As a tribute to the hard work and dedication of Benildean athletes, the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) opened the photo gallery titled “The Path to Glory” last January 26 at the 6th floor of School of Design and Arts (SDA).
Photos by Patricia Oliveros
A different spotlight for the Blazers
According to Architect Gerry Torres, Director of Center for Campus Art (CCA) and curator of the exhibit, the photo gallery was done to create awareness and raise support for student athletes and their struggles and sacrifices.
“I wanted to turn the spotlight to our student athletes, to create awareness about them and what they do and the hard work and dedication that is demanded of them for their sport. They work very hard, juggling their time between their studies and their sport and it is admirable. I think it’s about time that we know them and hopefully after this show, start to support them. After all they bring pride and glory to our school,” Torres, who also shared this is his first time to curate a show that focused on sports and athletics, said.
“We were lucky to have a photographer, Miguel Sy, who presented us with a new concept for shooting athletes. I wanted a fresh take, something that we have not seen before and Miguel, who we have worked with before, came up with one that we liked. His concept of ‘the body in space,’ dramatically lit was spot on. It’s stylish and contemporary,” he said.
In addition, since Torres is an architect, he proposed “that buildings, stadiums, courts become a main feature, as important as the figures and Miguel was able to capture the architecture very well.”
The curator also pointed out how “especially poignant is the fact that one of the places we shot in, the Rizal Memorial Stadium, will soon be gone,” following reports of the historic stadium to be converted into a shopping mall.
The series of images, taken by Sy, a graduate of Benilde’s Bachelor of Arts in Photography program, reveal the real grind and glory of every Blazer.
“I am very glad to be part of this project that the school has created to commemorate our athletes. It is a way to show the public what they really go through to better themselves as well represent the school,” Sy said in an interview with The Benildean.
“Working with the student athletes was refreshing to me as a photographer. Unlike working with professional models, this project enabled me to delve more into each athlete’s character. To get to know them individually, to take time and get them to open up to me and converse their strengths and vulnerabilities in their sport,” he added.
“The Making of an Athlete”
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with The Benildean, James Almera, Creative Director of CCA, discussed the exhibit’s concept, which is “The Making of an Athlete.”
“The story and concept of the photoshoot was actually easy to translate and to explain because our overall concept is “The Making of an Athlete.” Miguel and I wanted to show the audience that hard work, passion and perseverance are the main ingredients on how our athletes become the best at their craft. They were easy to direct however some had difficulty in projecting true emotions and expressions. I had to interview them on their training habits and mannerisms to come up with natural poses and expressions that we captured on the photographs,” Almera said.
During the exhibit’s opening, Br. Dennis Magbanua (BroDen) FSC, Benilde’s Brother President, explained how after all the victories and defeats, the student athletes should always prioritize academics than sports. BroDen happily added the student athletes will always be the College’s best trophies.
The exhibit was made possible through Benilde’s Director of the Center for Sports Development (CSD), Stephen Fernandez, a known Olympian who competed in Seoul, Korea in 1988 and Barcelona, Spain in 1992 for Taekwondo.
“I’m very overwhelmed with how it really turned out. It turned out really nice and I have to say ang galling ng Benilde. Magaling lahat ng taong tumulong, nag-plan, kay Miguel for taking the photographs, for the offices that really put this together and at the end of the day, it really shows na ang bida dito ‘yung mga athletes natin who really carried the name of our school proudly every day that they’re going [to] their competition and you know years from now, this is something that we can be proud of and sana, I’m sure may mga susunod pa doon,” Fernandez said.
“Para sa Benildean athletes kakaiba yun nga talagang they really work hard with their studies, with their training and competition and it’s true after they attend their games, they come back, they attend their classes. So it’s really a community thing to see this through,” he added.
The exhibit, co-produced with CCA, CSD, the Center for Partnership and Resource Management (CPRM) and in partnership with Smart Communications, will run until March 25.