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Borongan lensmen provide free portraits to graduating students in E. Samar

free portraits for graduating students

TACLOBAN CITY — A group of photographers in Borongan City resumed their mission of giving free portraits to graduating elementary and secondary students in various remote schools in Eastern Samar province.

Giving these students their graduation photos is not only gratifying but also serves as an inspiration to students for their hard work, said the Borongan Digital Photography Forum (BDPF).

The group, composed of amateur and professional photographers based in Borongan City and Manila, has been conducting the program they called “Project Dagway” since 2020.

“Dagway” is a Waray term that means image, reflection, and light.

These photographers work with the provincial office of the Department of Education as their partner which helps them identify remote schools as their target schools.

Due to COVID-19, the group was not able to continue their mission for the past two years.

On March 31, the group restarted their mission with 68 graduating students from elementary schools located in the villages of Cabay, Balogo, Julag, and Caisawan, all in Balangkayan town.

“Graduation portraits are more than just a picture. They represent a significant achievement in a student’s life and serve as a reminder of their hard work and dedication,” Alren Beronio, a member of the group, said on Wednesday (April 5).

“For students in poor and remote communities, graduation portraits may be out of reach due to financial constraints or lack of access to photography services,” he added.

“Project Dagway provides these students with an opportunity to have a tangible memory of their academic achievement, which can boost their self-esteem and motivation to continue their education.”

Teacher Anna Marasigan of Cabay Elementary School expressed her gratitude to the group, saying the portraits received by the students will serve not just as a souvenir for finishing their elementary studies but also as a form of inspiration.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors of Project Dagway for their most appreciated photoshoot. This event will be cherished by the students because it’s a rare opportunity in their elementary life,” she said.

Student Zelrina Alota echoed the same sentiments.

“I would like to thank Project Dagway for this opportunity. It gives us the opportunity to be successful people someday,” she said.

The group uses a classroom as a studio by installing lights and strobes for better results.

The students, who also get free makeup from the group.

For this year, the group targeted around 1,000 graduating students for elementary and secondary schools coming from the towns of Balangkayan, Dolores, Guiuan, and Salcedo. In 2020, they were able to take graduation photos of 800 students.

The group’s administrator, Miguel Veloso, said they will continue their mission of using their “lens” and serve as inspiration to the students to do good in the future.


Eastern Samar students pose for first graduation photos

TAGS: Borongan, Eastern Samar, photographer
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