Friday, October 31, 2014

The Facebook Black and White Challenge

The Facebook Black and White Challenge

So there's been this photo challenge going around Facebook recently. It challenges users to post one black and white photograph for 5 days. To add to this, each time a black and white photo is posted, the user must nominate a friend to start his own five day black and white photo challenge. It was a pretty fun challenge. Check out the photos I posted after the jump. 

Day 1:

"Teamwork Will Pull You Through"

A group of men harvest fresh shrimp by pulling a huge net from one end of the pond all the way to the other. A glimpse of what shrimp farming looks like in Negros. Was lucky enough to have the honor of documenting my good friend's first shrimp harvest! The harvest was huge. This pond was able to produce around 7 tons of juicy, jumpy and lucrative shrimp.

Day 2:

"Catch of the Day"

Prawn farmers don parts of a massive net on their heads as they slowly raise the tangled mass of nylon filled with prawns up and over the water in order to harvest the kicking prawns.

Day 3:

"Shades of Our Future, Shadows of Our Past"

Children spend a waning summer day playing by the ruins of one of the oldest and longest wharves in Asia located in the old city of Silay, Negros Occidental.

Day 4:

"Cane on the Mind, Weight on His Shoulders"

A tapasero (or cane cutter as we call them here) carries a heavy load of sugarcane under the mid day sun. You can't help but sympathize with the hard work that these people do. As planters, we (at least our company) do our best to stick by the true and correct salary that the DOLE stipulates (which amounts to around Php 255 per day) as well as give these tapaseros the benefits which are due to them (rice allowance, sleeping quarters while on the job, bonuses for harvesting cane well, etc.) but at the same time, you have to be wary in dealing with some of them due to the many 'untoward incidents' that happen in the wake of their employment. Some of them are: they can burn your fields behind your back if they feel you've spurned them, since they are seasonal workers that live on your farm, there is a chance that they can commit petty crimes like thievery and most common of all, they ask for cash advances and once they have your money, they disappear from your farm overnight.

One thing is certain though, the job that these people take is absolutely essential to the sugarcane industry in the Philippines. Much needs to be done in order to improve the quality of life of these people. That, or find a more efficient method by which to complete the job that these men do.

Day 5:

"A Portrait of Men at Rest"

Each face paints a different picture of what these cane-cutters are feeling as they rest in the shade of the high noon sun. Right off the bat I can see longing, resilience, wonder, despair, amusement, glee and seriousness. At work, we come across people from different walks of life, each with their own unique attitude. It is up to us to find a way to jive with each personality in the pursuit of one common goal.

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