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Pinoy photojournalist captures images of survival amid disaster

By Alexander Villafania, loQal.ph

PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA, August 6, 2011– Survivors of natural disasters in their most stoic moments are captured by veteran documentary photojournalist Jose Enrique Soriano, whose photo exhibit advocates support for assistance for poor Filipinos living in disaster-prone areas.

The photo exhibit, dubbed “Visage: Portraits of Filipinos Facing Climate Change”, opened last August 3 at the main hallway of the Senate of the Philippines building in Pasay City.

The event was co-organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities(iCSC) with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Loren Legarda.

Enrile and Legarda co-authored the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) bill, which provides incentives for communities to have them build resilient structures and that can withstand inclement weather, as well as ecosystem-based management projects.

Soriano’s main subjects for the photo exhibit were mostly elder women in locations that were recently hit by floods and droughts. Most of the photos were taken in Surigao and Leyte, which are frequently hit by fast-changing weather, which is blamed on climate change.

Soriano’s photos highlight survival amid disaster, especially elderly women, who are among the most vulnerable people during changing weather. In two photos, Soriano used one old lady who was standing ankle deep in muddy water. Her emotions seemed detached from all the destruction around her.

Another photo is of a different old woman who was garbed in a rainbow-colored plastic tarp, which is commonly used in provincial communities.

There are also photos of young men and women in various locations.The lawmakers said the photo exhibit should encourage both the public and private sectors to provide support to those who are most vulnerable to natural disasters.

Enrile stressed that climate change affects mostly poor sectors of society, many of whom live in rural places that have little to no infrastructural support.


Photo by JC Valencia/iCSC

As featured in Yahoo! Philippines.

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