BIBAK is a association of Igorot-Filipino-Americans brought together to maintain and further their bonds to their unique cultural heritage while they are away from their homeland. “BIBAK” is an acronym representing 5 of the tribes from the Cordillera region of the Northern Philippines. My beautiful wife, Kirin, is an Igorota from the Bontoc and Kalinga tribes.
The “BIBAK Kids” is what Kirin and I call the youth from BIBAK Youth San Diego, the younger members of BIBAK in our county. They’re also all good friends of ours. Kirin and I have been kicking around an idea in our heads of doing a series of portraits of The Kids both in their native costumes and street clothes. My first love has always been portrait photography. I have always been intrigued by the way a person’s personality could sometimes be distilled in a well shot portrait. And how cool would it be to try to do that with the BIBAK kids as they are in their every-day clothes, and then in clothes similar to what their ancestors wore. Would changing a person’s “outside” have any affect on their “inside”? How much does appearance affect essence? How much is persona a part of personality?