It’s a very gray area. A paradox. The perpetual dilemma. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love. I still remember that moment when I had the realization that being a filmmaker was my calling. The work was difficult but I didn’t mind. In fact, I was energized by it. Even if I had to get through sleepless nights, the only thing that mattered was to get the shoot and edit done the best way I knew. The feeling is tenacious and it consumes every bit of me. But of course there are days when it posts itself as a danger. I hate it. I want to abandon it. When the burnout kicks in, every ounce of you is depleted. The creative juices run on empty. Resentment looms over every little decision you make. It’s extremely tricky. The privilege of making a living doing what you love is like thin ice. You need to thread slowly and carefully. Too much focus on the financial aspect and fast-tracking your career can lead to a deep spiral of melancholy. On the other hand, getting too caught up on passion projects and artistic freedom could leave you stressing over bills that need to be paid. I believe there’s happy medium. A point of equilibrium that gives you enough of both worlds. True, some people prefer to go towards one end of the spectrum. But, being in the middle, for me, is a good starting point. It’s not that I don’t want to pursue my dreams of making documentaries and films. It’s just that there is always a trade off when you make a choice. Sometimes, it’s a matter of chance. Maybe even a stroke of luck. There are ups and downs. I recently came across an interview explaining that when you’re truly passionate about something, you just feel the need to keep at it and to keep creating. It doesn’t matter if you’re in front of a million people or if you’re just showing your short film to your family. What matters is that you’re willing to work on your craft everyday and constantly try to improve. It’s not for the sake of mere creation. It’s because doing it is a source of bliss and freedom. It makes you feel alive and fulfilled.
There are times when words fail us.
It’s like we’re sleepwalking through the day.
We get caught up in these whimsical illusions.
An entirely new realm created in our minds.
Pressure points and fabrications.
Multiple attempts to strive.
Wasting away slowly.
Gasping for air amidst the quick sand pulling us like gravity.
So easy to succumb.
To not give a fuck.
Deep down that dark pit.
Battles are being fought.
A paradox feeding itself.
Who will have the last word?
Listen to the whispers that echo.
Photograph taken in Southwestern Iceland
It’s one of those days when procrastination is the enemy. Mundane tasks take over. Decluttering and organizing turn into a fixation. Purging and destroying. Putting order in the underlying chaos. Task after task. One mess after the other. Time wasting away. Tunnel vision distorting all senses. These small petty things that trickle over everything. But in an instant, we dive into a great sense of calm. Everything moving in slow motion. Suddenly, you step out of yourself. Nothing else exists. Just that very second. That one moment of deep clarity. Just when you thought you would succumb once again, you transcend. Futile excuses are extinguished. A tiny step forward. That makes all the difference.
Photograph taken in Changi Airport, Singapore (2014)
Scenery fading quickly
Mind falling silent
Our beings molded by experience
Pressed and hardened like clay
Tunnels of darkness
Rays of light piercing through the windows
Tears are shed
We yearn to be moved
To transcend and connect with life itself
A never-ending search for meaning
Photograph taken in Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Philippines (2014)
It’s always an adventure. Leave at seven in the morning. An hour spent loading the bags and the surf boards into the SUV. On the road. Fast-food drive-thrus. Junk food galore while sound tripping on Spotify. Hours passing. Pee breaks. Conversation jumping. Worries are left behind. Everyone living in the now. Coffee breaks and dreamy thoughts. Drifting from slumber to wakefulness. Emotions at a halt. The scenery through the window changing constantly. Rows of lush greenery and bodies of water passing you by. Time ticking away. A nocturnal blanket covering the landscape. Tedium kicks in. Weary and exhausted. Overtaking and maneuvering through the busy narrow roads. Rice paddies and fast food joints blurring into a frenzy. Counting down the kilometers. Windows down. Cool fresh breeze refreshing our warm bodies. A faint sound of waves crashing in the distance. Left turns and zigzags. Moonlight illuminating the sleepy ocean. Ignition switched off. Feet step into the sand. Stars glistening with the Milky Way painted in streaks on the vast dark ocean sky. For a moment. It feels like paradise.
Photographs taken in Ilocos Sur, Philippines