Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day!

Touch me

The Photography With A Difference (PWD) truly leaves a mark on how I will pursuit my goals in taking pictures and use my acquired skills from great mentors in defining a portrait. Thanks to the wonderful project initiative of Mr. John Chua and how it hits the entire nation of shutter clickers who makes it happens.

Just over a week ago, someone asked me on what’s my fathers day project. At first, I think of three generations of fathers to capture the passing of generations to generations and how it evolves to this date. A theme in which I cannot relate to, being I am fatherless and its a piece of an idea which is really cool but something I cannot visualize to capture through my heart. So I asked myself, what’s the real meaning of fatherhood to me? a coach, a guide, a mentor, protector, your ultimate house pillar, your hero, a true leader, your loving shield and armor, the great teacher etc etc. Then I asked myself again, who’s the best father in the world I can give honor with anyway? A living inspiration to others. Then I remember someone I met thru PWD, a very humble guy who’s strength and faith to God is truly remarkable, he is no other than Mr. Ricardo Nelmida, dad of Joshua and Jerome, the blind twins.

I invited him to have a family day treat in Star City, for the advance celebration of Father’s Day last June 12, and I volunteer to be their photographer for the day with my photo-travel buddy – Mr. Kaloi Yap. It was a very lucky day! cloudy but didn’t rain at all. And its also a big surprise to me for the changes they’ve made with Star City from almost 10 years I never been to that place, anyway, this isn’t for me to enjoy the place but to observe and be inspired on Ric’s fathers day celebration with his family.

Ric has 4 kids, an Ate, and 3 boys. The beautiful shy teen girl always has her smile on her face and very observant with the blind twins, they called them “kambal”. And Kuya, on the other hand, is known to be the badminton teen champ of Muntinlupa, Kuya is very lively and always watchful of the two girls. While Ric and Annette of course is the guiding hand for kambal – Jerome and Joshua.

The kambal was born on August 4, 2000, Ric said they were premature babies and was only given 48 hours to live. As a prayer warrior, he went to St Jerome Parish in Alabang to offer a mass for the survival of the twins and a God’s grace and miracle was given to him, so he named kambal after the saints – St. Jerome and St. Joshua. After a week, they observed some problems in their eyes and the doctors recommended an immediate operations, and they underwent three major operations to recover their sight where Joshua experience a critical condition and was on a flat line for 5 minutes. Again, another God’s miracle happens to their lives. I couldn’t imagine, how the couple faced those challenges. Ric said, kambal was always crying when they heard a different or a new voice until they were 3 years old and it was thru the assistance of Resources from the Blind Inc. which taught them guidelines and tips on raising a blind kids . Ric was very thankful for his friends and family who supported them all the way to be stronger and keep his faith to God. It was through acceptance he realized that he was truly blessed and should not suffer from self pity and focus on how he can make his family survive. It was a life he prayed for and it’s his family lives he should taken cared of. A selfless father intuition and love.

As a very simple man, Ric dreams for his kids is to have a good education, be happy on their chosen career, help each other and have their own family. I am a witness on how his kids love and support each other, Kuya and Ate doesn’t mind the kambal disability, they invited them to experience the rides and feel the movements and excitement. They all share the same enjoyment, fun, and thrills on what the entertainment center can offer to them, while Ric and his loving wife Annette watches their kids with hopes and smile on their faces. A true proud parents and their life experiences and very strong faith is very inspiring.

Today is Fathers Day, and I’m wishing all my friends and colleagues with this inspiring life experience of Ric. I keep on asking him that day, where do you get all those strengths and hopes? He will simply smile and look at his kids and wife, the gestures sends hundreds of awakening messages. He lives for them and the chain of love that binds this family is the shelter of God’s hands that keep his family safe.

I can make a list of how to be a good father and name famous person on what they have achieved on their lives. A story of a political hero for their nations, a great leader and mentor, an inspiring spiritual leader and many more. But then again, I always believe I have to be a witness and be there, to best capture their life moving experience. And this opportunity with Ric’s family is exactly what I wanted to capture. The simplicity is always there, but the moments I captured in my mind is already everlasting and before it hits my shutter and storage, the embedment already happens in my heart. I am fatherless but i am blessed with people like Ric to guide me in defining a Fathers true definition.

Salute to you Ric! Happy Fathers Day!

Fathers Day 2010

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Connecting the Light, A Photography with a Difference

Connecting the Light, A Photography with a Difference

March 20, 2010
Manila Zoo, City of Manila
Philippines

Organizers:
Mr. John Chua, Bien Mateo and Ms. Bernie Paras Gan


Backgrounder:

This is my second visit in Manila Zoo, and my first was when I was only 9 years old. Back then, it’s a feeling of excitement to see and experience the animal kingdom, but now – it is much even more than what my eyes can see, but what my heart can feel, a heart to utter encouraging words, and speak the beauty of God’s given creatures. A heart to touch and bridge to build trust. A heart to listen, for their joys and warm appreciation. And foremost, a thankful heart to be their “eyes” in this precious bonding moments.

The event was very touching and a real eye opener for everyone who still have their clear sight. The goal is to build awareness about blindness, capture each joyful moments with the kids, and experience Love. It’s overwhelming…magical…spontaneous…fulfilling.

I am “Connecting the Light”

For what my eyes can see and what this precious kids can believe and imagine.

The Light that falls unto their beautiful faces, capturing an image of joy, a lovely scene – to enlighten others.

Bringing a light of encouragement, to their family members and support groups – awareness and acceptance.

To help promote the right of blind people to live a life of dignity – a messenger of respect.

Capture the Light, Be the Light, Connecting the Light for Blind People of the Philippines.

Salute to the Committee and Organizers! especially to Mr. John Chua and Ms. Bernie Paras Gan

connecting-the-light

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Facts about Blindness in the Philippines:

Hidden among the 85 million people and the 7100 islands of the Philippines, are an estimated half a million people who are blind, and many more who are visually impaired to a lesser degree.

By far, the leading cause of blindness among adults in the Philippines is cataract, accounting for around 400,000 cases. The treatment for cataract is simple and effective but is not readily available or affordable for those living in the rural areas.

Perhaps up to one hundred children lose their sight every week in the Philippines. Almost half of these cases are either treatable or preventable. Poor nutrition, measles, and premature birth are among the leading causes of preventable blindness in children. Early detection and treatment are the keys to saving the sight of these children. (from Resources for the Blind Inc.)

About Resources for the Blind Inc.

A non-government Christian organization serving blind people all over the Philippines since 1988. They offer services, trainings, materials, and equipment needed for the blind people to reach their fullest potential in life. With over half a million visually impaired in the Philippines, they continue to reach out to those who are in need of their services. The organization aims to turn darkness into light for thousands of our blind friends in every corner of the country.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address: Box 1831 CPO Manila 1099

Telephone Numbers: (632)7263021 to 24

Telefax: (632) 7270077

Mobile: (63)912797222081

Toll free calls from outside of Metro Manila: 1-800-10-725-4637

Email Address: info@blind.org.ph

Website: http://www.blind.org.ph