A visit to the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

A week before undas*, we visited the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial at Fort Bonifacio. Not to visit any particular grave — we don’t know anyone who’s buried there — but to take photos. We were supposed to go there a week earlier but it was a little after 5.00 p.m. when we got there and the place was already closed for the day to the public. So, we went back. Early enough to take photos unhurriedly. And the results were very interesting.

We were all looking at the same things. We were all taking photos within a few meters of each other. But what we considered “interesting” subjects and angles varied.

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The photos above and next two below were taken by Alex with her Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. I really love the photo above. Perfect symmetry (well, almost), perfect foreground, perfect elevation, perfect background.

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In this second photo, I like how Alex isolated one cross beside Sam to serve as the foreground.

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Four crosses on the foreground work too.

I took the next three photos. Not very inspired, I must admit. My dSLR was still at the service center at the time getting a good cleaning and I took these photos with the Canon Powershot G10. And I just couldn’t get the right depth of field.

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There were a number of Stars of David among the crosses, we wondered if there were any other symbols aside from the Star of David and the cross but found none.

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The photo above was… well, I was capturing a reflection of the crosses on the pick-up’s rear.

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Some crosses had names on them…

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… others didn’t. The photo above and next three below were taken by Speedy with his Olympus Stylus 720SW.

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Most of the photos that Speedy took feature the large old trees that dotted the landscape of white crosses.

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Then, Sam’s photos taken with her Canon EOS 350D and a Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG lens.

Playful, as usual. Shadows. Alex’s, mine and Sam’s.

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It’s like looking at truth from different perspectives. And it does make one wonder if there is such a thing as objective truth or whether truth is, like everything else, a mere interpretation of what we perceive through our senses and how our minds sort out and arrange those perceptions to come up with our version of the truth.

More photos with live people in them?

In alphabetical order…

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Alex.

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Moi. The sun was in my eyes. So, I was squinting.

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Sam.

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Speedy.

*Note: For non-Filipinos, undas means Day of the Dead. In the Philippines, it is celebrated on November 1, All Saints’ Day, and is followed by All Souls’ Day on November 2.