Portraits and Facial Impressions – Set 4
Over the years I have accumulated photos of people who left lasting impressions in my mind. Most of them are just ordinary individuals in various places I’ve visited whose actions or facial expressions represented certain peculiar characteristics which made their image in the photo more meaningful. I’m sharing these photos in this series entitled “Portraits and Facial Impressions”. This is Set 4 of the series.
“Finishing Touches” / Philippines 2011 [T’nalak Festival 2011, South Cotabato]: The T’nalak Festival is celebrated in July each year in commemoration of the founding of the Province of South Cotabato in the Philippines. I captured this portrait during the recent celebration. It was 7:00 a.m. and the street dancing competition was to start at 8:00. Under the soft morning light, a member of the street dancing team from the Municipality of Tupi gets finishing touches on her make-up.
“Final Countdown” / Philippines 2011 [ T’nalak Festival 2011, South Cotabato]: Preparation for the street dancing competition takes months of hard work and long nights on the practice grounds. On the day of the actual celebration, the street dancers had to be ready by dawn and be at the provincial capital even before the sun is up because the competition starts early in the morning. Understandably, the arduous preparations and arrangements take a toll on the competitors. In this photo, a pretty young girl already shows signs of fatigue and weariness one hour before the actual street dancing competition.
“Reality on My Mirror” / Philippines 2011 [Davao City]: I had to stop for the red light when I heard a tap on my car window. Instinctively looking at my side mirror, I saw this figure of a lady with a baby apparently asking for coins from the people sitting on the back seat. My camera was just beside me so I snapped this photo first before I rolled down my window and handed out a few pesos.
Begging on the streets in Davao City is prohibited but there’s a small group of Badjao‘s (a sea-faring ethnic group) who seemed unmindful of city laws and the government on the other hand seems unable to provide lasting solutions for this marginalized group.
“Hope” / Indonesia 2006 [ Banda Aceh, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam]: Tens of thousands of people perished in Banda Aceh in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Whole communities were wiped out, main sources of livelihood were eradicated, and hundreds of individuals were widowed or orphaned. Working with tsunami-affected communities in 2006; I captured this image of a boy patiently waiting for his parents.
“Lady by the Ruins” / Nauru 2008 [Republic of Nauru, Central Pacific]: A small nation of less than 20,000; Nauru once enjoyed one of the highest per capita income in the world but slumped back to poverty when the primary source of income – the phosphate mines – got depleted. In 2008, one year after my first visit, a bus service plying the road around the island (less than 20 km) was introduced. In this photo, a Nauruan lady waits for the bus.