Thursday, March 24, 2011

sky is the limit

Scout Castor building construction

What they also say in construction is that the only way left to go is up. So up goes the high-rise buildings, up goes the houses with their third or fourth floor extensions.

That is, until they realize that going down would be a good way to go, too. And all those underground cities of science fiction and fantasy would be one step closer to reality.


*Building being constructed at Scout Castor, corner Scout Tuason in Quezon City.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A construct

Watching street life

I hope so much that we'll learn from the experiences in Japan. That stricter building codes are enforced, that disaster preparedness is prioritized, and that safer energy sources are utilized. It's something for all of us to work towards. Is there really any other choice?


*Workers in front of a building under construction in Binondo, Manila.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


aurora avenue abandoned building

I grew up playing with sand and hollow blocks when I was a kid. There was always something being constructed, and the two, along with some rocks, were constant. As the construction workers (or plain workers) would mix the three along with water, us kids would be on the side, emulating them, or going our own way, building sand castles.

This memory makes me realize how easy it is to construct things here. Houses are built on the fly with nary an architect or engineer in sight. Construction permits are useless when the homes being built are made only of found wood, plywood and yero. Building inspections are dreaded not because buildings do not meet city safety standards (they don't most of the time), but because it means another round of under-the-table payments to the inspectors.

My heart goes out to Japan for the recent calamities happening to them. But I also am proud of them, knowing that the destruction in their country right now is but a fraction of what would've been, if it weren't for their discipline, dedication, and foresight of building things with a plan.


*Wall of an abandoned building at Aurora Avenue, near the Betty-Go station of the LRT 2.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Amidst the cracks

Amidst the cracks

As we deal with the distance between us, I appreciate how our friends make an effort to cheer you up and keep you company. I imagine, however, how we'd feel if either of us were caught in the devastation being experienced by the people in Japan. This distance, then, would be unbearable.

My heart sinks whenever I see the images from Japan and read the latest news. And yet I try to stay hopeful in light of the proven resilience and courage of the Japanese people.


*An image of Buddha

Saturday, March 12, 2011

lonesome me

Bnjo at Eric's Condo

Friends have been inviting me to go out with them lately, after finding out we're apart. Much appreciated, these efforts to keep me company. I could actually try and milk it, announce to all that I'm drowning my sorrow with beer and other various clich├ęs.

I resist, though, knowing I won't be able to keep a straight face that long.

Me? Beer? :)


*"Batman" drinking a bottle of San Miguel Beer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Alone yet connected


Alone yet connected

Technology does help us stay connected, despite the physical distance. At times, I see myself as alone, with only my shadow (and camera) for company. Other times, when I talk to you or others close to me, even if it's only through a computer screen or telephone, I feel less alone and realize how connected I really am. But technology can only help so much. It's the quality of our communication that really counts.


*Taken at the Getty museum

Thursday, March 10, 2011



The wonders of technology have made physical distances between us bearable. Not just typing words on the keyboard and reading your reply like a movie script dialogue on YM, we actually get to talk face to face! A feat that would've cost us an arm and a leg years ago.

I miss texting you though.


*A woman during the Stone Temple Pilots concert at the Araneta Coliseum, whose face is lit by her cellphone lcd screen while texting.




I see what you mean. I have to be comfortable with my role as a photographer documenting life in the streets and be ready for whatever I come across. My sense of wonder and respect for my subjects are hopefully conveyed, and for the most part, they accept me for my role. In this way, a moment in their life is captured and is not so easily forgotten.


*Scenes outside of Baclaran church

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Adarna House women at the 2010 Barlaya-2010 Workshop at Benilde

I was known as the guy with the camera at Adarna House, the company I used to work for. My office mates were used to me taking out my camera and snapping shots of them at odd moments. It was accepted.

It didn't come overnight though. It took some time getting used to this, for my office mates AND me. When the two of us were both comfortable with the roles of photographer and subject, it showed through the great shots I got with them, both for personal and professional use.

I guess for you and the streets, you have to do that, too. For the streets to get comfortable as your subject, you must also be comfortable (or just plain ready) with the role as photographer of its various facets and dwellers.


*The Adarna House girls waiting for that day to happen to start the 2010 Barlaya-2010 Workshop at Benilde.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011



The myths that surround image-making are funny at times, like that belief you mentioned about a photograph stealing the subject's soul. Nevertheless, it's important to be sensitive about other people's cultural and personal beliefs. I love street photography and taking candid shots, but I know there will be times when someone will ask me not to take a photo. I try my best to assess the situation, respect others' rights without diminishing my own rights, and learn about ethics and relevant laws. If anything, I have no intention of losing my own soul along the way.


*In Baclaran