Manny Librodo photography: a landscape of emotions

Many of award-winning photographer Manny Librodo’s students told him they wanted to be like him.

His response? “Be your own photographer. Find your own style. People will always remember you. Work with a lot of passion.”

Manny Librodo, a native of Lambunao, Iloilo used to be a nobody in the photography world but he was already looking at beautiful photographs in airline magazines, wishing that he, too can become a good photographer.

Rosalinda by Manny Librodo

Armed with passion and a point and shoot camera, he took photos of Bangkok (where he resides now) and his European travels and posted them online. These photos have gone viral without his knowledge and before he knew it, he is already famous.

“I posted on and waited daily for comments from viewers. I received feedback including suggestions to join competitions. There was even a time when my photo would earn about one million views in a day. Without the internet, I won’t be where I am now,” he told bloggers covering his exhibit “Landscape of Emotions” which runs from July 16 to August 17, 2016 at Casa Real, Iloilo Provincial Capitol and presented by Viva Excon 2016 (Visayan Island Visual Artists Exhibition and Conference 2016)

Librodo is known for his colorful photographs, but ironically it was “Rosalinda”, a black and white image of Rosalinda Bernales, a cigarette vendor in Iloilo, that catapulted him to fame. The photo was used in a poster for International Music Festival in Poland and several online magazines.

Librodo also used his students as his subjects. “I started shooting my students in the classroom. My only source of light was light coming through the windows. I asked my students to bring props (i.e. veil). In the absence of props, I asked them to close one eye, etc,” he narrated.

“From these limitations, I learned to make do with what’s available to me. What’s important is to ‘shoot with your heart’,” he said.

Even if he is a self-taught photographer, Librodo received queries from people who want to learn from him. “Some people contacted me and said they wanted to learn from me. I answered them, ‘What will I teach you?’”

That was the beginning of his workshops that brought him to more places and yes, more photographs and more awards. “I did the workshops during weekends and money was really good. I did it for six years until I said I’ll stop teaching and focus on the workshops,” he said.

Now, he is a full time photographer who conducts workshops around the Philippines and abroad.

Manny Librodo during his exhibit Landscape of Emotions

Ilonggo Roots
Librodo is based in Bangkok, Thailand but he has not forgotten ‘home’. When typhoon Yolanda struck and destroyed fishermen’s boats, he held an exhibit to help raise funds for the typhoon’s survivors. “We were able to buy boats from the proceeds of the exhibit,” he said.

Landscape of Emotions
He also wanted to reach out to more Ilonggos, so he conducted an open shoot competition for budding and veteran photographers last July 28, 2016 in cooperation with Viva Excon 2016. There were about 30 photographers who joined in this collaboration with Iloilo’s best designers, models, makeup artists and stylists.

The winners were Alex Saclauso, Jennifer Aimel Franciso Alayon and Cheng Tabarnes whose works were displayed for a week at the “Landscape of Emotions” exhibit.

The images, including that of Librodo’s which are rich in colors and emotions, were reproduced in huge prints, thanks to Outdoormaster Iloilo.

Those who wish to view the exhibit can do so from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm./Kathy Villalon

Manny Libres Librodo with Outdoormaster Iloilo’s Rolando Dabao and Dr. Mary Lou Arcelo

Manny Libres Librodo with Rock Drilon, Dr. Mary Lou Arcelo and PG Zoluaga

For press releases and event coverage, you may contact this writer through Iloilo Updates


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