Today I got a new journal. Back in Baguio, my tito convinced me to own a visual diary. He said that photography shouldn’t just be about capturing the moment but also seeing moments in the mind and realizing them. Photography as a medium is what he meant, I think. Strangely enough, all these nights spent thinking about pictures is beginning to excite me. I feel like it’s day one of learning a new language. You’ve heard it before and can say hello and goodbye effortlessly so it’s quite familiar—but it’s also a whole new way of seeing things.

This year, I’ve set out to discover what I want to say. Mostly, the pictures have been about what’s available and seen in the present. Hopefully, with enough reading and determination I might figure out whether I like photographic essays more than conceptualized images. We’ll see. I have trouble with conceptualizing because I haven’t really paid much attention to it. I’ve only opted for these slice of life themes because of a love for Nat Geo! I know, I know, I sound crazy saying it over and over again. But yeah, it’s all about telling a story with these people so in a way my photos capture subjects who belong to stories I want to tell.

Hopefully, I can begin with the journal writing and use it to find my voice. I’ve been reading also. Still on Jeanette Winterson, though. She really has a pace to her work and I appreciate reading her slowly. It makes me feel like I belong to this story and it’s quite awesome. I’ve also pulled out Ansel Adams’ autobiography and a book about W. Eugene Smith’s photographic essays. Excitement!!!

Today was mostly spent outside. I went to the bank, got waxed then got the journal. Went back to katipunan, saw Petra, had dinner number one then went home a bit exhausted from all this thinking and being outdoors. We went out again to have good ol’ reliable Chinese food. I was in the company of the gods: Tito Romy, Tito Mannix and Dad. 🙂 Mom and I always make this joke. Anyway, Tito Romy just got back from a six-week stay in Kabul.  He was covering a story there for the AFP. It’s incredible to hear his stories. Half the time I watch the news and am a little less disturbed by the goings on in Afghanistan. It’s mostly because there’s always news there and the subjects don’t change–there’s always an explosion and a list of people who’ve perished. Seeing him this evening and hearing his stories changed that a bit. It made me realize that even though I can comfortably change channels, people living there cannot switch lives on and off.

One morning he awoke to the sound of gunfire and hurried to see whether there was a story to be told. Suicide bombers had raided a hotel where UN representatives were booked. He says the Taliban is growing stronger and that maybe, according to his observations, the UN delegation’s mission will fail. They are too strong, these Taliban. — There’s a story in that, I’m sure. I just wish people didn’t have to lose their lives for it to be told.


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