My career as a photographer started from very humble beginnings. I first held a camera late 2006 and I shot everything as a plaintive young hobbyist would - landscapes, events, still life.. even a frustrated try at fashion. A lot of edgy shit. I lived and died to upload my stuff to flickr, multiply and yes, dpp. And then came a stable yet short career as a wedding photographer. During those times, I grew up idolizing this group of young photographers in the Philippines. I never had any foreign influences so they were the closest thing I have for inspiration. I always had this high regard for them and their works I would usually stalk thinking someday I could accomplish something like they have in their respective fields. At a young age, they were able to do so much - travel a lot, have their photos placed on billboards and countless glossies.. Stuff like that. I must admit I was a fanboy of theirs. Jake for his photos of the monks; Paolo for his jail photos; Buck’s gritty documentaries and his inclusion in asef; Bahag for his editorial works; Juan for his avant-garde works; Veejay for his Jolo slideshow in Mogwai; Tammy for her shots in Cambodia and yes, her scarves. These were the images and works that pushed me to try and make something out of myself. Not Nachtwey’s, not Stanmeyer’s, not Salgado’s nor anybody else’s during that time. Never have I expected to be actually hanging out with the same people I grew up to admire. I know this entry is kinda gay, but I’m just keeping it real.
Throughout my life I have had so many groups, so many friends. From people who did nothing but copulation and drugs, to the beautiful people who care nothing about but to live life like one big party.. I guess I have met them all. It’s a very nice thought to have that I finally found people who I believe can keep it real. Regardless of their achievements or status. “Come as you are” is the kind of welcome I got from them. For the few months I’ve been with them, I can say that I find a lot of comfort and equanimity in their company. They have helped me get through a lot, just like a cushion when you need one. From my stupidities at work, to quandaries with the heart. I can’t remember a time when none of them were there. We all, as humans have the inevitable thirst to belong. And it’s such a comforting truth that I quench that yearning through them. Maraming salamat.