D A T E : SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
L O C A T I O N : MIRANDA, CAVITE CITY, CALABARZON, PHILIPPINES
C A M E R A : NIKON D80
L E N S : NIKKOR 18-55MM F/3.5-5.6 IS
F I L T E R : 52MM SUNPAK UV FILTER
M O U N T : HANDHELD
L I G H T : AMBIENT
S E T T I N G S : MANUAL MODE | IS0320 | 1/25SEC | F/4.2
P O S T - P R O C E S S I N G N O T E S : BASIC CURVES & MONOCHROME CONVERSION
Before I became addicted to travel photography, I used to love photojournalism, and for a bit, I even got a chance to be a full fledged PJ photographer for a small government-sponsored paper.
I remember one assignment in Cavite City where we interviewed a kid named Chris Valdez who’s doing community work at a very young age. He came from a very poor family and used to forage at garbage dumps for a living before he came across Efren Penaflorida’s Kariton Klasrum. He soon came to live and do charity work at the Dynamic Teen Company.
I recall my writer asking him what he would like on his upcoming birthday and without thinking twice, answered slippers. Slippers for the kids salvaging at the dump he says. He relates how hard it was for him doing that same work without a pair of flip-flops before and he would like these kids to do without the splinters and cuts from the garbage they’re walking on. I thought then that this kid is really something.
Three years later and I’m seeing a much grown up version of Chris being posted on Facebook. Like his mentor, CNN Hero, Efren Penaflorida, he’s now recognized worldwide for receiving the International Children’s Peace Prize award at the Netherlands for his Championing Community Children project in Cavite City. I guess it’s only a matter of time before he himself becomes a CNN Hero of the Year.