Saturday, October 19

Photo of the Week

Insidious

Insidious

Photo of the Week
THE breaking of light rings like sirens put on full blast, rousing the people from below in bewilderment. With their eyes inflamed and cushioned by wrinkles of exhaustion, they heave in defeat. Day has just began tapping her nails on the windowpane, and she continues to loom over their sleepless forms. A Dirge loiters behind the clamor of coins in outstretched palms that glistens with oil and sweat. He listens to backseat conversations discussing missed alarms and boring meetings. He hides in engines with scraping metals and caged heat, before appearing when tires squeal their way past mazes of traffic. For him, Mondays mean more bodies and hearses. His procession begins in a series of red and yellow. With every stop comes a new body; every turn a drop-off. The pavements shrink t...
Apo Lakay

Apo Lakay

Photo of the Week
“AGBIAG ni Apo Lakay” they proudly shout in Norte. Behind those cheers are the agonizing howls of the victims of Martial Law. The dark figure the blind ones vainly praise is a man whose sagging skin is stained with blood. September 21, 1972 was the date the Philippines became an inferno. The moment a signature scribbled on an infernal piece of paper and the declaration announced with the voice of a brute, everything fell apart. Men, women, and children—everyone howled in pain. There were brave fighters who defied him but it came with a cost. The women were pinned by beasts who forcibly spread their legs. Even the men whimpered as they were tortured multiple times. Some of their lifeless bodies were found, but most of them vanished as if they never existed. Still unseen and unfoun
Remnants of Childhood

Remnants of Childhood

Photo of the Week
TODAY, he has decided to take the long route so he can clear his head. In his middle 30s, his life is still a far cry from successful; being stuck in a dead-end job with no family of his own. He strolled around the bustling city, yearning to find comfort in its dimly-lit alleys the way he did when he was a child. Faint memories of how he used to scout his old neighborhood for blank walls to paint on, or how he used to read the profanities written on backstreet walls, resurfaced. Everything in the city was monochrome: the faces in the crowd, the shops he passed by — all of them were dulled to the core. He peeked between alleyways and was enlivened when he saw something with a tinge of color standing out from his surroundings of black and white. It was a graffiti wall. He drew clos
Burdened Smiles

Burdened Smiles

Photo of the Week
SHE was a long way from home. All the children were. The government had shut down their schools due to the possibility of armed conflict and traveling here was the only way they could continue studying. When they arrived, we were encouraged to chat with them. She stood alone in the field. I walked up to her and asked for her name. “Felisa,” she answered. We continued talking. I noticed how her eyes held more anguish than any 13-year-old should have. She understood why they were here. I asked about her family. She told me that her brother died two weeks ago. “Killed,” she said. "Got into trouble with the army or something. He was 16.” My heart felt heavy. “I am sorry for your loss." She smiled somberly, “Others from my village met the same fate. It just so happened m
Lady of the Forest

Lady of the Forest

Photo of the Week
THE path to the bamboo forest was strewn with junk left by careless and ignorant travelers. I treaded carefully, the leaves and stones getting crushed beneath my feet. I avoid the chaos left in its wake. The bamboo towered over me like city skyscrapers. “Tabi-tabi po” I murmured, as the wind whistled against my face, pushing me at a standstill. It died down and I saw a light before me. I cautiously crept toward it. The luminescence was from a woman who sat in the middle of the clearing, her back facing me. Her dress was white as clouds and its sheen cascaded down her shoulders to her ankles. Her hair was as dark as night, and as long as the rivers that coursed through the forest. Her beauty was unparalleled. Slowly, she stood up and strode around, looking up to the bamboo then
Pagbangon

Pagbangon

Photo of the Week
NAKASANAYAN na niya ang init ng araw na bumabalot sa kanya. Malakas ang tagaktak ng kanyang pawis; ito ay nagsilbing patunay sa malupit at nakakapagal na walong oras niyang pagkakayod. Tulad ng dati, binalewala niya ito at nagpatuloy sa pagbabanat ng buto. Ganito ang takbo sa gulong ng kanyang buhay. Tuluy-tuloy nga sa pag-ikot, ngunit wala namang patutunguhang direksyon. Mula bukang-liwayway hanggang dapit-hapon, ang tanging tanawin niya ay ang magkakamukhang hitsura ng mga katrabaho kasama na ng pinaghalu-halong amoy ng pawis. Tumingala siya at pinagmasdan ang mga ulap. Dumayo ang kanyang isip tungo sa ibang lugar at dahan-dahang kumupas ang mga tinig ng kanyang kapaligiran. Para kanino ba siya nagtatrabaho? Para kanino ba siya nagpapatuloy? Ito ba ay para sa kanyang...
Mumunting Hiling

Mumunting Hiling

Photo of the Week
NOONG ako ay bata pa, imahe mo ay siyang dinasalan. Lumuhod ako sa iyong harapan, at nanalangin para sa iyong pagdinig ng aking mumunting hiling. Maliit lamang ito na bagay — isang bagong laruan. Ayaw kasi ako bilhan ni nanay, kaya ikaw muna ang inasahan. Sa aking pananalangin, mahigpit ang paghawak sa limampu't siyam na manik at taos-puso ang pagbigkas sa mga misteryo. Ito ang itinuro sa aking gagawin sa mga panahon ng pagkadismaya. Lumipas ang mga panahon. Nakatungtong na ako ng kolehiyo sa Maynila. Kinalakihan ko na ang aking mga damit, at ang mga payo naman ni nanay ay ipinagkibit-balikat na lamang. Iba na rin ang aking hanap; hindi na mga laruan, kundi isang senyales na sumasagot kung tama nga ba ang aking napiling landas sa buhay Nagkaroon ng programa sa aming pamantasan na
Lagusan

Lagusan

Photo of the Week
MASASAYANG ingay at tawanan ang sumalubong sa akin paglabas ko ng fakultad. Daan-daang estudyante ang nakaabang at nakapila para dumaan sa arko. Tumungo ako papunta sa kanila, nagbabalak na makisingit sa makikipot na espasyo ng kanilang pila. Mayroon akong pupuntahan, at sila ay nakaharang sa daan. Sa aking pagbagtas, tanging pasintabi ang bukambibig at paghawi sa mga balakid ang aking nagawa. Pagkayamot ang sa aki'y namutawi. Ano ba talaga ang natatangi sa Arko ng mga Siglo? Isa lamang itong labi ng nakaraan na tinabang at kinupas na ng mga nakalipas na panahon. Sa paghahanap ko ng sagot ay naalala ko ang aking karanasan. Mainit nang araw na iyon. Tanda ko pa ang pagtagaktak ng aking pawis pati na rin ang pagkangawit ng braso mula sa kahahawak ng libreng payong. Isan...
Stuck

Stuck

Photo of the Week
It was that time of the day when the roads were scarcely bestrewed with vehicles and people - when the morning light has just manifested into the streets. He hopped onto his bicycle and proceeded to go along his usual day. As the day progressed, the peaceful streets he was appreciating were gone, much to his dismay. Of course, how could he forget the existing inconvenient conditions in this country? Before he knew it, vehicles occupied the roads to the extent that it was cramped in every corner. The rush hour was finally here. While waiting for the stoplight to turn green, he witnessed a car speeding towards the intersection, nearly crashing into another vehicle in the process. He winced internally. Once the traffic lights signaled to a go, everyone scrambled to accelerat...
Torrential Truth

Torrential Truth

Photo of the Week
AMID the crowd of supporters on that rainy day, I stood out. I was soaked from head to toe while others enthusiastically held on to their umbrellas. As I made my way in the rambunctious crowd, I heard raised voices of support for a man covered in blood, fear, and an unfathomable amount of lies; lies that were force fed on the people he has sought dominance over. These days, the truth has become a torrential rainstorm. Humanity will do everything in their power to avoid getting drenched and catching a cold. They hide under the umbrella of security— their protection against the rain of reality in order to enjoy the simplistic feeling of being ignorant. I, on the other hand, am not terrified of getting sick or damp because of the rain. I embrace the truth and I do not hide from it