Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4:59 A.M. April 05, 2011 Tuesday

Yesterday, after reading several blogs, browsing photographs and reading stories about Humanitarian Photography. My passion to reach out and give back to society is further fueled. Even back when I was still in college, I have been wanting to somehow give back what I can to society. Back then, I would volunteer to teach for free to computer illiterate adults and teenagers in the towns surrounding our school. The most fulfilling moment at that time when this mother approached me and said how much she appreciates my time and effort in teaching parents like her, her kids wouldn't help her learn the basics on how to use a computer, but I did. I usually taught a class of 15 to 20 heads per session, I did this in between classes because I had a 2 hour gap from one subject to the next one. When my friends go to the mall and hangout, I chose to teach in whatever subject I can, that time was about computers because I was a Computer Science major. It was a small thing compared to what a lot of dedicated individuals do for their cause and advocacy, but it was a small step to touching the lives of others and helping the illiterate become skilled individuals, or simply, how to use a computer and to do productive things on it.

Now that I have something to use as a tool to reach out and show the world, my craft, photography... Will be the catalyst for reaching out. Reaching to those who are in need, to see their lives, to see their happiness in spite of their struggles. For me to let those who can help, help them lead better lives. By showing them the beauty and the brokenness of the hearts and lives of those in need. I am not visioning this endeavor to someday become famous or to profit from it, no. Simply because it has a personal impact on me. I witnessed and experienced poverty first hand. Now that I have something to give, I want to help those living in poverty, to be helped at, to be heard, to be seen, to dream, and to fulfill those dreams.

When I was diagnosed with HIV, and finally came out from a short stage of depression. I wanted to reach out to other newly diagnosed individuals, that this condition is not a death sentence, but a new lease on life. During my first few trips to San Lazaro hospital, I saw in their cramped rooms in the H4 ward, dark faces and fragile souls. I saw how heartbreaking the final stages of AIDS were. I saw people in beds so fragile and thin, it's like their soul was taken out from them. I cannot bare to look at them in the eye. As my visits to the hospital became regular, the sight of the sickly people became normal to me. I wanted to talk to them, I wanted to reach out. I want to hear their voices and their stories, the battles they fought through the stages of this condition. I know that someday I will be in one of those beds, so while I am this strong now, I want to hear the stories and share them to the rest of the world. For the uninfected to understand,  and see what we are going through, most of all, that many of my co-infected are living in poverty, that they have no access to medicines; because not all medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS are free. I want the world and  the people of our country to know that they need help, and we need prevention.

Storytelling through photography will be my medium for my vision.   


  1. Awesome advocacy, bro. Nah, you'll make it through - who knows, a cure is on its wayL? If I can help in any way, lemme know.

  2. very inspirational and oh, you made me cry early in the morning :(

  3. I hope you become successful in this endeavor, kuya. :)

  4. such a heartfelt post kuya. good luck and God bless po :)

  5. Helping others could always be as simple as teaching others without pay and out of your own volition. Not because of publicity sake or others that motivate them aside from the pure intention of helping others.

  6. @Papa Jay: Thank you for the kind words. I'll make it through, but I am not hoping for a cure anymore. I've already accepted the situation as it is, incurable. Thank you so much...

    @Xian: :-)

    @Spiral Prince: With determination, passion, and that ambitious drive... :-)

    @Nimmy: Thank you.

    @Xall: True. So true...