Portraits, Stories, Lessons | Capturing Faces of Cebu with Huawei P9

August 25, 2016

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Cebu, being the gateway to the south, is home to a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and ethnic traits, with shared or different dialects.  They're here either for work, for permanent relocation or simply for leisure.

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In my 3 years of Nursing school, I have met more individuals belonging to different groups and social classes than in all of my years living in Cebu combined.  This is so because we were made to immerse ourselves in different far-flung corners of the province, staying 1-2 weeks at the most, giving us just enough time to get to know the locals.  And in these 3 years, I have come to appreciate those that do blue-collar jobs, the ones who put in hours of work under the blistering heat or the chilling cold rain.  The people who earn just enough to feed a family or even just themselves.

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In an attempt to recognise these hardworking individuals, the husband and I embarked on a short photowalk in one of the busiest and most visited place in Cebu-- the Basilica Minore del Sto. NiƱo.  Armed with just my Huawei P9 and the guts to ask people for a photo, we started at midday right in the heart of the basilica and worked our way into the busy streets of Colon.

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With Huawei P9 dual lens camera co-engineered with Leica, capturing portraits of people working hard to earn a living is made easy with its 12MP, 27mm Leica optics camera.  Touch focus option and shallow depth of field effect add more drama and character to my photos.  In a sea of people, capturing your subject will not disappoint with its soft, dreamy bokeh effect.  For someone who loves bokeh, the Huawei P9 is my perfect companion without the weight and bulk of a regular camera. 

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I talked to some of my subjects (given that some photos were stolen shots) and they gave me a lot of insight and inspiration-- be it for work, love, or life in general.  They are optimism, resilience and patience personified-- or maybe even more.  Truly, you can never judge a person just by how they relate to you, how they look, and even with just their facial expressions.  They may be all smiles for the camera, but behind that are life stories that are thought-provoking, heart-rending and even life-changing.

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Ended this endeavor with a photoshoot of my own (gotta take OOTD photos, too, you know) which I will be sharing on a separate post.

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If there is one thing that this little project has taught me, it's that, resilience has got to be one admirable trait that we all possess.  Our ability to find joy in the ordinary, our ability to smile despite tribulations, and our unwavering faith and undying optimism truly makes us unique in our own little ways.  And in Cebu, you will find all that and more-- challenging you to change the way you see the world one hardworking soul at a time.


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Experience the beauty of bokeh shots in a smartphone with Huawei P9.  Find out more about this groundbreaking Leica dual-lens camera on their official website and Facebook account.  Find photos taken with Huawei P9 on Instagram using the hashtag #OO.

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