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PEOPLE POWER
Book by MHS grad, Pulitzer Prize winner published
Komenich100thBulletinAnnivGuest
Kim Komenich at the Manteca Bulletins 100th anniversary party. Komemich started his newspaper career at the Bulletin. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin

The book is titled, “Revolution Revisited: The 1986 Philippine Revolution.”

 The author and photographer is Kim Komenich, the Manteca High School graduate who went on to win the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography for his coverage of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines that went on to create a tidal wave of similar political changes worldwide.

The peaceful revolution staged by the millions of Filipinos who literally took their destiny into their hands by courageously changing the political terrain of their country from one of tyranny to democratic liberty later influenced the equally earth-shattering events that the world subsequently saw in Germany when the Berlin Wall was torn down, in the non-violent dissolution of the Soviet Union, and in Poland where an authoritarian regime was toppled down, among many others.

Thanks to the advancements in satellite technology, people around the world witnessed for the first time the powerful effects of non-violent mass actions that were taking place in the Southeast Asian country up close in their own living rooms as the powerful People Power — or EDSA (Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue) Revolution unfolding as they happened before their very eyes, inspiring many to pursue similar changes in their country by peaceful, non-violent means.

 In the midst of all those earth-shaking and tense moments, in the middle of literally millions of freedom-loving Filipinos armed with just clenched fists and waving banners, and nuns praying the rosary as they stood in front of armed military troops, was Komenich with his film cameras capturing those nerve-wracking moments for the San Francisco Examiner. At the time, the award-winning photographer was working for the now-defunct Bay Area newspaper. He is currently teaching journalism classes at the California State University, San Francisco following a stint San Jose State, his alma mater.

 The 100 or so photographs included in The 1986 Revolution book were taken from 1984 to 1986 when he was on assignment with investigative Examiner reporter Phil Bronstein. They were culled from a total of 30,000+ images captured in about 1,100 rolls of Tri-X film he used to shoot the moving photographs.

 Digital photography and instantaneous transmission of images to every corner of the world was years away from taking the world by storm. Developing the films and printing the images that he sent to the Examiner constituted another story. “I developed my negatives in makeshift darkroom hotel bathrooms and made prints that were sent to the U.S. using a telephone wirephoto transmitter,” he notes in his book.

He further explains the story behind the photographs in the collector-quality tome: “The photos in the book detail the period in Philippine history from the first anniversary of the assassination of opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., through the rise of his widow Corazo C. Aquino as the candidate against the ailing dictor in a snap presidential election. Marcos stole the election and as military leaders and their troops turned against the regime, millions of Aquino supporters flooded the streets of Manila and other Philippine cities to form a human shield that would repeatedly repel Marcos tanks and soldiers.”

 Other photographs in the book were taken by Komenich in various parts of the Philippines from Mindanao in the south to Laoag in Northern Luzon.

 Some of the photographs also have been featured in many exhibitions in the Philippines and in the United States. The Ayala Exhibition in the Philippines in 2011-2012 under the aegis of the Aquino Foundation was seen by three million viewers. Another exhibition featuring Komenich’s photographs have been shown at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.

 Sheila Coronel, academic dean of the Columbia Journalism School and co-founder of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, is the author of Revolution Revisited’s introduction. Komenich describes her essay as a powerful personal account of growing up under martial law during President Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, which spanned 21 years, with details on “the human toll of the corruption and greed” of the late leader’s long rule.



Upcoming exhibitions

to mark 30th

anniversary of People Revolution

 The publication of the book is timely. The People Power Revolution that changed not only the history of the Philippines but other countries throughout the world as well will mark its 30th anniversary in February. During Feb. 22-25, Filipinos throughout the world will honor the millions of their countrymen “who took to the streets during those four miraculous days, putting their lives on the line to protect their democracy.” In conjunction with this historic water-mark, a number of exhibitions will be held in various venues, among them:

ua pop-up (one day) exhibition on Feb. 23 at the Leica Gallery at 463 Bush Street in San Francisco. (Rev_Leicahttps://www.leicastoresf.com/gallery/exhibitions/future-exhibitions/revolution-revisited-photography-by-kim-komenich/)

ua one-month exhibition at the Philippine Consulate at 447 Sutter Street in San Francisco.

 Plans are also under way for the embassy to host the full Revolution Revisited exhibition this year at four venues in the United States.



How and where

 to obtain a

copy of Komenich book

There are a number of ways you can get a copy of Komenich’s Revolution Revisited book. You can guarantee your advance copy of the book by visiting https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/komenich/revolution-revisited-the-1986-philippine-revolution where you can make a pledge. This website will give you a list of the different ways you can support the book project, as well as answers to any questions.

Some of the advance orders or pledges also include original and signed copies of some of the most popular images from the Pulitzer Prize portfolio printed by Komenich himself in addition to the first-edition book. Each is archivally processed and printed on 8x10 photographic paper in the darkroom from the orignal negatives.

 Additional information on how he got his book published are available at http://revolutionrevisited.com plus details about the upcoming Revolution Revisited documentary film.

 Only 1,000 copies of the hardcover first edition of Revolution Revisited are being printed. The book is to be released in time for the celebration of the 30th anniversary celebration of the historic event.

 The 120-page book measures 11.5x12.5 inches and is being printed on 120 GSM Storo Enso by Oceanic Graphic International of China, one of the world’s top photo book printers, selected by Komenich “to make sure the duotone black-and-white images are of the highest quality.”