13 January 2018


 January 13, 2018

Random thoughts on the brilliant photography and leadership of John K Chua, Makati, Philippines who passed away January 7, 2018. We celebrate and acknowledge his dedication to his family, his photography, and to the disabled and disadvantaged. And to just about every person he ever met.

On January 5, 2018, John K. Chua posted the following to Facebook: We’re complete! Nice to have the whole family together. Thanks G-nie Arambulo for taking our picture.

JohnKChuaAndFamily January2018


“Although we will miss him terribly, we are grateful that he is free from pain, and we are glad for all the happy memories we had together.”
Ching, Kathy, Sacha, Harvey, and the whole family


JohnChua1Thoughts by Anton Mari H Lim. My first contact with Uncle John Chua was for the PHOTOGRAPHY WITH A DIFFERENCE Project which was referred to me by Joi Valientes, the mom of one of our Tzu Chi recipient. Together with Tzu Chi Zamboanga Camera Club of Zamboanga City, Rotary Club of Zamboanga City and Canon Philippines – we had the privilege of sharing the joys of photography with the differently-abled kids in Zamboanga City. More than the kids learning photography from us, we learned a lot more from them and their parents. We got life lessons on unconditional love and gratitude!

JohnChua2My last meeting with Uncle John! I knew this was gonna happen. But I am still in denial!

Last Dec. 28, I dreamt (and I rarely dream in my sleep) of Uncle John aboard a yellow boat while happily playing with his drone sailing into the horizon and waving at me. That scene in my dream is exactly how I wanna remember him by!

Fast, Funny and Furious! That’s our uncle John Chua. The chapel was full of pictures and stories shared by people whose lives he touched and continue to touch. Soon, his face will be forgotten but stories about how he lived his life to the fullest, his love for his craft, his work ethics and the kindness he shown to people and animals will be shared by generations to come. I want to remember and treasure my fun times with him and i’m sure he wants that too.

“I don’t like people crying at my funeral,” he said! I knew I wouldn’t be able to control my tears so I said my goodbye to him at 3am today.

Thank you uncle John, will be playing the song STAYING ALIVE by the Bee Gees in honor of you today.

For those who want to write about their encounters with Uncle John or share your pictures with him- LETTERS TO MAGIC EYE, you can still do so. Please use the hashtags #johnkchua #magiceye when you share it on FB so the Chua family can read it.


JohnChua3Thank you Uncle John Chua for this photo. We were on our way back from a day of shoot at Layag Layag Yellow Boat Community when he suddenly stopped and commanded me to stop and get all the kids following and clinging to my shirt around me. He orchestrated the shoot patiently and took several shots and said that’s itb He blurted out like a happy Dad stating..”Doc Anton, one day you’re gonna thank me for doing this!”


This is exactly a year ago since Uncle John Chua crossed the great beyond! He surprised us by joining our activity at Mayoyao, Mountain Province. He has a knack of capturing and orchestrating the best moments!

JohnChua4 JohnChua5 JohnChua6
He will forever remain in our daily encounters that change every people’s lives and perception about Zamboanga City. Thank You very much Uncle John Chua.


JohnChua8 JohnChua7In honor of an extraordinary person who I considered as family and a mentor whether he likes it or not, we named a yellow adventure boat after him – Uncle John Chua. The boat is now sailing at the mangrove of Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City. Uncle John taught us advocacy shoot and is the co-lead implementor of Lucena Funds for Little Kids that takes care of Dalahican Yellow Boat Community in Lucena.

Yellow Boat Adventures is an ecotourism project of Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation that aims to provide an alternative and legal livelihood to fishermen so that their kids can go, stay and finish school. Aboard YB Uncle John Chua (above) are Director Joel Lamangan, Tony Mabesa, Jim Pebanco and Co. while on Lagoon Tour of Las Islas de Sta Cruz.

As you sail on the Uncle John Chua boat, please say a prayer for his complete recovery. The world needs more crazy people like him. Hang in there! You’re co-Yellow Boat Hope Paddlers loves you!


Video created for one of John Chua’s birthday celebrations by Joel H Garcia


We miss you, #JohnKChua  #MagicEye – but even importantly, we know much of the world has been (and will be) changed for the better because of your enthusiasm, talent, generosity, and willingness to go the extra mile . . . or more!

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