In celebration of the Filipino spirit, the Philippines Yearbook has commissioned a photo session featuring Maria Ressa, a prominent figure in Philippine journalism and the first Filipino Nobel Peace laureate. The photo shoot, titled "The Filipino National Identity," was expertly photographed by Joel H. Garcia, capturing the essence of Maria Ressa's message on indignation, survival, and defiance.

As a journalist, Ressa has faced numerous challenges and threats to her life, including legal charges filed against her news organization, Rappler, and online harassment from supporters of the Philippine government. Despite these obstacles, Ressa remains steadfast in her commitment to speaking truth to power and defending press freedom in the Philippines.

Through the lens of Garcia's camera, Ressa's portraits radiate strength and resilience, embodying the indomitable spirit of the Filipino people. The photos serve as a tribute to the power of the human spirit to persevere in the face of adversity and a reminder that the Filipino people are a force to be reckoned with.

This blog post will delve deeper into the significance of Maria Ressa's portraits for the 2023 edition of the Philippines Yearbook and their role in celebrating the Filipino national identity. It will explore the themes of indignation, survival, and defiance that are central to Ressa's message and the ways in which her story embodies the spirit of the Filipino people.

The first Filipino Nobel Peace Laureate - Maria Ressa. | Rappler Office, 2022 | For The Philippines Yearbook 2023 | The Filipino National Identity Edition

In conclusion, shooting the portraits of Maria Ressa was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I am grateful for her kindness and willingness to participate in the session, which made the process seamless and enjoyable. Seeing her happy with the final results made me even more proud of my work. I would like to thank The Philippines Yearbook for this opportunity.

To my wife, Ma-Anne, for assisting me in this shoot; I couldn't have done it without you.

I hope they will inspire and bring joy to those who view them. Thank you for reading!