Maui started getting into photography when his dad gave him his old 1968 Nikrromat FTn. He then started shooting, developing and printing black and white photographs of random subjects that he found interesting. For him, the experience of witnessing images unfold on photopaper is, well, a magical one. Manual black and white photography honed his skills in composition and the technical basics of photography…but more importantly, got him thinking about how taking photos would always be part of his life. Later on, he focused more on using digital cameras; it was around this time that he started hanging out with the locals at Bagasbas Beach, a surf spot near his hometown Daet, Camarines Norte. Inevitably, he started shooting them and so began his dabbling in surf photography. He also got into shooting the local skateboard scene when he got to Manila and was introduced to skateboarding. Maui perceives photography as something very parallel to skateboarding; “one can learn something new every session”, he said. Maui is one of the few Filipino photographers who have the eye in photographing the local skate scene. His works both show the grittiness of the spots ‘round here and the certain finesse of the skater that elevates skateboarding close to an artform. He now regularly contributes to Blunt, an online Filipino surf and skate magazine…the brainchild of Gab Sarmiento.
Gab Sarmiento was born and raised in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and has been skating since highschool. It was all about cheapskates and sessions with a few other local skaters for him…and from the first time he popped an ollie he was hooked. When he was sent to Manila to take up college, the intensity of the city fueled his creativity. He now picked up photography and was taking a lot of photos of varying subjects. This was also the time when he began fervently collecting skate and surf magazines. Being exposed to these ignited an urge to do something in publishing and sure enough after sometime, Gab began working as assistant editor at Sprout Magazine, a magazine that features surfing, longboarding and art. His pursuit to have a career involving the things he love kept him pushing forward. Being passionate about surfing and skateboarding, he started contemplating on doing his own magazine that has both. And from the ashes of Sprout, Blunt Magazine was born.
Yes, there were a lot of failed fanzines and magazines that featured Filipino surfers and skaters, but I got to say that Blunt is the first one who’s finally doing things right. Since the release of its first issue in 2010 it was immediately embraced the local scene. Gab and Maui are two skaters/ photographers with good tastes when it comes to skateboarding (which is kinda rare here) and together they come up with awesome stuff that get kids real hyped. When I asked why they do what they do they simply said, “because this is what we love doing and we want to share it to the rest of the scene…this is our way of helping out and spreading the stoke…”. — Crist Espiritu