Tuesday, February 22, 2011

soul to click

Selendra, blurred

Do you remember that myth where taking one's picture results in taking one's soul?

What would photographers do with people's souls, anyway, right?


*Blurred photo of a woman in Selendra.


Young devotees


If it were only that simple. Technology has made certain things easier to accomplish, but it still comes down to whoever is pressing that button and how far they explore the potential of the medium and their chosen subject matter. Music played on an electronic organ may or may not sound soulful, depending on the musician. I suppose the same goes with photography. Recently, I read an article by a photographer who argues that digital pics "lack soul" compared to analog photography. And yet, it seems to me that digital pics can capture moments that resist this claim and tell stories that are moving to behold.


*Devotees at the Feast of the Black Nazarene

Thursday, February 17, 2011

next step

Church organ button panel

So dear, what do you want to do next?

A March? Waltz? Swing? The Mambo? Rhumba? Tango? Samba? Do we begin with the Beguine?

Bossa nova, or Slow Rock, or Jazz Rock?

Such possibilities, and everything with just a flick of a button. So easy, right?

Yeah, that's what they say with photography, too, sometimes.


*A church organ switch panel, button thingee.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The curtain

Behind the curtain

I agree with your take on how there is a practical explanation behind wondrous things, but sometimes a suspension of disbelief is necessary for enjoyment. Like this image taken in Binondo during Chinese New Year. For some, it may remind them of a scene from a Chinese film, but it's really just two people behind a sheet of cloth on a truck driving along Ongpin St. With that prosaic and factual explanation, maybe it's an image that can stand better on its own.

It's a new and interesting experience for me to hear the reactions of people (who I don't know) to my photos, especially if they are well-versed in the art of images and story-telling. From my point of view, I just take shots, edit, and share them. Sometimes I feel strongly enough about an issue or story that I will express what I have to say through the images and text. And I feel a reluctance to add more to what I've already "said" by explaining it. I leave it to others to get it or not to get it. Does that make sense?

Images tend to be ambiguous and so my personal expression through images is not something that is always easy (even for me) to pinpoint/define/clarify. It is what it is. Yes, I could prepare a long explanation about the meanings, issues addressed, and the process I went through, but that's adding more than I feel is needed. If I wrote poetry, which I don't, I think I'd feel the same way. For me, I wouldn't want to prolong the process. Tapos na siya. On to the next.


Saturday, February 12, 2011


dramatic lighting on pot and plants along makati avenue

Behind all wondrous things is a practical, unimaginative reason or explanation. What is important is one's suspension of disbelief, for this is most needed in order for one to enjoy life at times.


*A pot and some plants lit (dramatically) by a spotlight along Makati Avenue.

Friday, February 11, 2011



Fast feet and fireworks

True. Last week, dragons and lions roamed the city, from the streets to the shopping malls. Chasing them, one could sometimes catch a glimpse of the men and boys underneath the costumes -- their fast feet darting so near the firecrackers and their faces concentrating as they danced to the music.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

a chase

Chinese Dragon at Landmark

Well, we did try chasing those dragons at the Landmark. That was fun.

And yeah, we got our fix, getting some decent shots :)


*Inside Landmark, Ayala.

A glimpse

A glance

I missed going around Binondo with you during the Chinese New Year celebrations. At least, we can still explore this part of Manila together on ordinary days, when there are no festivities, dragon and lion dancers, fireworks, and enormous crowds. The quieter side of Chinatown is something that does appeal to me. Anyway, I did manage to bring back a cheap "Year of the Metal Rabbit" figurine and Eng Bee Tin hopia for you. And some pictures to share.


*Along Ongpin St.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


superman kid and toy at Lucban, Quezon during Pahiyas

Yes, dear. We are only human. Or as we say here, "Tao lang po."


*Kid in superman costume beside a superman inflatable toy. This was during Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Are we human?











Indeed, I have to wonder.


*A series of shots taken Sunday afternoon while going around Makati and on the train. This human body (mummified apparently through plastination) is at a store window display across from the Banana Republic in Greenbelt mall. Not far from here, people had died in a recent bus bombing and workers had fallen to their deaths at a construction site.