Photo anthology Mysteries of Chance showcases veteran photographers’ decades-long works

IMAGE Courtesy of Mysteries of Chance's Flickr page

Filipino photojournalists and documentary photographers (L-R) Alex Baluyut, Al Benavente, Luis Liwanag, Jose Raymond Panaligan, Rick Rocomora, and Sonny Yabao comprise the six maestros whose respective works are anthologized in Mysteries of Chance. Launched by Voices of Vision Publishing, Mysteries of Chance is a hardbound photography book that is “a visual feast of the personal and the political, the poetic and the prosaic, and the pu

“One of the greatest mysteries of the world is chance. You wait for a photo to happen, and it just will, if it’s meant for you.” – Sonny Yabao

Independent publishing company Voices of Vision launched an anthology of rare photographs taken by six of the country’s most experienced photojournalists and documentary photographers.

Mysteries of Chance is a precious collection of images taken by virtuoso Filipino photographers over the past three decades. The hardbound anthology features a total of 70 images arranged in six photo stories accompanied by insightful essays penned by the veteran photographers themselves.

Alex Baluyut, a preeminent photojournalist and documentary photographer, presents the “strength of the human spirit amidst war and forced development” in his photos of the Cordilleras and the tumultuous areas of Mindanao. The National Book awardee adds “Static Grain” to his lauded works.

Al Benavente’s “Mistica” attempts to comprehend the religious practices of the Rizalistas in Mt. Banahaw, Quezon. Al, whose images were beforehand showcased in Kamalig: A Treasure Trove of Rice and Boses ng Pagbabago: Voices of Change of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, centers on the lady priestesses and her followers.


In “Mendiola Massacre,” Luis Liwanag “discovered how courageous the heart can be” as he captured the violence that erupted when state security forces wantonly dispersed a protest march held by a group of farmers on their way to Malacañang Palace.

Jose Raymond Panaligan’s decade-long immersion with the Mangyans of Mindoro is documented in “The Mangyan Photographs.” Raymond, who shoots for international wire agencies and local publications, and who closely works with non-government agencies, was remarkably enlightened by his exposure to “the economic and cultural struggles of the people.”

Internationally acclaimed documentary photographer Rick Rocomora captures the charm of bustling Quiapo despite the historic district's notoriety and decadence. Rick’s “Life’s Arcade: Quiapo” captures life stories of people he personally knew.

The countryside takes the spotlight in Sonny Yabao’s “Consider the Lilies.” The award-winning photographer’s section in Mysteries of Chance presents Sonny’s “gift at making an every day scene extraordinary.”



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