CEBU, Philippines—Cyclists in Cebu City should know Mischelle Mae Jumalon by now.
Jumalon is the woman behind the “Tita Shots” on Facebook.
Yup, Jumalon is a ‘mamitikay,’ or a street photographer, who regularly takes pictures of cyclists around Cebu’s bike routes.
So what drove this 35-year-old woman to join the “pitik” craze in Cebu?
It was her need to feel active after her appendectomy—a surgery to remove the appendix when it is infected.
What not many know is that Jumalon is actually an ultramarathoner.
“Right after finishing my 42-kilometer 7/11 Run Series run last November 2021, I was admitted to a hospital because of stomach ache. I suspected na it was an appendicitis case so I had my operation last November 15. Then, I was advised that I couldn’t do strenuous activities (run or bike) for three to six months. But I registered in advance for the Cebu Marathon 2022 and I desperately needed to train because I needed to finish a 42K run in a single run in January 2022,” she said.
But she eventually wasn’t able to do that because of the operation.
“Rather than being disappointed or depressed, I asked my papa to give back the camera that I gave him. 🤣 And I bought a new lens and that started my ‘pitik’ journey,” Jumalon told CDN Digital.
Jumalon said her father was photographer and worked on various events like weddings, graduation, house blessings and company events as a side hustle to raise his four children.
Jumalon shared she had no interest in photography at first, but what seemed like a pause in her sports life opened an opportunity for something new.
“I think I am slowly realizing the legacy of my papa as [a photographer] without me even knowing. I just feel like I have created something valuable and I feel the same happiness through the pictures of those I take pictures of,” she said.
She started uploading photos on her page last November 2021. In just 14 days, she already gained a thousand followers on Facebook and the number continues to grow.
Jumalon’s favorite spot for taking pictures is an area in Barangay Busay that is shortly after the famous Chateau de Busay. Ironically, her favorite spot comes after one of the toughest climbs in that particular bike route which cyclists dread.
As for her Facebook page, Jumalon said it was coined after “tita” or aunt, and shots, as a reference to the photos she takes.
When asked what she thinks about female photographers joining the “pitik” craze, Jumalon said the love for photography knows no gender.
She said male photographers are actually very helpful on the field in terms of sharing knowledge and techniques in photography.
“Personally, I learn things mostly by doing it and I don’t limit myself to learning things alone. I would always need people and I don’t mind if it’s a man or a woman as long as I can learn something from them and and preferably those who are established in the same interest,” she said.