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Showing posts from 2009


It rained real hard the night before and there were rumors of severe flooding in the city (Metro Manila, Philippines). The morning brought sunshine and by mid-day one would assume that the floods would have significantly subsided. So I commuted to the old part of Manila to do photo related errands (buy spare bulbs for my strobe, have a lens CLA'd and shoot with some friends in a museum). I took a bus--a fateful decision--instead of an "FX" (...a van posing as a taxi of sorts usually plying a fixed route taking up to a dozen passengers). The first half (in terms of distance) was uneventful but then things stopped to a standstill. The trip usually takes over 30 minutes and that second half of the trip would take over an hour and forty five minutes. Then I became aware of the reason--the road was still flooded from last night's rain. Most of the traffic crawled away from the flood except for trucks and buses which were high enough to negotiate the waters. That woke me …

SALT & LIGHT - The Book!

My first collection of photographs in a coffee table book, now available in (click on photo). Contains an autobiographical note and some essays.

Inclement Weather

It's the monsoon season here in South East Asia and am sitting around waiting for clear skies to shoot an aerial survey...

Tears for Cory

Rasgones para Corazón
PENTAX K10D + SMCP FA 80-320/4.5-5.6
It's been a heady week. You can never be prepared for a funeral.  This one was not something to be missed. I explained to my son that I would not go out of my way for any Filipino president except for Cory Aquino.

Same Place...

Taken in August 1983, on Ninoy Aquino's funeral
Canon AE-1 + Vivitar TX 100-300/5 + Kodak 100
I planned to meet Cory Aquino's funeral cortege in the intersection of Epipanio de los Santos Ave (EDSA) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). I parked my car in my brother's house in Makati and waited for the appropriate time walk over to the intersection. My brother (Noel) and I, along with his wife and afriend, went together; they were shooting video. It quietly dawned on me, with a little prodding from by brother, that we were together in 1983 to meet Ninoy Aquino's funeral cortege in the same place.

Ninoy's funeral was witnessed by approximately 2 million while Cory's had around 300,000; it was raining badly on Cory's, of course, and many had the benefit of the media covering it thus had the alternative of staying at home to watch it on TV. Ninoy's funeral was totally ignored by the media controlled by then dictator Ferdinand Marcos and may have forced people …



A friend recently asked me about purgatory and helped me organize my thoughts regarding it. Purgatory has always been those topics I skirted around because of sensitivities that revolve around a dogma which I do not want to run over with my karma. :-D

A time comes, however, when one has to give a definitive answer.

Purgatory is an offshoot of classical Roman Catholic ideas which assume we need to be fully sanctified (i.e., free of sin) before being justified (i.e., declared not guilty in the ultimate supreme court of the universe). The question that arises out of that assumed divine workflow is what happens to those who died not fully cleansed of their sins. So a need for an “in-between” place is required to complete that “cleansing” process before someone is finally allowed into heaven. The biblical data has pointed to a reverse workflow which begins with justification: we are declared right before God when we come to Jesus …

Echoes in the Distance

Punctuating all those photo shoots this year was a chance to facilitate in a summer camp for Compassion Philippines leading a topic on Retreat and Reflection. Since most of the events I end up shooting takes me away from church, it was timely and appropriate. Nevertheless, even as I was informed of the venue for the camp, my mind fritters off to the photo opportunities that can be found in the area.

The camp was the Rizal Recreation Center which was just off San Pablo City which was known for its seven lakes. I have been there to shoot more than once in the recent years so it was familiar territory. Even more familiar because I was traipsing around the area in the early 1980s when I attended those Conservative Baptist camps in a nearby resort in Nagcarlan, Laguna then later teaching an extension class for Penuel School of Theology in San Pablo City proper during the early 1990s.

Pentax KM + SMCP K 50/1.4 + Fuji ProPlus II
So I planned a sunrise shoot in Sampaloc Lake with…

Josue (October 6, 1932 — March 29, 2009)

A eulogy given in behalf of Josue N. Niguidula on April 2, 2009

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are the persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(Matthew 5:3-10)
Josue is the youngest sibling in a clan of 11 brothers and sisters whose father is the late Aquilino Niguidula. Among the third generation cousins, there is almost a unanimous conclusion that Josue is the most approachable and friendly uncle, to which I concur. For the longest time, I thought it was just me—I had a connection with his eldest son that went beyond ‘cousins’ as we went to sc…

PDML Photo Annual 2008-2009


The Pentax-Discuss Mailing List (PDML) is an e-group before e-groups were invented and I have the privilege of being part of it on-and-off/more-or-less/mostly off/mostly less since 1999. Late 2008, a proposal for a photo annual was mentioned and that brings us now hear. Besides having two of my photographs in it, one becomes the basis for the cover mosaic.

Profits from the sale of the book goes to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation ( Click on the photo above to take you to Mark Robert's (the editor) site where you can follow links to order and then some.

The Christmas-Valentine Switch

Christmastime is when we switch the baby for a fat saint in red and Valentine’s Day is when we switch an old saint for a baby in red diapers (and armed with a deadly weapon at that).
Christmas time is about baby Jesus, who represents incarnation—God with us—on his way to the cross.  Christmas is the first step towards the humiliation of deity (Philippians 2:5-11). This story is all about progressive marginalization: from having “no room in the inn” to being refugees in another country fleeing from a paranoid tyrant and ultimately culminating at the cross. Saint Nicolas before becoming Santa Claus was a bishop who represented grace and generosity known to give to the poor; he was not originally fat and  the subsequent red suit and obesity drawn up as a marketing gimmick.  He has since become a twisted metaphor for an unconscious avoidance of the “uncomfortable” message of The Baby but a symbol of crass consumerism.

Two months later, we are at it again as we celebrate Valentine’s Day wh…