Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Portraits 1: Itbayat

Whenever I go out of town, I usually make a list of the sights to see. But most of the time, I end up not seeing everything. For this Batanes trip, I have a list of must-see places prepared since more than a year ago. Now I have 2 days left and yet I still haven’t visited several places on my list. Although I’m an avid walker, I almost always end up losing interest in the sights, usually staying in one place instead of moving about, and strinking up conversations with the ordinary people I meet. That's how I learn the most.

When I reviewed the pictures that I took, I was disappointed with my photos of the beautiful Batanes scenery. They were few, very poorly taken pieces. However, I was glad I was able to take pictures of people.

Photographers visiting Batanes always capture fascinating portraits of old people in front of stone houses. Before I came here, I had resolved to be some kind of a photographer myself and come up with excellent portraits of the geriatric Ivatan population. However, I can’t seem to find the guts to ask these senior citizens to pose for pictures. But the children just seem to gravitate towards me.

Of course I’m no photographer. All I have is my trusty Canon point-and-shoot. I am essentially photography-illiterate and Photoshop is Latin to me. But I’m deeply proud of these pictures. They remind me of the connections I made with the people I met during my journeys.

One of my very few geriatric photos. An 82 year-old lola in Raele, Itbayat coming home from her farm.

One of my favorites. Reminds me that somehow lahat tayo, dumaan din sa pagiging uhugin.

Boy on tree. He just wouldn’t come down to me…

Another of my favorites. I love that faraway look, dreamy to some extent. He looks like a boy from war-torn Eastern Europe or the ruins of Afghanistan. Believe it or not, this is a staged shot. He was simply following directions.=)

Two of my favorite boys in one photo. Cute, di ba?
Two boys playing with their black dog, Obama.

Then the girls came. Taken in front of the abandoned schoolhouse beside the church in Itbayat.

Two boys in a wooden cart being pulled by a carabao, on the way to their farm. Itbayat, Batanes.

My Ivatan friend, Katrina, in black and white.


aggie said...

ang cute ng lola atop the carabao! ^_^ mas healthy pa ata sha sa akin! i have a geria patient who has alzheimer's dementia and she's so cute! she's 84 years old--sometimes i wonder if i'll reach that age.

Reena said...

haha. yeah, my mum usually recounts my uhugin days....nice portraits. photoblog na ba eto??

Regina said...

Love the photo of Lola Raele. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures. :P

Walking on Water said...

@aggie and regina, amazing 'no? our usual octogenarians have all sorts of illnesses already. i think its the lifestyle.

@reena, i wish i can do something as a photoblog. pero hindi, i'm just running out of words.=)

Regina said...

True. I have received people aged 40plus with a few hours fever at the ER, while people at the provinces, mas mataas ang tolerance talaga nila for things that they feel.