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.

Clarisse Bangga, 20

I get really homesick. My family would have these midnight bonding sessions because my siblings would always get hungry late at night. So we’d all order food and have a great time na nagkwekwentuhan and just bonding.

When you’re a stay-in cadet, para ka nang nasa barko. You’re already away from your loved ones and whatever liberties you used to enjoy – going to the mall, eating at fancy restaurants, meeting your friends – you’ll have to give up.  

Pero okay lang naman kasi this sacrifice isn’t just for me. Para sa family ko ito, which is why I can endure and do well, even in an academy full of men who think female cadets get special treatment. I’m super proud to be a midshipwoman and hopefully rise to become a senior officer. Syempre, I’ll be sure na may midnight bonding sessions rin kami ng future family ko! 

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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.