Google Dennis Rito | Blog: December 2007

19 December 2007

Urban Decay

(click for a larger image)

A quick 'experimental' composite image I've done for a personal project. Shot somewhere in Pasay City. The title immediately popped out into my head and indeed what an apt title. Wikipedia defines urban decay as a process by which a city, or a part of a city, falls into a state of disrepair. It is characterized by depopulation, property abandonment, high unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and desolate and unfriendly urban landscapes.

11 December 2007

Photo Exhibit gives Tribute to Upland Farmers

By the time that the friendly barista of Cordillera Coffee hands over your order of freshly brewed coffee, you have just experienced a hundred pages of rich coffee history.

The Philippines, being a coffee-drinking nation, is one of those countries which undergo the full process of coffee drinking - from its arduous production to its satisfactory consumption. Cordillera Coffee being dedicated on this cause, will hold a photo exhibit featuring the faces responsible for that rich and intense cup of coffee- the coffee farmers themselves. The exhibit is entitled, “Bin-i: Stories Behind Coffee”.

Coffee AID (Assistance for Indigenous Development), founded by Cordillera Coffee Company, is a non-profit organization that helps our coffee farmers in the interesting and intricate culture of coffee harvesting. Cordillera Coffee boasts of coffee beans directly harvested from the mountains of Cordillera. They believe that it is time to give something in return to those farmers who meticulously harvest coffee beans for us to enjoy in every cup.

Bin-i will showcase the works of Bicol-native photographers, Dennis Rito and Buck Pago. The exhibit will commence on December 16, 2007 at the Cordillera Coffee shop in SM Baguio at 5.30 p.m. Bin-i will be opened by Tomas Kilip, an agriculture consultant and Tommy Hafalla, a documentary-photographer. It will run until January 18, 2008.

The exhibit will highlight the people responsible for the best coffee in the Philippines, the coffee farmers, through the lens and artistic eyes of our very own celebrated photographers. Rito’s photographs are known for their candid quality while Pago’s (better known as the “nomadic” Buck) style borders more on political and human-nature themes. Both of the photographers are frequent participants in group exhibitions, national and international photo conferences with several commissioned works to boot. Rito is currently working on a photo essay and his previous works could be viewed at and Buck is incessantly working on his independent take on investigative photojournalism everywhere he goes. Samples of his works may be viewed at

The said event, among other socio-civic affairs conducted by Cordillera Coffee, aims to bring awareness to coffee-drinkers as to how coffee comes a stirringly long way before reaching our cups.

Bin-i: Stories Behind Coffee is also sponsored by Gallery 7 Digital Studio in partnership with Cordillera Coffee.

10 December 2007

Silverlens Portfolio Review with Romy Vitug, Jose Enrique Soriano & Isa Lorenzo

Just attended the portfolio review last Saturday (12.08.07), organized as part of 5 Photographers: A Tribute to 5 Pioneering Masters of Philippine Photojournalisn (currently on exhibit until Dec 20) at the Silverlens Gallery. I was expecting a multitude of participants lined-up waiting for their work to be critiqued but I was wrong - many attendees are familiar faces whom i met in the first portfolio review I have participated in with Marvi Lacar & Ben Lowy at the CCP a year ago - Bahag, VJ Villafranca, Paolo Picones, Jes Aznar, Tammy David, Dennis Vega and Estan Cabigas. Erick Lacson and Anton Diaz was there too.

Each was given a number and lined-up to the Photographer he/she is interested to present his/ her work. But all was delighted to know that we can go rounds! Imagine being critiqued from three different point of views - Cinemtographers' (Romy Vitug), Photojournalist (Jose Enrique Soriano) and Personal (Isa Lorenzo), all at the same time! I myself had my a-ha! moments with Romy Vitug but most especially with Jose Enrique Soriano (too bad I haven't had the chance to present my work and seek critical advice from Isa).

Jose Enrique Soriano stressed the importance of the Self in the photographic process. This is very true not just in the field of photography but even in other disciplines of visual arts. It’s what differentiates a Luna from Malang.

Many of us left wanting for more :)

05 December 2007

Sumilao Farmers' Walk for Justice

I am personally touched by the utter determination of the Sumilao Farmers who trekked 1,700 kilometers from Bukidnon to Manila, who now are on the final phase of their march.

While it is forbidden in their culture, some 13 Sumilao farmers have shaved their heads as a way of protest in front of San Miguel Corporation Head Office in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

But honestly, how far would you go for something you believe in?