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My 10.10.10 Experience

10.10.10 came and went as just another day. For the superstitious lot, it was a specially lucky day. Maybe there were more weddings or more babies delivered by caesarean section. Residents of the metropolis participated in a race-for-a-cause to save the Pasig and an attempt at a Guinness record. Families went out on picnics. And countless other events world-wide. Significant or otherwise, it was just another Sunday.

But there is this small group of individuals, 14,188 of them as of this writing, who participated in a global event. Their task is to document the world’s story on 10.10.10.

Xavier School’s Operation NExT team, some teachers and Club NExT members enlisted to participate in the One Day On Earth project. For that day, 10 October 2010, participants are to document the events that go on around them. It can be anything. The pictures or videos captured are to be submitted to onedayonearth.org where it will be reviewed with all the other submissions.

The goal of the project is to create an open shareable archive and documentary film of the world on 10.10.10. It hopes to enlighten, teach and benefit humanity through global collaboration and inspired media creation. And it seeks to find a deeper understanding of life on this planet.

With FlipCam in hand, I ventured out that day to try to capture the goings on around. At 7:00 in the morning, I was at the Quezon City Memorial Circle shooting videos randomly without a central theme in mind. I shot members of an NGO planting trees, children playing, weekend joggers, families having fun, food vendors making a killing, cyclists circling around the huge rotunda  oblivious to the danger other speeding vehicles and their dark fumes pose and still cyclists lounging around and having breakfast after their rides. It was a relaxed atmosphere all around. Filipinos sure know how to spend Sunday mornings.

I was back home at 10:00 for lunch and a bit of rest for I had a bigger plan for the afternoon/early evening. Doing a web search the night before on local events happening on 10.10.10, I found the grand procession of Our Lady of the Rosary, La Naval de Manila happening at 4:00pm around Sto. Domingo Chuch also in Quezon City. I wanted to be there and get some footage.

Anticipating bad traffic around the church area, I parked about a kilometer away and walked from there. At exactly 4:00pm, the procession, led by the image of San Lorenzo Ruiz, got going and left the people-packed church compound. He was followed by 25 statues of Dominican saints before La Naval’s well-lit, ship-shaped carriage was rolled out. I went ahead of the procession to look for a good perch. I found a slightly elevated sidewalk on Dapitan St. and waited. Around me were candle-carrying devotees lining the street, marshals directing traffic and high school students obviously required to be there.

The slow parade reached the area after an hour of waiting and I started to document it into short videos. It was during the front forth of the procession when I realized that the FlipCam was displaying the low battery level warning. I actually thought about getting spares before reaching the church but didn’t follow my instinct. Now I had to scramble and find a couple of double-As. I found a Mini-Stop at the corner of Banawe St. and Quezon Ave.

Armed with fresh batteries, I resumed my amateurish attempt. Trying to find the best angles I could squezze in between the crowds, I shot the statue-bearing carriages. There were throngs of people marching alongside them, reciting the Rosary, singing hymns dedicated to our lady. Streams of people, thousands of flickering candles, beautifully decorated statues. Then the most awaited glorious image of La Naval de Manila.

It was quite refreshing to do something different on a Sunday. Feeling good about being able to contribute to a global collaborative project is a bonus. Experiencing how we Filipinos love Mary, our mother, priceless.

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