Thursday, May 28

Photo of the Week

A Custodian’s Care

A Custodian’s Care

Photo of the Week
HE takes one last sip of coffee before preparing to leave. As he enters the kitchen, the sight of unwashed dishes in the sink greets him; a result of having too many consecutive late-night dinners. He adds his coffee mug to the pile. On his way out, he passes by his children. At such an early hour, they are yet to be awake and he drinks in the sight of their sleeping faces. He puts on his face mask and leaves quietly. He arrives at the university just as the sun begins to rise. The campus is mostly quiet, save for a group nearby armed with cleaning supplies. He joins them. Today, they are cleaning the main building. It is hard work disinfecting every single implement. He pays extra care and attention to the doorknobs, the hand railings — places that his hands touch every
As the Sun Sets

As the Sun Sets

Photo of the Week
IN a day’s time her snugly clothing will be replaced by a wedding gown and her loose braids will be covered by a bridal veil. However, despite the upcoming occasion, she cannot help but escape to the place where her heart feels most at ease. She had always felt that the waves crashing upon the shore washed away her worries and took them down to the watery depths of the sea. The sand grazing against her skin, the seawater foaming at her feet, and the salty air brushing against her cheeks all bring back memories of a pleasant time in her younger years. She remembered her life before she was a bride. She was once an adventurous woman who enjoyed inhaling the crisp air at mountain peaks; who loved tasting exotic cuisines; and who collected keychains from every city she had visit
Capturing Flames

Capturing Flames

Photo of the Week
BY the time I have shed hundreds to thousands of calendar pages, I want our lips to curve upwards, reaching our ears. Whenever the wild gush of wind makes you shiver, my arms will be there to wrap around your shoulders. If the moment is nothing but magical, I will bring my phone out and capture it; keeping it for eternity. Our smiles might fade away like a dried leaf crumbled to pieces, but I will always have a photo to remind me of why we were grinning at that time. I hope that the warmth of my body will satiate your longing for comfort, but if it does not, I will use the undying flame within our bond. There might be times where we will only have the weakest blaze but it will never die, and sparks are always a bedrock to scorching flames. Let us take a photograph then, and ca...
Derailed Plans

Derailed Plans

Photo of the Week
EVER since the suspension of in-campus and off-campus activities, the sudden change in the university's atmosphere became axiomatic. He noticed that most students head home right after their classes. It was apparent; the specter of an outbreak has indeed engendered fear in the hearts of many. It was impossible for him to concentrate the day the memo was released; it was all he could think about. Were it his prerogative, he would have intensified precautionary measures during events rather than canceling them altogether. His dismay was unparalleled, and understandably so - it was no easy feat to spearhead student activities. He and his team worked so hard with only one thing in mind: bring them into fruition. It was hard to oblige because it had taken them months to get every...
Fearing the Unknown

Fearing the Unknown

Photo of the Week
I was in class when news broke of the virus finally reaching the country. My classmates who were mostly laid back, suddenly became more vigilant of their health: putting on masks and spraying alcohol on their hands. Most healthy people are unlikely to be infected but the uproar about it makes one feel quite existential. There is plenty of humor about it online, but lately, it does not seem so funny anymore. The year has only just begun and threats of wars and pandemics have already swept the globe. It seems that every week there is yet another thing that endangers the existence of humanity. I have spent my whole life preparing. I am studying to eventually find work to provide for myself and maybe even land my dream job. Someday, I hope to build robust structures to be known all...
Cast Away

Cast Away

Photo of the Week
EVERY corner and street of Binondo is awash with scarlet; from the way the people are dressed, down to the ampao that is handed out to their friends and loved ones. From above, the lanterns give light to everyone’s path — even to the ones who are lost. Eliza stands out against the crowd of carmine textiles with the flowy white dress her parents dressed her with. People pass her by like she is dust in the air. She is pale and gloomy, and the only colors emanating from her are from the fruits her Achi gave in a white porcelain bowl. She looks up to the lanterns, knowing that it will be the last lights she will see. As tears pour down on her pale cheeks, she knows she will never be able to find her way back home anymore. She knows what Nong Li meant. The drums will wreak havoc an
Chaos of the Ashfall

Chaos of the Ashfall

Photo of the Week
NO one expected this to happen. After all, it had been 43 years since they last felt its wrath. But now, the smoke billowed overhead and ash avalanched their homes. Sparks of lightning flickered within the volcano’s fumes. He feels the dust sting his eyes. The air became too toxic for him to breathe, making him cough and wheeze at every inhale. He and his family needed to leave. His mother shovels clothes into their bags. His sister is in charge of their siblings; she carries the youngest, and the others hold on to her hand or cling to her clothes. His father desperately pulls the carabao while looking at the ashen fields somberly. As for him — the eldest — he grabs whatever is in sight into his bag. The eldest takes one last look at their home, the fields, and the crops that once
From the Ashes, We Will Rise

From the Ashes, We Will Rise

Photo of the Week
MY child, you must run away from the woodlands and towards the north. It is only a matter of time before the blazing fire engulfs our defenseless habitats. it already conquered millions of acres; there is nothing stopping it from destroying a million more. Flee to safety, my child, and do not look back as plumes of fire consume our home and community. You might not bear seeing the charred remains of our own kind. At this rate, more of us will die due to starvation, dehydration, and loss of habitat. Feign ignorance to be spared from sorrow. You might feel guilty, but we ourselves are helpless and need to be rescued too. That is why you should hurry, my child. You do not want to end up like the thousands of our kin who burned to death in what was supposed to be a safe haven for u...
Taking the Plunge

Taking the Plunge

Photo of the Week
I am on a quest to swim in every lake in the world. I have overcome many lakes - deep and shallow. I have swam on rainy days and windy nights, whether alone or with companions. A decade has gone by since I first began to practice and with each swim, I have learned. Gone are the days when I haphazardly breathe in water or drift awkwardly. Granted, I do not have perfect form yet, but now, I can swim with greater speed and finesse. I have cut myself on sunken rocks and sharp reed, and so, I know to be wary of where I am stepping. There were times when I have almost drowned, but I have learned to swim together with friends and family when I am in deeper waters. Some lakes seemed too big, but I never gave up - growing and gaining courage in the midst of it all. I have swam throug...
Wishing for a Kite of Stars

Wishing for a Kite of Stars

Photo of the Week
THE campus is strewn with an array of colors. Tonight, I walk along its pavements beside you who only has eyes for nothing but the stars. I can see how your eyes widen at the sight of lights cascading like waterfalls, shining against the night sky—how your smile reaches from ear to ear when you see how they brighten up the walkways in bursts of color. You were particularly fond of those neon stars that illuminated the rosarium in small patches. You said their glow reminded you of home and of those fireflies you used to catch in your childhood. You were fascinated by their existence. It was like having stars at your fingertips. You momentarily stop in your tracks to take in the beauty of its luminosity. I stood there looking at you, then at the lights that caught your eye almost ev