Photographer Paul Quiambao: Finding beauty in disaster

Most of the photos taken during the height of monsoon floods have shown destruction, hopelessness, even tragedy. But one photographer, Paul Quiambao, had a different perspective.

His photos, mostly taken at the centuries-old University of Sto. Tomas in Manila, show calm and serenity.

"It is really how we see things. We can choose to see the beautiful side. Kumbaga seeing the beauty and hope amidst the chaos," Quiambao tells Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

Quiambao, the official quadricentennial photographer of UST and a former editor of the school publication The Varsitarian, says he would like to show Pinoys that one can still see beauty in unfortunate events.

"I want to show sa mga Filipinos, especially my fellow Thomasians na there's beauty in every tragedy, na may reason parin para ngumiti. Anything can be beautiful naman, you just have to know where and how to look at it..we just have to keep positive," said Quiambao, whose photos are starting to go viral on social networking sites. He is also using his photos to urge students to help the flood victims.

"To all Thomasians who are willing to help for the relief operations, just go to your respective Local SCs or proceed to the CSC Office (Tan Yan Kee Bldg. 2nd floor, Room 201) when classes resume," Quiambao said in his photo captions.

The photographer also notes that he would like to show that UST, which has been a victim of countless flooding incidents, stands strong.

Beauty in chaos

"Gusto ko ring mapakita na standing strong ang UST, lalo na yung main building which symbolizes the strength and hope of the Thomasian community..na kayang kaya niyang lagpasan ang kahit ano mang pagsubok, na kahit ilang baha man, war, or earthquake ang dumating, may ilaw at pagasa parin after the disaster," Quiambao added.

And even if it meant endangering his life and wading flood waters, Quiambao said he would always gladly take photos.

"Pain, love, stress, loyalty, sacrifices and tears paved way to my successful coverages in ust. That was my tribute to my University for its unending grace: kasi malaki ang utang ng loob ko at mahal na mahal ko ang UST," he added. (For more of his photos, click on the gallery above.)

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