Monday, March 16, 2015

The "Girl With A Pink Pony"

I would like to apologize for being remiss on blogging for the last few weeks. I've had back to back deadlines and I've also been busy with my kids.

In this part of the world, summer comes in March and both my kids had their end of the year tests in the last two weeks. Anne and I make it a point to tutor them personally, particularly our younger child. So between the test reviews and the horrendous traffic to and from their schools everyday, we almost had no free time to waste.
Apart from that and my regular work,  it was again submission time for most of the major indie film festivals in this region, so I was also busy with the applications-- writing and collating the requirements for my entries.

Lately, I have been ranting about the poverty that I personally encounter whenever I go out shooting on the streets of Metro-Manila-- how we, as Filipino street photographers, should not turn a blind eye on this graphic reality; to be unashamed to show the world the poverty that surrounds us, in our streets and in our neighborhoods. I believe that there is a pressing need to bring as much attention to this crisis, so that something can be actively done about it. So, aside from documenting this tragedy in my photography, I decided to write a screenplay on this topic too.

"Girl with A Pink Pony"

The photo that inspired me to write one of the stories I recently submitted, is my shot of a young girl playing with a discarded pink plastic toy underneath a bridge in EDSA (Metro-Manila's central/main thoroughfare). I titled an older B&W copy of the same photo "Bridge Dwellers," but decided that the colored version was actually more powerful and retitled it "Girl with A Pink Pony." Although most of my screenplays are written about characters that I am thoroughly familiar with, I decided to go out on a limb on this one because her story (stories of children like her) needs to be told.
I have a hard drive full of shots just like this, and it breaks my heart that I can readily capture similar scenes wherever I go. The problem is not just money, it is also about lack of opportunities and proper guidance. Programs, both government and private, must be created to permanently help these poor folk get off the streets. The adults must be given the ability and the capacity to earn money decently (not just housing), and the children must be educated and mentored, so that they do not cycle back into the same circumstances in the future.

I do hope that my screenplay about the "Girl with A Pink Pony" gets properly funded and made into a movie. But in the meantime, I will keep shooting and posting pictures like these to show the world how desperately we need to do something about it.

No comments: