1. Photography: reinvented or disgraced?(An article I did for Focus Weekly, an avantgarde corporate newsmagazine in Northern Luzon)
A woman stares from her black and white location as she rests on a motorcycle. She is garbed with a pair of dungarees and a collared blouse. Her hair, carefully fixed to highlight her soft curls, greyed from light exposure and time passed. An old lady gazes from the black and white portrait: sophisticated and classy.
This was a Kodak moment; a moment of meaning which meant to be captured and preserved. Photography, in the past, held prominence and significance. It mirrored conscientious creation. It is a cherished degree endured in a collective flicking of a camera through the family photo album. This old-fashioned family tradition expired with the service and commercialism of the effortlessly swiping through photos on a digital screen. Photography has evolved from the atypical and rare moment and instance of capturing a momentous event to a daily mania we create and produce in mass.
The Kodak moment, planned with a meticulous setting of the tripod, lost and defeated to the ‘Instagram moment’. Photography in the Instagram generation does not anymore require an occasion. In its place, day-to-day, minute-to-minute activities are considered and assessed based on their ‘Insta’ potential. 
Selfie [noun, un-gendered]: a photograph in which the photographer is likewise the subject of the frame; such photos often used mirrors, or introduce the extended, stretched arm of the subject in the corner of the frame; such photographs are taken with the main purpose of posting them on at least one form of social media. Selfies are generally taken with varying technology from true photography, utilizing digital smartphones, or computer webcams.
A veteran of the selfie, a friend sits across from me, slumped on the couch and holding her phone parallel to her face. She contorts her face–piercing her eyes, scrunching her nose, making a surprised and coy expression with her lips. When I ask about her actions, she scoffs at my naivety.
“Uhm, I’m Camera 360-ing.”
As she continues, a message made up only of a photo—usually one of self-involved subject matter, my evident stupidity hits me in the face. She is a ‘Selfie Connoisseur’. Her online identity is expressed by various multitudes of selfies, where in each photo, she would portray one of the following expressions: sassy, sexy, happy, posh, or “prosti”. This new subject matter of the self now comprises a message with no text necessary; “You only need to see my face”, reads as the underlying script that comes with exchanging ‘snaps’.
Our desire to record our appearance and exhibit it for others emanates from our yet dormant narcissism. This is not a novel advancement in the human personality. Look to Caravaggio’s Narcissus, from the Renaissance period. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Narcissism exemplifies the self-satisfaction of our own physical characteristics
Such narcissistic tendencies and manifestations envelop us, both on the screens of our addicting social interfaces, and the people next to us on the jeep. We take photos of ourselves out of appreciation with the notion that the photos fascinate our friends, or ‘followers’. Not different from Narcissus’ admiration of himself in the puddle, and trusting that if he loved himself to such level and magnitude, others would as well.
That portrait of the old lady I mentioned earlier could prove rare in today’s compeers of self-fanatical, self-declared photographers. Such a photo took skill, practice, lighting, and education. Why go to the efforts of hiring a photographer when we can crane our arm out, and ‘say cheese’ for our cell phone? The once revered ‘sacred Kodak moment’ now shattered, with it the sacristy of its photographers, replaced by the Industrial Revolution of the photograph and all-to-common, ‘Instagram moment’.
The art of photography engulfed with works of humdrum, unremarkable and nondescript events, assumed identical to the professional and classy works of Romy Vitug, Ansel Adams, Cecil Beaton or Annie Leibovitz. This propagated and popularized social media platform almost means it is already unnecessary to marvel at the works of such experienced photographers because we have become the photographers; filters need only be applied.
As I walk the grounds of Capitol, Lingayen, I must excuse a group of adolescent girls stationed in the middle of the sidewalk with their necks craned up towards the monumental Aguido. Above their heads, they each hold their smartphones, holding still while they capture the unchanging structure. Without budging from their positions, I see their fingers swiping, no doubt testing each Instagram filter; this group of girls represented ‘Filter Artists’. Possibly Valencia? Sierra? Sutro? Each photo they Instagram surely differs only slightly–capturing in manifold neither an occasion nor celebration, nor do they reflect the custom of the photographical.
We take photos with the goal to impress, in contrary to documenting our momentous, treasured moments. Photography or ‘selfie’ portraits no longer need the excuse of a memorable moment. Got your daily cup of milktea this morning? Instagram it. Walked down an empty street that resembles an utterly idyllic and utopian state? Slap a filter over it to give the photo a sepia hue, and call yourself a photographer. Those moments…you know.
The rare and cherished Kodak moment was practiced with class by our parents. Portraits like these were taken as our parents came of age and developed. What can we say about the photographs we take today? I am unwilling to call it photography in refinement, for fear of advocating the Instagram and Selfie movements.
Imagine if our grandchildren see our over-documented photographs of ‘selfies’, would they see elegance and dignity and composure? Upright men they call grandpa or grandma? More likely their Instagram oldies in our wealth, range, and assortment, that shows the evolution and latitude of our vainglory, our self-obsession, and our thirsting need for approval and validation.
This is photography reinvented…or disgraced?

    Photography: reinvented or disgraced?
    (An article I did for Focus Weekly, an avantgarde corporate newsmagazine in Northern Luzon)

    A woman stares from her black and white location as she rests on a motorcycle. She is garbed with a pair of dungarees and a collared blouse. Her hair, carefully fixed to highlight her soft curls, greyed from light exposure and time passed. An old lady gazes from the black and white portrait: sophisticated and classy.

    This was a Kodak moment; a moment of meaning which meant to be captured and preserved. Photography, in the past, held prominence and significance. It mirrored conscientious creation. It is a cherished degree endured in a collective flicking of a camera through the family photo album. This old-fashioned family tradition expired with the service and commercialism of the effortlessly swiping through photos on a digital screen. Photography has evolved from the atypical and rare moment and instance of capturing a momentous event to a daily mania we create and produce in mass.

    The Kodak moment, planned with a meticulous setting of the tripod, lost and defeated to the ‘Instagram moment’. Photography in the Instagram generation does not anymore require an occasion. In its place, day-to-day, minute-to-minute activities are considered and assessed based on their ‘Insta’ potential.

    Selfie [noun, un-gendered]: a photograph in which the photographer is likewise the subject of the frame; such photos often used mirrors, or introduce the extended, stretched arm of the subject in the corner of the frame; such photographs are taken with the main purpose of posting them on at least one form of social media. Selfies are generally taken with varying technology from true photography, utilizing digital smartphones, or computer webcams.

    A veteran of the selfie, a friend sits across from me, slumped on the couch and holding her phone parallel to her face. She contorts her face–piercing her eyes, scrunching her nose, making a surprised and coy expression with her lips. When I ask about her actions, she scoffs at my naivety.

    “Uhm, I’m Camera 360-ing.”

    As she continues, a message made up only of a photo—usually one of self-involved subject matter, my evident stupidity hits me in the face. She is a ‘Selfie Connoisseur’. Her online identity is expressed by various multitudes of selfies, where in each photo, she would portray one of the following expressions: sassy, sexy, happy, posh, or “prosti”. This new subject matter of the self now comprises a message with no text necessary; “You only need to see my face”, reads as the underlying script that comes with exchanging ‘snaps’.

    Our desire to record our appearance and exhibit it for others emanates from our yet dormant narcissism. This is not a novel advancement in the human personality. Look to Caravaggio’s Narcissus, from the Renaissance period. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Narcissism exemplifies the self-satisfaction of our own physical characteristics

    Such narcissistic tendencies and manifestations envelop us, both on the screens of our addicting social interfaces, and the people next to us on the jeep. We take photos of ourselves out of appreciation with the notion that the photos fascinate our friends, or ‘followers’. Not different from Narcissus’ admiration of himself in the puddle, and trusting that if he loved himself to such level and magnitude, others would as well.

    That portrait of the old lady I mentioned earlier could prove rare in today’s compeers of self-fanatical, self-declared photographers. Such a photo took skill, practice, lighting, and education. Why go to the efforts of hiring a photographer when we can crane our arm out, and ‘say cheese’ for our cell phone? The once revered ‘sacred Kodak moment’ now shattered, with it the sacristy of its photographers, replaced by the Industrial Revolution of the photograph and all-to-common, ‘Instagram moment’.

    The art of photography engulfed with works of humdrum, unremarkable and nondescript events, assumed identical to the professional and classy works of Romy Vitug, Ansel Adams, Cecil Beaton or Annie Leibovitz. This propagated and popularized social media platform almost means it is already unnecessary to marvel at the works of such experienced photographers because we have become the photographers; filters need only be applied.

    As I walk the grounds of Capitol, Lingayen, I must excuse a group of adolescent girls stationed in the middle of the sidewalk with their necks craned up towards the monumental Aguido. Above their heads, they each hold their smartphones, holding still while they capture the unchanging structure. Without budging from their positions, I see their fingers swiping, no doubt testing each Instagram filter; this group of girls represented ‘Filter Artists’. Possibly Valencia? Sierra? Sutro? Each photo they Instagram surely differs only slightly–capturing in manifold neither an occasion nor celebration, nor do they reflect the custom of the photographical.

    We take photos with the goal to impress, in contrary to documenting our momentous, treasured moments. Photography or ‘selfie’ portraits no longer need the excuse of a memorable moment. Got your daily cup of milktea this morning? Instagram it. Walked down an empty street that resembles an utterly idyllic and utopian state? Slap a filter over it to give the photo a sepia hue, and call yourself a photographer. Those moments…you know.

    The rare and cherished Kodak moment was practiced with class by our parents. Portraits like these were taken as our parents came of age and developed. What can we say about the photographs we take today? I am unwilling to call it photography in refinement, for fear of advocating the Instagram and Selfie movements.

    Imagine if our grandchildren see our over-documented photographs of ‘selfies’, would they see elegance and dignity and composure? Upright men they call grandpa or grandma? More likely their Instagram oldies in our wealth, range, and assortment, that shows the evolution and latitude of our vainglory, our self-obsession, and our thirsting need for approval and validation.

    This is photography reinvented…or disgraced?

    photo

    1 note
    Sep 14 11:59AM
  2. Breeze ActivBleach calls on moms to join 1Laba Day

    Breeze ActivBleach is treating mommies across the country to a day off from their laundry chores with the simultaneous nationwide event 1Laba Day happening on August 28. Moms in barangays throughout Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are invited to head to 1Laba Day venues and let Breeze’s revolutionary ActivBleach take care of their stained clothes while they take part in exciting activities Breeze has in store for them to celebrate every mother’s hard work and love for her family.

    With 1 Laba Day, Breeze aims to wash 1 million stains using Breeze ActivBleach, which removes even the toughest of stains in just one wash. Participating moms can enjoy their ultimate laundry day-off as Breeze treats them to various entertainment activities, while the Breeze Laba Ladies and Laba Machines, sponsored by campaign partners Electrolux, White Westinghouse, Whirpool and LG, will take care of washing their clothes.

    Simultaneous 1Laba Day events will happen in Metro Manila (Pasig, Marikina, Quezon City, Pasay), North Luzon (Tarlac, Pangasinan), South Luzon (Laguna, Cavite), Visayas (Cebu), and Mindanao (Davao).

    Breeze with ActivBleach is the first and only detergent brand with 4-enzyme technology to remove more types of stains with less effort and time.

    It even has a unique active system for better foam profile and quicker lather, plus percarbonate TAED bleach that takes out bleachable stains without harming the environment. 

    Be a part of the Breeze 1 Laba Day event and see for yourself how Breeze with ActivBleach removes 1 million stains in just one wash. Like the official Breeze Facebook page (@BreezePhilippines) and join the online promos to get the chance to win washing machines from partner brands. Consumers can also get free Breeze gift packs for every purchase of an Electrolux, Whirlpool and LG washing machine.  (Press Release)

    photo

  3. Do you ever find in life little winks or feel little kisses or hope for a brief second until life’s worries whisk you away? Next time you see or feel one of these moments for yourself, try to hold it in your heart a little bit longer.

    Do you ever find in life little winks or feel little kisses or hope for a brief second until life’s worries whisk you away? Next time you see or feel one of these moments for yourself, try to hold it in your heart a little bit longer.

    photo

    5 notes
    Jul 31 11:43AM
  4. So, to not expense my blogger status, I thought of posting a song or a quote a day, and maybe inject my understanding from it.

    Here’s my first one from Akdong Musician (AKMU), a South Korean sibling duo who won the second installment of the K-Pop Star series, with their second title track, “Melted”. This song has helped me become more sensitive to suffering. 

    Watching the story progress to AKMU’s haunting vocals, I sense a universalism in the “unintelligible fates” of the characters–that all must struggle to overcome their solitude. The song did capture the simultaneous adversity and hope as shown in the video.

    I believe we’ve been in the boy’s position at one time. Like how we completely become desperate when we seek affection and when our boldness and obvious inquisitive nature have been criticized. Or when the world has shown us that we’re disposable and inconsequential, and that everything seems to be against us, and we react with instinctual violence.

    I hope that when we witness these tragedies in our lives as the boy does, we see the possibilities for change, and let that change challenge us to overcome sadness, so that we can offer others kindness, connection, and hope.

    video

  5. P’nan Photographers Club celebrates 5th Year Anniversary(An article I did for Focus Weekly, an avantgarde corporate newsmagazine in Northern Luzon)
Pangasinan’s own and Northern Luzon’s sole Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) accredited club celebrates its 5th anniversary through a public exhibit in SM Rosales. The well thought out exhibition ran from May 25 to 30, revealing some of the most brilliant photos taken by locals, and non-nationals.

Aimed at extending the faculties of its members and inspiring awareness through quality photography, Pangasinan Photographers Club (PaPhoc) opted to go a relatively new direction, albeit the methods evident from previous exhibits, now informed by ideas not limited to Pangasinan.
Joe Malicdem, the present President of the club, says that through joint efforts and supervised collection, the exhibit was made possible. It took the team three months of preparation.
Sana, kahit sa modernisasyong mayroon tayo ngayon ay makuhang lumingon at i-appreciate ng mga tao ang kahit anong uri ng sining. Minsan, mas nakikita natin ‘yung realidad sa mga litrato kesa ‘yung sa telebisyon o sa Internet (I hope despite the modernization and access to technology, people get to see and appreciate any type of art. Every so often, we discern reality through photos more than television and the Internet), expressed by Nick Custodio, a spectator and resident of Barangay Carmen East, Rosales.
Aside from conducting public displays, PaPhoc also gears toward free workshops and outreach programs in help of an unfortunate organization. In 2012, PaPhoc, under the responsibility of Ray Rosario then, delivered community services to Salapingao, Binmaley where they gave slippers and school supplies to underprivileged children.
Knowing the club and its community
PaPhoc is created in 2009 for the upliftment of Philippine photography and the welfare of Pangasinan photographers. It is a non-profit organization that advocates cooperation among photographers—of which the province has more than enough than realized.
By providing the right leadership, PaPhoc has been recognized by the industry as a unifying organization.

In a special Focus Weekly ‘Profiles’ interview, Joe Malicdem, who is known by some as “The One Man Production Photographer” (because he can do it all, from styling to post-production) reflects on the club’s history and future plans.
FOCUS: How did PaPhoc come to light? What was the inspiration behind it?Joe Malicdem: Our club started during the celebration of Bangus Festival 2009, since photographers gather at the time to document the prestigious event. So forming an organization made sense. Our preliminary aim is to improve our skills, be able to share knowledge, and discover things about photography collectively.
F: Who are members of the club?JM: We are composed of shooters who specialized in nature, portrait, still life, fashion, and events photography.  But we don’t limit ourselves when it comes to our strengths. We have members who are effective in graphics, and we also conduct workshops within the club.
F: Since PaPhoc is using surplus revenues, how were you able to maintain it?JM: We pay for our own expenses. We assist each other, from transportation means to food. But when the club decided to mature extensively by producing more workshops, and joining the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) for accreditation, we resolved to collecting annual fees.
F: Tell us more about the exhibit (in celebration of PaPhoc’s 5th year anniversary).JM: In our previous exhibits, we focus on showcasing the people, places, and livelihood in the province of Pangasinan. But this year, we recognized photos taken from other parts of the world since we have foreign members.  This will be an exciting chance for everyone to see a large group of diverse original prints.
 F: What can you advise our aspiring photographers out there?JM: Photography is an art of observation. It’s not just how you hold a camera and shoot; it’s the way you see life and everything around you. Take lots of pictures in a variety of different situations. Get out of your comfort zone. And learn to accept criticism and use it to better your work. With experience, you grow. You may also join a club, like I did. I mastered my skills because I listened and paid attention.
F: How do you see PaPhoc in the succeeding years? What are your future plans for the club?JM: We want it grow more. To be able to penetrate the entire region, or the global industry. Also, to do more volunteer missions. 

    P’nan Photographers Club celebrates 5th Year Anniversary
    (An article I did for Focus Weekly, an avantgarde corporate newsmagazine in Northern Luzon)

    Pangasinan’s own and Northern Luzon’s sole Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) accredited club celebrates its 5th anniversary through a public exhibit in SM Rosales. The well thought out exhibition ran from May 25 to 30, revealing some of the most brilliant photos taken by locals, and non-nationals.

    Aimed at extending the faculties of its members and inspiring awareness through quality photography, Pangasinan Photographers Club (PaPhoc) opted to go a relatively new direction, albeit the methods evident from previous exhibits, now informed by ideas not limited to Pangasinan.

    Joe Malicdem, the present President of the club, says that through joint efforts and supervised collection, the exhibit was made possible. It took the team three months of preparation.

    Sana, kahit sa modernisasyong mayroon tayo ngayon ay makuhang lumingon at i-appreciate ng mga tao ang kahit anong uri ng sining. Minsan, mas nakikita natin ‘yung realidad sa mga litrato kesa ‘yung sa telebisyon o sa Internet (I hope despite the modernization and access to technology, people get to see and appreciate any type of art. Every so often, we discern reality through photos more than television and the Internet), expressed by Nick Custodio, a spectator and resident of Barangay Carmen East, Rosales.

    Aside from conducting public displays, PaPhoc also gears toward free workshops and outreach programs in help of an unfortunate organization. In 2012, PaPhoc, under the responsibility of Ray Rosario then, delivered community services to Salapingao, Binmaley where they gave slippers and school supplies to underprivileged children.

    Knowing the club and its community

    PaPhoc is created in 2009 for the upliftment of Philippine photography and the welfare of Pangasinan photographers. It is a non-profit organization that advocates cooperation among photographers—of which the province has more than enough than realized.

    By providing the right leadership, PaPhoc has been recognized by the industry as a unifying organization.

    In a special Focus Weekly ‘Profiles’ interview, Joe Malicdem, who is known by some as “The One Man Production Photographer” (because he can do it all, from styling to post-production) reflects on the club’s history and future plans.

    FOCUS: How did PaPhoc come to light? What was the inspiration behind it?
    Joe Malicdem: Our club started during the celebration of Bangus Festival 2009, since photographers gather at the time to document the prestigious event. So forming an organization made sense. Our preliminary aim is to improve our skills, be able to share knowledge, and discover things about photography collectively.

    F: Who are members of the club?
    JM: We are composed of shooters who specialized in nature, portrait, still life, fashion, and events photography.  But we don’t limit ourselves when it comes to our strengths. We have members who are effective in graphics, and we also conduct workshops within the club.

    F: Since PaPhoc is using surplus revenues, how were you able to maintain it?
    JM: We pay for our own expenses. We assist each other, from transportation means to food. But when the club decided to mature extensively by producing more workshops, and joining the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) for accreditation, we resolved to collecting annual fees.

    F: Tell us more about the exhibit (in celebration of PaPhoc’s 5th year anniversary).
    JM: In our previous exhibits, we focus on showcasing the people, places, and livelihood in the province of Pangasinan. But this year, we recognized photos taken from other parts of the world since we have foreign members.  This will be an exciting chance for everyone to see a large group of diverse original prints.

     F: What can you advise our aspiring photographers out there?
    JM: Photography is an art of observation. It’s not just how you hold a camera and shoot; it’s the way you see life and everything around you. Take lots of pictures in a variety of different situations. Get out of your comfort zone. And learn to accept criticism and use it to better your work. With experience, you grow. You may also join a club, like I did. I mastered my skills because I listened and paid attention.

    F: How do you see PaPhoc in the succeeding years? What are your future plans for the club?
    JM: We want it grow more. To be able to penetrate the entire region, or the global industry. Also, to do more volunteer missions. 

    photo