X is for Xyza Cruz Bacani, A-Z of Filipino Cultural Exports

B: 1987 / ‘Photography takes Filipino maid from Hong Kong to New York’ – reads a CNN headline (February 20, 2015). Reporting from Hong Kong (CNN) – A domestic worker from the Philippines who moonlights as a photographer in Hong Kong will be leaving her job in May to pursue a dream career in New York.

The story of Xyza Cruz Bacani, 27, is described by the press as one of Cinderella. Her Prince in this modern day adaptation, is substituted for the right to education. Bacani –  1 of 7 ‘Human Rights’ fellows was awarded a 6 week photojournalism scholarship funded by the Magnum Foundation at New York University.  Working as a chambermaid with her mother in Hong Kong, Bacani’s intimate portraits of ‘Overseas Filipino Workers’, gives a platform to discuss the injustices of modern day slavery in recent emerging economies.

Wiki describes her story of that as a typical Pinoy. The eldest of 3 children, Bacani – tied down to the weight of her country’s sorry misfortune, was thus forced into exile, in order to raise funds for her siblings education. Her story is one of hope, giving Pinoy’s abroad a voice, beyond the subservient roles and responses of ‘Yes Sir/ No Sir /As you wish Sir, Thank you Mam’. Xyza Cruz Bacani’s photography is an example of filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik’s call to a new movement towards making films, with ‘stories that are truly Filipino’.

Xyza Cruz Bacani work can be viewed here.

#OFW more than a country of good looking, half-wit, opportunistic terrorists