Last Saturday morning, our J 123 class met in the Inquirer room for the last time. Sir Sabangan was his usual pilyo, amusingly deprecating self — he was feeling extra generous that day, because he treated us to four boxes of pizza — and spirits were high all around
(except, of course, when we watched a horridly graphic video clip). Each of us presented our final requirement, a photo essay on a subject of our choice. Mine was about a day in the life of litseneros in La Loma.
If college were an amusement park, photojournalism class would be a roller coaster. The themes of our required assignments throughout the sem included nudity, Payatas, fraternities, the Oblation Run, sports and the procession of the Nazarene. Thus far, no other subject has compelled me this much to go places I’d never be, meet people of varied sensibilities, and observe beyond what lay before me.
I came to know the difference between looking and seeing, of taking things as they are and learning how to deal when the output is wanting. I discovered how challenging it was to capture so much in so limited a frame, and how to do without the unnecessary. I got to work on my own accord and in tandem with others. Timidness took a backseat as I learned to assert myself when situations called for it.
I persisted on diskarte and pakikisama, and found out just how effectively a well-timed sob fest can make the impossible happen. I learned to adjust not only camera and image settings, but especially to less than desirable circumstances and personalities.
I’ll miss J 123. But just because I’m not required to cover off-beat assignments anymore, doesn’t mean I’ll miss out on other opportunities to take Sheldon (my camera, lelz) out for exercise.