Monday, May 30, 2011


jollibee checking how strong the rain is

Can't rain all the time, dear.

But taking photos? You can do that all the time.


*Jollibee checking how heavy the rain is at San Miguel Avenue, Pasig.

Waiting it out

Waiting it out

You mentioned a triumph over obstacles. Sometimes, I don't sense that "triumph" and see instead how the daily grind of life and survival, of tragedy and heartache, can make a person grow weary. The rains come and go, and the changes -- the urgent changes we need and demand -- are so slow in coming. I took this photo of people stranded at the side of the street, waiting and hoping that the bad weather will soon come to pass. As we try to endure whatever life throws at us, I remember one of the reasons why I felt drawn to photography and how it is, for me, an assertion against this daily grind. How it's a way of documenting what I see, so that I don't forget. And how it's my small, perhaps insignificant, way to remind others of what is around us. What lies beneath the surface. What should be valued. And what should be changed.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

required reading

noli me tangere fascimile

And here is a perfect example of a book that has triumphed over obstacles during its time.

The current challenge now, though, is that it's required reading in schools.

Nothing screams "kiss of death" than required reading.


*Noli Me Tangere draft facsimile during a shoot for a book cover.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


CCP Books during inventory

I find the thought of libraries pulling out books scary. If libraries -— supposedly the last refuge of human literature and knowledge -— decide a book is meant to be pulled out, where is a book's place in this world to be?

I guess you can say the same with art, design and photography. Eventually, their story is how they will find themselves in the lives of those who'd appreciate them more.

Wanna go to Booksale later?


*Books at the CCP Library during inventory time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't judge a book by its cover

Don't judge a book by its cover

The descent

I'm glad that your mural still exists after all these years and has been viewed and appreciated at that school. Some people, however, wouldn't think twice about painting over such murals or couldn't care less about the work that went into making them.

Recently, I've been thinking about the work of visual artists and how this work is valued or devalued. There are so many factors that come into play -- factors that are often beyond one's control, such as the market economy, cultural beliefs, ignorance, and personal biases. These realities have to be faced, but that doesn't mean it is acceptable to dismiss such work or consider it less than other types of work.

Just as it is wrong to judge people based on mere appearances or impressions, it is likewise a mistake to devalue the work and skill that goes into creating images. Beyond the surface, images can tell stories or hold complexities that are certainly worth considering and valuing.


*A student using her textbook to shield herself from the harsh sunlight and a worker descending into the Quezon Memorial Circle underpass.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And apart too.

Santa Maria, Bulacan mural

I have learned that through your annual visits to that far away place. Distance is needed for you to find out if what you have with someone is real and worth staying together for—and I'm quoting that Celine Dion song here so bear with me—near, far wherever you are may be.

Reminds me of that time I was doing this mural at a school in Santa Maria, Bulacan called Oxbridge (Named so because the owner both studied at Oxford AND Cambridge). We still weren't together then, but during the time I was alone finishing those murals, my one peso per text was worth it. :)


*Me along with the only surviving ceiling mural I did at that school after roughly ten years or so.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Together we are strong

Together we are strong

Sahod itaas, Presyo Ibaba!

I learned several lessons while documenting the May 1 rally yesterday. And today, I learned even more. My thanks goes all around to those who helped me as I learned these lessons. To you, husband of mine, who keeps his cool (despite the heat), I appreciate your artistic perspective and sensible, honest discussions. During times like these, I realize even more acutely that together we are strong.