Filipina domestic helper gets NYU scholarship

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 08:42 PM January 23, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—A Filipina domestic helper-cum-photographer in Hong Kong will finally get her chance at a formal education.

Xyza Cruz Bacani, who received acclaim for her black-and-white portraits of Hong Kong daily life, got a scholarship to study at the New York University courtesy of Magnum Foundation.


Bacani, 27, was one of the seven Magnum Human Rights Fellows for 2015.

“All dreams are valid! I’m one of the 2015 Magnum fellows! I’m going to see New York and finally get a formal education!” Bacani said in her Facebook account.


Magnum Foundation said in its website that they offer “scholarships to photographers and journalists from non-Western countries to support their participation in the six-week Photography and Human Rights program.”

“Beyond the scholarships that MF provides and the coursework that is developed in collaboration with NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts, MF also continues to mentor and support these regional photographers when possible through editorial advice, introductions to photo editors, and in some cases, helping to facilitate independent freelance work with prominent, international media networks,” Magnum said on its website.

Bacani uses black-and-white photography as her medium in taking portraits, with her overtime pay funding her passion.

Documentary photographer Rick Rocamora recommended her work to the New York Times Lens Blog which was the one of the first publications to feature her work.

“I’m literally crying when I received the news!” Bacani said. “My papi and mama were so proud and excited, even my girls in Bethune.”

She also thanked her “Manong Rick” in her message.

Bacani joins Palestinian Basel Alyazouri, 19, Syrian Nour Kelze, 27, South African Sipho Mpongo, 21, Haitian Chery Dieu, 33, Ukrainian Anastasia Vlasova, 22, and Chinese Muyi Xiao, 23.


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TAGS: domestic helper, Filipina, Global Nation, New York University, scholarship, Xyza Cruz Bacani
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