Chasing Waterfalls: Casaroro and Pulangbato

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Hello readers. It’s been a while; 2016’s come and gone (thank God) and I’m back with a vengeance.

I survived the Christmas break, and I managed to squeeze some travel plans in between the parties and the ditzy soirees.

Yesterday I visited Valencia for the first time. Valencia’s a small town, a short 20 minutes’ ride from Dumaguete. And it has two of the most amazing waterfalls I’ve seen, namely Casaroro and Pulangbato (literally Red Rock)

Getting to Casaroro was a bit of a challenge. You have to go down a steep flight of stairs. We had to traverse some rocks and streams (and we had to deal with some pretty strong currents too) to get there, but boy was it magical.

Pulangbato was smaller in comparison, but it was just as serene.

Here are some photos from the trek.

Continue reading “Chasing Waterfalls: Casaroro and Pulangbato”

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Dyck Cediño

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“We seek and we find; merely to find and then seek. For every beginning there’s an end, but what end brings is a new beginning. We are the essence of creation and the embodiment of destruction: this is the duality of our existence. We create in order to make sense of our own destruction. We constantly seek to find meaning; only to discover that we are meaning itself; mirror images of the vast infinity found within every single being. And the only consolation we get for this life is our own death. This is mainly the reason why I create art, cuz I believe that as much as we are representatives of destruction (physical or ideological), we must also create to make amends with this duality of existence. And this is how I move forward.”–Dyck Cediño

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Prints by Dyck Dedino.

The Poverty

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  1. There is so much poverty in my city. It’s like walking into a bin. People who are starving and homeless litter the corridors, the alleyways, the secret passages…they exist in their secret worlds, sequestered forever, cursed ad infirm by a cycle that never ends.
  2. I’m going to make it my mission to raise awareness and to ensure the redress of their grievances…through art and photography. I don’t know how yet; how precisely to communicate this message in an artistic language, but I’ll get there.

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Continue reading “The Poverty”

Sweet Love (Poetry)

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I have a feeling in my gut

stomach in funky knots

words I want to vomit but I won’t.

I would rather listen.

 

Hardly a woman I make

I’m hardly a man at all

but I know when I am being tested

I know when I am being duped

I can tell when your sentences are warped

into fractured phrases,

when your lie becomes God’s honest truth

 

Sweet love, are you cheating on me?

 

Words and photography by Teegee Villanueva. Photographed at Bacolod City, 2016.

Voices (Poetry)

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Do you hear me?

Crying alone in the wilderness

For my mother

For my mother’s mother

For her sister, her brother

Myself

My soul

 

Are you there?

Do you hear it? My voice

Can you hear it?

Lurching in the dark

Crowing and yearning

For nothing;

For it never meant anything

To anyone

But me

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Poetry by Teegee Villanueva; Photography by Teegee Villanueva. Photographed at Bacolod City, Philippines.

 

City of Smiles

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Stray observations

  1. Bacolod is a bore. That’s not to say the city isn’t nice, there just isn’t a lot to do. I went to see The Ruins in Talisay and visited the San Sebastian Church, and they were both incredibly beautiful, but that was it: pure spectacle (I wanted to see Murcia but it was out of the way and I really was short on time). The capitol grounds and the lagoon were overdone but the two bronze sculptures that flanked each other were beautiful.
  2. I got lost just now. I was out looking for a 7/11 to buy water and iced coffee, and I completely lost track of everything after a while. And I was terrified because I ran into a couple of drunks and they were making gestures, calling for me, asking for my head (I think). Thank God for the pedicab driver.
  3. The people from Bacolod are pretty polite. And helpful. They will go out of their way to tell you the history of their people, a monument, something about the Lacsons, anything. They’re proud Negrenses and I love them for it.

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More photos to come.

Photography by Teegee Villanueva, 2016.

Facebook Detox: Day 1 of 100

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“Do it if you wanna do it,” said B “but why put yourself through that though, that’s like self-denial on a totally Christian level, and you hardly ever go to Mass”
I chug my beer, still cold, “I kinda wanna live in the moment, stay in the moment while it lasts”

And then I was off Facebook. The updates stopped, the endless stream of pictures, the gossip, they all stopped. For a moment I felt at peace. I had only myself to look up to, myself to please, and my friends did not agree at all with my “coming to terms” sort of, my growing “self-awareness”. Whatever. They thought it was passe–that I was part of this “growing” movement of people who wanted to boycott Facebook because it was fashionable.
No…I love Facebook, but I just want to focus on what’s important: me. My happiness, something I neglect a lot only because I work thrice as hard, and put in more effort than most people I know.

It’s time to slow things a bit.

***

Frustrations

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  1. I’ll be in Bacolod to take pictures all weekend. It’s a trip I’m looking forward to; a totally new environment, a different culture, people, language. Dumaguete is my home and will be my home for quite some time but I tire of the place occasionally and long for some kind of escape; a release from its grip per se.
  2. I take photos of urban life, the squalor, people in the margins, the Filipino (or the foreigner) going about the tedium of daily life…Ultimately, I want my photographs to drive people to act, to inspire people to help. I don’t want to glamorize poverty, it’s a problem. And I go out of my way to show people that life in the Philippines isn’t that peachy for most. So are my followers on Instagram missing the point? I know people in the “first world” have the resources, the time, and much more, so what’s stopping you? This isn’t even about art anymore; there’s a place and time for that. And there is nothing “fabulous” about a group of children scurrying for food.
  3. And yeap, I write poetry too.

Follow me on Instagram: @teegeev

Photography by Teegee Villanueva

The Weary (Poetry)

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I love you I do

but I cannot possess you;

for I fall among the lepers,

the weary and ill-at-ease.

We are many

floating along the sea of light

and we the many

the wicked and the weary

are never deserving of love,

or much of anything else.

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Words and photographs by Teegee Villanueva, 2016.

Follow me on Instagram: @teegeev