First Contact Sheet

On my last visit to Manila, my father showed up in the lanai one morning carrying a huge box. "Here," he said as he plopped it on the floor. "Can you go through your old things and throw away anything that you don't need? I want to purge the storage." I nodded my head. He turned around and walked back to the house. I stared at the box for quite sometime. I wasn't prepared to revisit my past especially when it was presented to me as a task to be checked off on a to do list. Not wanting to disappoint him, I reluctantly opened the flaps of the box and saw a bunch of folders and envelopes. I grabbed a few and it turned out to be all the stuff from when I attended college at De La Salle University. Most of what I kept were test prints and multiple print versions from my school assignments. I also found several slides and color negatives stuck together from the years they were stored in humid conditions. As I rummaged through the pile, I saw a lot of terrible pictures and badly printed images. It was one of those moments when I realized how far I've come. I ended up throwing away most of its contents but kept this one contact sheet for sentimental reasons. It is the very first roll I shot, processed and printed in black and white. Like everyone else, I had to start somewhere. I just kept at it and never gave up until I discovered my full potential.