A firefly was in our bedroom
on the northeast
corner of the ceiling
It must have come
in from a tear in the window
screen, fascinated by
the bright ceiling light
mother of all fireflies
suddenly dead at the flick
of a switch.
So this firefly hovered
above our bed buffeted
by my husband’s snores
Groceries and hardware stores melt
into wet markets and storage drums
as the van leaves the city behind,
tin roofs spread into palm fronds
half courts into fields of green
where herons the size of flamingos
snack on fat insects
while the carabaos lounge
in their watering holes.
Religion is fluid
the cross morphs into steeple
curves into crescent and star and again
as immediate faith requires. The rivers
you pass are varied as the women
you have known, some wide and full
of life, some narrow and menopausal,
daughters of landslides
and of water finding its path.
The highway bleeds through potholes
from improvised explosion, or from flood
Where checkpoints have sprouted
like banana trees, its leaves waving you on
through schools with front yards
the size of football fields
past trees stripped diagonally of bark
fat dogs asleep beside the pavement
and vice versa.
Christmas Day, 2013
Books are always a treasure for me, especially since I lost almost all my books to the floods of Ondoy back when we lived in Parañaque. When I first heard about this particular one, Mindanao into the 21st Century, a compilation of photos by photojournalists based in Mindanao, I knew right away that I had to have it.
But as with most things I wanted, it took a backseat to more important stuff (like food, clothing and shelter). So when I saw the Mindanews instagram contest #ourmindanao stating this book as the prize, I sent in an entry as soon as I could. It was this photo, but cropped to the instagram square:
leaving just the fisherman and part of the walk. Taken with the iPhone5′s pano mode. It won for the month of October, 2013.
Thank you, Mindanews!
“OUR PHOTOSHOP POLICY Whereas other magazines photoshop to achive the “ideal” body type or leave a maximum of three wrinkles, we never alter the body or face structure of our models with Photoshop. We firmly believe that the unique features of women — be it crows feet, freckles, or a less-than-rock-hard body — contribute to their beauty and therefore don’t need to be removed or changed.”
Now THERE’s a new phrase: “social photography.” I suppose this should have been invented in the heyday of DSLR sales, where even the noobest of the noobs wanted one, but for the purpose of taking photos of themselves as they lived their social lives. Imagine the difficulty of taking a selfie with a DSLR and you’ll know what I mean.
What do Dave Matthews, Taylor Swift, Prince and Jason Mraz have in common? They all play on guitars made by the people who make the big baby taylor guitar.
It’s taking your idolisation to the next level, buying stuff that the people you admire have. I’ll always keep my Nikon FM2 and 105mm AiS lens, for instance, because it’s the camera and lens that my idol Steve McCurry used to shoot the Afghan girl photo for the National Geographic.
Of course, having the same gear as your idols have won’t assure that you’ll be as good as they are. It’s an old Taglish (mixture of Tagalog and English) saying: “It’s the Indian, not the Pana.” This means that a good tool in the hands of a craftsman can produce great things, as opposed to a fantastic tool in the hands of a newbie may not necessarily yield good products.