- Joan Pabona impressed National Geographic with her photo
- She won first runner-up and got more than Php 42,000
- Joan works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong
An overseas Filipino worker in Hong Kong was hailed first runner-up in a photo contest by National Geographic and Wheelock Properties last January 31.
Joan Pabona's photo, titled Sacrifice, was recognized in the "People & Happenings in Hong Kong" category of the National Geographic Wheelock Youth Photo Competition.
Her entry is a photo of a construction worker in the middle of safety nets, rendered in black and white.
Esquire interviewed Joan about her win.
Joan shared that she took the photo from the eighth floor of the building she works in.
"Natanaw ko iyon habang naglilinis ako," said Joan to Esquire.
The domestic helper added: "I chose this for my submission because it's very artistic and powerful picture. Hong Kongers are very hardworking, versatile, and resilient - and as I observe every day, I can say that they are the engine of the city."
She won HKD 6,500 or more than PHP 42,000.
The photo will also be featured in the February issue of the National Geographic Chinese edition.
Joan also shared how happy she is that she's the only woman and non-Cantonese speaking person to receive an award.
"Malaking karangalan iyon bilang isang Pilipino kasi out of 3,518 photos, lucky if makapasok as finalist," said Joan.
She also shared that she's receiving proposals for future collaborations.
Joan started photography as a hobby in college.
The Ilocos Sur native said she learned about the art through self-study and attending workshops in Hong Kong.
"Photography kasi sa akin ang naging stress reliever dito tuwing day off ko. Kaya hanggang nagtatagal, nahasa nang nahasa ang kaalaman ko," said Joan.
Her Facebook page is filled with photos of Hong Kong's daily street life.
The National Geographic Wheelock Youth Photo contest is for amateurs and photo enthusiasts aged 16 to 40.
It aimes to "nurture the next generation of potential photographers.
This is the first time the contest was held.
Learn about the inspiring story of Cheneleng Pili, who was able to reach her dreams through hard work and determination.
Road to success: I cried a hundred times - makeup artist and business owner Cheneleng Pili - on KAMI YouTube Channel