Indigenous Transitions: From Behind the Lens

Behind the Lens, Indigenous Transitions by Bianca Natola.

National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Hannah Reyes studies and documents the transitions to modernity of indigenous culture in the Northern Philippines, which is home to a large number of indigenous groups. 

When out in the field, it’s difficult not to get tangled up in your job and in your responsibilities. You start to worry about whether you’re asking the right questions or taking enough photos that help tell the story. Sometimes, caught up in the pressure to do well, you fall into the trap of being too hard on yourself when it feels like opportunities may have been missed. You forget just to enjoy the process and appreciate how surreal it is to have been given the chance to explore, to ask questions, and to try to understand this small part of the world.

For this project, our team was encouraged to document not just the story of the indigenous transitions, but our experiences in the field as well. Bianca Natola created this video and it reminded us of our own adventures while working on this, and how much we’ve learned from each person we had the fortune to meet. Their stories of transitions are now tightly entwined with ours.

(Photo by Hannah Reyes)
(Photo by Hannah Reyes)

Find out more about the project on

Read More by Hannah Reyes


  1. Shayne Zalameda
    March 24, 2015, 9:11 pm

    Whang-od! Beautiful video and scoring. 🙂

  2. Nathaniel Walker
    New Zealand
    July 8, 2014, 10:20 am

    Looking forward to learning more about this!