Photo exhibit makes People Power more personal for younger Fil-Ams

By Jordan Lalata, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO – Though the 30th anniversary of the People Power Revolution has ended, photos of it captured by photographer Kim Komenich are displayed in downtown San Francisco for a one-day photo exhibit to educate guests on the history and democracy of the Philippines.

Among the guests that attended, college student David Curl revisited the history that was shared with him since childhood.

“I am a Filipino American, so a lot of this art speaks to my history and my culture and stories I’ve been told my whole life,” Curl said.

Komenich took photos of the revolution for the San Francisco Examiner where he was a staff photographer in the mid 1980s.

Out of 30,000 images from over a thousand rolls of film taken during the Ferdinand Marcos regime, the portrait of an emotional Imelda Marcos on the balcony at Malacañan Palace is Komenich’s most requested piece.

“What I went through to get the picture of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos during his last speech, that was my favorite picture,” Komenich said. “I remember climbing up some scaffolding and using a hard to use lenses at a very slow setting. I’m thankful that it worked at all.”

The photo is also the favorite of Leica Gallery SF Director Alex Ramos.

Ramos said he was aware of the history, but the exhibit made the stories more personal.

“I wasn’t very well connected to the Filipino side of my family when growing up,” Ramos said. “So for me to see this body of work, I learned a lot about the history of my family, where my father came from and everything in between. It helped fill in a lot of gaps that I wasn’t even aware of from my own family.”

While Komenich’s photos allow people to get a glimpse of the revolution, it also carries an important message, particularly for young adults during election season.

“I’m thinking about where we are now in the Philippines with the presidential election coming up. It’s a generational thing. Thirty years is roughly one generation and I’m always concerned,” Komenich said. “One of the reasons these photos may jog people’s memories is how passionate people were about their democracy.”

Fifty photos are displayed at the exhibit, and his book “Revolution Revisited” includes more photos as well as the stories of his subjects.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    4 March 2016 at 10:31 am - Reply

    As a student in Manila during the EDSA drama, it was very easy to misled poor people for a very shallow and misleading cause. If cook barbecue out in the streets and start distribution while yelling out people power propagandas, the outcome would be overwhelming…like Cory did. Crowds after crowds from squatter areas flock into EDSA for free food and eventually started singing nationalism songs…Then 30-years later, the same people are in disbelief for the worst outcome while the Aquino oligarchs are living the dream. ..

  • Santiago Del Mundo
    14 June 2016 at 8:07 am - Reply

    With some access to media, sure Kim Ayatollah Khomenich can devise a simple way to mislead young people by selectively showing pictures of President Marcos during the EDSA Revolution while citing how people are passionate about democracy? I wonder what Tito Alex Ramos was told about? Maybe he needs to understand how Fidel Ramos betrayed the president only to leverage himself into the presidency at a later time. If Khomenich took pictures of Cory Aquino or Benigno Aquino or III with incompetent or communist label, would this media unbiasedly support that notion..? I would seriously doubt you’d see an exhibit in San Francisco?