Mike Alquinto: Capturing and Fighting Poverty

By JULIUS P. VICENTE, Manila Bulletin

Mike Alquinto at the press launching of Ride for Health 2011MANILA, Philippines – A picture is worth a thousand words. Every photograph has a story to tell. But in the eyes of  seasoned photographer Mike Alquinto, his captured images come with an advocacy that depicts the struggles of the people living in far-flung areas of the country.

A photojournalist for more than 20 years now, Alquinto will again travel alone for 100 days passing through 76 key cities and provinces as part of his advocacy called the “Ride for Health 2011.”

 Photo Caption: Mike Alquinto at the press launching of Ride for Health 2011

His main objective, he said, is to document the state of women and children in rural and remote communities through photographs.

“I’ve been documenting events and lives of people living in rural communities for so many years now and my special subjects are women and children. But through the years, I noticed that they are still on the same level of poverty and were never uplifted from that state,” he said.

Alquinto will cover more than 11,000 kilometers of areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao onboard a Yamaha motorcycle to identify those that are deemed “the poorest areas.”

“I will use my profession as a photojournalist to let the public, the NGOs (Non-government Organizations), and the government know the current situation of the people in remote areas, especially women and children,” he shared.

Aside from capturing images, Alquinto will also be conducting cultural exchanges in coordination with local government units and communities, particularly in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao ARMM), Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblom, and Palawan (Mimaropa), Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and Zamboanga.

Alquinto said that the images would be available for viewing through photo exhibits at various venues, the proceeds of which will benefit the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

For his trip starting on January 31, Alquinto will arm himself with GPS (Global Positioning System) from SPOT services to track his travel; a modified motorcycle with help from YRS Modifications Philippines; hard luggage for his camera courtesy of Motoworld Philippines; and a strong will and determination.