Veejay Villafranca

      Vicente Jaime “Veejay” Villafranca (b. 1982 Philippines) was amongst 
seven Filipinos to be accepted in the first Asian documentary workshop 
of the Angkor photography festival in Siem Reap, Cambodia. After 
freelancing in 2006, he worked with Agence France Presse, Reuters,
 World Picture Network and the United Nations IRIN news wire. His
 project about the lives of former gang members in one of Manila’s
 dangerous slums, BASECO compound, garnered the 2008 Ian Parry
 Scholarship grant in London. He is also the recipient of the 2007-2008 
Asian Center for Journalism Photojournalism program in partnership 
with the World Press Photo Foundation. His work has been shown in
 London, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Phnom Pehn, France, Turkey and Manila.

      Veejay is represented by Getty Global Assignments in London and Asia Motion in the Asian and French markets.

      His ongoing projects evolve around the Filipino faith, the concept of
reserved space for ethnic tribes in the Philippines, and illegal refugees in Southeast 
Asia apart from his project with the gangs and the continuously changing social and political landscape of his country.

      Veejay is a member of Asia Motion since 2011.

      Work Experience

      2003 – 2006
      Staff photojournalist. Philippine Graphic weekly news magazine.

      2005 – 2006
      Staff photojournalist BusinessMirror newspaper

      • Immediately assigned in the Presidential beat in 2003. Became a regular member of The Presidential Photojournalists Association of the Philippines after 6 months.
      • Assigned to the regular news beat after one year and a half in the Presidential beat covering hard news, business and feature stories.
      • Covered the ongoing insurgency in Southern Philippines mainly in Basilan, Cotabato, Jolo and Zamboanga.
      • Started a documentary project on the ethnic people Badjao in Southern Philippines.

      2003 – Present
      On-call stringer for Agence France- Presse, Associated Press.

      2005 – Present
      Stringer of Thomson-Reuters news agency Manila Bureau.

      2005 – 2007
      Manila correspondent World Picture News (WPN) New York USA.

      December 2007 – Present
      Stringer for United Nations IRIN photo department.

      2006 – Present
      Co-founder of D&FT (Design & Fotografie Team) design agency specializing in advertising photography, print and industrial designs.

      2008 – Present
      Manila correspondent exclusively for Getty
      Images Global Assignments.

      2008 – 2010
      Vice – Chairman and head of educational and training committee – Philippine Center for Photojournalism

      Aid agencies:
      United Nations World Food Programme, UNICEF, Save the Children Philippines and UK, Marie Stopes International, Illuminada Dinulong Foundation, OXFAM, United Nations News Service

      Preview, The Philippine Graphic, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Men’s Health Philippines, Entrepreneur, Imagine, Neon, Sunday Times Magazine London, British Journal of Photography, Private Magazine Online, Getty Images London, The International Herald Tribune, Time online, Newsweek Magazine and online, etc..

      Getty Images Gallery London August 2008 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco

      Recipient of the 2nd Crossing point residency in Perpignan, France 2008

      Woo gallery Vilnius, Lithuania October 2008 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco

      National Museum of the Philippines May 2008 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco

      Oarhouse gallery November 2008 –
      Myanmar ravaged by Cyclone Nargis

      Penguin gallery 2008 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco

      Kabuhi exhibition Hongkong November 2009 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco (single print)

      CubaoX June 2009 –
      ‘Creatures of habit’ daily life in the Philippine National Railways

      Getty Images Gallery London August 2009 –
      A race divided: Illegal Burmese migrants in India

      Phnom Pehn Photo Festival December 2009 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco & Burmese migrants in India (slideshow)

      Silverlens Photography Gallery February 2010 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco

      Antennes-photo July 10 2010 Rencontres d’Arles festival –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco

      CYAN Studios – Oslo, Norway – March 2011 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco

      Metropolitan Museum – Manila, Philippines – May – July 2011 –
      Marked: Gangs of Baseco and Faith above fate.

      Blanc compound – Manila, Philippines – October 2011 –
      Faith above Fate

      Sagamihara city gallery – Sagamihara, Japan – October-November 2011 –
      A race divided: Illegal Burmese migrants in India

      Nikon salon gallery – Tokyo, Japan – January 2012 –
      A race divided: Illegal Burmese migrants in India

      Book Projects (2008-2011)

      • “Malabrigo lighthouse project” – a coffee table book aimed to save the lighthouse from the Spanish era located south of Manila endangered of being transformed into a KTV bar.
      • “PCSO 75 years” – a collaborative book project celebrating the 75th year anniversary of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes.
      • “Corazon Aquino Tribute” – published by ABS-CBN, this book project pays tribute to the late democracy icon.
      • The MERCY Project “Inochi”- published by Mado-sha in Japan and produced by James Whitlow-Delano.
      • “Invisible Asia: Not your stereotypical Southeast” – a collective book project that compiles documentary stories form Asia often overlooked or buried in the fast-paced media landscape. It aims to be a venue for stories that hardly gets media attention from publications due to lack of space and editorial prerogative.

      Projects in 2006 – 2011

      • “MARKED” – long term documentary project on the lives of former gang members in one of Manila’s most dangerous slums.
      • “The long ride back home” – a photo documentary on the rehabilitation of the Philippine National Railways and the communities that used to live along the tracks.
      • “The Human Trafficking Project” – a collaboration with local and international NGOs to produce a documentary and other materials as a means of campaign against human trafficking in the Philippines.
      • “Between a rock and a hard place” – photos essay on the ongoing civilian war between Muslim separatist group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the government.
      • “Sweetness and Sorrow in Sugarlandia” – photo essay on the sugarcane farmer’s march in the Philippine’s largest sugar cane producing province in their fight for the land that they till and sow.
      • “Struggling to find their way back to their sea” – long term photo documentary on the sea gypsies from the south of the Philippines.
      • “Drive the nail right” – an ongoing portrait project on construction workers in the Philippines.
      • “Children of the storm” – photo essay on the refugees in the Thai-Burma border.
      • “No time for grieving” – photo essay on the aftermath of Cyclone Nagris in the Irrawaddy delta region in Myanmar.
      • “A race divided” – a long-term documentary project that shows the lives of illegal Burmese migrants in the bordering countries of Myanmar. In this part, the story evolves in the mountainous region of Northeast India, Mizoram.
      • “Faith above fate” – an introspective project on how Filipinos leave everything to the divine cling on to faith on different moments in their lives.


      • 1st Prize winner – Newsbreak and British Embassy Muslim photo contest 2007.
      • 1st Prize winner – European Union and Phil. Center for Photojournalism photo contest on UNDP funded projects 2005.
      • Honorable Mention – World Bank photo contest 2006.
      • Ian Parry Scholarship foundation – print exhibited 2007.
      • Nominated for 2008, 2009 and 2010 Joop Swart Masterclass Program World Press Photo educational program in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
      • Nominated for National Geographic All Roads documentary program 2008.
      • 2008 – awardee of the Ian Parry grant, London, United Kingdom. The first Asian to bag the prestigious award that supports up and coming photographers to produce their personal projects. Documentary project “Marked: Gangs of Baseco” exhibited in Getty Gallery in London, United Kingdom.
      • Grantee of the 2nd Crossing Point residency program during the 20th anniversary of the Visa Pour l’image photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France
      • Honorable mentioned in European Union’s climate change photo contest with his essay on ‘Monsoon nights’.