Moments before we sprung into action at the 2012 Canon Photomarathon a couple of weeks ago, I walked up to Señor Val Rodriguez, one of the sitting judges of this year’s wicked event, just to have his two cents’ worth about our first subject of the day AND to have the honor of snatching a mug shot of him and his Santa Claus beard. Why it’s a prize for me to have this man’s beam here on Malate?
Besides being an accomplished photojournalist (Associated Press) who has been through the war theaters of Vietnam and Cambodia to becoming Ex-Pres Corazon Aquino‘s personal photographer (also, the eye behind Ninoy Aquino’s portrait in the old 500PHP bill) to bagging The Philippine Star’s Chief Photographer eminence, I am awed by how he clowns around like a free-spirited bohemia with his individualistic soul and — most importantly — how he keeps his feet on the ground despite the big kahuna status.
While clicking at the picturesque Don Escudero Dam, we have a chitchat as to how to best interpret the first theme. The rockstar is generous. But, considering him as a judge and a joker, who knows if what’s coming out of him are words to the wise or bum steers.
For the toppings: I like the way he shares his wisdom regarding the cardinals of photography. Unsophisticatedly crisp n’clear. I’d like to think he’s the Nick Joaquin of Philippine photography. Masterly and beer-loving!