Paalam Tita Cory…

I received a text message from a friend asking if I could cover Tita Cory’s last wake in Manila Cathedral. I immediately replied and said, “Sure!”. It has a TF by the way but I didn’t think about it that much. I am honored to be part of the team that will cover the entire event.

Call time was 9pm. I left home around 8. I arrived 15 minutes earlier. I can already see lot’s of people flocking on the streets. Lining up. Patiently waiting for their turn to catch a glimpse of Tita Cory.

Since I know the place, I was able to find a parking space. Then I’m off with my gear. It was pretty far from the church so I had to bring all my stuff. (which is pretty heavy). I decided to have dinner first before proceeding at the cathedral. Besides, my contact who have my pass has not arrived on the venue yet.

After dinner on one of the carinderias. I walks a few kms then stopped at the perimeter where lots of policemen are stationed. Still, my contact has not yet arrived so I take a few shots around the area.

Suddenly, it rained. It poured hard and almost (well not almost) washed my gear. I was fortunate enough to bring my umbrella and my bag having some kind of a rain protection.

Around 10:30. I was notified that my contact has arrived and asked me to meet at the left side of the church. I stormed the rain and hurriedly went to the meeting place only to find out that lots of people are blocking the gates and it seems that they are protesting to get in. With all the ruckus and chaos, I was able to get in as my contact handed out the media pass. whoo! thank God I’m in.

I was introduced to the team and was briefed on what to do and what not to do. Inside the church there is a perimeter in which we are not allowed to cross. We are not allowed to use flash and as much as possible we should be invinsible. In other words our shooting style should be in “Paparazzi mode” (good thing I have brought my zoom lens).

After briefing, I went inside to scout the area. Checked in possible places to where to shoot. And look for celebrities that we need to shoot. Then, I started to take few shots. Honestly, I don’t know the names of some who I am shooting at. They may be political figures, may be artist but what’s important is to have their shots taken.

It went for at least five hours. I recognized lots of political figures and famous artists like Dindong Dantes and Marian Rivera. Gov. Vilma Santos was there along with her husband and son. I remember seeing Aiai delas Alas, Boy Abunda, Sitti, Angelica Jones. ABS-CBN news anchors like Karen Davila, Bernadette Sembrano, Gretchen Fulido and many more. Of course, the immediate family members were present as well.

Around 3:00, We overheard from a media relations person that the president will arrive at the cathedral around 4. They will be securing the perimeter and will stop the public viewing temporarily. News stations are already stationed and they have assigned photographers to take still shots.

I was informed that I can go home I wanted to but I insisted that I will stay to see the president and is possible take a still shot of her.

She came around 4 and stayed for at least 10 minutes on the venue. I wasn’t able to take shots since she was covered by media men and with all those cameras. Security guards were around her and there’s no chance that I could take a good shot. I tried though but failed.

After the president’s visit, I’ve decided to go home. It was still raining but I am already tired and I feel sleepy. But come to think of it. It was nothing compared to all those people who stayed in line ignoring the heat and heavy rain. I’ve seen people in different walks of life. I’ve seen managers, beggars, pregnant woman, employees, children, disabled. All of them showed and paid their final respects to the woman who has and will always be, the Mother of Philippine Republic.

Paalam Tita Cory… you will always be in our hearts.

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~ by Administrator on August 6, 2009.

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