It was March 16, 2012 when the exhibition billed “Urban Sights and Sounds: The Stories of San Pedro Street” was opened. It was the objective of the exhibition to use various stimuli – image and sound, to trigger past experiences in a particular area in the city – the San Pedro Street.
My goal was to create immortal images of scenes of everyday life with a certain level of beauty – images beyond the traditional quantifiers of what makes a photograph beautiful. I believe that sometimes, the blurry and obscure tell more stories than the clear and colorful photographs. Coupled by familiar voices and street sounds that present the culture of the area, people essentially experienced the street in a different venue, and these stimuli culled stories in their minds.
Now, I present to you the stories I gathered during that exhibition. In the process, some people shared their stories of fun and excitement in the area. Somehow, the majority defined this place as haven for those who love “kwek-kwek” and other street foods. It is also defined for its “ukay-ukay” and other cheap goods offered by various commercial establishments.
There are riveting accounts of untold tragic stories as well. A family dropped by the exhibition to share a rather sad experience when a grenade was thrown to their path while strolling along this street. Others were mugged or physically hurt while caught in the middle of a riot.
But despite these sad stories, a glimmer of hope is seen in the stories of people who hold on to their faith and prayed for His blessing before doing a difficult task like taking Board Exams. Others offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the job they got or their first salary.
No matter good or bad, we define a particular place according to how we experience it. These are the stories I gathered. These are, YOUR STORIES.