I have this great friend Mawi. We know each other because she interviewed me a few years back for a piece she was writing about summer activities for kids. Since then, we have grown closer, and I am lucky to call her my friend. She and I have grown together…and we have explored some healing modalities under the careful tutelage of our Reiki Master, Lia Bernardo. Hers is a friendship I value and look to for comfort.
Early in October, Mawi invited me to her event where three well known photographers were challenged to capture the leisure lifestyle that Landco developers provide, through their photographs. They were asked to capture what leisure means to them. (We all do have our own idea of leisure don’t we?)
I was even more intrigued when I realized that fellow SoMom, Jenny Ong, would surely be present because her darling husband was one of the commissioned photographers. I have always admired Stanley Ong’s work and had the opportunity to work with him briefly while writing for Working Mom.
Many of the photographs moved me. In fact, when I was discussing their work with each of the photographers, I was intrigued to hear of how the project challenged each of them or enabled growth in their craft. I have always been one to rise to the challenge and push to my edge, so to hear of the challenges that presented themselves, and how each photographer expanded from the experience was enlightening.
I later learned that Father John was actually a visiting priest here in our own parish for quite sometime before moving on to his next post. He shared how much he loved the Northeast (United States) when he learned I was American, and how he enjoyed an extended vacation in the Hudson Valley. (which is where I’m from!) We talked about deer that visited his host’s home regularly and how tame they were. I shared that in my own back yard we would have these same visiting deer and would even feed them the stale bread from our family’s dinner table at times.
Marvin Dungao explained that he is normally commissioned as a wedding photographer. His challenge in this project was not just the lack of a subject, but also shooting completely in black and white. I was inspired by Marvin’s ability to step outside of the box, and in this case it was clear that he was able to rise to the occasion.
I was even more pleased when, during the program, Alby Xerez-Burgos explained that as guests of the show, we would all be able to take home the print of our choice from any of the displayed photographs. Of course, I really wanted so many, but I chose a piece from Father John’s collection.
“I always had the impression that amazing and colorful birds are to be found mostly in other countries. These Pacific Swallows, “residents” of Hacienda Escudero, disabused me of that silly thought and led me to the realization of this amazing fact: We have the most number of bird species per square kilometer than an nation on earth.” JMC
Can you guess the simple reason why I’m fond of this photo?