We often hear about the plight of Filipinos working overseas, but it isn’t very often that we actually see them. We always see how they contribute to the economy when the news shows the peso gaining value during the Christmas season, and on TV specials when they show a new house that’s the product of blood, sweat and tears worked abroad. But what else do we know about them, beyond these numbers and pictures?
This is exactly what Xyza Bacani wants to show you. Xyza’s mother was a domestic worker in Hong Kong, where Xyza herself followed in her mother’s footsteps. But Xyza’s photography career began when she picked up a camera with a loan from her boss in 2009. She wanted to show Hong Kong to her mother, who didn’t get to go out much. She took photos of the streets and of interesting people, some eye-catching, some just going through the motions. When I ask her over email what catches her eye, she simply says, “Good light and gesture.”