JES MERCADO ABELLA
Jestir Jan Mercado Abella, born in 1994, is a fine arts photographer and a self-portrait artist based in Pangasinan, Philippines.
He fell in love with photography before he graduated from college. As a shy and socially-anxious person, he was scared of meeting people; and thus, started taking photos of himself. He realized he can be whoever he wanted to be in his photography, and surprised himself of what he could create. He further developed this skill to film making and editing.
One of his most vivid memories, he says, is, when at the age of five his dreams were stolen from him.
“We were in a circle when my teacher asked me what I wanted to become when I grow old. I said “a magician”. She didn’t like my answer and asked me to change it because she believed I could not be or I should not be a magician. So I randomly said “salesman”, specifically nagtitindangdamit (selling clothes).
“I realized later that my dreams were actually stolen at that time. I grew up not knowing what my dreams were. I was forced to become someone I am not. And, therefore, I stopped dreaming.
“But my passion for art brought back my childhood. I could hold a crayon and draw and dream whatever I want, not minding about what others think.”
Today, Jes lives his dreams in his photography, art and story-telling -- things he is passionate about.