We have waited all five years for the Fight of the Century to unfold. And when the big day came, I was busy walking around the streets of Lobo, in Batangas.
I have decided to skip the Pacman-Mayweather bout in exchange for a photowalk around this modest little town — and I think I’ve made the right move. ‘Cause as it turned out, it’s more fun having an eyeful of Lobo than waste time on the pay-per-snooze match. There’s more engaging sights I can find here than the number of times both fighters engaged themselves.
For instance the old houses; the animated Batangueños; a guitar — not the musical instrument; the pebbled beaches; and a hut in the middle of the street. No I don’t even need to mention the beaches here.
Lobo is the down under borough of Batangas. Sandwiched by the mountains, and confined by the Tayabas bay in the south. We made it to the Poblacion from Batangas City via 1-hour trip on a screamin’ jeepney through the twists and turns of Taysan-Lobo Road.
Crazy zigzag ride.
I got off to a festive sway of banderitas hovering above me. “It’s the feast of St. Michael Archangel. May 8, Friday. We’ll have fluvial procession..” An old lady’s welcome remarks. Did I beat Google Streetview here.
Lobo — being a quintessential Filipino town — is perfect for street photography: the public market is where the town plaza is, where the municipio is, where the town cathedral is and so on. All its hustle and bustles are gathered together in one belt so you can switch from one scenery to another, in just a single bounce.
Eyes glued on the tube. The Pacman era brought back the communal live-TV viewing. Here in Lobo Public Gym, I stumbled upon this ‘calm before the storm.’
“Gitara” — a wooden bar which serves as an added seat for an overloaded jeepney.
It seems the more I look around, the more attention I draw. The more unsettled I become. But that’s just all there is to be anxious about. People can gaze at what you do all day long but — do they really mind?
Street photography is not a whole new ballgame for the Batangueño I am sure. It’s just that for a coastal town like Lobo, they take it visitors will shoot on the beach, and not on the streets.
Beach is for beers, see.