MANILA -- Ganden Medved-Po, the 17-year-old son of former actress Nanette Medved, is dedicating his photography book to the efforts of World Wide Fund to promote sustainable fisheries in the Philippines.
On Saturday, Po launched his book “Life Below Water” featuring a compilation of photos of marine life taken in the past seven months with the help of underwater photographer Scott Gutsy Tuason, despite the limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the teen environment advocate, the proceeds of the book will be given to WWF-Philippines.
In a virtual press conference, the senior high school student from International School of Manila (ISM) was elated to launch his work -- a result of combining his passion in the ocean and photography.
“From a young age, I was raised around the water, often brought to the beaches of the Philippines as a child. I developed an interest in the oceans and the animals and their habitat. As I grew, I was mesmerized by the Blue Planet documentaries and the Wonders of the Ocean,” he recalled.
This interest eventually mixed with his passion for photography, which captivated his heart almost equally as much as the ocean did.
“When I first started taking photos, even if they were just family celebrations, I realized the power I have -- the power to preserve memories,” Ganden shared.
His exposure to environmental challenges of the world such as climate change slowly captured his attention.
Ganden, a member of the WWF-Philippines National Youth Council, explained that he realized the significant influence oceans have on human society.
“Economically, tourism suffered as nature died up with unsustainable practices. Food security and other industries that function around the environmental world also slowly suffered,” he said.
“Understanding the interconnection between my world and nature fueled my passion to make change, to protect both. It had to start with my own personal act,” Ganden quipped.
He did his part in protecting the environment at a young age, even before he was introduced to the WWF Heroes.
“My work with WWF has led me to many wonderful opportunities including the 'Life Below Water' book, which we are presenting today,” the ISM swimming team captain said.
Ganden admitted he was excited when the idea of a photography book was presented to him, realizing that his photos will not only be published but may also spark change in society.
“With this book, I finally understood the true power that I have to take photos. Not only could I preserve memories but I also had the ability to share hundreds of thousands of works through taking pictures with the rest of the world,” Ganden said.
“The ability to make change in my own world fueled my determination to make this book possible. And despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, I persevered. I was determined even in the smallest of ways to use my passion to help the world.
“I’m proud of this collaborative project with the WWF... Through these photos, I hope people will have a better appreciation of our oceans and to learn to care for them more,” Ganden said.
Ganden is the son of Medved and her husband Christopher Po, chairman of Century Pacific Food. He is active in various organizations including the Photography Club Council where he organizes events and workshops, as well as the Ocean ActivISM Council, which advocates ocean conservation and sustainability.