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.

Ilocos Photo Tour Redux with Karl Grobl

It’s that time of the year once again when international humanitarian photographer, Karl Grobl, brings in a new batch of photo enthusiast to tour around the Philippines for 2 weeks. I’m grateful that I’m part of this tour again as meeting people from different places is very interesting. Karl modified this year’s tour and went from Vigan to Sagada then Baguio which is opposite of last year’s. Downpour is the story of our 2 days in Ilocos. It would seem that every time were out on the streets, a squall would greet us, but that didn’t stop us from shooting.

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.

The Fireworks in Makati to welcome 2012

Welcoming 2012 at the Magical and Musical Makati

Good bye 2011! It has been a good year but 2012 holds a lot of promise. The recent holiday season, we had a lot of foreign relatives visitng our humble home in the Philippines, it was fitting that I stay in the metro but it was a fun staycation. I decided to welcome the new year in Makati for their Magical! Musical! New Year’s Countdown 2011. it’s the second time for me to welcome the new year here but it was a lot better, organized and more extravagant. The stage and the lighting was awesome, I was also able to catch The Dawn’s pumped up performance and the fireworks, the whole 15 minutes of was magnificent. A great way to enter the new year. Sharing here soem photos from that night.

Environmental Portraits: Mang Ramon of Rita’s Inn

I met Mang Ramon, the owner of Rita’s Inn in Batad, Ifugao while he was grinding a few betel nuts to chew in a corner by the dining area. His humble and heavily bearded appearance was deceiving as one would just ignore him as one of the elders until he speaks. His English was fluent and had stories as many as the lines in his face. Before I left Rita’s Inn, probably the oldest inn in Batad, he wanted me to see his Ifugao House which he inherited from his father. It was probably more than a century old. Inside the elaborate Ifugao House are his collections of antiques.