Exhibition: Learning By Doing!

3D Exhibit

Gone are the days where the only ones who appreciate your projects were your Mom, Class Adviser and Classmates in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Level Classes. That all of what you slaved for during the term were only judged by one sole evaluating body – your TEACHER who fervently puts your rating on a piece of thick board of papyrus which they determines your performance in school more than anything else and will let people judge you for the rest of your miserable life.

Architecture has many branches that make it possible for someone who finishes the grueling 5 years to work in several fields which sways you not far from the profession – and yes, experience is a better ticket than just passing the board exam in the Philippines. Why?you get to explore the different sides of what life has to offer other than burying your face on the drawing table and/or PC monitor and just doing technical drawings for a stingy client who wants you to just give your designs and hardwork for free with the discounted price they wanna pay you! I have not been able to take the Licensure Exam for the fact that I had to look for work right after graduation because my father left the mortal world just right after I got into my college freshman year. I have taken every possible job there was to support the family wherein the teachings of my course were very useful and even getting into actual jobs which require those skills even without the license. That’s Why!

Then came the time that I felt that there was an inadequacy of instructors who actually had industry experience who teach certain Major Subjects in college. The lack thereof tends to bend some realities which they only get from the books they have read and not the actual “rat race” kind of training which some few individuals have came to conquer and survive. “Learning By Doing!” had always been a motto which I religiously follow and have met a few adverse oppositions by students and school administrators alike.

Fast-forward to the present, still bent on the motto I follow, I have come up with several public exhibitions by my students which came as controversial and questionable to the institutions whom I chose to work with. And the above image shows you one of the latest outputs of students I handle – THE 3D EXHIBIT, a visual representation of what they have learned in engineering drawing for the past semester. This time, their drawings come to life!

You Won’t Learn If You Don’t Do It!

PASa

Mayon Magayon At Sunrise

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T’was a holiday and I woke early since my alarm was scheduled for weekdays to set-off at exactly 5:05am and I had to drag my sorry ass butt off my bed after 30minutes of acrobatics before finally realizing I won’t be going back to sleep anymore. So I do the usual morning routines  before walking out into the early-day smell of fresh carabao poo in the air, when I noticed that the peak of Mayon was glaring at me on top of the roofs and trees in the neighborhood and that prodded me to go back into the house, get the mobile phone and set off to go to my fave spot on a field just beside the highway about 3 blocks from the house.

The grass in the field is still wet with dew and further in the horizon, you could still see a foggy mist slowly lifting from the ground. The shepherds were early because there were a few carabaos and cows already grazing and romping around the field with mountain peaks of Masaraga and the other one just across Polangui with barren of clouds against a clear blue sky on a Tuesday.

I looked for a spot to compose my shot trying to avoid the nearby houses and what not. The image above is the result of perfect timing at the right place.

I may have been born in Manila and raised in the second-half of my life here in Bicol but I might as well been born here all along. We are blessed with a Natural Wonder which is both beautiful and dangerous. And as friend of mine puts it, there are no two images of Mayon Volcano which are alike – I seriously believe that!

Come and visit, if you have time and experience this wonder by yourself.

Mayon Magayon!

Walk, Shoot, Eat…Repeat!

WEEKEND PHOTOWALKS2 The birth of #LPKR or Lakaw-Pitik-Kaon-Repeat was accidental when the confirmation for The 5th Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk came in late and I thought that we never got the cut. The idea for the event actually came into mind when I was searching for a new area to dig my photo bug teeth into…to distinguish it from other subjects that most snap shooters frolic into like portraiture, landscape, and or self-portraits. I wanted to do street photography in a different setting; some place where it’s spontaneous and unpredictable…somewhere that’s full of surprising events happening at a flick of a finger. The premise is to go around the marketplace, survey the immediate area, walk then shoot and when you find something that’s nice to eat or feel nibbling on, pay for it, eat and repeat it over again, We have been going around and have shot at four towns during their Market Days – Guinobatan, Tiwi, Bacacay and Sto. Domingo which mostly fell on a Sunday. Some places have their “Palengke Days” on a weekday, hence I might squeeze in these munisipyos during the summertime and hopefully be done before June of this year. #LPKR is a free event wherein camarederie, foodtrip and travel is yours to partake into. It’s an event where Club Hijab Albayano Photography Inc. get to hobnob with other photo enthusiasts without the usual hassle of technical issues and what-nots involved in photography. If you love travel, love taking photos even if its not a DSLR and don’t mind the smell of shrimp paste, dried fish, muddy areas and throngs of people where you brush elbows, tummies even sweaty shirts. If you are not at all picky about the places we go to, then you are free to join us on the next Market Walk at your local town and find an unexpected treasure or trinket or delicacy to satisfy your cravings.

It's An Exhibit for the Graphically-Inclined...

It had been a long wait for me to finally have my first ever solo exhibition of works…some commissioned jobs I did were shown in expos, conventions in a national level..I even had an exhibit at the MOA Convention Center as part of an International Convention years back…I have been joining group exhibits since 2010…My photography had been published in both newspapers, tabloids and magazines both locally & internationally…I have conducted workshops and have been invited on speaking engagements all around the Philippines…I have an ongoing workshop series who’s primary aim is to spread the Love for Photography for 5 years now and still going…

My show is called “Dose Na Grafika”(Twelve Graphic Works) because its a cross between photography and painting…it’s digital art on canvas! A blend of the Old & The New…two kinds of media made into one.

DOSE NA GRAFIKA(TWELVE GRAPHIC WORKS) will run from May 12-31, 2014 at the Albay Capitol Atrium Art Gallery, Albay Capitol Bldg., Old Albay Dist., Legazpi City. Exhibit Opens on May 12, 2014 with Cocktails at 6pm.

I would like to thank Apo Gonzales and the whole ABEX Group for believing me and giving me the opportunity to showcase my work. To friends who helped unconditionally, Doc Molly Del Rosario, Arch. Gerard Caceres and Family, Atty. Yami Balayo and a sleu of others who are always there to support me. To Kreate Digital Photo, thanks for co-sponsoring the canvas printing of my works…and to Yami Furniture, for the frames of the canvases. Without you guys, this wouldn’t have been possible!

As my curator tells me, this is the first time that this kind of exhibit is gonna happen in Bicol or probably the whole Philippines…for me, I just want you to see what I do whether am the first or not.

This is an exhibit for the Graphically-Inclined!

My Photography

My love affair with this medium of the arts has not been that long…although I have had my father as an influence to pursue visually-enticing jobs to emulate what he does when he was still among the living, this was accidentally discovered as my original plan was to further delve into the realm of film making.

I have been blessed to have experienced the development of technology through the years, from analog to digital to multimedia. I have seen the evolution of the computer, softwares and operating systems. I have seen science-fiction come to life!

But from all this chaos, I was able to find order…I was able to find that niche where nobody else wanted to take…to describe it a bit further, here’s what a friend thinks about my work:

“Appreciating a photographic work requires understanding of the photographer; thus, I can deeply appreciate the obras of Ritche Asagra since I understand him as a person.  I was with him few years before I left Legazpi for Korea as fellow members of Aquinas University faculty. We must have brushed elbows when we were both coaches of two different college groups in the staging of Rokyaw in Aquinas University.  We also both moved on to the Bicol University as adjunct professors of different departments.  We were never close but we were bound to be…later, as Facebook friends. The social network caused a gravitation of my attention to the photographic works posted on my wall, which later zeroed in on photos watermarked as RasagrafikaManila. Said works are not over-demanding, so it seems,  but extremely engaging as far as my aesthetic faculties are concerned.

At slack times, I would browse through Ritche’s timeline photos and scrutinize, decipher and dissect each item to appreciate every element.  As an old school appraiser, I dare present my observations.  On selectivity, he is indiscriminating in choosing his subject matter, taking stock of any object that runs into his visual purview; may it be a caterpillar inching its way through a twig, rain droplets on a green trembling leaf, blazing sun on a lazy afternoon, gorgeous ladies commissioned for a photo shoot on a busy thoroughfare, mundane movements of humans on a market day, holiday decors on the streets, geometric constellations seen through glass paneled windows of a movie theater, whatever, wherever, and whenever.  He instantaneously captures each moment with a calculated press on his camera’s shutter rendering a living iota of the vast universe seized in a second of time.

Through meticulous processing of his shots, he presents an interpretive reality of each moment designed to persuade the audience to believe in seeing.  He basically describes a person, place, thing or event but his photography goes beyond that for it attempts to either explain or interpret the moment in the articulate way that he produces an indigenous imagery of reality.  Ritche produces balance through asymmetry by unconventionally placing his subject out of the focal center to the periphery and balancing the spatial territory with a tricky use of shadows, colors and lines to approximate an orderly chaos.  This is most evident in his macros of the spider, bird, caterpillar and so on as well as in his landscapes.

Perhaps it is his idiosyncracy playing on his works that brings a vernacular character to his photography.  His compendium of reportorial  pictures of events vividly narrates the cultural and human interest ingredients, which tend to inform if not entertain the audience.  In this category of photos, he tends more to interpret than explain.  If he is adept at interpretation, this must be because of his other preoccupation as a public speaker.  He is a lecturer in various subject fields of communication arts and a professional radio disc jockey, in which his penchant for communicative relations is given an outlet.

Me thinks Ritche Asagra’s visual poetry blends well with my verbal poetry, which I have tinkered with lately.  Ideas are brewing for a publication in tandem of his photos and my poems. A big bundle of talents and skills, Ritche Asagra is bound to be much better than great beyond photography!” – Dr. Pedro Bernaldez, Ph.D

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I have been a longtime fan of black & white photography specially in portraits…it shows the character and emotion imbued by the subject and not the clothes he or she wears during the particular pictorial session.

I like it washed out to accentuate the subjects’ play with light and shadows…whether it be male or female or caught in the middle, I make sure that they stand out in the resulting output.