In 2022, I returned to my hometown in Cebu, Philippines, seven years after immigrating to Toronto, Canada. I was there for several weeks, mostly spending time with my childhood and high school friends in an attempt to regain a sense of familiarity. Being there helped me acknowledge that I have changed since leaving Cebu. Sometimes I found myself looking for the right words to say to my old friends but photographing felt easier, like a way for me to reconnect with them and reunite with home.

Repose and Renewal are intimate photographs of rekindled friendships with childhood and high school friends in Cebu, Philippines. Conversations and tensions are negotiated behind these photographs through which we acknowledge our shared past and see shifts in our present identities. Understanding how time and distance has changed us, I photographed them in place of the feelings I couldn’t convey.