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.

Alexis Villapando, 19

“Simula nung bata ako, gusto ko nang maging seaman.

Ito’y dahil seaman rin si Itay. Napakabait niya at mabuti siyang provider. Lahat ng pangangailangan nami’y nabigay niya. 

Pero ang pinaka-importanteng gift niya sa amin ay ang kanyang wisdom. Marami siyang moral lessons para sa aming magkakapatid, tulad ng pagkakaroon ng iba’t-ibang mode – kapag trabaho, trabaho. Kapag family time, yung totoong katauhan at kabaitan mo na.  

Inalagaan kami ng mabuti ni Itay. Kaya gusto ko rin maging mabuting seaman – para pag-graduate, ako naman ang taya.

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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.