hacienda luisita, tarlac city.

Went to Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac City with some members of the Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns.  We conducted a workshop teaching local out of school youth the basics of photography.  The workshop is part of a larger project hoping to exhibit or publish some of the images taken by the kids to spread awareness of child labour here in The Philippines.  The main focus of the workshops was to teach photography of course, but also to learn to use it as a tool (i like to say weapon) to document the difficult situations the youth face.

Hacienda Luisita is the home of a sugarcane processing plant owned by the prominent Cojuangco family (a relation to the recently passed Corazon Aquino, Cojuangco is her maiden name).  Over the last century there had been disputes over the rights of the farmer’s working the land in Hacienda Luisita.  Especially over the true ownership of the land, which belongs to the farmer’s by ancestry, but was somehow held by the Cojuanco’s by way of some reforms implemented during Cory Aquino’s Presidency.

In November 2004 the disputes escalated into a full protest involving almost the whole population of the town, leading into a stand-off between the unarmed people and the joint forces of the national police and military.  The stand-off resulted in a massacre where 14 farmers from the community were killed and 200 others were injured: http://www.bulatlat.com/news/4-42/4-42-massacre.html.

Horrible as it was, it was a little bit of a blessing in disguise.  The outrage sparked by the massacre caused the nation to take notice of the dire situation in Hacienda Luisita and new reforms were placed allowing the community to make a more decent livelihood.  However, the Cojuanco’s still control the majority of the land, and thus most of the people, as many are forced to work the land since they have none of their own.

So as I’ve heard echoed in different ways around The Philippines: “tuloy ang laban.”

The following are some photos I took around Barangay Asturias in Hacienda Luisita.  Not really political at all, just wanted to take the new camera out to eat a few rolls.  I just bought a used SLR in Quiapo.  Has no light meter, so I had to figure out whether it even worked.  Or whether I even knew what I was doing.  So most are of the good people I met (actually these are the ones that turned out).

Each shot has a caption if you click on it, should you care to know anything.

Anyway, thanks to Barangay Asturias for welcoming us into their neighborhood and letting us use their washrooms and power sockets.  Hope to see you all again, soon.

See their work here:  http://wp.me/pvQl-aL

-mlv

hacienda luisita, tarlac ii

hacienda luisita, tarlac iii

http://twitter.com/salinlahiphils

AFTEREDIT:  great piece on Cory Aquino’s and the Cojuanco families involvement with Hacienda Luisita.  Yellow not a friendly colour after all:  http://missgo.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/time-to-exhale/

www.oldeyorke.ca

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~ by mlv on 17 August, 2009.

3 Responses to “hacienda luisita, tarlac city.”

  1. this is some nice work bro! I’m really impressed esp considering there’s no light metre in-cam. I had no idea you knew how to shoot in manual so well!

    btw, how did you do this on wordpress (the bunch of thumbnails that you can click on to make bigger), that’s a cool function!

  2. Amazing Dude. I’m glad your finding the thing that works for u. So glad u hooked up with Salinlahi. Keep killin’ those projects and Imma gonna keep tellin’ folks about your movements.

  3. Dude, this makes me miss shooting with film! The flicks look amazing!

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