The City of Biñan, Laguna

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I was really looking forward to a very great day of photowalks again with my peers from the D60KREW. The plan was to go somewhere remote but barely near Metro Manila and find places and faces under this li'l old country of ours that we haven't visited yet. We have walked quite a number of places in the South but we never got to see the city of Biñan, Laguna. We always passed by the highway and had never seen it this close. I immediately signed up when the opportunity knocked. Like every walk we had, I was in for a treat!Ms. Bambit Gaerlan contacted people from the city hall to have our permit secured. I was thinking it was only to get us to shoot places where we needed to but lo and behold even our security detail was arranged. I said to myself "Hey! the people are really nice here to even bother and do that!". To say the least I was really impressed about the reception. Once we got down from the decades old PNR Train from Manila, they immediately escorted us to the place we initially decided to start off which is the McDonalds branch along the highway.
First salvo of Group hug @McDO with the D60KREW Photo courtesy of Ms. Bambit Gaerlan (not in photo since she is the one shooting!)

We met with Ms. Roseann Gonzales the Administrative Aide of Mayor Marlyn "Len" B. Alonte-Naguiat and exchanged pleasantries. I was impressed at the way they welcomed us into their town. They extended this much attention to us and had us secured while shooting (hence no worrying about our gears). I never expected it was going to be that grand but hey, I guess people from this place was better receiving people. It's a great trait of Filipinos but we seldom see that anymore even in Manila. I felt really special and it was probably the same with my peers.
That's Ms. Roseann Gonzales (on the left) and the specially happy guy Michael Olino (far right) on the beginning of the walk. This was around 10:00pm if I'm not mistaken.

We lined up initially to get dinner at Mc Donald's since that was in the itinerary. The store manager had us wait on our seats and just got our orders, little did we know it was already paid for by Ms. Roseann Gonzales. That was a big surprise to all of us, I mean... talk about royal treatment huh?! We talked about it a little and decided to do a small payback, we'll let them use some of the images we produce on this walk. They'll probably have all their brochures and posters up soon with them. I'm really glad about the courtesy extended to us just by merely going through documents and a permit, we have the Mayor and her good people to thank for that.
Off we went to the streets of Biñan. It was a little different than when I last saw it (since my Uncle owns a local luxury auto shop I frequently went to in the past though I never got out to town that much) but I guess it was also because we are doing this photo walk in the wee hours of the evening and the morning after. The subjects were old houses, old mansions since Rizal's time and the small quaint homages to the local hero. I also think part of the charm of Biñan is its people. You can't imagine how endearing it was to talk with the locals. They are all friendly; actually I was cringing a little because of the fact that they were friendlier than me. It was like a second breeze to what little things I know about the place. It was nice all in all.
I tested out what I knew in long exposures. It was a must in this photo walk since we didn't have that much light. The wee hours of the morning drew near and there were only a couple of vehicles to shoot at. I had a few shots but I won't be posting them yet (they are still in post processing). The great people of the City hall patiently waited for us to finish our shots.

Municipal Special Action Group (MSAG), led by Mr. Bobby Veracruz (5th from right) and his team Dennis Tanael, Lando Parot, Ariel Almazora, Bhos Reyes (4th from right), Reynaldo Ambas, Roy Ringon, Dodgie Disonglo and Joewel Morales.
Photos courtesy of Ms. Bambit Gaerlan

I guess you are all wondering why I'm not posting any of the great shots from the walk right? I think I already did capture the best ones here. I learned something more special than the sights and places that Biñan, Laguna has... it was it's people. You can put a person in the nicest mansions or greatest creations of God but if you put a man on a simple location and had the traits like of those we met, it's amazing! I felt the greatest treasure that they have in this city was not the Puto Binan(which comes a close second!), or the landmarks, or historical figures, it was them... THE PEOPLE... and I'm sure the Mayor and the people behind the success of our walk knows it.

For everything that you have done for us in Biñan, Laguna... Thank you so much from all of us at D60KREW!



Anonymous said...

I'm deeply honored by the kindest words you extended the people from the city hall of Biñan. It brushes not just to them but the entire populace. Our young city though small, in terms of land area the people are nice, warm and accomodating. They step-out of their way to help in any way they can. If only we can show you our working relationships with international and local NGO's, it corroborates what you just expressed over this page. Personally, I thank you for the words of inspiration. It helps and inspires us to work harder for the betterment of our dear stakeholders, the Biñanenses.

John Bueno said...

The honor is mine... and the same with the D60KREW...

We never expected what we experienced, we were overwhelmed to say the least...

Thank you so much again for the hospitality... It's one of the few places that I've been to where people are still nice, and yes we will be back in Binan soon. =)