Love of photography helps Stairway trainer cope with stress

Ace Diloy is one of Stairway’s trainers in our Break the Silence program for the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation.  His work often takes him on the road around the Philippines or to some far-flung place in the world.  It can be stressful at times, but Ace manages to cope through his love of photography.        Read what he has to say:

Being a Stairway trainer has always been for me, one exciting career.  One gets to go to different places, meet different people and engage in a topic, which is close to ones’ heart. It also helps that the organizational culture itself is very supportive of innovation, as workers are encouraged to explore new ideas and methodologies. Another significant aspect of Stairway’s work is the level of intensity on how it is carried out. Even though right now, we are only 2 in the training team, and we do things independently, this has not limited us in engaging in different child protection initiatives. However, an inevitable outcome will always be stress, and no one is immune to this. My work necessitates that most of the time, I spend a considerable amount of time away from my family, and being away from my children and wife is one of the main factors that contribute to this stress. Good thing is that I have found a way to manage this stress so far, which is through photography.


I started doing hobby photography when my daughter was born in 2009. The only purpose back then was to document her birth, and growth, but I soon discovered that I really enjoyed taking photos. Since then, I have tried different photography genres, and realized that I enjoyed street and travel photography, as well as portraits. I have managed to combine my work with my photography right now. Having been given the opportunity to travel extensively both locally and internationally, I have taken photographs of the places and people I have visited because of my work with Stairway. An afternoon after every training, or an extra day spent doing photography has helped me cope with the stress of being on the road away from family. I have also realized that when my children are all grown up, the photos I took in my travels would serve as good tools for telling them stories, as I can always point them back to a visual reference – what was the place like? How about the food? The everyday street scene? The people?


I believe as development workers, we are all artists in our own right, and photography has also helped me realize that I can still tap back into that artist’s internal space which is sometimes lost because one might perceive that it is not really needed anymore. Whenever I am on the road because of training, I find that tapping into that internal creative space every time I press my camera shutter serves as one of the best ways to manage the inherent stresses in this career. I have included in this article some photos I took in my travels as a Stairway trainer.

Click here to view more of Ace’s travel images.

Contributed by Ace Diloy, Advocacy and Training Officer, SFI