Friday, November 25, 2011

through photography

buendia jeepney driver with family photos

And what better way to make people remember than through photography?

Like this Jeepney driver at Buendia, Makati, who surrounds himself with a shrine of family photos to accompany him on the road.


*On a Buendia jeep after attending the opening of Jes Aznar's Under the Lord's Shadows, a photo exhibit that, as Iris Gonzales says in her blog "provides a deeper look into the source of conflict in Maguindanao, the very same conflict that led to the massacre of 58 people, 32 of them media workers, two years ago."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In remembrance

May we never forget

Yes, may we never forget.


*Taken on Sunday when Philippine Center for Photojournalism members and friends flew kites in remembrance of the 2nd Anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

comfortably numb

old and young lady at ortigas mrt station

That is the challenge one faces, after witnessing things too much—may it be injustices, wrongdoings, or just plain rudeness—one must never be comfortably numb, never to react accordingly to matters one knows are not right.

As a matter of fact, we don't have to react all the time. We don't have to be heroes or martyrs for all things not right. One must simply acknowledge these, and one step has already been made to solving them.

For example, "poorism photos." I've been hearing a lot from you and your photography peeps about these kind of shots. I've heard everyone's sides, and true, one must never take these kind of photos for the sake of one's portfolio. But never to take these kind of photos because you are tired of them and there are other things to shoot seems kind of off-putting for me. Not to document the lives of impoverished people would not make the problem of poverty vanish. It would simply make us forget such a problem exists.


*Beggar at the stairs of Ortigas MRT station steps

Monday, November 21, 2011



Seeing your photo, I wonder how children feel when riding the trains -- perhaps excited and a bit scared because of the crowds who push and argue just to get a ride or find a seat. I'm also reminded of this photo I took, with a sign that reads:


Signs like these reflect values of care and consideration towards others, which are a rarity in the stampede of commuters. These values are particularly lacking among those who drive on our roads and even among the strangers we encounter in our daily lives. There's hardly a day when I don't witness the dog-eat-dog attitude and feel outraged, especially on trains, when people push and shove others, cut in line, and think only about their own convenience.


Friday, November 18, 2011


kid peeking at mrt train

Look no further for meaning with that ID photo, dear. That was found by someone on the train, and—-as tradition dictates for any lost documentation or identification—-posted in the nearest public area where the person has the most chance finding it, if they come back.

I do agree, though, a lost photo's identity would always be a mystery. Until we find out the truth, it is the next best thing to be known for.

So, should we call him Rosebud?


*Girl peeking to check if the next MRT train is on its way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lost and found

Picture on the train

And this guy, is he missing, too? Or did he place his own photo into that plastic handle on the train? Perhaps, this was a way of asserting his identity in the midst of the millions who commute everyday. That his ID photo, normally used for job applications or government documents, would be better displayed in the most unlikely of places, instead of being filed in stacks of bureaucratic paperwork or thrown away like the photos accumulated by companies and agencies year after year.

So that maybe, if his photo is noticed and acknowledged by others on this train, his face wouldn't be lost in the crowd.


*Seen while riding the MRT

Friday, November 11, 2011

the grid

missing sign at mrt

Living off the grid, that's the modern term for what you were talking about. It sounds so macho though, so Hollywood. Because of its military origins perhaps? Or the romanticized portrayal of men (and women) on the run, or not wanting to be found.

Yes, connectivity and information are most abundant these days, but still is limited to those who have access to the technology that supply them. For some, communication still comes in the simplest of forms, and sometimes—as has been through the years—given in the most desperate means.

So have they seen this kid yet?


*DIY Missing person sign at the MRT.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



Using a cellphone -- on the train (like in your photo) or elsewhere -- has become ubiquitous. While technology allows for immediate communication with others, sometimes I wonder if we have become too connected and accesible. Sure, all this connectivity can be genuinely helpful, but there are also negative consequences.

And maybe this is why turning off, logging off, meditating, clearing one's mind, or spending time away from all the actual and virtual noise becomes a necessity. It's a way of reconnecting with what's truly important.


Saturday, November 5, 2011


cellphone call mrt

That first photo of yours is a combination of Halloween AND All Saints' Day!

Some people think of All Saints' Day as an occasion, or as the Catholic church officially says, a "solemnity."

I think of it as a way of communication. Of keeping in touch with your dead loved ones, be it just one-way.

If the communication were two-way though, now that's Halloween.


*Guy calling someone at the MRT (I know, a not-so-very-halloween photo) :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Saints and Angry Birds

Instruction #3

north 02

The night of All Saints' Day

Night in Manila North Cemetery

north 13

north 26

Visiting the departed

north 09

north 10

Halloween has come and gone. All Saints' Day, too. We didn't wear any costumes, but we did light a candle in remembrance of loved ones and friends who have passed away.


*Scenes last night at the Manila North Cemetery