PHILIPPINES PHOTOWALK – Last moments of 2011.50 best entries were showcased in Singapore, 2012.
- by Clee A. Villasor
About 20 photographers braved the rains and took to the streets in the Philippines, particularly in Dumaguete City, Oriental Negros, as they kick off its second year photowalk event dubbed, “Last Moments of 2011” last December 31, 2011. This was organized in association with Emaho Magazine.
The Last Moments of 2011 reflects on the participants’ photographic vision which gives importance to the lives of the people every 31st of December. This unique photowalk becomes a yearly social gathering for photographers who wish to document together “the last moments” – and bid fond photographic farewells on the last day of the year. Last Moments made its debut in 2010. Photowalk organizer, Clee A. Villasor, a local photographer, hatched this idea some three years back, from his personal photowalks, and integrated more photographers – through the help of OnePhoto (Oriental Negros Photographers) and Emaho Magazine – to make it a regular event. He envisions that other photographers will take this cue and lead local walks every last day of the year.
The Philippines is a street photography-loving bunch of guys. Aside from passion, it has become a liberating experience to bring it to a new level of art form or consciousness. Life in the streets is unconstrained, especially from the point of view of photographers. To wit, from Bruce Davidson on Henri Cartier-Bresson: “We took a walk for a few minutes together. The street became his photographs.” In this technology-induced age, street photography becomes a lifestyle; a true essence of reality shows that seek out new horizons in visual storytelling.
Vincent Solis, a government employee and another photographer, decided to join because he wanted “to photograph and witness the places where people strongly converge and how they behave before the year ends (Dec. 31, 2011).”
When asked how the Last Moments of 2011 affect him as a photographer, he said:
“This is my second time to witness the ‘Last Moments’ of a year. I am mesmerized by those people getting ready for “New Year” and for those who don’t really care (for some reasons). It’s not that easy to witness these events because they involved too much emotions and spirits (as one ideal photographer should evoke to have good pictures.) You can see how people behave, telling you what their priorities in life are, how colourful they are in terms of attitude and discipline, mostly, in what they believe in. You will not only witness how they are capable in life, but also how they felt so helpless. As a photographer, I should not deal with these things head-on. It’s just like being a medical nurse; you should disembark from your feelings and just do with your job. As I would always believe in the photographic proverb, “It’s the Indian that counts, not the arrow.” It was a great experience joining this event! I would love to do this again and again.”
Participant/photographer Geri Reyes, a Medical Representative, has all to say: “Last Moments of 2011 made me appreciate the year that was. It made me realize how blessed I still am compared to the less fortunate children that I photographed. The experience basically made me thankful of 2011 in spite of the not-so-good memories it gave me.”
“This exposure from Emaho Magazine would be our bridge to the world; to let everyone know that there’s more to life in 2012 than the miseries of 2011.” She adds.
She joined Last Moments of 2011 “to kill time.” Geri Reyes added, “I was in a hurry to welcome 2012. However, the photowalk gave me last moments – that made me grateful of the year that was.”
John Dx Lapid, a freelance photojournalist and college instructor, reflects the memorable event: “Capturing the last moments of 2011 made me record history and immortalize it with my photographs. It is a great privilege to be on Emaho Magazine, aside from exposure internationally, it’s great that there are still people who appreciate photography even on digital age, with Emaho’s initiative it will bring photography of Negros Oriental to greater heights.” John Dx Lapid is currently OnePhoto (Oriental Negros Photographers)’s Chairperson. This year, Emaho Exhibition, through Manik Katyal, initiated this first international collaboration and brought this creative revolution to the world. The Best Pictures published at Emaho Magazine will be a showcase for not only the colour and texture of the Philippines as unique hubs for tourist destinations and photographable environment, but the depth and character of the subjects in their timeless candid: The captured decisive moment lasting through the ages.