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.

Cleo Bierneza, 20, 1st Class Midshipwoman

Here’s my secret – I have a boyfriend! A classmate. It’s supposedly not allowed but come on, love wins. So long as we’re discreet and act as cadets first, then it’s no biggie.  I met him four years ago, so we’ve been through hell and back at the academy. Out of all the guys, he’s the one who ‘gets me’ most. Understands my quirks. Understands how I long for spontaneity and adventure. He’s really funny too. I’m graduating later so I can finally start helping my family. I’m the eldest so I have to do this. But I love seafaring. Mariners live a life of adventure, traveling to distant lands and meeting lots of people. But my best adventure will be with him – hopefully propelled by fair winds and blessed by clear skies.

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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.