. Surprisingly, none of his fingers were in his nose.
Cling, clack! These bottles were chores for the group to gather water from the streams above the mountain. They are also toys and made a game out of them. This wooden platform is their playground, made out of scraps of wood and bamboo that was risen up from the grass flats. It is a space where their imaginations can roam freely.
I consider this the hardest hike I’ve ever done. All day, high in elevation, weather shifts, poisonous insects, wild boars on an active volcano wearing flip-flops that broke half way up.