Sunday, October 5, 2008
In 2004, I was having dinner at a Paris restaurant with 2 Filipino high school friends, and 2 Frenchmen. The first Frenchman was a client, and the second was his cousin who happened to be a photographer based in Manila, and married to a Filipina. While waiting for our fare, a man in a black suit with some folders entered the restaurant. The photographer in our group whispered that the man who entered was a known French photographer who sometimes go to restaurants to publicize his photographs. (Now, I don't remember his name - but I hope to be able to research it in the web one of this days).
Our group struck up a conversation with this photographer, and soon enough, we learned that he's been to the Philippines. I told him I was from Sagada and he quickly said that he'd been to the town in the 1980s, and have some photographs that he didn't have with him a the moment. We got his card, and promised to visit his studio soon.
A friend and a cousin accompanied me to his studio just outside Paris. Once there, he showed me some contact prints of his Sagada photos. He had more than a dozen, in black and white. I chose 10, 7 to be printed in 5x8; and 3 to be poster size. The photos were worth some hard earned euros, but I knew they'd be used to decorate my house one day. Heck, 1980s Sagada photos by a French photographer are not that common. I came back after a week to get the photographs since he developed these himself. Of course, I asked him to initialize the poster size photos, which he happily obliged to do.
Two of the 10 photos I gave as a gift to a lola in Paris. The other 8 photos I brought back home to the Philippines. We left it there when we came to the US in 2006, but through the kindness of a colleague, the photos are now with my family again. I've scanned the first 5 and are sharing them in this post. I will try to find a way to scan the other 3 poster sized photos.