Here’s to the great days we’ve had, and the ones still to come. Read through photos and stories from our community around the Philippines on what makes a good day.
What makes a good day?
We asked, and you answered. The #OneDayinthePH community gallery is filled with photos and stories of good days from around the Philippines—a collage of the places we’ve been to, the communities we’ve fostered, and the little things getting us by.
We hope it reminds you of the many great days we’ve had in this beautiful country, and help you look forward to the ones still to come.
Check out the hashtag #FirstConnectionsAreTheStrongest on Instagram for all of the contest entries!
Upon arriving, we were greeted by the Badjao with their beautiful and colorful boats. They're known for being great swimmers; you can throw coins for them in the sea and without thinking much, they will jump in the water to get it. Though it was nice to see something different, it was also sad to realize that these people, regardless of their age and gender, are experiencing this kind of situation to survive a day in their life.
Calloused skin is enough to endure the heavy sun, sharp leaves, and bites. Manong Dino has known it for 70 years. The field is empty without soil-tinted hands and green thumbs. His hands carved the flowers that bear fruits, and the seeds that will grow the next generation.
I always think about our trip to Buscalan, when [we] took a seven-hour bus to Tabuk and ate siomai at 4AM while waiting for our three-hour jeepney, which stopped every five minutes for passengers until we hit Bontoc. I think of locals who give us free coffee, of strangers who welcome us to their homes, of breathtaking views driving down. I miss the serendipitous encounters of travel, and the hassle moments and wacky stories that come with it.
I normally avoid places with large crowds and events with a lot of noise [...] but there is something about the visual and auditory chaos at Salibanda Water Festival that I love. Perhaps it's the way the chaos is made uniform by the curtain of mist and water–a uniform kind of chaos, if that makes any sense. For an introvert like myself that craves time to recharge, I find the deafening sound of water from the hoses of several firetrucks meditative.
I unearthed these photos of a spontaneous trip to Subic with my friends half a decade ago. I don’t remember much from that day, other than what these photos contain: laughing through the sunset, dangling our feet over the sea, and then ending up at the city carnival where we rode attractions with questionable structural integrity. I can’t wait for the time days like this are again easier to come by.
Together with the ever-reliable jeepney, these signages are considered to be cultural icons and a great help to everyday Filipino commuters. It is rare to see these signages for sale nowadays, and I couldn't help but take a photo of this wall along Roosevelt Avenue where they were displayed.
We were on a climb on Pulag a few years back and it had been raining all day, forcing the closure of the trail we wanted to be on (Akiki). It was definitely a major blow to everyone’s spirits. But after a day of being cold and wet, the skies eventually cleared up, and we were able to enjoy a warm meal together, lit by headlamps. Got a few astrophotos, too!
Done with work in the fields for the day, farmers head to the shoals to hunt for trapped sea critters for a hearty dinner. Taken from a cliff on our property over looking the sea in Manapla, Negros Occidental. Guimaras Strait and Panay Island can be seen in the distance.
What makes a good day? Traveling to the farthest corner of the archipelago by any means possible: by air, by boat, by car, or sometimes just by foot. Traveling until you're barely recognized and understood by the people within that place, but deep inside, you still feel a sense of familiarity and belongingness with them.
This photo series was taken in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato during an immersion of two cultures, Cordillera and T'boli, as a way to connect and to learn about each other. Witnessing a cultural immersion is something you don't see often. Even with the difference in colors and patterns, they all share the same sentiment, to protect and resonate, that is how they interconnect. Maybe a good day begins with learning how we can connect, and knowing that we too can do something for them.
One of the things we miss the most during the pandemic is traveling; I didn’t realize how much I roamed the Philippines until it stopped. Every year, I get to shoot and do stories, [...] feeling and capturing the provinces and life outside the metro. Now it’s all at a halt, as all travel businesses [are]. Sunday’s reflection: shine during morning mass at Molo Church, Iloilo City. 2019.