Sunday, November 23, 2008

Philippine flag tales

Flags come in all forms. From embroidered banners raised in poles to stickers pasted on bumpers to even tattoos emblazoned on skin, they are a declaration of national identity. Flags are standard issues, with specifications of color, size and use or they could be highly stylized and abstracted. Nevertheless, they are recognizable and they stir emotions of pride and nostalgia.

A memorable flag I have posted in my flickr account and which somehow kindled surprising attention in the Filipino flickr community is a photograph of a mosaic of the tricolor. The flag was at the base of the Korean War Memorial for the Universal Soldier at Battery Park. At the base of the monument are mosaics of flags of the countries that participated in the U.N.-sponsored mission which repulsed the North Koreans in 1964 and helped reinstall the 38th parallel. The Philippines was one of them.

This photo was my submission to the Philippines flickr group during its search for new icon in January 2006. It still is its icon to this date. There is little that I did out of the ordinary. I photographed it straight-on, simple and direct. Post-processing saturation did the rest.

Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/60s, f/5.6, 55mm, ISO 1600

Another popular picture of mine however was more trickery of the eye. I was photographing sunrise scenes at Geger Beach in Bali, Indonesia, when I stumbled on a traditional boat which was painted in familiar colors. Paint was flaking all over the wall of boat but at an angle, I spotted a verisimilitude of the Philippine flag. A matter of serendipity I say.

Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/640s, f/5.6, 55mm, ISO 800, -1/3EV

On second thought, the photo speaks a lot of me.

I am a Filipino but a lot of people have mistaken me for Indonesian in my flickr account, probably because not only do I look Indonesian (yes, we Malays resemble each other) but I speak the language as well. Having been visiting Indonesia for more than 14 years now, I feel at home in the archipelago which is so much like the Philippines in so many respects.

Heck, I even got married in Indonesia but to a Filipina of course. In embracing another world's culture, one keeps coming back to your own.

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Sandra Balbastro said...

Hello, my name is Sandra and I'm a travel blogger.

Your Philippine flag mosaic really caught my eye.Would you mind if I used your photo on my blog? I will give you full credit for it and link it back to your blog.

It's a bit about independence day. Please check it out!

Rinka Sycip said...

Hi, My name is Rinka from the Outlooke Pointe Foundation :) Our main thrust is reigniting passion for the nation through art advocacy. This article is great, do you mind us using this photo and interviewing you about it?
Thanks, let me know

Alex said...

Hi I am Alexis. I stumbled upon your image while I was looking for an image about freedom to go with a personal blog about the said topic because I'm due to be free from my disability. I would like to ask for your permission to post this in my multiply blog, full credits to your site, of course. I hope it's ok with you.
do let me know, thanks!

neds said...

hello sir! I love your snaps! I was like "woah!" when I saw them! great job sir! :)

RollingPets said...

hi...i love your photo...i would like to use it in my dog online shop for a photo contest poster. it is called " it's doggy fun in the philippines". I would like to make aware the importance of being a proud filipino..and to all pet lovers alike. thank you!