Monday, February 18

Photo of the Week

A Tale of Two Food Stalls

A Tale of Two Food Stalls

Photo of the Week
EARLY in the morning, Tiya Sinang is already up and about in her carinderia. She ladles servings of various menu items onto plastic plates before handing them to customers with a smile. She is grateful. It was getting harder to keep her business afloat, much less pay her bills. Due to her husband’s passing, there were many times when she had no idea how to pull through. Thankfully, she was never alone. A screech breaks her out from her thoughts. It was Aling Bebang. In all her years, Tiya Sinang has never managed to find anyone more exasperating. Since day one, Aling Bebang has been there in a similar food stall next to hers, bickering all the while. She gripes, "The salt is missing! Did you take it?" Tiya Sinang rolls her eyes. Still, she does her best to appease
The Ghost of the Past

The Ghost of the Past

Photo of the Week
SMOKE and dust surround the street on afternoons. People talked either in hushed tones or with loud, boisterous voices. Even with heavy books in their bags, the children wore a smile as they journeyed back home. The smell of burning charcoal, fried oil, and an array of street food wafted from one spot, making everyone’s mouth water. Along the road, one could hear the sound of honking cars and the growling of a motorcycle. It is a typical modern street in the city of Manila. It is hidden behind the metropolis, situated in a small space that no one ever thought existed. In the shadows of this colorful street filled with friends and family lie stories of unexpected visitors setting foot on once sacred land. It holds memories of blood and dust from years of fighting with rusted sword
An Impending Darkness

An Impending Darkness

Photo of the Week
AMID THE crowd, he begins to wonder to himself if these lost souls around him still believe in themselves. While walking, he sees a woman who seems to be around her forties who is with her daughter. The child looks up at him, and he smiles at her. They must be satisfied with what they have right now, he thinks to himself. As he continues walking, he sees a father with his son, and they seem to be enjoying every moment they have together. He looks to his left and sees a family as they laugh about something which he does not really know about. He searches for other faces in the crowd. Surprisingly, they all display a familiar feeling of euphoria. In times of impending darkness, there is nothing that can drag him down further. He knows that this may be for the better. As he counts the ...
Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt

Photo of the Week
I SELDOM come home to the province, but whenever I do, I always run to our garden to check if the gate of that house is unlocked: the home of my late aunt. I can still remember how I would always go to that house to visit her. She rarely had any visitors, perhaps because of the house; the rumors surrounding it are always the kind that leave one with shivers. The elderly used to say that it is haunted by a malevolent being that abducts children at mid-noon when they are left unsupervised, or that there is a terrible beast lurking in the garden that tricks young girls into marrying them. Even if all these hair-raising tails were true, I continue to believe otherwise. My aunt has always loved that house, and she would tell me stories about its origins. My favorite story is about h...
The Cure

The Cure

Photo of the Week
HE LOOKS on at the sheer number of devotees passing by. He does not join them; for now, he is content in being a bystander smoking a cigarette. Being a long-time smoker, he takes a long drag and feels the nicotine seep into his lungs. He wheezes. The release of smoke brings an unpleasant realization: he has been doing this for a long time now. In all his years, he has consistently walked through the route toward his destination. He has always continued his procession despite the persistent fatigue and shortness of breath. He has done it all, including fighting for a handkerchief and clamoring against others for a touch of wood. Once, their crowd even trampled on someone. Through yellowing eyes, he looks out for even a small flash, for a glimpse at the mystical dark-skinned st...
One Last Time

One Last Time

Photo of the Week
IN AN old rusty house laid an old man. His eyes could barely see the sunlight streaming down his dusty bedroom and his fingers could barely write a single curve. The man knew his time was near, yet his heart remained dissatisfied. It had been several years since he last saw his angel. She was the reason why he would work for hours in harsh conditions. His only companions were his trusty bicycle and the image of his daughter’s smile. The pain and suffering did not matter as long as he came home to the warmth of his child’s presence. She was his ultimate priority, until the day his former lover decided to take the child away—but that did not stop him. He secretly wrote her letters every year. Even though he never received one back, he wrote to her until the day his hands shook to e
Towards Greater Heights

Towards Greater Heights

Photo of the Week
YOU despise what this year has brought upon you. The burden of it has caused you to doubt everyone around you. You have chosen not to trust anyone as you were betrayed by someone you used to feel comfortable with. Sometimes, you enjoy the company of your friends, but you still prefer to remain secluded for a while as this year comes to its conclusion. It is time for you to forget the faults you have committed, to forgive the ones who have crossed your boundaries, to let go of those who do not value your worth, to leave everything behind and to take a step towards greater heights. Everything will fall into place, and you will heal in time. This year has proven that regardless of all the heartaches and betrayals you have been through, the triumphs you have garnered, and the defe...
One hundred-peso bill

One hundred-peso bill

Photo of the Week
ALONG the streets of Divisoria lie a mother and a son curled together against the cold morning breeze. Before the sun begins to rise, the little boy squirms out of his mother’s embrace to start his morning rounds. After kissing his mother goodbye, he grabs the materials he needs for selling. The mother looks at his retreating figure, oblivious to why the boy has been working hard ever since December began. Walking around the streets, he offers passersby pieces of his “kwek-kwek” or a parcel of his cheese sticks. By five in the afternoon, he is only able to earn twenty pesos. A twinge of discouragement courses through him as he realizes that his total savings are not enough. Imagining the smile he would put on his mother’s face as he hands her a Christmas present, he finds the mot
Picturesque

Picturesque

Photo of the Week
I LOOK down from my vantage point. Amid the dimmed lights, there is only darkness, which pales in comparison to the city skyline dotted with specks of yellow and white. From a distance, I hear the faint tune of a Christmas song. Beside me, my camera lies at rest. Silence dwells for a moment, but not for long. I listen carefully as the song reaches its bridge. It is then that I begin grasping for my camera. My hands quake in anticipation as I hold it at the perfect angle. In an elaborate sequence that occurs within a matter of seconds, lights begin to flare from all over, engulfing the whole campus in a pleasing glow. My finger itches for a snapshot, but I know that there is more to come, that the grand spectacle has not yet arrived. The fireworks follow soon. They whizz ...
The Warmth of Christmas

The Warmth of Christmas

Photo of the Week
The chilly December wind made him frown. It reminded him of the old days when he still associated the month of December with warmth; the kind of warmth that made him recall what home was like: far from the honking cars, the blinding city lights, and the bustling of busy people. Home reminded him of tall grass, old trees, sleeping carabaos, and the colorful ornaments that surrounded the peaceful provincial streets. What used to make December truly exciting was when a man would knock on the front door as his mother prepared snacks while he tried to do his homework. Upon hearing the knock, he would instantly run out of his room wearing his biggest smile as he eagerly unlocked the door. The man on the other side was always worn-out by months of battling the harsh waves of the ocean, ...