Edric Chen tells us in his own words about his recent trip to Boracay Island, Phillippines and how this series unfolded.
"I went to Boracay Island in the Philippines recently where I met freelancers (that's what they call themselves) or prostitutes. I hung out with them and photographed them. A lot of them didn't start out as prostitutes. I know they had stints as tour guides, nannies, fire dancers; basically, anything one could do on a tourist island destination.
It started out when I met a Gay Guy named RC outside of a bar. We talked, he invited me to go to a club so he could dance, I paid around $4 for the cover charge. It was a weird experience because I ended paying for every meal we had over the course of my stay there. It wasn't expensive, though I felt like I was being used but I also felt like I was using them as subjects.
Their routine was simple. They went barhopping at night to find clients. They seemed to genuinely enjoy dancing so if no one hired them, they didn't care that much unless they really needed the money to eat, to pay rent or to send to their families elsewhere.
I did grow somewhat attached to them all. Many times, I would tell them to go back and do what they used to do before prostitution. Maybe it got to them. In the end, I may also have caused division among them. Just the simple act of me wanting to photograph their friends made them jealous."