TACLOBAN CITY- A group of photography enthusiasts made a school hopping in the towns of Jipapad and Arteche, two of the most remote municipalities in Eastern Samar, with a mission to take photos of graduating elementary students.
And this activity being conducted by the Borongan Digital Photography Forum (BDPF), a group of professional and hobbyists photographers mostly based in Borongan City, expectedly brought smiles to the young graduates.
One of them was Vienna Antoniette Orque from the Arteche Central School (ACS), Arteche town.
The 12-year old graduating Grade VI student said that as far as she knew, it was the first time that graduating students from their school got the chance to have a graduation photo.
For this year, ACS has more than 100 graduates.
“(We) will treasure this moment. This will serve as our souvenir that we can keep until we get old,” she said, as she expressed her gratitude to the BDPF for their effort in coming to their school to take a class graduation picture.
She and the other graduating pupils are to march next month for their graduation rites.
It was learned from Miguel Veloso, one of the administrators of the BDPF, that it was the first time that their group have conducted this kind of activity, using their own money and resources.
For this year, they gave free graduation photos to five elementary schools in Arteche and four in Jipapad town, benefiting more than 360 pupils in total.
Aside from ACS, the group visited the elementary schools of Buenavista Elementary School, Carapdapan Elementary School, Tangbo Elementary School, and Catumsan Elementary School with combined 251 number of Grade VI graduating students.
In the town of Jipapad, the group went to the Casapa Elementary School, Jipapad Central School, Roxas Elementary School and Jiwaran Elementary School with combined 110 graduating students.
Veloso said that their group, formed in 2012 with 15 active members, came up with the program to provide a long-lasting souvenirs to these graduating elementary pupils, considering that they live in remote villages and have no access for this kind of picture-taking and the additional cost this would entail for the families of these students.
“We have the equipment and the talent so why not share these, especially those residing in the under served villages which does not have this kind of access,” he said.
Alren Beronio, another administrator of the group, said that they don’t mind travelling, in some cases using a pump boat just to reach their targeted schools, just to accomplish their mission.
“I am happy to see the smiles from these pupils. This is my simple way of sharing my talent to these children,” he added.
The group vowed to continue this kind of undertaking.