Sunday, January 30, 2011

the big picture

Also the big picture, don't forget about the big picture. Or as they say, the long shot.


*Baguio Ukay-Ukay with multiple Wifeys
**Click to enlarge

Saturday, January 29, 2011

In the details

A worker's cutting board
Cutting board

Decadence and Corrosion
Decadence and Corrosion

Just like you, I carry around a small camera with me, in case something catches my eye wherever I may be. It's like an exercise, a meditation on ordinary life, or a way to record something that happens to fascinate or disturb me. To see something striking in the commonplace, to capture a moment, design or detail unnoticed by others -- for me, it's an assertion of being in the world, embracing curiosity and the need to find meanings, and a way to counter alienation and the dulling effect of modern life on the senses. I also take pictures out of sheer fun, just to show you what I had seen that day. It can be as simple as that.

Like this photo of a cutting board used by a worker to install small tiles in a neighbor's house, with bits of flowers and leaves that had fallen from an overhanging sampaguita tree. Or this shot of a rusty roof full of cigarettes, which I noticed outside of an ukay-ukay (secondhand store) -- an enormous ashtray created by the tenants in the upper floors.

The beauty and ugliness that we humans create never ceases to amaze me.


the everyday


I choose to shoot the everyday, to find those special moments that tend to be forgotten or ignored in the commonplace. Just like your laundry shots.

I myself am not sure how to do this. What I do though, when it happens, is stop for a moment, take out my camera, and shoot.

Sometimes you find them. Sometimes they find you.


*Mannequins being covered to protect them from dust during closing time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Laundry Day

Laundry day reflections



Photographs can also tell stories about something as commonplace (and essential) as doing laundry. Here are four snapshots taken during laundry day, in my father's yard which easily floods with soapy water, under the shade of a bamboo tree.

Sometimes, though, I get the itch to tell stories that are less commonplace, less safe, and put me outside of my comfort zone. I'm not always sure how and when to do this, but I suppose there will be times for me to really put my storytelling abilities to a test.


Monday, January 24, 2011


Photographs are like stories, and yes, they can be science fiction or fantasy stories too.

I'll sing to that.

Musician at Conspiracy Bar


*That ventriloquist dude--whose name escapes me right now--doing something not usually part of his repertoire: singing.

The unreal

Bathing in artificial light

Maybe she was dreaming about her youth or about life as she knows it. Or she could have been dreaming about some otherworldly realm, like those found in science fiction novels or movies. One should not underestimate how fanciful even a lola can be.

Through tricks of light and movement, images can be created that don't mirror any reality that we know of. Images can seem like dreams, nightmares, faraway galaxies, or alternate realities -- evoking a sense of wonderment, as we try to decide what we are looking at. A photo, like this one, doesn't reveal any truths. It's part of what I also like about photography, that chance to experiment, play, and imagine. Not everything we see is what it seems.


*A boy bathing in a fountain of water and light at the Technohub in Quezon City.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who am I to disagree

Good thing the guy has that cute anime girl beside him.

How about this lola (Grandma/Meemaw), all alone, commuting in a jeep. Is she dreaming of someone talking to her, like lovers do, in her youth?

quiapo-project 6 jeep lola


Sweet dreams

Sweet dreams

I don't begrudge people the chance to catch a few winks whenever they can, especially in between the tiring work and difficulties that they endure. For instance, this man, who looks like a worker, was taking a nap outside of a 7-eleven convenience store along Recto Ave. in Manila. Napping allows for a bit of respite, a chance to rest and dream a bit -- maybe about the fantasy girl next to him?

Or perhaps about a decent wage and a life with fewer worries. Possibly, he doesn't even dream or forgets his dreams as soon as he wakes up.

Or like so many Filipinos, maybe he dreams about traveling the world and the seven seas. Are these sweet dreams? Or bittersweet?


*Alluding, of course, to the Eurythmics' song... you know, from your era. :)

Catch your Winks

sleeping, standing man at mrt

Also, don't forget those moments of sleeping while traveling.


*Passenger standing AND sleeping at the MRT.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Watch your step

Midtown crossing

A subway warning


Wherever you go, no matter the place or mode of transportation, always watch your step. And hopefully, while traveling, there will also be a moment or two for self-reflection and contemplation about the world around us.


*Scenes in NYC

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bayad Po

"Bayad po" (Here's our pay) inside a jeep

Oh, travel again.

remember, bayad muna bago baba (pay your fare before you get down)...


*Passenger passing her pay to the Jeepney driver

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chasing the New Year

Remnants of last night's revelry

Chasing the New Year

After one New Year's celebration comes another -- the Chinese New Year -- in just two weeks from now. Like this boy in the photo, chasing a balloon on New Year's Day, we're also chasing the New Year.

So, instead of rubbing Buddha's tummy like you suggested, I'll be rubbing my own tummy in pleasure, after eating good noodle soup, our favorite hopia, cold soy milk, and other delicious treats.


*Remnants of New Year's Eve firecrackers and a boy playing on New Year's Day

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tummy Rub

UP Shopping Center Buddha

I would've suggested reading what the stars would say, but they are a bit confused right now, courtesy of the latest astronomy kerfuffle.

Rub Buddha's tummy and just wish that we'll meet the pedicab duo again. I think that'll do it. :)


*Buddha statue at UP Shopping Center

Star of the pedicab

Star of the pedicab

Some animals are comfortable being in the limelight, while others prefer to be more low-key. This dog, for instance, seems perfectly happy to be surrounded by a crowd of amused passersby, while his owner, a pedicab driver, just looks on. I took this shot during the 2010 Chinese New Year's celebrations in Binondo, and I'm curious to see if we'll run into this unusual duo again this year.


*I used flash by accident in this shot, but I think it ended up being appropriate for the mood.

Thursday, January 13, 2011



By the way, Babe wanted to inform the Catfather that, contrary to what was word on the street, "this little pig did not squeal."

Can he come out of hiding now by any chance?


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shhh, Shhh

By the window

Sure, when the Catfather isn't too busy standing guard.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

iz oh so quiet

moshi the catfather

The Catfather, he tells me that you should whisper it again—whatever it was you told me—to his ear.



*Mister Mosh, the Mosh, Moshi, Moshi-mosh waiting for nomnom.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A whisper of love

A whisper


... to you. :)


*At the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


You just do it? Me too :)

adarna boys basketball game at dusk


*Adarna House Boys playing bball at dusk

Friday, January 7, 2011


Human Rights Day street exhibit by the Surfacing II group

Yes, let's attend more art events this year and give our support to artists who inspire us and we believe in. Just like this photo-graffiti exhibit along EspaƱa Ave. in Manila, quickly installed by a group of photographers as part of the Surfacing project, which documents and brings attention to human rights issues through photography. This is art taken out of the galleries and publications, and brought to the streets and to the heart of the public.

As for photography being art, well, it can be. And it can also be other things. To tell the truth, I don't really care to ponder too much about whether mine is art. I just do it.


*The photograph exhibited on the wall is by Macky Macaspac (

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

go places

Mariano Ching LP Artworks at Silverlens Gallery

Let us go make art and see more of it this year, dear.

So is photography, art? :)


*Nano Ching's LP Art at Silverlens Gallery

Monday, January 3, 2011

Go not gently

Chickoy Pura of The Jerks

The Jerks

The Jerks

Chickoy Pura of The Jerks

Yes, here's to the New Year, to facing the challenges that lie ahead, and to bearing witness to the beauty and heartache that surround us. Through our photography, let's "sing a song about this terrible sight"; through our work, let's show that we stand with the voices of truth. And throughout it all, let's rakenrol. :)


*The Jerks at 70's Bistro during their 31st Anniversary Concert

Saturday, January 1, 2011

cool licks

To the new year then.

Let us continue with our passions, no matter the challenges. Like The Jerks during their 31st Anniversary Gig at 70's Bistro, even with technical difficulties, the music continues, the show must go on.

As the young say nowadays: rakenrol.

The Jerks 31st Anniversary gig