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Exposures People Photography

Environmental Portraits: Mang Ramon of Rita’s Inn

I met Mang Ramon, the owner of Rita’s Inn in Batad, Ifugao while he was grinding a few betel nuts to chew in a corner by the dining area. His humble and heavily bearded appearance was deceiving as one would just ignore him as one of the elders until he speaks. His English was fluent and had stories as many as the lines in his face. Before I left Rita’s Inn, probably the oldest inn in Batad, he wanted me to see his Ifugao House which he inherited from his father. It was probably more than a century old. Inside the elaborate Ifugao House are his collections of antiques.

Mang Ramon
Mang Ramon (Olympus E-PL2, Lumix 20mm, f1.7, 1/25, ISO 1600, WB Auto)

I met Mang Ramon, the owner of Rita’s Inn in Batad, Ifugao while he was grinding a few betel nuts to chew in a corner by the dining area. His humble and heavily bearded appearance was deceiving as one would just ignore him as one of the elders until he speaks. His English was fluent and had stories as many as the lines in his face. Before I left Rita’s Inn, probably the oldest inn in Batad, he wanted me to see his Ifugao House which he inherited from his father. It was probably more than a century old. Inside the elaborate Ifugao House are his collections of antiques.

What’s more interesting at that moment was the lighting on his figure. The lighting was dim and Mang Ramon would usually sway from his position. I pushed the ISO of the Olympus PEN E-PL2 to 1600 and shot wide open at f1.7. It took several attempts until I asked him to stay still for a second and got a really sharp one. I liked this portrait as it captures the context of the subject perfectly.

By Ferdz

Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

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