Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Children play with old motorcycle tires in the fishing village of Tambobo Bay.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Ray Rubioruperto

A man places candles on a stack of crypts during All Saints' Day observances at the Bagacay Cemetery in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luigi Anton Reyes Borromeo

A fishermen clutches a net with colorful floats made from discarded rubber sandals on the beach in Amlan, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Presy Muana

Children playing in the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Tanjay, Philippines, cast shadows on nearby tombs during All Saints' Day observances last month.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Phil Prins

Fishermen haul in nets in search of holes to mend in the fishing village of Tambobo Bay, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Phil Prins

A passerby is framed in a mirror for sale at a roadside stand during the weekly flea market in Malatapay, Negros Island, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Maverick Tatel

A butcher fillets fish at the public market in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Maverick Tatel

A group of men watch as a pair of fighting cocks do battle at the weekly flea market in Malatapay, a village on the southern coast of Negros Island in the Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luigi Anton Reyes Borromeo

A man uses paint to touch up the inscription on a headstone during All Saints' Day observances at the Bagacay Cemetery in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jomar Solania

A piece of art made from native masks is up for sale at a weekly flea market in the seaside hamlet of Malatapay, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jomar Solania

Children peer out from behind a cross that marks a grave during All Saints' Day observances at the Bagacay Cemetery in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hersley-Ven Casero

Broken religious icons take on the look of an art installation as they litter the ground at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Tanjay, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hersley-Ven Casero

Women use umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun's rays as they prepare to participate in All Saints' Day observances at the Bagacay Cemetery in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hersley-Ven Casero

Mourners light candles in memory of loved ones who have died during All Saints' Day observances at the Bagacay Cemetery in Dumaguete, City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Ray Rubioruperto

A butchered pig is laid out for display at the public market in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: David Obermeyer

A vendor tends his stand amid the bustle of the public market in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: David Obermeyer

Relatives and friends of the deceased interred at the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Tanjay decorate crypts with flowers during All Saints' Day ceremonies in November.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bobbie Hedges

A water buffalo, known locally as a carabao, is tied by the nose to a tree during a weekly livestock auction in the seaside village of Malatapay on the southern coast of Negros Island in the Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bobbie Hedges

Participants in All Saints' Day ceremonies at the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Tanjay light candles in memory of the dead.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Benzi Florendo

A freshly caught ray is displayed on a table during a weekly gathering of farmers, fishermen and craftsmen in the village of Malatapay along the southern coast of Negros Island in the Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Benzi Florendo

A group of church ladies pose for a picture as they prepare to eat breakfast at a fast food restaurant after morning Mass at the Cathedral of Dumaguete City.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Armando Arorizo

A weathered hand on a statue of Jesus is framed against the backdrop of a wall around a crypt at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Tanjay, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ana Marie Balucan

A child lights a candle in memory of a deceased loved one during All Saints' Day ceremonies at the Bagacay Cemetery on the outskirts of Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ana Marie Balucan

Buyers and sellers congregate in a muddy livestock pen during a weekly flea market of farmers, fishermen and craftsmen in the tiny seaside hamlet of Malatapay.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alma Zosan Alcoran

Relatives of a person interred at the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Tanjay apply fresh paint to the headstone of a tomb as part of All Saints' Day ceremonies that are held every November throughout the Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alma Zosan Alcoran

Fishermen awaken from a midafternoon nap in the Visayan Island fishing village of Tambobo Bay, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A vendor makes and sells cotton candy from a cart at the Bagacay Cemetery in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Presy Muana

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The road to Tambobo Bay: Teaching a photo workshop in the Philippines

By Luis Sinco

The road to Tambobo Bay stretched out like a ribbon of grey concrete, smoothing the way to a remote fishing village that now appears on the brink of development. It wasn’t like this just a year ago. Roads don’t happen by accident, and the new highway will bring more traffic and commerce.

The bay is a little lost corner of the Philippines — home to a few hundred fishermen and their families, a handful of boatwrights and a couple dozen foreign yachtsmen who anchor in safe harbor. The pace unfolds as generations before, determined by the tides and currents, the departures of the fishing fleet, and the fishermen’ s eventual return.

Rich in color and imagery, it’s been a good location for the South Pacific Photo Workshop. But that may change.

Like so many other places, things are changing fast in this distant corner of the world. It’s not going to be like this forever.

We started the workshop in 2013 and just completed our third seminar. Our lofty goal is to empower people through visual imagery. But maybe for the moment, we’re doing it simply for posterity.

The crowds streamed into the historic Tanjay Cemetery on All Souls Day, making the necropolis a hive of activity as families tended to crypts and tombs, laid flowers and lighted candles bought by the dozen from vendors at the gate. It made great pictures.

The religious observance reaches back 400 years when Spanish galleons plied the Pacific. And even as memories of colonial Spain fade from collective memory, Catholic dogma remains. The dead are remembered and celebrated in ritual. And maybe that’s not a bad thing.

With more than half of the population under the age of 24, collective memory in the Philippines leans towards young and short. Only about 10% of the people are over 55. In addition, many Filipinos are leaving a country that doesn’t have enough economic opportunity.

According to Philippine government statistics, more than 10 million Filipinos are employed outside the Philippines, mainly as contract laborers. That amounts to about 10% of the population that spends the most productive years of their lives somewhere else. It pumps billions of dollars into the Philippine economy but also takes a toll on the social fabric. Mom and dad send money but are gone for long, extended periods.

On our last workshop, we had a 17-year-old college freshmen who participated as a scholarship student. His mother works as a domestic helper in the Middle East. She takes care of another family’s children. Her contract allows her one visit to the Philippines every five years. The kid has seen his mom three times in his life.

We live between fleeting memories and lasting impressions. Everything changes and all things eventually come to an end. The images shown here just may inform the future of how it used to be.

3 Comments

  1. January 1, 2015, 4:52 pm

    truly beautiful photos of a beautiful people and a beautiful country, may wisdom preserve their culture!

    By: cheryl rice
  2. January 1, 2015, 4:58 pm

    I was just to Tambobo Bay a month ago . I was shocked to see that they had paved over the cobble stone road the Spanish layed hundreds of years ago. Why not pave next to the historical road!!!!_One reason to pave the road there were plans to put a ferry dock there to shorten the trip from Negros Island to Mindanao with ferry going to Dipolog. One of the things the expats lke to do is go Tambobo_Bay for lunch is easy drive from Dumaguete and great food on the beach past the small boat yard

    By: cyberzee@yahoo.com
  3. January 1, 2015, 9:22 pm

    don't know where tambobo bay is but it's a great reminder of home. at least for those of us whose hearts have never left our hometown despite our many years of chosen absence simply for greater economic opportunities.

    By: jddelfin1@cpx.net

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