History of Philippine Photography

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Kindly help me in searching for Philippine background in Photography. How photography started in the Philippines?

-- Lamary B. Garcia (jlflintstones@lovemail.com), September 21, 2001


Hello Lamary,

I confess to knowing very little about the historical roots of Philippine photography. There isn't really a formal text or record that I know of.

Most of what I've heard are verbal narrations (somewhat tribal isn't it?), which often times conflict with each other and emphasizes the importance of a specific group, who non-coincidentally, almost always happen to be connected to who you are talking to. So as for 'who-was- shooting-what' type historical data, I can't offer any help with significance or accuracy.

There are however, 'stylistic' timelines. For example, how photographer Jun de leon et. al. were able to introduce a new styles and rose to prominence because his work was different from then old school Ropers studio et al. or so-and-so. Mostly contemporary photography, which is really what I've been focusing on.

You might want to try to get in touch with Mr. Vic Valenciano, father of performer Gary Valenciano, who also happens to be dubbed by others as 'the father of Philippine photography'. Personally, I have not delved deep enough into the reasons for this title to be able to make a comment on its veracity. Nevertheless, I'd imagine he's much more qualified on the subject of local photographic history.

-- Tommy Z. (tommyzablan@yahoo.com), September 23, 2001.

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