Filipina Domestic Worker in HK Wins National Geographic Photo Contest

A Filipina domestic worker won the first runner-up prize in a photo contest organized by National Geographic.

Joan Pabona, 35, who has been working in Hong Kong since 2013, was announced as first runner-up in the National Geographic Wheelock Properties Youth Photo Competition 2017 under the People and Happenings in Hong Kong section.

Dubbed ‘Sacrifice,’ her black-and-white photo shows a worker wearing helmet standing among safety nets used for bamboo scaffolding. Pabona said she took the photo from her employer’s 8th floor apartment in Happy Valley.

Under the theme ‘Hong Kong Reminiscence: Place, People & Happenings’, National Geographic’s photo competition’s four categories attracted 3,518 entries of photographers aged 16 to 40 from Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Macau.

Joan said she started taking photographs while studying in the Philippines. She pursued her interest further after moving to Hong Kong. She attended photography workshops organized by the social enterprise Lensational. Now she says she often spends her days off walking around Hong Kong with her camera, hoping to capture details of local life.

“Hong Kong (is like) a playground and a second home, I’m always interested (in) people surrounding me,” Joan said.