Since leaving the Philippines in 2006 to work in Hong Kong, at age 19, I hadn’t really lived in my homeland. But when a short visit in 2020 stretched into 19 months, I was forced once again to become part of my hometown. And there, in the place of my ancestors, my heart was broken repeatedly as friends, acquaintances and community members succumbed to the coronavirus. Cut off from my usual creative networks, I started documenting the lives of the people I grew up with. I was as scared of Covid-19 as everyone else, but I decided to record this unprecedented situation – health care workers; women’s issues such as home birth; and farmers suffering from food insecurity – for my own descendants. In this way, I became an ancestor in my homeland: it was not about me any more but about those who will come after. This gave me an even greater sense of urgency as the Covid-19 death toll rose, because now, more than ever, tomorrow is never promised. Xyza Cruz Bacani’s “Ancestors/Descendants” exhibition can be seen in an Online Viewing Room at Christine Park Gallery until April 20.