Kathleen Lei Limayo is a documentary filmmaker, documentary photographer, multimedia journalist, and visual anthropologist based in the Philippines.
She focuses on visually documenting the impacts of the climate crisis and covers multimedia stories on the intersections of environmental issues with human rights, women’s rights, and indigenous issues.
For more than ten years, Kathleen has extensively documented stories of culture and rights struggles of Indigenous communities across the Philippines. In 2019, she visually documented the investigative report on the displacement of Aeta Indigenous communities due to the Philippine government’s New Clark City project with journalists from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. To date, she is documenting the ongoing struggles of Dumagat-Remontado Indigenous communities fighting against the China-funded ‘Kaliwa Dam’ project.
She is a fellow and multiple-grantee of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. Her documentary film Sa Rikaw, a short film about an Iraya Mangyan Indigenous song, was nominated at the 34th Gawad Urian Film Festival in the Best Film Documentary Category. In 2018, she was the runner-up winner of the Cambridge Climate Frontline Programme for her multimedia documentary story Ah’ah Laot: People of the Sea – Climate Change Impacts to the People of Tigtabon Island.
Her works have been featured & published locally in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN News, Rappler.com, and internationally in DATUM Magazine. A selection of her photos has been physically exhibited at the Horizonte Zingst’s 15th Environmental Photo Festival in Zingst, Germany, and online at Native Agency’s International Environmental Photo Exhibit.
She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Audio-Visual Communication from the Film Institute, College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines Diliman. She is finishing her Master of Arts in Philippine Studies, specializing in Socio-Cultural Studies at the Asian Center, UP Diliman.
She currently serves as the Asia and Pacific Video Producer for 350.org, an international climate movement dedicated to fighting the climate crisis.
Photo by CJ Perez
Photos by Krixia Subingsubing, Manoy Pagatpat, Bong dela Torre, Angel Vertudez
Graduate Diploma in Visual Journalism
With full scholarship
Asian Center for Journalism
Master of Arts in Philippine Studies (Socio-Cultural)
Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman
Bachelor of Arts in Film and Audio-Visual Communication
Honor: Cum laude
Film Institute, College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines Diliman
NOMINATIONS, AWARDS, GRANTS & FELLOWSHIP
2023. Fellow. Environmental Data Journalism Academy by Thibi and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network
2022. Grantee. Asia-Pacific Story Grant from Earth Journalism Network with Krixia Subingsubing and Mariejo Ramos
2021. Mentee. International Environmental Photography Lab Mentorship Program by Native Agency, Grün Berlin, Neue Schule für Fotografie Berlin (New School for Photography) and Kigali Photo Center
2021. Fellow. ACFJ- EJN Collab on Climate Change. Project by Asian Center for Journalism (ACFJ) & Earth Journalism Network (EJN)
2021. Story Grantee. Special Two-Part Multimedia Report – “Vulnerable Dumagat folk find light, lift in solar power” and “A tribe under threat: Dumagat vs dam”. With co-grantees: Mariejo S. Ramos and Krixia Subingsubing. Released in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Inquirer.net. Supported by Asian Center for Journalism (ACFJ) & Earth Journalism Network (EJN)
2019. Story Grantee. Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. Asia-Pacific Health-Related Climate Change Story Grants. “Heat-related illnesses: Health impacts of climate change to farmers & fisherfolk in Dingalan, Aurora”
2018. Runner up. Cambridge Climate Frontline Programme. Grant for multimedia documentary project “Ah’ah Laot: People of the Sea – Climate Change Impacts to the Tigtabon Island”
2013. Nomination for Best Documentary Film. 36th Gawad Urian Film Festival. Nomination for film “Sa Rikaw: Ang Huling Kanta ng Iraya Mangyan ng Magnot”
2012. Honorable Mention for Documentary Thesis “Sa Rikaw: Ang Huling Kanta ng Iraya Mangyan ng Magnot”
2022. Judge, APEC Photo Contest 2022, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
2021. Judge, Decade of Change Photo Competition, 1854 – British Journal of Photography
2021. Judge, APEC Photo Contest 2021, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
PHOTO EXHIBITS AND FILM SCREENINGS
2023. UPFI Best Thesis Films. Screening of Sa Rikaw (2012). Held at UP Film Institute Film Center, Quezon City, Philippines.
2022. Weave of Hope: Woven by Blood. Screening of short documentary films: Ah’ah Laot, Dumagat vs. Dam, Climate Change, and New Clark City: Development for Whom? An exhibit by 350 Pilipinas, 350 Asia and 350.org commemorating the lives of environmental defenders in the Philippines. Held at Silingan Coffee Shop, Cubao Expo, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
2022. Celebrating Peace and Indigenous Women through Challenging Times. A photo exhibit showcasing the livelihood initiatives of indigenous women in Luzon and Mindanao. Exhibit held by Sulong Peace Incorporated at Instituto Cervantes de Manila, Intramuros Manila, Philippines.
2022. Horizonte Zingst’s 15th Environmental Photo Festival in Zingst, Germany.
2021. International Environmental Photography Lab. Digital Exhibit hosted by Native Agency in collaboration with Grün Berlin, Neue Schule für Fotografie Berlin and World Food Institute.
2021. A Festival of Climate Resilience Stories. Hosted by Asian Center for Journalism (ACFJ) and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN)
2012. UP Film Institute Student Thesis Screening. Cine Adarna, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City
2011. Coffee Art Painting Exhibit. ROX Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City
2008. disCOLOR: Black and White Photography Exhibit. UP Film Center, Quezon City
TRAININGS & WORKSHOPS
2023. Environmental Data Journalism Academy by Thibi and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network
2021. Certificate Course on Climate Change Reporting. Asian Center for Journalism (ACFJ), Ateneo de Manila University
2021. Certificate in Wholistic Ministry. Lilok Foundation
2019. 14th Professional Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Workshop. Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines, Inc.
Video Production. Execution of video productions from start to completion. Script and storyboard development. Video and audio post-production or editing
Photography. Production of photo series and stories. Taking of portraiture, documentation of projects
Remote-controlled aerial videography and photography. Using DJI drone to capture aerial shots
Underwater Photography and videography. Using a professional underwater camera
Open Water Diving. PADI Certified Open Water Scuba Diver
Member. Authority Collective
Fellow. Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN)
Member. Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines, Inc.
Member. Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (Anthropological Association of the Philippines)
Secretary, Board of Trustees. Lilok Foundation Inc.
RESEARCH INTERESTS AND SPECIALIZATION
Documentary filmmaking and photography
Philippine indigenous peoples and culture
Intangible cultural heritage and traditional knowledge system and practices
Visual anthropology and multimodal ethnographic research
Climate change impacts to indigenous peoples
ACADEMIC CONFERENCES & PRESENTATIONS
October 2022. Paper Presenter. Practicing Visual Anthropology Methods with the Sama Bajau community in Caragasan, Zamboanga City: A Researcher’s Retrospection. Kapuluan: Anthropology in the Archipelago – An International Conference. 44th Annual Conference Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao (Anthropological Association of the Philippines)
October 2021. Paper Presenter. Resistance and Resilience: How Dumagat-Remontado Communities in Tanay, Rizal Province Respond to the Climate Crisis Amid Environmental and Socio-Cultural Threats to their Communities. Philippine Sociological Society’s 2021 International Conference: Sociology of Vulnerabilities and Resistance. Co-authored with Mariejo Ramos
November 2019. Paper Presenter. Ah’ah Laot (People of the Sea): Climate Change Impacts to the People of Tigtabon Island. 41st UGAT Annual Conference, Visayas State University, Leyte
October 2019. Paper Presenter. Protecting Sierra Madre: Articulating Indigenous Identity and Rights through Forest Protection and Climate Change Mitigation Practices by Dumagat Forest Rangers in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Philippine Sociological Society Annual National Conference 2019
October 2019. Paper Presenter – Panel. Transforming Research Results into Advocacy. Philippine Sociological Society Annual National Conference 2019
March 2017. Paper Presenter. The Church as Agents of Transformation: We are Witnesses! Asian Theological Seminary 2017 Theological Forum
February 2016. Paper Presenter. Face-to-face and Online Interfaith Dialogue: Two Case Studies of Peace-building for Christians and Bangsamoros in the Philippines. Asian Theological Seminary 2016 Theological Forum