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Lost symbols

Yusuke Harada | Manila, Philippines

A mother who is suffering from drug addiction holds her child in her arms at a small room in a slum, Manila.

 In the past, the poverty problem in Philippines had been known the world through these famous words, Scavenger and Smokey Mountain. That is these words had symbolized the poverty in Philippines. In mid 1990, the Philippines government decided to close down main Smokey Mountain and residents near the site were evicted to public housing. After that, it was expected that poverty problem in Philippines improve gradually and had improved ostensibly till a few years ago.

Poverty problem in Philippines have been getting worse again since a few years ago. According to UNDP, in recent 4 years poor people in Philippines had increased 2 million and estimated to increase further. Philippines is the only country among Southeast Asian countries where have been achieving rapid economic growth that poverty incidence have been increasing.

In the life in these environments, there are not only inferior living condition but also a risk of many diseases, drug temptation and crimes of violence. These problems cast shadows furthermore on their life. I think the stern realities of pervasive poverty in Philippines have never changed even now.


 Yusuke Harada, b.1979, who is Japanese photojournalist baced in Egypt, has photographed the world’s major conflicts and its hidden crisis. After studying Digital imaging technique in professional school for two years, he started his career as photojournalist covering the conflict in Gaza strip, PALESTINE. Since then, he has independently photographed and documented throughout Africa, Middle East and Asia.

 Yusuke has received outstanding awards in photojournalism, and also a writer, contributing to Japanese media.


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