Thursday, June 16, 2011

independence day

There's this Barbie's Cradle song that goes:

Independence day is not for me.
When I'm bound to you, I feel so free.

It's a romanticized mixed-signal line if you ask me. But the play on words is fun, (plus, OMG, it's Barbie Almalbis singing). I rather like Kahlil Gibran's take better, when he says that couples should be two islands: Together and near each other, but still having the sea between them so both are still independent. That Kahlil, how beautifully he writes about personal space, no?

And that line of thinking was put to good use when we were faced with the dillema of being invited to two weddings of our friends, both on the same day. Instead of choosing just one wedding to attend, we decided that each of us should represent. So I went to Manix's and Melay's (the logic being, Manix is an artist), and you went to Kat's and Erman's (they being photographers and you being one, too, right now).

True, we were apart, but by the end of the day, we are still together, and we get to share special moments from our friends' lives.

That, and compare photos, too.


manix-melay wedding-altar

manix-melay wedding-aisle kiss

manix-melay wedding-kule-boys

manix-melay wedding manix and jake

manix-melay wedding-kids playing

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The truth in one free afternoon*

Picture-taking at Rizal Monument


Performers at the side

Celebrating "Independence Day"

Bathing outdoors on Independence Day

Independence Day meal

I joined a relaxed, albeit brief, photowalk with some photographers on Sunday afternoon at the June 12 festivities, catching a little of that late afternoon sunlight on the crowds and performers. Independence day, as usual, served as an occasion for the State to present a diluted version of the historic struggles for independence and project the current armed forces with its array of weaponry. Walking around, I thought about the relevance of past struggles for freedom on the lives of ordinary folks today. I thought, too, about what Filipinos of old, those heralded and those less known, might say about the Philippines, if they were alive right now.

At the side of Quirino grandstand, there was an older woman with two children, one of them barefoot, eating food together under a tree. There was also a young woman taking a bath with her clothes on, using soap and buckets of water -- one of the many forced to live in the streets. Strong ambient light shown on them like a spotlight. The young woman’s efforts to be clean and decent were even more striking as she was within the vicinity of that spectacle put on by the State. For what are displays of military might and boasts of a glorious past when so many are without a proper home and a place to bathe in the present?


*From the lyrics of "My Rights Versus Yours" by The New Pornographers

Friday, June 10, 2011


jo and moshi sleeping

It's twenty minutes before midnight as I write this entry to fulfill our deal -- to post today, our wedding anniversary day.

And you're now sleeping.

So goodnight to you, my sleeping beauty. To more mornings waking up realizing you are with me, and I, you.

Just please, don't burn the oatmeal.



*Jo and Moshi taking a catnap.

Flowers at night

Flowers at night

You were with me when I took this photo of flowers at night, outside of SM North. I didn't have a tripod so you suggested that I rest the camera on a wall and take a long exposure shot. It took several tries before I got the shot that I wanted, but you were patient with me and stayed by my side.

Somehow, this shared love for photography, which became only apparent last year, has opened my eyes and mind to visual expression and has allowed me to understand, maybe a little bit better, your love for visual arts. It's telling that, with the both of us using our point-and-shoot camera so much last year, the G11's dials are now worn down and broken. Together, we made the most of that camera, a tool that we shared, appreciated, and really put to good use.

Years into our relationship, I'm glad that we can still surprise each other with our work and how we express ourselves. Despite those "whirlwinds" you mentioned and the other struggles we face, I hope we continue to learn together and keep finding those moments that make it so worthwhile.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

do the whirlwind


Last week was really something. With my photography external hard drive giving up the ghost, my pc reincarnated as a Windows 7 rig, as well as having to deal with the internet connection loss. Hell, our G11 is also on sick bay. It sure was a whirlwind.

But amidst it all, I had my camera bag strapped over my chest, as always.


*Mother and daughter at Trinoma Merry-go-round

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Layers of light and shadows

Layers of light and shadows

Lines of nature

You're right to an extent. In my case, I don't always have the urge to capture a scene or moment. But there are times when I feel so compelled that I have to reach for my camera or wish that I had one with me. Once in a while, it's almost like my camera has become an extension of me, a feeling that becomes stronger as I become less self-conscious about the camera and more focused on what I'm doing and seeing.

A few months back, I took these shots during a solitary hike through a desert canyon. With only my camera as company, I tried to pay attention to the light, shadows, designs, and lines in nature. While I did miss having a real companion, I realized that I could find comfort in this quiet, unfamiliar yet beautiful environment -- just by walking, listening, observing, and every so often, pressing the shutter.