Click here for the Filipino version. 

Jake Sario, 20

I’ll tell you a secret: there are two women in my life. My girlfriend has been giving me a really hard time. She’s a teacher from Cebu and we’ve been together for two years.

I’ve been reviewing for my examinations for the past three months. Three months of studying, sacrificing gimmicks and good times so we can have a better future together.

Each night I’d be so bone-tired that I just want to go home and sleep – but she thinks the reason I never spend time with her is because I’m with other girls. Always so jealous, even when I never forget to text her when I wake up and before I go to sleep.

When we fight, I’m the one who says sorry even if I didn’t do anything wrong. She likes it that way. She says it’s sweet.

In truth, I’m studying hard not just for my girlfriend, but someone I love more – my mom. 

I plan on saving everything I earn so she won’t have to work in Saudi Arabia anymore. I’m an only child and she’s all I have. She’s been away so long. I miss her. I really miss her.

A new visual series by Seafarer Asia, Kumusta, Kabaro? Kumusta, Kaibigan? gives viewers gritty glimpses into the lives of Filipino seafarers and their kin. True tales of love, pride, sacrifice, failure and success weave a living tapestry and an oral history of life at sea. The subjects are given free rein on what to share and how they wish to be photographed. The series is inspired by the popular photoblog, Humans of New York.

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Gregg Yan

Gregg Yan is an award-winning writer and photographer who covers marginalized groups and environmental conservation issues. His work has been featured by National Geographic, Discovery Channel, CNN plus over a dozen books – including Into the Wild, his first coffee table book. He also has a monthly magazine column on wildlife.