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.

Environmental Portraits and Feature: Karl Grobl

I recently had a chance to work with Humanitarian Photojournalist, Karl Grobl on their first Jim Cline Photo Tour in the Philippines. I find his knack for people photography impressive most especially that he’s a JPG shooter and his images doesn’t rely much on Post-processing. I have a short interview with Karl on Philippine Star’s Online Edition at Unblogged which I’m writing weekly for a limited time. At the interview we discussed why he chose the Philippines, his type of Photography and also some travel related stuff.

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.

Environmental Portraits: Mirrored Innocence

It’s been a while since I traveled on my own. I went to Banaue recently to try to catch the Imbayah Festival and also to arrange things for our upcoming Backpack Photography Banaue Photo Adventure this May 13-15. It’s really hard to work on the logistics of far-off places like Batad and Bangaan so I have to go there personally. I took the Ohayami Bus, an alternative to Flordia, for the first time. Aside from it also being a freezer yet equally comfortable, it was a tad slower and I noticed that most of the passengers are Ifugao since the bus line is owned by one.

Environmental Portraits: Burgos Gamet Gatherer

She goes by the name of Che. I saw her along with her friends from afar on my way behind the impressive rock formation of Kapupurawan in Burgos and had to look closely. They were gathering a Gamet (or Nori for Japanese), a red edible seaweed which is part of Ilocano’s diet as they make these into soups, scrambled egg ingredients and other delicacies. It’s also a big industry here as they export them in Japan. Che and her friends thread the sharp coral rocks and the waves in Burgos every morning till noon to gather these Gamet as it is their source of food and income.