By:  Malou Dulce-Betco, HS 84

Russian political theorist, Leon Trotsky, once said, “Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.”  We spoke to three Ruby Jubilarians who have discovered a talent and passion for the arts — not just as a mirror to society, but as an expression of what it means to be a Woman of Faith and an instrument to make the world a better place in their own little way.

Angela’s passion for photography started as a simple hobby to pass the time away while her kids were in school and her husband was at work.  As an expat family living in Hong Kong, she felt the need to immerse in the local culture.  Photography allowed her to explore the narrow streets of Hong Kong, travel the outlying islands and chat with the locals.   But eventually, photography opened up a new side to her — a more adventurous side that was more independent and more daring to set off on her own. 

“Photography is about seeing — not only what is obvious, but what is nuanced.  It’s humbling to go out there… to capture the dreams… the trials, the joys of others.  I never come back the same person after a shoot.  This is why photography is my hinge.  It’s my go-to to express joy… my go-to when I need quiet… my go-to when I need adventure.”

Through her art, Angela has seen, felt and lived lives that have made her a stronger Woman of Faith.  “I have seen 18-year old mothers with 6 children talk about faith.  I’ve seen widowers giving thanks despite.  I’ve seen families living on 200 pesos a week , yet find hope and joy.  Photography humbles.  It teaches about perspectives.  Faith moves mountains and this I’ve witnessed in my years of going out there to shoot.”

Of all her photos, the one she is most connected with is one called “I Surrender” from her 2018 exhibit.  It was a series about her Faith journey.  “It’s the last of 7 images wherein, yes, I found surrender.  This was also shot using reflections.  No double exposure or photoshop.  It was sheer luck that the boy looked up at the Christ image.”

The amazing thing is Faith also translates to Action.  Angela is currently part of a camera club which sells their images to fund learning hubs for the children of Sapang Palay, Tondo and Barangay Bagong Silangan.  Proof that a simple hobby can lead to ripples of change.

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