The shock of the new is what often greets visitors at this time of the year on the second-floor lobby of the Philippine Daily Inquirer main office on Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City.
Because this is when the Inquirer Camera Club (ICC) is running its annual exhibit in time for the PDI anniversary—and the drabness of blue and gray, coldness of plate glass, and rigidity of grid of the office space are whelmed by the warmth of colors and the movement of forms.
Some 20 ICC members are here offering a year’s worth of photography in 67 pieces. Obviously, each has an eye for beauty. From previous exhibits, one has come to recognize the stylistic signatures of these amateur photographers.
One can see, for instance, the sense of symmetry and perspective of Sonny Cruz (of the Administration Department), here in his shots of a biker by an ancient wall of a churchyard and of a man guiding his flock of ducks on the road.
Or the surreal angling of Fran Katigbak (Editorial/Lifestyle) in her top view of high-rises; or the love of pattern-making of Irene Perez (Editorial/Lifestyle) as can be seen even in her seascape of lowering clouds, brightening horizon and shimmering water—all parallel forces.
In fact, patterns abound in many shots: the rigid row of bottles in an art exhibit, by Perez; the ribbing of a church’s vaulted ceiling, by Adella Mendoza (Classified Ads); the circular forms of the costumes of Ati-atihan revelers, by Noli Navarro (Information Technology); the curves of burnay, by Erwin Reyes (Circulation) and Natty Cayubit (Credit and Collection); the row of wind turbines, by Louie Bacani (IT); the crowd of brass Hindu demons, by Ramil Escopete (IT); the trio of flip-divers, by Gerry Jano (Admin).
A painterly way with geometrical shapes emerges in a few photos, such as the silhouette of a wind turbine against the sky, by Rading de Jesus (Classified Ads).
A perfect example is Genie Lagman’s (Digital Processing Unit) simple geometry of a seascape composed entirely of circle (setting sun), straight line (horizon) and triangles (sailboats).
The most arresting aspect of some of these photos is their narrative bent. This is evident in Lagman’s shot of cast-bronze figures of two staggering soldiers in the Pacific War Memorial on Corregidor; or in his panorama of a Siete Palabras tableau reenacting the tragedy Golgotha.
The drama of the Calvary is also captured by Katigbak in a close-up of a similar tableau.
Meanwhile, Limwell Cayubit (Billing) inadvertently renders a poignant scene in his shot of the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments, wherein the drab foreground of gray and slate-blue is shocked into color by the clothes of two stooped figures walking on the shore in the background. It is as if one were seeing a reenactment of the Expulsion from Eden.
And in one Jano shot, what’s the story behind that hunchbacked boy on a belfry?
The exhibit is ongoing until Dec. 23. The photos are for sale at P200 per print. Proceeds will be donated to survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” through PDI’s fundraising and relief efforts.