My First Time in Siargao

Essay 538 • Nov 5th 2023

I am a first generation immigrant that has been living in the United States for 15 years. Recently, I have been finding a strong sense of my identity as a Filipino man and I've been longing for it.

I've been hearing about this lush place in the Philippines where people go to unwind and unplug from the pressures of our current world, so I went and found the simple but vibrant beauty of the people and their relationship with its landscape. In a way, it reminded me of memories of how I used to live.


Lawrence De leon is a NY-based photographer with an MA in Commercial Photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He has worked and shot covers and editorials for L’Officiel Philippines and Vogue Philippines. A defining aesthetic of his photography is its raw and unconventional nature that hints at his identity as a Filipino creative.
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