Last Name: Cruz
Nominated by: Wubin Zhuang
They are brothers, sleeping under a purple sky pricked with firefly stars. Sometimes they go hunting, peering into wells for monsters, diving for mermaids, waiting hours for the last brown spider. Where one boy goes, another follows.
This is the story before the sun sets, before one boy goes and leaves the other behind. Their names are maybe Denver, maybe Karlo, Their names do not matter. They are every boy who ever had a brother, who found out alone that fireflies die and mermaids never lived.
These are memories, a gift, one brother to another, for every child who ever found the key to fairyland, and every man who tried to find his way back.
A nondescript trip to Mount Pulag in (year you went) led me to a man’s account of how his late grandfather wanted to write a book about the local mythology. Later, I learned how the grandfather died unable to write a book, but of which the folklores known to him were recounted to his kin. Today, Pulag remains a landscape rife with existing oral histories but limited in its written narrative. I obtained a short publication consisting of two folkloric tales bringing me to the idea of pursuing a photographic project of their staging. The photo book is a visual representation of the mythical figures, Dakbongan and Talaw. The intention is to blend myth, imagination, and facts, in the process mediating the politics and (in)consistencies of the history of storytelling.