Portraits of power: The CNN Philippines senatorial debate

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Eleven senatorial aspirants had their portraits taken before going up onstage at CNN Philippines' senatorial debate to talk and argue about a slew of issues that matter most to Filipino voters. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Since the start of the senatorial campaign, we’ve seen photos of candidates shaking hands with constituents; of them on a stage, talking to an audience; of them standing side by side with politicians; of them being swarmed by supporters; of them flashing hand signs as they cruise through a crowd.

These images from the campaign period always seem to show that the candidates are in the thick of things — important people doing important things.

On Saturday, just before the senatorial aspirants went onstage to talk and argue about issues that mean most to Filipino voters, acclaimed photographer Jake Verzosa set up a studio in a big, silent, white room. In this space, there are no supporters howling the candidates’ names, no audience to receive speeches, no politicians to retort to. In front of the photographer’s lens, they’re all alone.

Gary Alejano. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Raffy Alunan. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Glenn Chong. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Neri Colmenares. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Bato Dela Rosa. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Chel Diokno. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

JV Ejercito. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Samira Gutoc. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Florian Hilbay. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Romy Macalintal. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Erin Tañada. Photo by JAKE VERZOSA