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.

George Dela Cruz, 57, Captain

“Maraming marino ang successful sa career pero bagsak naman sa pamilya. Merong mayaman pero hiwalay sa asawa. Meron ring may anak pero hindi close. Sayang diba?

Pinili kong manatili dito sa Pilipinas mula pa nong 1997. Kapitan ako ng T/S Kapitan Felix Oca, isang maritime training ship na naka home-port sa Manila Bay. Kahit pwede akong mag international at kumita ng limpak-limpak na salapi, ito talaga ang gusto ko, dahil malapit ako sa family ko.

Nakakataba rin ng puso ang makatulong sa libo-libong mga kadete. Lagpas 22-taon na kaming tumutulong at nagtuturo sa mga kadete. Marami sa kanila’y naging magaling na seafarer at kapitan na rin, tulad ni Che Javellana, ang unang Pinay na kapitana ng international na barko. Marami pang mga kapitana Che ang dadaan sa amin.

Kahit simple lang ang buhay dito kumpara sa international assignments, ramdam mo talagang parte ka ng isang pamilyang lumalaki bawat taon.”

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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.