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OFW wins runner-up prize in National Geographic photo competition

/ 02:14 PM February 08, 2018

Joan Pabona  (Image: Facebook/@shebatgurl)

A Filipino domestic worker from Hong Kong was awarded second place in a photo competition conducted by National Geographic.

Joan Pabona joined the National Geographic Wheelock Youth Photo Competition 2017 themed “Hong Kong Reminiscence: Place, People & Happenings” and submitted an entry under the category “People and Happenings in Hong Kong.”


Her black-and-white photo titled “Sacrifice” depicts a construction worker arranging a safety net, the texture and light giving eloquence to the mundane moment.

Joan Pabona, National Geographic, photo competition

Image: National Geographic Wheelock Youth Photo Competition

Her photo can be viewed on the competition’s website.


According to ATimes, Pabona, who has been working in Hong Kong since 2013, snapped the picture from the eighth floor of the building where she works for a family.

The picture chosen from 3,518 entries earned her a HK$6,500 (P43,000) cash prize and 12 issues of National Geographic Magazine Traditional Chinese Edition.

What makes her win even more momentous is that she is the only woman and non-Cantonese speaker who received a prize in the contest, she told Esquire Philippines.

Pabona hails from Ilocos Sur and has been taking pictures since college. When she moved to Hong Kong, she joined workshops conducted by the social enterprise Lensational, which empowers women through photography.

Her works found on her Facebook page show her unique eye to life in the city.

Deathdefying selfie


Posted by Joan Pabona Photography on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One needs to be alone, to recharge one's batteries.

Posted by Joan Pabona Photography on Friday, February 2, 2018

The competition’s other categories were “Places in Hong Kong,” “Future of Hong Kong” and “Mobile Photography.” Photographers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Macau participated in the contest.  /ra


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TAGS: domestic worker, Hong Kong, Joan Pabona, National Geographic, OFW, Photo contest
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