On September 2009, Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) devastated Metro Manila, Philippines. And a roll of C41 Black and White film captured one my most favorite personal shots of all time.
We thought it was just a normal rainy day, until flood started entering our homes. My mother told me to go to a relative’s house to help them bring appliances and stuff to their second floor, because their street is near the river.
I went to their home to help, and on my way home I kept on saying to myself:
“I need to document this! I need to document this!”
But I don’t have a Krab underwater housing for my Lomo LC-A+, and the only camera I could use was my fixed-aperture-fixed-shutter-speed underwater camera. I opened to fridge to check what film or films I could use. Most of them were ASA100 slide films and ASA200 color negatives. It was like dusk outside and these films won’t work, I told myself.
Fortunately, I have 6 more rolls of Kodak BWCN400s, a C41 Black and white films that your favorite photolab could develop using the same chemicals for your color negatives.
So, I loaded a roll in my underwater camera and with high hopes, I went around the neighborhood to shoot the disastrous event. With almost chest-high level flood, I carefully walked in the middle of the streets to photograph people while evacuating.
It was only 2pm but everywhere you look seemed like night time. The rain and the sky were like telling me to go home and be safe with my family, so I decided to went home after finishing the roll.
Some of the shots were underexposed (as expected), but I got some decent shots:
And in spite of the disaster, you could still see how helpful and strong-willed and cheerful Filipinos are:
And the photo that made me win the Do GOOD Competition
was from the same roll :)