KTRN: For visuals

My first camera, a Nikon D5100 which I still use to date, was bought by dad on my 18th birthday. I said scrap the big debut, I just want a camera. I wanted to capture real memories in the hopes to immortalize them.

When papa passed away, I learned that he used the last of his savings to buy me the cam which he couldn’t afford at that time. He relied on instant noodles for a whole month of trying to save up. Just for her baby girl’s wish.

i just realized that while I wanted to immortalize moments with my camera, at that time, I wasn’t able to take much photos of my dad. I failed my original purpose.

So now I try to the best that I could to document the places and people and instances that truly matter to me. Here I am, doing photography once more.

I hope that whoever comes to read and see my stuff would feel something for it. Feel happiness, or sadness, or anger even. These stills of life are supposed to move us.

— and yea those are my portraits; proofs that I am a real person and not just a bot! Haha!

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Perspectives from the field — 09.19


There’s a love-and-hate relationship for people whose jobs involve a lot of fieldwork.

When lucky, we get to sleep at hotels we can only see on ads. We fly to some smaller island-province for a visit. In the evenings, we gather around with colleagues to talk about life and family. And the next day, perhaps a last minute shopping for pasalubong.

But lucky isn’t always the case. Some days involve a 14-hour bus ride alone; a peace and order situation in the area relentlessly bugging our minds; or maybe, a night on the cold airport floor. It can also be a twelve-hour stretch of bumpy roads, long walks, and raindrops on our heads. The result? Cramps, cold and flu.

Ask the veterans, too. They’d all pledge that a good portion of their lives as parents meant having to leave their kids behind on weekdays.

But why do we answer when duty calls?

… because on the field, we see the action. We get to ask questions to people on the ground. Most importantly, there we can listen. We see their true growth, or the lack thereof. And if given the chance, we experience a wee bit of their plight,  come out more knowledgeable of our craft, and sympathetic of their problems. The field, true enough, is our great teacher.

As I type this, my body rests after thirteen hours worth of travelling, gearing up for an FGD the next day. I don’t know if tomorrow is sunshine or rain, an NPA-encounter or a fiesta — but am always ready for the surprise the field always brings.

In photos:

By vehicle or by foot…

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Come rain…

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or shine…

The work continues.

 

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Documenting Tampilisan’s rubber areas

“Below these branches are the roots,” Ruben Tagapan said before slowly placing some fertilizers on the ground where he believes the roots are located.

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“Sometimes, I let my nephews help me especially during summer when they have no classes. But please don’t tell authorities,” he added, feeling a bit anxious. “Bawal ba na ma’am (is it prohibited)?” I smiled a little before I explained that it isn’t child labor unless kids are taken off from school to merely work especially in environments hazardous to them.

Ah, malipay ra man pud sila muanhi ug walay klase (The kids are just happy to come here when they have no classes),” Ruben said.

His one-hectare area in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, is dedicated only to rubber. Being a farmer his entire life, Ruben said that he has planted all sorts of crops. But since 2010, he started planting rubber despite not knowing where to take his produce. “Na-uso man gud ma’am, nisunod na lang pud mi (It became popular here so we just followed what others did).”

We visited his farm on a warm summer day as part of our project’s geotagging initiative in Zamboanga del Norte. Because of the scattered location of each farmer-partner of Project ConVERGE, it is difficult to monitor the real scale of the outreach. Moreso, some data on the interventions and its recipients tend to be lost along the way.

The province of Zamboanga del Norte believes that being able to document the farms through a geotagging app enables them to record all areas of concern. Aside from location, key questions include the provisions given to the beneficiary. It helps allocate resources better with data collected and stored.

According to app developer Engr. Noel Credo, they have patterned their geotagging system to the one created by a separate DAR project called iTEMA. However, due to limited resources, the unit did not buy a separate program but instead used free versions available for minor tweaks on Google Play.

“It’s a fairly easy to use program that can be utilized by the management and the staff. Here, we store data on location and even include information on farm operations. It’s a one-stop for almost every data we need on the farmer-partner and his/her farm,” Credo said.

While a low-cost app, it has already generated information which can prove valuable to monitoring and evaluating farms from far areas, such as those owned by Ruben.

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To Ruben and his co-farmers, it may seem as just another day on the field with visitors from the project. Yet to the implementers, it is another day to not only meet with their partners, but to also make sure that their businesses are doing well. And if not, appropriate action may be done in the future through results of their monitoring effort.

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Tapping success

Details on the monitored areas are here: http://bit.ly/2Zi2gFT

 

#ThroughWindows

It helps to list down what we can thank for each day. Some days are grand – we thank heavens for job promotions, approved proposals, negative diagnosis.

But other days are minute: the smell of champorado for breakfast, a full eight-hour rest, a good seat on the bus.

This is for the latter, the little triumphs amidst the big and blinding. This is for the short pauses which allowed us to breathe. Despite the chaos of the world, in our hearts were calmness as we stared outside our windows. This is for the great mundane.

Today, I‘m grateful for the perspective. 😌

 

dark

i literally googled “how to keep my creativity” in an attempt to push me to write.

our creativity stutters every now and then. sometimes, our flow is no more.

but i guess we only need to keep pushing and amassing the many inspiration just around us, waiting to be engaged.


 

i thank Artu Nepomuceno, my favorite photographer, for keeping me inspired. he may never know me, but it is enough he led me to take photos this day.

here’s my artu-inspired set.

 

APPLE STREET (3 of 7)-2

 

 

APPLE STREET (2 of 7)-2

Hannah blooms

This is my first pre-debut shoot, and my client and friend, Hannah, wanted to go for the garden theme.

I dare say this theme speaks a lot of the subject, who, in silence, blooms beautifully like a flower. Coupled by the words of Zenkei Shibayama , here are my favorites from the set:

“Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;

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Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,

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The world of the flower, the whole of
the world is blooming.

This is the talk of the flower, the truth
of the blossom:

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The glory of eternal life is fully shining here.”

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Babalik, BALI

It’s funny how you finally find your way to that one thing you actually tried hard to get.

So finally, I got to Bali. And I promise to be back.

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Ubud Monkey Forest
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Tegalalang Swing
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Batuan Temple

The Fort

There’s a popular spot in Zamboanga called Fort Pilar which is the go-to place for many first timers in the city. The historic structure has survived years of colonization. Many also believed it to be a place of miracles for the old Zamboanguenos, the Moros and Christians alike.

This shoot is heavily inspired by the two contrasting things that this old strategic stronghold has witnessed. From the everyday life of the locals, all just light and bright, to the stories of many who lost their loved ones in the unfortunate war.

The styling is casual and modernized. The editing, too, is a mix of various color effects, well, just because.

And lastly, all clothes are from my favorite — yep, THRIFTED!

I’ll be labeling each photo with the total worth of the entire outfit.

Thanks to Tesseract Manila for the accessories! And also my ZC person, Hannah Lopez 🙂

(p150) the hopeful

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(p85) the waiting

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(p300) little matters

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I have another post with Hannah here —- EASE UP!

Fieldwork

Stepped out of the world of decks and corporate attires to find myself in between  farmers, their crops, and the hopes for their youth.

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Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur –  Checked attendance of the farmers’ coops. Here they are, happily raising their hands.

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Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte –  Running a development project means taking the farmers with you in the journey 100% of the time. Caught this farmer listening eagerly during the talks. He, along with his co members, will have to sit down in a dialogue with project specialists to see how much they know about the project, and to also share their feedback and questions with the working team.

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In one of the demo farms of Zamboanga del Norte.

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Rubber processing facility in Zamboanga Sibugay.

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Good Year, Kabasalan. Fun fact: Good Year is named from (that’s right) Goodyear as in the tire corporation. This barangay used to be one of their champion areas.

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Foreground: Since it was a Sunday, one of our ARBs decided to bring along her daughter to the meeting with the IFAD specialists. No one will be left at home to look after her, she says.