As a temporary visa-holder, being in Australia at the height of the pandemic was both fortunate and incredibly taxing.

The border closures that shut most immigrants out meant that if I left the country—either to go home to my family in the Philippines or to be with my then-partner in America—it would have to be permanently.

Encouraged by family to stay, I spent Melbourne’s long lockdowns (and their brief intermissions) taking photos. I walked for hours through areas I’d lived in for years but had never really taken in.

The photos I’ve shared here are from that period, when I seesawed between conflicting sentiments:

Guilt, for experiencing a Covid response that was infinitely better coordinated and humane than that of the Philippines, where for a while even leaving your house for a walk was prohibited.

Flowing on from that was my frustration with Australians’ misery at being locked down, which I recognise was misplaced and unfair.

But also—and what I hope comes across through this project—joy, from capturing a side of Melbourne I never would have seen otherwise.