The discreet charm of the countryside is haunting. Along Koide River in Fujisawa, I had just finished taking photographs of golden rice paddies, passionate red and white amaryllis in all their glorious splendors, and I was heading to the bus stop, when a scene caught my eye: a field of withered grass beside a tool shed. This image was touching; the desolation and melancholy attracted me. I was about to pack up but I decided to snap a few more pictures. The idea of a photo-essay on the theme of wabi-sabi was born. The feelings of solitude, melancholy, and impermanence struck me.
Almost by instinct, I shifted to monochrome mode. I thought images rendered in black and white could give better justice to the mood and emotion of the moment and of the place. I felt this is the natural wabi-sabi, the rustic elegance and beauty, of the countryside.
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I have a little garden: slightly bigger than the forehead of a cat. I grow herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, and mint, and lemon grass, and lavender, and basil. Occasionally, I cook for myself. Sometimes, my Japanese wife and my daughter like my cooking. I come from the Philippines – it is said that there are more than seven thousand islands but I do not own one. I’d love to, though. I always carry a camera with me – in my walks, journeys, and wanderings. Most of the time, I’m home – staring at Fujisan and writing something.