Filipino lensmen unite in ‘bayanihan’ project for quake-hit Batanes

By Jan Carlo Anolin

The “bayanihan” culture in the Philippines is not dead.

A screenshot of the "Bayanihan para sa Batanes" Facebook page shows some of the photographs for sale captured by various Filipino photographers (Screenshot / Bayanihan para sa Batanes / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
A screenshot of the “Bayanihan para sa Batanes” Facebook page shows some of the photographs for sale captured by various Filipino photographers (Screenshot / Bayanihan para sa Batanes / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Some Filipino photographers proved this just right as they join the movement in raising funds to provide supplies and help the residents of Itbayat, Batanes following the devastating earthquake that rattled the province last Saturday morning.

Dubbed as “Bayanihan para sa Batanes”, the project aims to gather funds from different lensmen in the country by selling their photographs to raise funds and help the critically-affected families at Itbayat.

The project is also open for donations in kind.

“The rich culture of Batanes has inspired and nurtured countless photographers through the years. This is their way of giving back to the loving and resilient Ivatans who have welcomed them with warm hospitality,” a pinned post from its Facebook page read.

Paul Quiambao, one of the founders of the “bayanihan”, in an online interview said the photographers just expressed their desire to help following a post to call for action.

“Photographers who are friends with the locals in Batanes are spearheading the “Bayanihan para sa Batanes” Facebook Page,” Quimbao told Manila Bulletin.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, the project already raised a total of P175,000.

“The LGU of Batanes has a list of families whose houses were severely damaged. We will go to Itbayat to give the monetary aid to them,” Quimbao said.

Interested buyers were urged to leave a comment on the photo album and contact the information provided by its respective photographer.

Photographs are available at different sizes, ranging from P8,000 to P25,000.

Aside from Quiambao, other photographers who participated in the “bayanihan” were Arwin Palac, Anthea Dijamco, Billy Palatino, John Kimwell Laluma, Lyra Auce, Roy Macaras, Michael Ocampo, Annabelle Chavez, Javi Cang, Ed Lim, Mitch Miguel, Ra Valderrama, Maryanne Mendoza, Raymond Cruz, Mark Requintina, Emil Marañon III, Orange Omengan, Rawen Balmana, Jilson Tiu, Normarei Villamater, Oli Camacho, Geb Bunado, Gerard Cayco, Marvin Grey, Fitz Borre, Sarah Magat, Michael Gonzales, Roel Merida, Rolan Garcia, Cris Magsino, Dino Dimar, Freician Cantero, Emmie Villegas, Allan Borebor, Kevin Zillabbo, Paul Chua, Godwin Hernaez, Luis Liwanag, Ryan Ranido, Rey Ferino, Joseph Canada, and Bien Alvarez.

“Batanes is a gem in the Philippines, and its people need whatever support they can get in these moments,” Tiu, one of the photographers who joined the funding through print selling, said.

“As a photographer, it’s just purely giving back, being a good person to a person and actually helping them through pictures,” Tiu added, who already sold six of his prints as of this posting.

The entire province of Batanes was declared under state of calamity on Monday following a series of disastrous earthquakes, with the “main shock” measured at magnitude 5.9 last Saturday, leaving at least nine persons dead and 60 others injured.

READ MORE: Death toll climbs to 9 in Batanes quakes