Just as I was completing the last strokes of this painting this morning, two of my subjects in this latest obra were being riddled with bullets while cultivating their own land somewhere in Central Philippines.
Mang Alejandro (fourth from the right) and Mang Eli (second from the left). They were with us no more. Last March, we attended Mass under their worn-out tent. I felt their sighs: "ginoo, thank you for your journey with us through the valley of darkness… kalakbay."
The ghosts of Mang Alejandro and Mang Eli still haunt me. They still stare at me, telling me that we haven’t liberated ourselves yet as a people from the hundreds of years of feudalism and landlessness. The chains are still intact and the rust has penetrated into the marrows of our souls, yes, bereft of human dignity.
– Joey Velasco
Summertime is about to end. Let’s make the most of it and savour every minute as we journey through life with people who are very dear to us. Happy May to all!