73-16 184th Street
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366
Aaron Romero is a New York based photographer working as a foreign correspondent for UNTV, a public service channel based in the Philippines. In a world where circulation of newspapers is dropping and budgets are shrinking while profit seems to be the mantra Romero is a fine example of a professional who is moving against the tide. He works for UNTV on a pro-bono basis.
Aaron David Romero was born in Marikina City (Philippines) and pursued B.S. Physical Therapy academically. However, destiny had other things in store for him. Photography and long distance travel were his best friends since childhood. Petitioned by his mother in the USA at the age of 12, he did quite a bit of back and forth to finish his studies but stayed in New York for good after finishing his graduate studies.
In 2006, Romero found his calling in the form of a job vacancy break in UNTV. “It’s the moment that they gave me an opportunity to serve my people, without any formal knowledge, they still gave me that chance. They trusted me.”
The quiet and reserved journalist is vocal about his passion for the channel he serves. “It's the public service. The passion of giving something to people without expecting any return.” But the obvious question that comes to mind is: how does Aaron sustain himself while pursuing his passion?
It is difficult to get this quiet and reserved journalist to give more information than necessary but we probed until he admitted with a smile, “I still do physical therapy at the side, do some small business in photography, and other stuff…” It was the “other stuff” that turned out to be quite interesting. He is an entrepreneur of sorts too. “I sell whatever I get my hands on” he bursts out laughing.
Alternately, small photography assignments seem to help too. He tried his hand at a variety of photography forms though photojournalism is what he enjoys the most (an obvious, given his love for journalism) as it constantly challenges him to push the boundaries of his photographic experience and add new dimensions to his horizon.
In the end, it was essential to find out what his advice for all the aspiring journalists and photojournalists would be and his answer didn’t disappoint. It was straight and to-the-point “Be honest. Have a pure heart. Love your job”.