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Manila Traffic
Manila
By Ralf Falbe
13 Jun 2016

Rush Hour on Roxas Boulevard in Ermita, Manila, Philippines.

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Manila
Manila
By Ralf Falbe
13 Jun 2016

Skyline of the Ermita District Manila, Philippines.

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Trash Collectors
Manila
By Ralf Falbe
13 Jun 2016

Men carry bags of trash along the shoreline of Manila Bay, Philippines

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Manila Street Vendor
Manila
By Ralf Falbe
13 Jun 2016

On Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Philippines, homeless people live on the street next to vendors.

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Philippines GoGo Bar
Puerto Galera
By Ralf Falbe
06 Jun 2016

Young women working in a GoGo Bar, Puerto Galera, Philippines.

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Fishermen
Roxas
By Ralf Falbe
02 Jun 2016

Fishermen with their raft passing the river in Roxas, Panay, Philippines.

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Kawayan Boys
Bacolod
By Ralf Falbe
02 Jun 2016

In front of the Bacolod Pension in Negros, Philippines, a wild bunch of cyclo drivers is living in their vehicles. They call themselves "Kawayan Boys" and are living like a family in their gang. Some are back from jail, some are smoking shabu and all are tattooed.

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Kawayan Boys
Bacolod
By Ralf Falbe
02 Jun 2016

A wild bunch of Tricycle Drivers is living in their vehicels in front of the Bacolod Pension in Bacolod, Negros, Philippines. Some are just back from Jail, some are smoking shabu and all are tattooed. They call themselves KAWAYAN BOYS and live in their gang like a family.

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Twin Lakes National Park
Negros
By Ralf Falbe
31 May 2016

Hikers in the Twin Lakes National Park, Negros, Philippines.

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Scenic Drive, Negros Philippines
Negros
By Ralf Falbe
31 May 2016

Scenic Road Trip to the Twin Lakes National Park, Negros, Philippines

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Twin Lakes National Park
Negros
By Ralf Falbe
30 May 2016

View on Twin Lakes National Park, Southern Negros, Philippines.

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Singapore workers 01
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

Moe Moe looks at Singapore from the elevator of a shopping center where is located the organization that helps her after being abused by her employers. She was hired to take care of 3 children and the household chores. Her working day began at 5 am and ended at midnight. She ate white rice three times a day accompanied by a glass of water and received punches as punishment when stealing food in the kitchen. In April will began the trial against her employers

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Singapore workers 05
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

Kee Hli Pai and her friend Awe Hung are enjoying their day off in Península Plaza, where they use to meet Burmese domestic workers on Sundays. There seem hasty to take advantage of their limited free time, make new friends or meet other migrants who come in search of romance. Sunday is always short for them. By nightfall they must return to the places where they work and stay.

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Singapore workers 09
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

A couple of friends enjoy their Sunday off in Península Plaza, where Burmese domestic workers use to meet. Since 2012, domestic workers are entitled to wage once a week. This law has generated controversy because there are those who are convinced that the government has not done enough to meet international rights, while others complain of not being able to control the time of those women with the risk of establishing relationships or become pregnant.

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Singapore workers 12
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

A couple of friends enjoy their Sunday off in Península Plaza, where Burmese domestic workers use to meet. Since 2012, domestic workers are entitled to wage once a week. This law has generated controversy because there are those who are convinced that the government has not done enough to meet international rights, while others complain of not being able to control the time of those women with the risk of establishing relationships or become pregnant.

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Singapore workers 10
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

A young Burmese is at the gates of Peninsula Plaza shopping center

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Singapore workers 11
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

A Burmese is enjoying his Sunday off with friends at the gates of Peninsula Plaza shopping center

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Singapore workers 13
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

Ummai, 34, poses near a central street in Singapore. She is a domestic worker from Indonesia who arrived to Singapore in the 90's. She worked at the home of employers who forced her to sleep with a mattress on the balcony and had not a single day off. A few years later, she started the Indonesia Family Network thanks to the generosity of her current employers that allow her time off work if her conferences or activities require

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Singapore workers 14
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
22 Mar 2016

Cartoon example. More available by request.

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Siquijor Island
Siquijor Island
By Ralf Falbe
05 Mar 2016

Paddling a Banca Boat at sunset, Siquijor Island, Philippines.

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Scooter Rider
Siquijor Island
By Ralf Falbe
03 Mar 2016

PHILIPPINES, SIQUIJOR ISLAND, 03.03.2016: Sun protection on a scooter.

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Cloud 9 Surfer
Siargao Island
By Ralf Falbe
19 Feb 2016

Surfer at Cloud 9 Resort, Siargao Island, Philippines.

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Surfing in the Phillipines
Siargao Island
By Ralf Falbe
18 Feb 2016

Surfer is entering the famous spot called Cloud 9 on Siargao Island in the Philippines.

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Cloud 9 Watchtower
Siargao Island
By Ralf Falbe
17 Feb 2016

Watchtower at Cloud 9 surf resort, Siargao Island, Philippines.

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Filipino Child
Mindanao
By Ralf Falbe
15 Feb 2016

An infant at the NGO German Doctors Hospital in Valencia, Mindanao, Philippines.

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Malaybalay Street Scene
Mindanao
By Ralf Falbe
15 Feb 2016

Street scene in the town of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines.

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German Doctors Hospital
Mindanao
By Ralf Falbe
15 Feb 2016

Desperate Grandmother with a sick child seeks help at the Hospital of the German Doctors in Valencia, Mindanao, Philippines. The NGO offers free medical treatment for poor hill tribe people.

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German Doctors Provide Free Treatment
Mindanao
By Ralf Falbe
15 Feb 2016

Hilltribe people get free medical treatment in the hospital of the German Doctors in Valencia, Mindanao, Philippines.

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Filipino
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Filipino man with his arm raised in Cebu City. Here the locals are getting free medical treatment once a week by the NGO German Doctors and Filipino Volunteers.

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Guns`N Kids
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Young girl plays with a plastic toy gun in a village near Cebu City, Philippines.

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Children of a Philippines Slum
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Children in a Shanty Town in Cebu City, Philippines. The NGO German Doctors offers free medical treatment to the people here.

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German Doctors NGO
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

A Filipina volunteer nurse works with the NGO German Doctors to provide free medical treatment in a village of trash collectors near Cebu City in the Philippines.

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German Doctors Hospital
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

A nurse examines a child at the German Doctors Hospital in Cebu City, Philippines. The NGO German Doctors offers free medical treatment to the city's slum dwellers.

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Slum Dogs in Shanty Town
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Friends in a shanty town in Cebu City, Philippines. Documentary for the NGO German Doctors.

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Chinese Cemetery
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
11 Feb 2016

Chinese cemetery in Cebu City, Philippines

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Filipina Girl
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
11 Feb 2016

A young Filipina girl in the slums of Cebu City, Phlippinies where the NGO German Doctors offers free medical treatment.

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Homeless Children in Shanty Town
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
11 Feb 2016

Homeless children play with an umbrella, while their parents wait for a free consultation with doctors in Cebu City, Philippines. Homeless people live in the tombs at the Chinese cemetery and get free medical treatment once a week provided by the German Doctors and Filipino volunteers.

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Trapped in Singapore
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
17 Jan 2016

The dream of a better life to open a business back in Burma is what made Moe Moe reach to Singapore two years ago. What she hasn't taken into account is that she would spend nine months before she won her first salary because of the deductions made by the company that brought her up here: a practice that traps women with a lot of debt and makes them withstand all kinds of abuse to get their first salary. "I was paid $ 420 Singapore [around 280 euros] and I had not a single day in 10 months," explains the 25-year old Burmese woman. Her stocky body and short stature contrast with the photos taken during the time she was abused, where she looks emaciated and beaten.

Thousands of women come to Singapore every year, attracted by the wages of this prosperous city state. But they are manipulated by agents and employers. The conditions of some of them here are similar to slavery. In the 90's the government encouraged women to the labor market and increased the number of visas available for foreign domestic workers to take care of the household chores. But after the crisis of 1997, agencies sought a new way to make money advertising the "zero dollars maids," meaning that the placement rates must be paid by workers when employers did before. The situation has been getting worse over the years. If at first the workers paid 3 to 6 months of their salary, now could be up to 10 months; a practice that traps women with a lot of debt and makes them withstand all kinds of abuse to get your first salary. In addition, many of them have no day off a week and have difficulty asking for help.

The lucky women who have the day off use to meet in public spaces for picnicking or in the vicinity of some malls. There seem hasty to take advantage of their limited free time, make new friends or meet other migrants who are looking for a romance. Sunday is always short for them. When night falls, they must return to the places where they work and stay. In recent years there have been some changes, such as improving some social norms or a gradual increase in law enforcement. Starting next December, agencies will have to be evaluated as a requirement to renew their licenses. However, only employers may evaluate, leaving aside domestic workers; HOME, a local organization, demands that it is incorporated before it takes effect, so they can have a protective mechanism to alleviate the extreme vulnerability they face.

Text by Ana Salvá

Photos by Omar Montenegro

Cartoons by Omar Montenegro (by request)

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Singapore workers 02
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
17 Jan 2016

Misanda, a 20 years old Burmese domestic worker, is enjoying her weekly day off in Singapore. Domestic workers saw recognized their right to wage a day off a week in 2012, although some of them traded the day in exchange for financial compensation to add to their meager incomes.

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Singapore workers 03
Singapore
By Ana Salvá
17 Jan 2016

Misanda, a 20 years old Burmese domestic worker, is enjoying her weekly day off in Singapore. Domestic workers saw recognized their right to wage a day off a week in 2012, although some of them traded the day in exchange for financial compensation to add to their meager incomes.