I’ve been to Siargao, Surigao del Norte for work twice, and my favorite part of the island is, and always will be, its people. Last year, we visited Brgy. Mahayahay in Del Carmen, Siargao. This year, I got the chance to spend the night and experience a humbling morning in the beautiful community of San Fernando.

Siargao is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. But instead of taking photos of its breathtaking views, I captured moments. And smiles.

Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
Selfie with the welcoming youth of Brgy. San Fernando, YEHEY!
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
This is Jodi Mae. She’s the daughter of my foster parent for a day, Nanay Lilibeth.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
Jodi Mae was very shy when I first met her. But because of my camera and the beautiful photos I took, she loved me instantly. 🙂
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
She then started trying out different poses and I got to win her precious smile.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
Jodi Mae accompanied me to the elementary school where we’ll be having our breakfast. I then took photos of the children I meet along the way.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
This little girl looked like she woke up on the right side of the bed that day. Good morning, pretty!
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
These two boys enjoyed posing for the camera. Day made, day made.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
This little one was a natural. So cute!
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
This boy was shy at first, but I love how I caught on camera his about-to-smile smile!
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
“Where are you taking me?” said the rooster.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
How innocent-looking this little boy was! He forgot to wear his pants though.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
It took me a few tries before I got this perfect shot. I told them to show their teeth when they smile. And this is what I got. 😀
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
Jodi Mae with her pets — Rabbit, Sophie, and… I forgot the third one!
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
This little boy came to me when he saw I was taking photos of Jodi Mae. Look at that smile!
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
She was my kind foster parent, Nanay Lilibeth. I would love to see her again.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
This Lolo lives beside Nanay Lilibeth’s house. He was watching us taking photos. I then took his photo and asked him to smile. I showed him his photo and said, “Salamat ah!” And my heart melted.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
I love how this shot was so candid that it captured the real emotions of our kapitbahays. All of you were all beaming with happiness and beauty. Thank you.
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
“Tangan”
Children of San Fernando, Del Carmen, Siargao
I left the lei that Nanay Lilibeth gave me to Jodi Mae. I will always remember the moment that we shared. They gave me a part of them that I will forever treasure and remember.

Thank you to the children of Siargao. You reminded me to find the beauty in everyone.

And to find happiness in the little things.

I will see you again.

“You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.”

– excerpt from the poem, “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

JMCS

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