1. possible precursor: this pre-nuptial photo shoot of rockstar Jay Contreras and Sarah Abad, in a provincial cemetery. it isn’t the cemetery of heroes and had no crosses, but it sure seems like the peg for the irreverence in the current more controversial pre-nup shoot of Ruskin and Priscilla at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. so no, Priscilla and Ruskin weren’t quite “breaking conventions in pre-nup shoots here.” they were in fact doing a copy of a photoshoot that happened in 2009.
2. the fact is the Libingan ng mga Bayani is different. it is where our heroes are, soldiers and past presidents and vice presidents, national artists. i get that.
but too, this wasn’t the first time a photo shoot, and a pre-nuptial photo shoot, happened in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. someone must be earning something somewhere, and that person is the first one to disrespect the heroism that this space stands for.
3. a question: do the couples who have their prenup shoots here necessarily disrespect this space? it’s entirely possible that they don’t even think about it, that a cemetery is a cemetery is a cemetery to a couple in search of the perfect setting for their chosen pre-nup theme. and no Ruskin and Priscilla are not the first to do this.
4. so the question becomes: what did Ruskin and Priscilla do differently from these other couples? is it that they were laughing versus brooding? that they were enjoying versus looking into each other’s eyes, or looking into the camera? it seems that it was that they were doing a version of the Sara-Jay prenup photoshoot, complete with cigarettes and alcohol, and some crossdressing, too.
5. this is the apparent extreme that the online public cannot take. it’s the way in which Ruskin and Priscilla’s shoot used the crosses, as something to hug, something to sit on (versus lean on, see Al & Meg above), something to drink to, smoke with. all considered disrespectful and crass and everything in between.
6. of course the drinking and smoking says more about what we think of both as vices, which is also really a matter of taste, as are the cross-dressing photos. that this has been done before in a provincial sementeryo forces us to ask about what we think of our dead in general, what we think of our heroes, and how this recent industry of the pre-nuptial photoshoot now necessarily means a struggle between creativity and decency, at least in our shores.
7. but too maybe we should consider the fact of Angelo Reyes, dishonorable suicide and all, being buried here as “hero.” it might be said that that was the first stone cast at disrespecting all the real heroes at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
8. PS: i think Nick Joaquin, National Artist, San Miguel Pale Pilsen drinker, would’ve loved that there was finally some alcohol in the house. *clink*