Brother Ciriaco Santiago, CSsR (Bro. Jun) was born in Paombong, Bulacan on August 20, 1970. He attended public primary and secondary schools before entering the Redemptorists Seminary Formation. There, he joined the documentation team as a background of his interest in social realities. He dedicated himself to religious life when he had his first profession on 27 April, 1996.
His first religious assignment was inviting young men to be part of the religious congregation. Following a very strong typhoon that hit Legazpi, Albay in 2006, he focused on helping the victims through documentation, rescue operations and rehabilitation.
This terrible human experience strengthened his commitment to pursue a Christian apostolate for social justice, and he was designated as head of the Permanent Commission on Social Mission Apostolate. During this time he took a formal course in photography in order to effectively and meaningfully keep record of the human drama towards a better end.
His informal and formal training as a photojournalist came through study and fieldwork. Most of his works were used by an alternative media group in the Philippines. First an apprentice, he became a photographer/contributor of TUDLA Productions and Manila Today. He also developed his photography through the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines, Inc (PCP) and Masterclass in Documentary Photography (MCDP), under the mentorship of Alex Baluyut. He focuses on social issues, in particular capturing and documenting people’s movement in their struggle for justice, liberation and rights. Eventually he was drawn to other related social realities such as destructive mining, land and environmental problems and, recently, the war on drugs.
His ultimate aim as a religious brother is, using his lens, to awaken and promote the best in human beings as images of God in the world. He looks forward to the coming days when humans are finally able to take responsibility for others and the rest of creation.
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