Nowadays when festivals are sprouting everywhere and towns are putting up their own shows, it's quite rare to find a festival that has historic significance. Surprisingly, there's one right here in Bulacan. Malolos' Fiesta Republica commemorates the First Philippine Republic of 1899 (also known as - you guessed it - the Malolos Republic), the first national system of government established by the Filipinos. Bulacan, together with 7 localities - Tarlac, Cavite, Manila, Batangas, Pampanga, Laguna, Nueva Ecija - led the revolt against Spanish rule. The 8 provinces symbolize the rays of the sun in the Philippine flag. Like I said, historical.
Fiesta Republica is now on its fourth year (if I remember correctly), but in all honesty it was my first time to hear about it. I think they did a better job of promoting it this year. If it's any indication that the organizers are bent on making this event one of the biggest in the country, they're off to a good start. Anyway, it was a week-long celebration and I chose to go to the Dulansangan (dulaan sa lansangan) local and national competition. 18 local teams and 6 from the provinces competed for top prizes.
It's my first shoot of 2013. It felt good to be back out there shooting. Here are my photos :
Special thanks to the Malolos City Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sports Office for the invitation and for the job well done. I hope the momentum doesn't stop. I'm looking forward to a BIGGER and better Fiesta Republica next year. See you there! =)
I knew it! The Mayan calendar was wrong!
Thus, a year has ended, another has started, and it means I again get to pick my favorite photos of last year. Backed up my files to the external hard drives and went thru the 2012 folders one by one. 48 photos stood out which I trimmed to a final 20. Then a Top Ten of my absolute favorites, still anyway I'm posting the other ten which didn't make the cut.
Here are my ten favorite photos from 2012, in chronological order :
January 1 : New Year Skyline - Captured at 12:20AM of January 1, so technically this was 2012. After shooting fireworks in our frontyard from the roofdeck, I surveyed the surroundings and noticed there were still a lot of pyrotechnics going off. Pulled out the telephoto to get this 60-second exposure.
February 3 : White Out - Somewhere beachside in Ilocos Norte. This is a favorite for two reasons : I like the result, and this was a very risky shot. I wish I could have avoided the washed out details of the water, but as much as I wanted to re-shoot this, I had no choice but to leave my spot for safer ground. After this exposure, strong waves crashed into my lower body, causing me to momentarily lose balance. I remember seeing all white. I was lucky there wasn't a follow-up wave. So yeah, I'll take the overexposure. (This photo appears in Ilocos, One More Time)
February 7 : Prettiest Preggy - This was my wife Anie on her fifth month of pregnancy. The title says it all.
February 19 : Aliya - In case you noticed, I've stopped doing model shoots (except photographing my wife). For one reason or another, shooting models doesn't appeal as much to me nowadays. Maybe because so many people are into it to the point that they are being overdone. But for Ms. Aliya Parcs, I would gladly end my respite. She's wonderfully different. I haven't done a model shoot since. (This photo appears in An Afternoon with Aliya Parcs)
February 25 : Crown of Thorns - From a night of the Pyromusical Competition in Mall of Asia. I've shot an awful lot of fireworks, and I love this one because it's different. You don't see this messed up pattern lumped together very often. It's ugly but beautiful. (This photo appears in Pyro 2012)
April 6 : Painful Capture - From the annual Holy Week penance tradition in Kapitangan, Malolos, Bulacan. More and more photographers are trooping to the spectacle every year. It's getting harder to shoot, so I made them a backdrop for this photo. (This photo appears in Friday Bloody Friday)
May 24 : Hello, Seven - This is not the first photo I took of my son Seven, but this is the first that I caught his eyes open. Cute boy, to say the least.
July 22 : Boy Wonder - I got challenged in this one. My wife wanted Seven to have a studio photoshoot. I told her no, I wanted first crack at my own son. I'm not a photographer for nothing. So I mimicked the look of a studio in our bedroom by using a light bedsheet, illustration boards, and two speedlights. The pose and concept was ours, everyone is free to copy, but please do it nicely. (This photo appears in Pseudo Studio Shoot)
August 29 : Catch Me If You Can- Crashed Bulacan State University's Intramurals Cheerdance Competition. Had a lot of fun as it was my first time to shoot such an event. This is just one of my many favorites, but I picked this because it included everything : the suspense, the flyer a split-second before she falls to her catchers, and the crowd. Someone give me access to the UAAP CDC, please! (This photo appears in The BSU CDC Experience)
October 13 : Streetfood King - From the moment I saw this scene, I knew it was special. I even told a co-shooter who was beside me when I took this shot that I got first dibs on the photo. I said that because I was thinking of making it as my entry to the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk contest. Fortunately, it got honorable mention. (This photo appears in 2012 Scott Kelby Photowalk : Baliuag, Revisited)
The Painful Cuts (Honorable Mentions)
2012 was another photographic journey for me. I admit I didn't get to shoot as much as I wanted to (a baby changes priorities), but overall I still felt satisfied with my body of work. Hey, I didn't know child photography could be this fulfilling. No regrets of passing on shoots to stay home and be with my wife and baby boy.
I could always do it this year. Or next.
Just the same, I'm looking forward to more opportunities to shoot what I haven't tried and what I haven't captured. The journey never stops.
You may view my fave photos from 2008-2011 at http://www.jersandel.com/best-ofs.html.
I shall be including the ones from 2012 real soon.
Happy 2013! =)