On the Road in Mindanao

Surigao, Mindanao, Philippines

I’m back in Mindanao and wanted to share some images from the past few days. I have been here looking to photograph some of the indigenous peoples in the northern region of the island, and it has proven to be somewhat difficult. Despite one very disappointing day we were able to find a small Mamanwa community that allowed us to photograph them. I won’t go into detail here about the difficulties, but it basically involves the tribes wanting a significant amount of money to let us document them. I have had very gracious hosts the past few days in Bayabas, Surigao del Sur. Thank you Jude and Babie for all of your hospitality and planning. Tomorrow I will be meeting my wife and kids here and we will be traveling to Siargao Island for some relaxation and a wedding. I’m going to make this a short post as I really just wanted to share some images from the past few days. I have added captions to all the images to help give a little information about each, just hover over each picture.

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Tagged: aeta, asia, images, indigenous people, mindanao, negrito, philippines, Travel,
Posted on: Jun 8, 2011


  • Christine Maentz

    Great work Jake! Someday we’ll see your work on the National Geographic channel!

    • That would be nice if that were to happen! haha

  • Syafiqazuan

    awesome photos jake. love your work. 🙂 By the way, I found out that your blog link at the menus is broken. Anyhow, great work!

    • Thanks for pointing out the broken link..everything is working now. 🙂

  • Tex

    I’m from Cebu and had lived in Surigao City for a few years, and all I can say is that you have captured the indigenous people there with great depth, beauty and sensitivity. Through your lens, we’re seeing people as they are, in their everyday life, work and struggles and yet, there is something with the way you capture them in that we’re moved with compassion towards your subject! Keep it up! It’s great that the Philippines have a special place in your heart 🙂 Aren’t you planning to compile your photos in a book? God bless you and more success!!

    • Thanks Tex for your comment. My wife’s family is from Surigao and so I often go there when I need to get away from the city for a few days. It takes a lot of patience I have found when working with certain indigenous groups here, but it seems that it’s always possible to find some people that will open up and let you document their way of life. It just takes time, understanding and a lot of effort. I’ll be heading to Isabela Province next week to spend some time with the Agta community and I hear they very friendly and welcoming. A book…maybe at some point, but right now I just want to focus on capturing more images.

  • Tex

    I’m from Cebu and had lived in Surigao City for a few years, and all I can say is that you have captured the indigenous people there with great depth, beauty and sensitivity. Through your lens, we’re seeing people as they are, in their everyday life, work and struggles and yet, there is something with the way you capture them in that we’re moved with compassion towards your subject! Keep it up! It’s great that the Philippines have a special place in your heart 🙂 Aren’t you planning to compile your photos in a book? God bless you and more success!!

    • Thanks Tex for your comment. My wife’s family is from Surigao and so I often go there when I need to get away from the city for a few days. It takes a lot of patience I have found when working with certain indigenous groups here, but it seems that it’s always possible to find some people that will open up and let you document their way of life. It just takes time, understanding and a lot of effort. I’ll be heading to Isabela Province next week to spend some time with the Agta community and I hear they very friendly and welcoming. A book…maybe at some point, but right now I just want to focus on capturing more images.

  • Celia

    Great work Jacob. There are similarities I see in your images to our indigenous Kalinago here in Dominica

  • Celia

    Great work Jacob. There are similarities I see in your images to our indigenous Kalinago here in Dominica

  • Mathewtilbrook

    Hi Jacob, stumbled onto your site through the article you wrote on Lightstalking’s website. Just wanted to say that I love your images of Philippines especially these of the people of Mindanao. Beautifully lit and composed. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

  • Marcelinocalumba

    Thank you (salamat) much love