Facial Care Centre (FCC), a business that specializes in skincare treatments, and the Headshot Clinic (HSC), a digital platform that merges headshots with advocacies, have partnered for their biggest project yet: Earth Faces, a climate change campaign that showcases 100 stories of Filipinos through portraits. It weaves together stories of those who lived through Super Typhoon Yolanda, and those who did their best to help them. The subjects are a mix of advocates, celebrities, media personalities, and survivors shot on location.
Earth Faces: taking and giving pictures
Known as a company that set the bar high for skincare treatments and services, FCC’s Corporate Social Responsibility endeavor this year had the same level of ambition. The lean team of six: NJ Torres, FCC’s PR manager; Headshot Clinic’s photographer, Niccolo Cosme & Dwight Bayona and videographer, Antonio Dimaguila; makeup artist, Kay Arias and writer, Anna Oposa, set out to photograph 22 families in 4 island provinces in 7 days. They printed instant photos with their heavy-duty reliable Cannon printer, put the best family picture in the frame, and whipped up a small exhibit of their BTS photos and headshots.
For city dwellers, being made up and photographed may not seem like a big deal. For many of the families they met in Tacloban, Malapascua, Leyte and Coron, it was a milestone.
Meeting the families
Their first stop was Tacloban, ground zero. They met the Dela Peña family in their new home, a donated tent. Mommy Marlyn shared that the most painful part of the experience was being called robbers. “We didn’t have anything to eat for two days. We were wearing the same wet clothes for three days. We didn’t have a choice,” she explained in Waray while wiping away her tears. Her children are back in school and are determined to continue their education.
They then spent a day in Malapascua Island, Cebu, where families and dive centers have been working together to clean up the coasts and seas from trash and debris. They aim to make it the renowned diving destination it once was.
From Cebu, the EarthFaces team headed to Suyac Island in Negros Occidental, known for its century-old mangroves. When Yolanda roared through the island, the mangroves shielded the community from the storm surge, leaving zero casualties. The people are prioritizing the restoration of the beach-forest and its damaged walkways. The survival of the residents and the mangroves shows that when we take care of the environment, it takes care of us.
For the fourth and final stop, they made their way to Coron, Palawan. They sat down with Al and Melanie Linsangan, a couple that runs a photography shop and tour operations. As part of rebuilding efforts, they’re helping over 160 families by providing employment opportunities through tourism.
The value of a family picture
During their interviews, they asked the families what they were most thankful for. Each family answered in Filipino, “We are all alive and complete.”
Whenever we revealed the makeshift exhibit of the families’ pictures and headshots, everybody lit up. Others started crying. For many of the families, it was their first family photo ever. For some, it replaced those lost or damaged by the typhoon.
In any case, the framed family pictures now hang in their new or repaired houses to serve as a reminder that the Earth faces climate change, disasters, and calamities, but it also faces hope, strength, and resilience.
You read this here first. Earth Faces will be launched April 24, 2014.
Stay gorgeous everyone!