Jacob Maentz’s the Forgotten Ten Photo Exhibit

I have been following Jacob Maentz‘s work at his website/blog at www.jacobimages.com for a few years now. It always amazes me how it could take a foreigner to truly appreciate the significance of our indigenous people’s culture and he does this with keen observing eyes and moving images captured in sincere perspective and beautiful light. Jacob is not the usual tourist who would go to a place only for a few days and take pictures. His Peace Corps background in the country has helped him learn to blend in and become part of a community. Jacob would usually stay for weeks with a community of indigenous people, live with them and more often befriend them. What results are stunning captures of these people’s lives from a vision of an insider. In his first solo exhibit “**Forgotten Ten**”, Jacob shares his work spanning a year and a half of documenting the indigenous people of the country (from the Mangyan, Agta, Tagbanua, Kalinga and more) which makes up about 10-20% of the country’s population, hence the title of the exhibit.

One of the families living under the bridge

Life Under the Bridge by the Railway

It’s not really my thing to take Street Photos of people living in harsh conditions like the homeless, street beggars or other people in deplorable conditions. I always thought taking photos of them just glamorizes the idea of poverty and can easily be misconstrued in pictures. It’s a sensitive issue that delving into it requires caution and care. But I keep an open mind in these things and when I was asked if I can accompany Karl’s group one morning to the site they took pictures somewhere in Sta Mesa, Manila, I obliged as it would be interesting to explore this kind of photography.

Young boxers in for a fight at the streets

Young Street Boxers of Antique

I was riding at the back of a habal-habal while riding in the dirt road of Pandan province. We caught sight of a pumped-up crowd gathering at a street and decided to stop by and see what was happening. It was a couple of kids doing street boxing complete with boxing gloves. At first it was an amusing sight and I’m sure the spectators thought the same. But it drawned on me how early kids nowadays are easily caught up into violence. Not to belittle Pacquio’s noble efforts to fight for our country, the exposure to young ones can lead to disturbing moral questions. Especially these kids who are just caught up in the emotion that its becoming more than a play but a competition.

Putting on the make up in Caracol 2012

Caracol 2012: Going Behind the Scenes

Makati’s Caracol is the city’s Mardi Gras which aims to celebrate love and awareness for Mother Nature. Most of the costumes revolve on earth themes like animals, underwater creatures and reptiles. It’s been years since I last saw this celebration which usually was held on the third week of January coinciding with other Sto Nino festivals. Now it was held on the third week of February 2012. It’s not the grandest of festivals but the effort in terms of costume design and make up is commendable. In this series of photos, the spotlight is on the Make Up artist and custome designers working behind the scenes to make the performers as presentable, photogenic and in-character with their performance.