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A tragedy of life, sadness and consequences based on the novel


The war is far from over. It has only just begun.

DONEC VITAE TELLUS In the darkest hours, we are told a tale set in the Philippines’ past. A story of a young girl named Clara whose life mirrors that of a melancholic past. Her tragedy in the novel lives on until today, with themes such as manipulation, tyranny, poverty, discrimination and more. This photo essay hopes to shed light into all of us, no matter the cost.


INNOCENCE INNOCENCE. Children from Pandancan, Manila approached us and welcomed us with their warm smiles. They study in a public school not knowing what will happen to their lives next. They just know that they have each other to count on with the idea that life will be better. None of them are still aware though of the true hardships that we encounter in our day to day lives here in the Philippines.

OPPORTUNITY Opporunity. Every Saturday, students visit them from De La Salle University who conduct tutorial seminars for the kids. Giving them supplementary knowledge on basic concepts like Mathematics, English and Science, that helps them become more competent outside the walls of their own community.

PURPOSE Purpose. Knowingly, these kids understand that education is the key to a bright future. Certificates for them aren’t just paper; it’s a sign that their life is actually a continuous process, not dictated by the tricks of the trade nor by the people surrounding them. They are moved by their own will where they choose the future to be controlled by their own free will.

EQUALITY Equality. These kids actually don’t know what’s happening really. They follow orders from their parents and those older than them. But what’s funny is that as young as they are now, they know what equality means. It goes that we need to have the same basic needs met and they know that they will fight for it just so they can get it.

LEISURE Leisure. These kids also experience problems. They suffer from injustice everyday. But what keeps them moving on is the idea that there will always be something that will make them smile. They enjoy hearing music from people strumming the guitar, to someone who sings the most popular song in the block. Simple acts to make all of these kids smile are well worth it.

IDENTIFY Identify. But these kids aren’t just fighting for equal rights and basic needs, they’re also fighting for their own identity. Just like the novel, the people who are suffering lack that sense of who they are. Everyday we ask ourselves, just like these kids, who we are. At the end of the day, our identity gives us purpose and strength.

SIMPLE Simple. These kids live a simple life. They never wanted a lavish lifestyle like Virgilio. They just want to live day by day, not having to suffer from famish. It’s a simple act of having food on the table that makes them happy rather than nothing at all. With these kinds of things, they continue to become better people who appreciate the everyday things in life.

REALITY Reality. What is saddening is that these kids are blinded by the idea of fame, wealth and social status. They see the reality is much happier than what they have. They question their being and their situation making them feel even worse about themselves and how society has been so unfair to them since there are so many people who do not experience what they feel every day.

DIFFICULTY Difficulty. But what is most difficult is that we, the people who can help them, cannot think of ways to help them. Sometimes we even make fun of these kids. We always say that these are the leaders of tomorrow, but how many times have we neglected a begging street child or a hungry boy asking for your leftovers from the restaurant? We see so many injustices that unknowingly, it is us who cause it.

UNDERSTAND Understand. These children crave for understanding, so that people would know what they are experiencing. Just like Rony Diaz, he wants us to understand that Virgilio has a good reason for committing suicide. These kids also have good reasons to act the way they do, because society forgets to educate them properly on how important is their role today. If more and more kids continue to suffer, where is that bright future we speak of?

ACCEPTANCE Acceptance. This is where we value those simple smiles of these beautiful children. They offer us happiness beyond compare because they are delighted by the simplest and most basic things out there. We are enlightened by the fact that there are people still left in this world that appreciates the littlest of things. Just like At War’s End, it is only by accepting the reality and the truth can we actually move on and fix the things wrong not just within us, but in the very system that we belong to.


At War's End | Final Project

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