BW Challenge: Hong Kong

_MG_3627 copy _MG_3636-2 copy _MG_3675-2 copy _MG_3737-2 copy_MG_3696 copyI was tagged by my friend Bea Malveda to do the Black and White Challenge for five days. But instead of posting a photo a day, I decided to post them all in one go.

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Here are other black and white photos I took during my travel to Hong Kong.

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Friends I haven’t met yet

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Everybody wants to travel when they are stuck in a sad, dull place. I assume.

Most days I find myself alone in my room, lights off; silence deafening yet somehow comforting. I let myself drown in the black hole I created for myself.

Most times I think about why a man plays many roles.

Most times I think about how many friends do I really have – if social media is an indicator — then how many of them have I shared (real) experiences with.

I see pigments of myself from the people I meet. May it be the way the Vietnamese lady happily rides her bike, or the way the vendor carefully arranges my order. Maybe i wished to be that person I just took a photo of. The way I see and define others becomes an extension of self, the ghost of my other selves.

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Traveling to Vietnam last July is like a temporary bandage over permanent scar. It’s my way to escape reality – the reality that I have too many regrets, too many missed opportunities and missed connections, and too much time wasted. So much so that the idea of myself is haunted by the ghosts of the other selves I might have been.

And this is what travelling does to me: it gets me to meet people outside of my circle and lets me understand myself better.

Travelling clears my head. Travelling is a hope for happiness. 

And so, this is to the friends I haven’t met yet: that I may put a name to your face. And not be reduced to merely just a portrait I have once taken.

But for now, I am back to chasing to fill the void.

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Typhoon Gener: Portraits of children

Who would have thought that a gloomy school day afternoon brought me to a covered court in Brgy. Bagong Silangan when I decided to write a story on Typhoon Gener survivors in one of my journalism classes. I remember vividly after taking shots of the kids that this be the start of my new goal — visit kids in evacuation centers as they find it therapeutic to have their photographs taken.

While they eat…

3_kimpauigWhile they sleep…

4_kimpauig5_kimpauigOr seconds after they wake up… Continue reading

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In Photos: Pacman

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Manny Pacquiao probably has the biggest name in boxing in his generation. I grew up in a household where each fight is celebrated and watched in pay-per-view. Last March, I was lucky enough to have witnessed one of Pacman’s last trainings in General Santos City, his hometown, before he flew to Las Vegas. I would like to share to you some of the photos I took.

*Note: Only authorized persons were allowed to take photos of the sparring for confidentiality. Thus, the lack of it.

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This dog accompanies Pacman wherever he goes.

Pacquiao's sparring mate

Pacquiao’s sparring mate

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Pacman's "game face" when the crowd jokingly teased him about Bradley

Pacman’s “game face” when the crowd jokingly teased him about Bradley

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Pacman's punches were really fast. It was very challenging to take his photos.

Pacman’s punches were really fast. It was very challenging to take his photos.

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‘Gusto ko nang umuwi’

Sa mahigit 200 tao na pansamantalang naninirahan sa Brgy. Bagong Silangan covered court sa Lungsod ng Quezon dahil sa lagpas-taong bahang dala ng bagyong Gener, makikita mo ang batang may suot na rosaryo sa leeg. Si Raymond yun.

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“Napulot ko ang rosaryo doon sa sapa malapit sa bahay noong limang taong gulang ako. Simula noon ay lagi ko nang suot ito at siyang ginagamit ko kapag nagsisimba,” lahad ni Raymond Galanza na ngayon ay nasa edad na 10 na.

Habang ang sapang iyon ang nagbigay ng kanyang “kwintas” ay siya ring nagbibigay-pangamba kapag umuulan nang malakas.

“Natatakot talaga ako. Hindi ko nga alam kung bakit malakas ang ulan. Basta ang alam ko, bumabaha na sa amin,” aniya habang hinahawakan ng kaniyang kanang kamay ang rosaryo at itinutuon ang direksyon ng mga mata sa kaliwa.

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Ala una ng madaling araw noong Lunes nang gisingin siya ng kaniyang lola Perla. Nagsisimula na kasing tumaas ang tubig sa bahay nila.

“Ang una kong ginawa ay inayos ang mga damit na dadalhin namin. Tapos kay papa ‘yung malalaking bag. Hindi ko kasi mabubuhat ‘yun, e,” paglalahad ni Raymond.

Alam na alam niya na raw kasi kung anong gagawin. Sa dalawang malalakas na bagyong nagdaan, Ondoy at Pedring, napilitan silang pamilya na lumikas.

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“Doon kami pumunta sa Fil Invest, sa tiyuhin ko. Ang dami kasing tao at bangkay dito sa covered court. Nakakatakot,” kuwento ni Raymart, ang nag-iisang kapatid ni Raymond.

Biglang nanlumo ang mga mata niya. Nanahimik siya. Hinayaan lang ni Raymond na ang kaniyang kuya ang magsalaysay ng nangyari.

“Lagpas tatlong palapag ng bahay ang taas ng baha noon! May tatlong bata pang namatay. Sina… Sino nga pala ‘yun?” dagdag pa ni Raymart sabay kalabit kay Raymond.

Nang hindi na mapangalanan ay tumawa na lang si Raymart sabay kinamot ang ulo.

“Sige, ikaw na ang magpa-interbyu,” biro ni Raymond sa kapatid.

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Noong Pedring naman ay sa covered court din ng Bagong Silangan sila sumilong.

“Ayaw ko na dito. Ang ingay kasi,” sabi ni Raymond saka tinanong ang kaninyang ina, na kababalik lang galing sa pila ng pagkain, kung kailan sila makakauwi uli.

Nakabalik na kasi sila sa kanilang bahay noong hapon ng Lunes, pero lumikas uli ng ala singko ng umaga noong Martes. Tumaas na naman kasi ang tubig.

“Pagkain lang naman pinagkakaabalahan ko dito, e” patawang sinabi ni Raymond. Nabatukan tuloy siya ng kaniyang kuya at sinumbong sa nanay. Tinawanan lang naman siya.

Gusto na rin daw niyang pumasok sa eskwelahan. Tatlong araw na kasi silang walang pasok.

“Gusto ko talaga matuto,” idineklara niya. Umaliwalas ang mukha ng kanyang ina nang sabihin iyon ni Raymond.

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“Gustung-gusto ko na talaga umuwi. Wala kasi akong mga kalaro rito,” sabi niya.

“Meron kaya!” sambit ni Raymart.

“Ang konti lang kaya,” depensa ni Raymond.

Inilagay na ni Raymond ang rosaryo sa ilalim ng kaniyang sando, saka naman humarap sa mga kalaro.

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*Ipinasa ko ito sa isang klase, ngunit binago nang kaunti para sa blog na ito. Una ito sa dalawang blog posts patungkol sa bagyong Gener noong 2012.

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Culion Sunrise

Culion Sunrise

My mom asked me to post this photo she took while on a business trip in Palawan. She said that she could pass as a photographer. Well, I agree.

Culion, Palawan, Philippines

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The flyers

I have always wondered what it feels like flying. Well, these kids must know.01 Kim Pauig02 Kim Pauig Continue reading

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