This was a special day and to your disappointment it’s not my wedding. It’s for a long time used-to-be activist friend in Kidapawan City, Leny who was tying the knot to Oggie. But the afternoon nuptial turned out to be a reunion of sort to known “tibaks” (as we were fondly called) of our progressive days back in college. Yes, I was relatively active in my younger years. I just thought that in an institution like the academe where heavy traffic of idiosyncrasies and idealism happened, being passive was to be ignorant and barbarian. On the other hand, there was no such thing as being neutral, one should took a side.
In retrospect, I never regretted being one. These were the finest days of my life. It satisfied my mind and soul (if there is such a thing as soul). It taught me not just to be human but also to be humane. Living the phrase and not just donning t-shirts with slogan “Serve The People”. It was a great privilege raising consciousness to students on their basic rights. Making them realize that they add up to the ever growing tide that could make the illusive and very turbulent societal change possible. There were times when we stormed the streets for rallies, made classroom-to-classroom campaigns (we even extended it out to boardinghouse-to-boardinghouse), gave educational lectures and situationers to students of different schools, integrated to the oppressed and underrated masses.
One unforgettable event was during the surge of Estrada’s campaign to annihilate the Moro rebels; and made Kabacan town as the launching pad for mortar bombs. We helped gather the religious, together with the Catholic Church; Protestant churches; and Islamic faithfuls of the locality, conducted peace rally to send a message to the already then troubled Erap Administration that there was a resistance and disgust from the people of Kabacan so as to stop the All-out-war offensive. (FYI, war is not the answer as long as poverty still rampant). In the middle of the rally the thundering sounds of mortars heard as if the military were saying they're unstoppable. (to date, it was more than 8 years since then; the rebels’ strife with the government is still on-going)
Leny also lived and breathed on those scenes with one arm raised in clinched fist. Aptly her wedding was set on Independence Day (Araw ng Kalayaan). It’s just fitting for the occasion the Joey Ayala greatest love song ever written “Walang Hanggang Paalam” (unending farewell) as it openned with the lines “di ‘bat tayo’y narito upang maging Malaya, at upang palayain ang iba” (isn’t it that we are here to be free and let also others be free).
This was also my first time to shoot a wedding event. I made many bumps along the way. It was literally bumps and it was a major disaster. Imagine this, when the brides turn to walk the aisle, because I’m so into capturing every scene I stumbled upon a decorated stand on the aisle. OMG! I ruined the moment. But I went on pretending everything’s all right. If it was filmed I could have made it to the Bitoy’s funniest video wedding bloopers edition.
It made me realized on things to consider during a wedding shoot:
1. Have a powerful flash because churches as a venue have usually with limited lighting fixtures;
2. Bring tripod so as not to exhaust yourself from long group shoots after the ceremony;
3. Longer lenses will help on taking focused shots without getting near the subject;
4. Optimize camera setting to suit the venue condition; and
5. Look for strategic locations before the wedding rites to get great angle of the event.
P.S.: I overheard the church ceremony coordinator lamenting on the bride’s bouquet (one above) that it was poorly done. But I thought it was beautiful, knowing that it was a labor of love from the bride and groom’s resourceful friends.