MESSAGE: A smile can speak of our hopes for the future. A smile is understood across different cultures. A smile is a sign that despite our differences, we can all dream as one.
Joy, excitement, and hope can be seen in the faces of these young students,who come from different ethnic groups in the Philippines, as they graduate from the PAMULAAN-Center for Indigenous People’s Education. This is the first ever college built specifically for the indigenous people living not only in the Philippines, but also in other countries found in Asia.
A smile delivers a stronger message than words can dare create, and the message for this photograph is about how these young students strive and hope for a bright tomorrow. Despite their cultural differences, they work hard to achieve their dreams hand in hand. The students’ genuine smiles and the atmosphere of unity seen in the photo speak volumes about their character and aspirations in life.
The Pamulaan-Center for Indigenous People’s Education is located at Mintal, Davao City, Philippines and was started by 2004 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Emergent Leadership, Benjamin Abadiano.