These photographs belonged to my Lola (Suchay) who passed away a few years ago. They were tucked away in a cabinet for many years. I found them during my recent visit to Manila in January. The album was very fragile. The cover was worn out, its brittle pages crumbling at the edges as I held it in my hands. The photographs, however, were in relatively good condition. I was quite surprised they survived the humid weather in Manila. These young women were probably my Lola's friends in Dagupan as evidenced from the handwritten dedication on the front of the images. I don't have the urge to find out the facts or details about them. Instead, I prefer to embrace the beauty and mystery surrounding these photographs.
Rough translation: the 7th platoon of the 6th Czechoslovakian Regimen in Russia. Picture taken in the forest close to a railroad station.
Once in awhile, I don't mind wandering and getting lost when I travel to a city. This is how I found this photograph in a small bookstore off the tourist path in Prague. I was quickly drawn to several boxes of old pictures and postcards that sat on the counter in front of the store keeper. It was satisfying to leaf through these vintage images as they revealed a different perspective of Czech history told through personal snapshots, class pictures, friends and family gatherings and random landscape sceneries of the country. This particular one stood out. I was glad to see a handwritten description at the back of the picture. Later on, I had a local translate the words in English.