John Delante

Photo Series

This story is the first of our new feature series on notions of home — for many of us, our home is in multiple places — where we were raised, where our parents are from, where we feel the most safe, where we feel the most connected to the world. 

In 2015 and at age 17, photographer John Delante moved from Cebu to Toronto, leaving his childhood behind. “Child-like and naive, I searched for comfort around me, but felt alien in my environment. I was holding on to what I knew from the past because I was afraid that I couldn’t succeed in what was meant to be my new home.”

Today, FAR–NEAR brings together two photo series by Delante, Finding Comfort Under the Sky and Repose and Renewal. An old passport photo, an heirloom rosary and a St. Nino, the former gathers objects brought from Cebu to Toronto. The latter is a portrait series from the photographer’s first visit back to Cebu; an attempt to rekindle intimacy with childhood friends after seven years apart.

“Understanding how time and distance has changed us, I photographed them in place of the feelings I couldn’t convey.”


Two passport photos stacked together. The top is the first passport photo I had taken in Cebu around 2008. The bottom is my current photo taken at my previous job. Here I’m investigating my relationship between the past and present of the self.


I grew up in a Catholic household in Cebu, Philippines. My family believes in the divinity of the Christ Child, so I photographed this statuette to recontextualize my religious background to who I am today–A new sense of identity.


I photographed this snail as it was climbing down from a branch. I thought it’d be interesting to photograph it because they always carry their shells, or their home.  It reminded me of myself.


A family heirloom given by my grandparents before I left for Canada. I placed it in a branch to mimic a family tree.

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I photographed my friends after a long hike. We live in a rural area and communicate through hiking. They are my neighbors and school peers whom I’ve known for more than 12 years.

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This beer is common in the Philippines because of its strong-kick flavor. We buy beers and engage in intimate, platonic conversations.

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Sean and I met in elementary school. We instantly became friends because we share similar interests in music, art and a bit of fashion. Also, our birthdays are only a day apart in June. We often don’t see each other but remain close to this day.

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Our friendship goes back to kindergarten, 2003. We’ve witnessed each other’s growth and how it made our friendship closer throughout the years. She is one of my ride or die friends.

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