Wednesday, August 31, 2011

there is a light

JL burgos at conspiracy looking at his Mac

Yes, to the brave people who never give up.

For with them, there is a light that never goes out.


*JL Burgos, brother of Jonas Burgos, at Conspiracy Bar and Cafe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A deafening silence

Families and supporters of victims of enforced disappearance

Where Activist Jonas Burgos was abducted 4 years ago

Pictures of the dead and disappeared

Pictures of the dead and disappeared

Photography means many things to different people. Among its various aspects, I recognize and respect its potential to speak truth to power. It adds a visual voice to those who speak out against injustice. Who speak for those who cannot speak. For those who have been silenced.

Today is the International Day of the Disappeared. It is a sobering reminder of the thousands of victims of enforced disappearances -- in the Philippines and around the world -- taken away from their loved ones and communities by State agents and held in secret detention sites, most never to be heard from or seen again. This commemoration speaks of an almost unimaginable cruelty inflicted not just on the disappeared persons but also on those left behind.

I know that photography can't change this situation. Photographs seem such paltry things in the face of the powerful forces that perpetuate or condone these crimes, or allow them to go unpunished. Still, I see photography as a way to counter that deafening silence, and so I add my small voice to those who are much braver than me, who never give up on finding their loved ones and friends, and work tirelessly to end impunity and injustice.

Photography also means saluting their bravery and never forgetting.


*Photos taken during the 4th year anniversary of the abduction of Jonas Burgos in April 2011 and during the State of the Nation Address protest in July 2011.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Lola having fun at Apo's Jollibee children's party

You didn't say sorry, which is good.

Photography means never having to say you're sorry :)


*Lola having fun at a Jollibee Children's party

Wednesday, August 24, 2011



I regret that I've been neglecting our photo dialogue, although the dialogue between us continues in our everyday life. This ebb and flow of creativity and sharing, from the dialogue to personal projects, is part of a rhythm that I'm still learning to master.

Even during "ebbs", the unexpected can happen and I am reminded, for instance, of the illusion of "civilized" society and how behind it lies a deeply-rooted hypocrisy, extremism, and mob-mentality that I can never accept. I realize, as well, that the chance to dialogue -- to openly exchange ideas and have rational discussions -- should not be wasted, even if it is only between the two of us.

Aside from train rides which are conducive to quiet contemplation and reflection, our dialogues (on and off this page) help me process what I observe and discover about our society, with all of its disturbing realities and contradictions, as well as moments of enlightenment and wonder.

And yes, giving context to imagery is like a love supreme. It uplifts and keeps us grounded.


*Taking the LRT 1 in Metro Manila