As an ordinary mortal, she is far from perfect and she has her strengths and weakneses like all humans are. What I find really admirable is her very close relations to her children, grandchildren and her staff at home and at work. She is capable to adjust across cultures, and generations too. Personally, I find her really cool. Interestingly, we share the love for a simple life, yet enjoying to dress up at times( although she dresses up more often than me), love for the beach, forest and nature in general. Further, we we both express our points of view about anything as straightforward as we can. For this, she is always criticised and misunderstood while I am quite lucky for being tolerated and understood, sometimes to the point of amusing others.
Although I grew up exposed to my Dad's love for photography, I did not attempt to tinker with his cameras and just enjoyed appreciating the photos that he took. Its my younger sisters who enjoyed using the SLR models that my Dad has used as early as their preschool years. My first trip to Busuanga Islands and our island hopping in the Coron Islands, both found in Palawan, Philippines have reawakened that interest in me.
Next to my professor and adviser in UP Diliman who told me that I take nice photos in 2003, Beatriz rediscovered my talent in photography and encouraged me to go for it. When my film editor turned filmmaker friend saw the photos that I took on that trip in Palawan, she encouraged me to take more photos, and so I did.
I read photography literature, watched photoexhibits whenever I have the chance and continued taking photos. Looking and rereading the supposedly nice and great essays that I have written about any topic including the controversial ones in the culture that I am in like abortion, euthanasia and artificial reproduction-have given me some sense of pride and some sort of fulfillment, but looking at the photos that I have taken brings me happiness to a different dimension. It is a joy twice over when I hear kind compliments about my photos. Georgina was not only generous in appreciateing the photos that I have taken, she takes time to show around these photos as well.
stopping by to have a photo taken with this tree
Meantime, she also rediscovered and enjoyed her talent in painting. Considering all the highs and lows that she had, and probably is going through, the latest of which is his husband's battle with a complicated illness, I have seen her inner strength and quiet grace to face it all. As photography has tremendously helped me to focus in more beautiful things in life, painting gave her a lot of strength in facing life's adversities. And despite of all the trials that this life can bring, we can still enjoy and be thankful and look forward for the coming of each new day. More than she ever probably know, I have been learning lots of life's lessons from her by listening to her stories and watching her live her own life despite some odds which I think is pretty normal in this world that we are still in.
Happy birthday Georgina! May all your birthday wishes come true! And may you keep enjoying life whatever it may bring you.