My last visit to the Philippines was over ten years ago. My 14 year-old self had spent most of his time with his eyes glued to a computer screen, never caring about what was outside. I had bought my first camera for that trip and only returned with only a handful of photos. A decade later, with much more mileage in my life, I decided to visit my mothers hometown of Iloilo.
As a young Filipino-American I feel that most of us tend to unconsciously ignore our culture, and I’m guilty of that. I came to realize how much of a stranger I’ve become to my parents, and how little I know about their lives before coming to America. I wanted to understand it all, and I wanted to photograph my whole experience.
Two weeks flew by and I returned with amazing photos and a newfound love for the place my mom calls Home. Even as a stranger, the people were so nice and loving. The views were amazing. And most important of all I spent time with my family. At the last leg of my trip I was told by a local masseuse that Iloilo is known as Asia’s City of Love. I see where my mom's loving character comes from. I can’t wait to visit Home again.
Basil Vargas is a photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. His work focuses on youthful energy combined with immersive storytelling.
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