I have an on-going project called Look At The Sky More Often. It’s also more commonly known as the 365 Photo A Day Project. Admittedly, I only came up the name around April, which was the fourth month of the project. You see, I’m quite obsessed with the sky – clouds, the sunset and the sunrise, the stars, and the moon. I remember my sister used to get so mad at me whenever she would try to use our old Ixus 3.5, because I’d have always filled up its memory with endless pictures of the sky.
“Why do you have to take so many??” She’d ask.
“But they’re so pretty!” I’d say.
I mean, aren’t they just so amazing? Who here didn’t die of jealousy when they first watched Peter Pan and friends as they flew through the clouds and rested on them afterwards? Plus, my obsession with taking pictures clouds is one of the things that first got me interested in Photography in the first place. The other one was taking pictures of myself. Hehehe.
But I digress.
I realized that with October about to end, I’d have been on the Look At The Sky More Often project for about ten months now. Someone once asked me, “so what’s up with the sky?” (I don’t know if the pun was intended, I forget to ask) but he was referring to why my project was called so.
I thought about it long and hard, and I realized that it was the beauty of the sky that made me see the beauty of everything else. They say dreamers look at the sky and get lost in its beauty. I guess that makes me a dreamer that woke up and realized that everything else around me was beautiful as well. I don’t think I can explain it properly, really. All I know is that looking up at the sky over Manila has taught me that such a beautiful view extends to the very land that it looks down upon.
I bring my camera everywhere now, and because of my constantly looking at the world through a viewfinder, and because of my obsession of the beauty of the sky, I’ve realized just how beautiful the rest of the world under it is. I don’t believe that Metro Manila, or the Philippines for that matter, is unphotographable. I believe that it is beautiful – the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s all part of the beauty of Manila. Sure we don’t sheen and shine like Singapore, full of amazing buildings made of glass. But every time I point my camera at a Filipino, every time I look at a Jeepney through my lens, every single time I look at the sky at around 5-6 pm, I see the beauty of what we have been given. The smiles, the hard work, the small joys. I think they’re all beautiful. How can a sky so amazing such as ours, with sunsets so glorious they can make lovers fall instantly in love, exist above a country that is thought of as ugly? It simply doesn’t add up.
If you can’t see that, if you’ve lost all hope and believe that dusty Manila is all that it looks like superficially, then maybe you really should look at the sky more often.