Newbie photographer pays tribute to influences through solo exihibit

by Jihan Alisangco, ANC

Posted at Jun 28 2011 12:08 PM | Updated as of Jun 28 2011 11:41 PM

Hanging on the walls of Pablo Gallery are photos of some of Paolo Ruiz's inspirations and influences. Photo by Julius Sebastian

MANILA, Philippines - Paolo Ruiz may seem as just some happy-go-lucky guy. Who wouldn't think so, when you'd often see him roam the urban streets with his black backpack, skinny jeans and his iPod plugged to his ears?

But beneath the "packaging" lies an artist in Ruiz.

Twenty-four-year-old Ruiz is a musician and photographer. A bass player in his band, The Royal, Ruiz shares his passion for music through his gigs in and out of the metro. Ruiz said music runs through his veins like blood, but his other passion, photography is the air that he breathes.


Musician and photographer Paolo Ruiz at the opening of his solo exhibit. Photo by Julius Sebastian


Instead of joining the new breed of journalists in the country, the mass communications graduate opted to pursue his dream of becoming a photographer.

It wasn't an easy path for him though. Ruiz first worked as a web designer for a design firm in Ortigas and eventually got bitten by the shutterbug when he bought his first camera. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Ruiz may be young, but his focus and determination to join the cream of the crop in the world of photography someday soon helps him reach his goal, slowly but surely.

From being a web designer, Ruiz was tapped by some major magazines to be one of their resident photographers. He is also making a name in his circle as a portraitist.


Tattoo artist and musician Sarah Gaugler. Photo by Paolo Ruiz


Through his first exhibit, Defy and Justify, the young artist shows his talent, featuring some personalities who helped him realize his dream.

Ruiz said what's shown at the Pablo Gallery in Cubao X are the portraits of those who influenced him to become a photographer such as musician Eric Perlas, Kamikazee vocalist Jay Contreras, painter Garon Honasan, and Mon Punzalan and Jowee Alviar of Team Manila.

And since he believes in the saying "Pay It Forward", Ruiz hopes that through his exhibit, he will also inspire others to pursue their passion whatever it may be.

Paolo Ruiz's "Defy and Justify" exhibit runs until June 30 at Pablo Gallery in Cubao X, Araneta Center, Quezon City.

Check out,, and for more of Paolo Ruiz's works.