CELLULAR phones with high megapixel cameras bring convenience to most individuals, but it is different for a man who has been taking photos for 55 years.
Sinforiano Pongase, 77, admitted that with the advent of new technology, being a photographer is a challenge.
Pongase started taking photographs in 1962.
In his house in Barangay Boctol, Balilihan, Bohol, an old cardboard with his name, address and the word “photographer” in bold letters hangs above their door. He’s living with his wife, Abondia, 75.
“There were a lot of photographers during my time, but I outlasted them all,” he said in Cebuano.
Pongase is the sixth generation descendant of Serafin Pongase, the first mayor of Balilihan.
The veteran is the only photographer in their family.
In the early years of his career, Pongase was popular in their area because he can edit photos.
“I used my retouching mirror to remove pimples in the photo. Now, it is different because a computer or cellphone can be used to edit a picture,” he said.
Every school graduation, Pongase had to take photos before the ceremony so he can leave, print and distribute these before the event ends.
With his perseverance and hard work, he was able to send his four children to college.
In 2013, Pongase noticed, however, that he was no longer being invited to school graduations.
With this, Pongase asked Diosdado, his son who is a seaman, to buy him a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera.
Pongase, though, found one in Tagbilaran City and bought it for P32,000 last February 2016.
Pongase owned eight cameras, but had to buy a new one so he can follow the trend and attract more clients.
Now, he said he has slowly regained his customers.
On April 10, the veteran photographer will attend a school graduation in the neighboring barangay.
Pongase then vowed to continue taking photos whether using a film or a digital camera.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 21, 2017.
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