Lansad 7: A photo essay-A A +A
Saturday, September 28, 2013
CAGAYAN de Oro is one of the growing urban cities in the country, and it is Northern Mindanao’s economic hub.
Investments are growing as visibly seen by ubiquitous malls, hotels, realty businesses and other business ventures.
The DC89A class of Froilan Gallardo at Xavier University’s Development Communication department held a photo exhibit “Lansad 7, a photo essay” at the Activity Center of Centrio Mall from September 25 to 28. DC89 is a photojournalism course.
Gallardo, Mindanao’s premier photojournalist and reporter, challenged his students both majoring development and education communication to capture the lives of people left behind in the region’s economic development.
As a teacher, Gallardo believes that it is his task to open the eyes of his students to the realities behind economic boom and the stories they tell. “I teach photojournalism and it is my role to guide them. I gave them ideas and from there they began their work,” Gallardo said.
With great pride, Gallardo saw how his students evolved from the scratch as they started with the project to coming out with the exhibit. He said the students did 90 percent of the work, and he just constantly guided, advised and critiqued their work until everything fell into pieces.
Lansad 7 featured six stories from the sectors left behind amid the economic boom of the city.
A group of students worked on the lives of the jailbirds at Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail. They called it “Rehas” where the students saw that majority of the inmates are poor who couldn’t post bail while waiting for the Courts to resolve their cases.
Another group looked into the plight of the quarry workers. They titled this photo essay “Balas”(sand). It is about a group of men who earns a living by scraping sand at the bottom of Cagayan de Oro river. Local construction companies buy the sand for construction of buildings and houses in the city. Many of the divers’ families live with them yet mindful of the dangers of the flood. The students saw them bathe and launder at the river.
One group also went to Laguindingan town where the new airport has been moved. The students saw how the airport’s coming to the once sleepy town changed its social landscape. They said the silence in the farm has been broken by the shriek of the engines as the planes come and go and how the children spend the late afternoons staring wide-eyed at the flying machines.
Lately, this paper has been covering the plight of the small fishermen in the city.
One of the issues tackled in the photo exhibit is the life of Eddie, a small fisherman from Opol town in Misamis Oriental. The students found out the resources within the waters where he used to fish have been dwindling forcing Eddie and his colleagues to go farther from the municipal waters. The students said when Eddie’s catch is not enough, he works at construction sites. This photo essay has been titled “Kuya Eddie.”
Another group also ventured at the J.R. Borja Memorial Hospital in the city. The students titled it “Balay tambalanan.” The hospital caters to the poorest in the city with their old medical equipment. The years of neglect in improving the city’s hospital brought its dilapidated condition. Recently, the new city administration has started its rehabilitation.
The sixth story revolved around the livelihood of people outside the San Augustine Cathedral church. The vendors have been a fixture in the city’s social landscape. Many of them have been living and selling outside the church for years.
For Lynyrd Aleksei Corrales, one of the DC89A students, he is honored that people have seen and acknowledged their photos.
Gallardo said that the project has bonded the class from just being plain classmates to becoming friends. “They used to be aloof and now that has just totally changed. I saw how excited they were as the project slowly progressed until they finally completed it,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 29, 2013.