Path to Glory
by Miguel Sy
On view until March 4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
DLS-CSB School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus,
Vito Cruz, Malate, Manila
By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
A twin celebration of what it offers as a “college of creative intelligence” and of its athletes is at the center of an ongoing photo exhibit at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB).
Path to Glory, by photographer Miguel Sy, is a collection of more than two dozen photos of the various Benildean athletes now on display at the sixth floor gallery of the DLS-CSB School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus in Malate, Manila. The show is curated by architect Gerry Torres.
For the exhibit, members from the Blazers’ 21 teams were handpicked to serve as representatives of their respective sports, such as arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, fencing, football, lawn tennis, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, and the Pep Squad.
“This exhibit showcases not only the Benildean athletes but also our other institutional initiatives. Sports exhibits, they say, should be easy because you just have to display trophies, banners, or jerseys of the top players but that would not do justice to a college of creative intelligence. The exhibit is not ordinary and it is a unique presentation of the sport and athletes,” said Robin Serrano, vice-president for Advancement of DLS-CSB, in his opening remarks at Path to Glory’s unveiling last week.
For featured photographer Sy, a 2014 graduate of Benilde’s AB Photography program, the exhibit — as it is in sports — is a product of a lot hard work and cooperation among those involved.
“The project was really challenging because we had to do a portrait for each sport/athletes and we had to do it in five days in six different locations. So it was really a challenge for the CCA (Center for Campus Art) and CPRM (Center for Partnership and Resource Management) departments logistically as well as to the athletes themselves,” said Mr. Sy in an interview with BusinessWorld at the sidelines of the exhibit’s opening.
“I really want to show through the exhibit the human side of athletes. Usually we look at athletes as super-humans with their physical abilities, but on the other side of it they are like us who get frustrated and have their struggles,” the photographer added.
To achieve what he had set out to do, Mr. Sy said that he made it a point to talk to each athlete featured in the exhibit, asking them about their hardships in training and in the sport, which influenced the kind pose they would take in their portraits.
Mr. Sy made full use of lighting to bring out the emotions of the athletes through their eyes and body language.
Mounting such an exhibit, the first of its kind for DLS-CSB, is highly appreciated by the school’s Center for Sports Development (CSD) and athletes.
“I’m very thankful to our partners both here and outside of the school for this exhibit which our athletes really appreciate. It is a showcase of the hardships that athletes have to go through to achieve success; that their efforts are not being taken for granted by the school. By doing this kind of exhibit, it’s like putting them on a pedestal which can only motivate the athletes to do better,” said Stephen Fernandez, CSD director, in a separate interview.
The former Philippine Olympian in taekwondo also highlighted the collaboration that went with the exhibit, which is supported as well by Smart Communications Inc.
“This really showcases Benildean talents, from the photographer and the entire production team to the athletes. It really is a showcase of what Benilde stands for. And I’m very proud of that,” Mr. Fernandez added.
Seeing his portrait among those featured, CSB men’s volleyball team captain John Vic De Guzman said he could not be more proud of being a student-athlete.
“Being a student-athlete is not easy as you have to balance things. For me to be recognized in such a way is very humbling and I very thankful to the school. This only inspires me more,” said the volleyball player who is gearing up to help his team advance to the championship of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
With initial impression to Path to Glory very positive, Mr. Sy said he is determined to continue what he does and hope to be given such projects in the future by the school.
“I’m very happy that they liked it. It was encouraging to hear them talk about the project. It only stoked the fire in me to continue what I am doing,” he said.