Since I got the chance to implement Kids on Project Photography (KPP) to the lumad children of Southern Philippines that includes Manobo, Bagobo & Matigsalug of the Pag-amoma Children’s Place, I moved this time to cater to the indigenous kids of the Northern Philippines. This is the group of the Aeta or Ayta children of Abucay, Bataan.
I contacted my colleague Rosalie Joy Reyes, a teacher who is also a member of the same ethnic community. She arranged my sessions and organized the kids. I launched KPP on January then regularly visited them until May then brought some of the kids in Manila to participate in an exchange program on August.
On my very first session, I gave a lecture on basic photography under the mango trees. It was followed by their hands-on use of my DSLR camera one by one. They were amazed to manipulate a professional camera. They took turns of shooting then posing for the camera. They photograph around and then we went to the hanging bridge for a group photo.
I held the succeeding sessions with them on a nipa hut. It served as our classroom. We shoot various subjects namely people, plants, animals, flowers and others. But they enjoy posing as models. During the Mother’s Day, I tasked them to photograph their own mother and sibling. The kids especially the boys did not regularly attend my sessions since they are tasked to go farming in the fields and have to trek for a long distance especially on weekends. Some of the girls did.
I enjoyed going back to the Aeta community of Abucay Bataan because it is a cool and quiet place located uplands. I usually take a bus from Manila bound for Bataan. I get to alight at the main highway in Samal going to Bataan National Agricultural School (BNAS) now known as Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) by taking a jeepney. The Aeta community is around the campus itself.
I plan to visit the community once in a while in the future because some of them have the eye and the potential. I had fun teaching these Aeta kids of photography.