June 12, 2009

HAPPY 111th Independence Day?

June 12, 2009. 5 in the morning, the alarm goes off. I got up disappointed because I planned to shoot at Rizal Park that day to capture the flag raising BUT it was raining really hard.

6:30am - I stare at the T.V. waiting what's going to happen at Rizal Park, I texted my friend who was supposedly my companion for the shoot that day. I texted in Filipino

"Dude! I have to cancel our trip because of the bad weather, haha"

7:00am - The sun suddenly showed up, It brought me joy and the weather forecast said that it's going to be sunny in Manila, so I hurried up, I actually ran into the bathroom and readied myself. and then I texted him that I was going there and try my luck.

8:00am - at the MRT & LRT Train station the guards says in Filipino: "ma'am! sir! free ride until 9am!" and it made me smile a little bit, because that's savings for my part :D

9:00am - I finally arrived at Rizal Park, I walked like as if I was a tourist from a foreign country, I had no worries because I still believe that bad elements or criminals also needs to take a break, It's a tough and bad job you know.

In a banner it says "KALAYAAN 2009" or "FREEDOM 2009" - Then things suddenly came to my mind asking this question:

"What is Freedom?" "Freedom from what?" "Are we truly free?"

I went to a small side park there where there are tables and people who I can watch (I love "PEOPLE WATCHING") and the shade I've been desperately needing because of the heat of the sun, can't help but think about Global Warming. I sat there at a small round table with 4 seats on it. 1 one was sitting there but it didn't matter to me because I need to sit down and take a break. An old man of about 50+ yrs. old was sitting on my left. Looking at what he's doing he was a man on a mission. His mission was the big job fair held across the park. I felt sorry for him because at the age of 50 or above that, he should be enjoying the park with his grandchildren but I didn't dare to ask him not that I was scared but because he was busy fixing his ballpen. After 15 minutes I stood up and went on to start my shoot, hmmmm I hope he gets the job he wants.

I stood in front of Rizal's monument, still people watching and somewhat eavesdropping at the same time. I heard a kid asked her mom:

Kid: "sino yan?" (who's that?)
Mom: "Jose Rizal, National Hero, huwag mo siya kakalimutan kasi siya ang dahilan kaya tayo malaya" (That's Jose Rizal, our National Hero, don't forget him because he's the reason why we are free.)

I was surprised to hear that from a mother. Moving on I saw A LOT of lovers sitting in the shade talking to each other, cuddling and having a world of their own. I was happy to see 2 people so free from problems and careless as long as they have each other (kinda cheesy I know). I love to watch people without disturbing them, It's not like stalking.

I also saw lots of Dove birds around the park because the government built houses for them. It adds drama to the scenery there, yes it adds drama because when I saw those birds flying so high and against the wind I wished that I was one of them so that I can go anywhere I want to go, because up there they're free, no boundaries. My soul is like of a bird, continuously looking for something but it doesn't know what it is looking for, me, I'm looking for peace in my mind and soul. The first reason I planned to go to the park was not photography opportunity but more of soul searching, setting my goals for the future.

11:30am - BEEP BEEP! my cellphone received a text message I didn't notice that it's been almost 3 hours that I've been people watching and soul searching, the text message was from my friend who was supposed to be with me shooting. the text says:

"pare san ka na?may rally dito sa kalaw punta ka" (where are you?there's a rally near kalaw)

-so I hurried and followed him there, we met at a nearby street and then together we chased the on going rally. Even if my feet hurt so much we still kept going because it was my first time to see a rally. When we got there they were chanting and screaming their lungs out. I quickly took pictures of the rally. The rally was about throwing back the Visiting Forces to their country, in short, they want the U.S. Troops out of the country, I listened to their speakers and people watched more. Of all their posters there's only one that I agree on (this is only my personal opinion)

- this particular flag that I'm holding and the words in it. "STOP THE RAPE OF OUR WOMEN", I have to say that this is a sad truth, most men of the visiting forces think that Filipina women are sex slaves. I just don't agree to what their thinking, women raised here in the country and women raised by a Filipino citizen are raised are not as what you think they are, they are the sweetest, most caring and the best women I've ever met in my life and I wouldn't turn my back on them.

2pm - We ended our photowalk and It was so hot that I finished a Big Gulp (a 800ml) drink in less than 5 minutes.

3:30pm - I took a bath at home and then slept.

TOTAL EXPENSE: 72 pesos(about $2) - that includes 2 train rides and 2 bottles of softdrinks, I had a tight budget of 150 pesos ($3)


Freedom can come in many different ways, it can be personal and it can also be as a whole. For me, Freedom is something that we should always keep and protect, Freedom is doing things without stepping at anyone's life, It's not a RIGHT but a PRIVILEGE.

I love the country they've been calling:


No comments: