The Filipino Soul: Smiling Sans The Sunshine

The Filipino Soul: Smiling Sans The Sunshine




The rain- it can mean so many different things to so many different people. But for me, it was nothing but an unwanted visitor on that particular summer afternoon. I was shooting a wedding engagement in the south of Nueva Vizcaya, the rolling hills of the beautiful province as a backdrop. We were all hoping for some sunshine, the kind that matched the couples bright and overflowing outpour love, but Mother Nature wasn’t exactly cooperating. Massive grey clouds hung above us, waning us to pack up our gear and go. Before we could do just that, there it was- the rain. We ran for shade, finding ourselves craped into a tiny waiting shed with ten other people, firmly clutching what we considered of value, shielding it from the supposedly damaging rain water.

Suddenly, from the other side of the road a little girl with not much to lose sprints right into the drizzle. Finding an opportunity for play in the dreariest of conditions, both she and her brother start splashing each other with water from the small puddles, their rubber slippers engineered as makeshift water pistols. I watched them grinning from ear to ear from the comfort of my waiting shed and felt outright silly to be standing there, scared of a few raindrops. Their contagious laughter lent me a bit of bravery, prompting me to run out into the rain and through my lens, immortalise a moment that exposed the very essence of the Filipino soul. Suddenly, I no longer thought of the rain as a pesky visitor. In the outpour I had an epiphany.

Even in its youth and its innocence, the Filipino spirit looks past the lack and sees life for the blessing that it is. Instead of being filled with what the world has to offer, it is filled with the fruits of the spirit. In its lack, it is humble. With the little it has, it finds joy. We go out into the world with this kind of optimism- the kind so deeply rooted into ones past, bred by humility and an appreciation for the simple things in life. On that rainy afternoon, through that little girl’s smile, I caught a glimpse of our nation’s soul and through her eyes, our calidadhumana. It is in this spirit that we tread into the thunderstorms of life, resilient and unafraid- our optimism as raincoats and our smiles as lights in the world, reflective of the eternal sunshine so deeply etched into our souls.


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