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Photogs protest restrictions on shooting Rizal monument

/ 12:37 PM November 11, 2011

Photographers raise their cameras in front of Dr. Jose Rizal Monument in Manila Friday to protest a “no-photo shooting” policy in front of the monument. NINO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines—Some 100 amateur and professional photographers staged  a “photo-walk” Friday morning to dramatize their protest of what they alleged was discrimination against Filipinos taking pictures of the Rizal monument at Manila’s Rizal Park or Luneta.

The newly formed group  Bawal Mag-Shoot Dito (BMSD) is an organization of camera enthusiasts who found a common pet-peeve: overzealous security guards preventing them from taking pictures of the Rizal monument.

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Bernard Mejias, a spokesman for the group who has been into professional photography for 20 years, told the Inquirer that the BMSD only seeks to ask why local photographers are banned from shooting the Rizal monument while foreigners are not.

“Isn’t that a double standard?” he pointed out, adding that it was ridiculous that he  and other photographers who pay taxes cannot shoot at a public place.

Marching to the Rizal monument at 11 am, the group unfurled streamers and broke through the cordons set up around the monument and ignored security guards trying to block their path.

When the chief of security tried to snatch away their streamer, the photographers fended him off and asked him instead in chorus, “Bakit bawal?” (Why is it prohibited?)

The question visibly left a blank look on the security man who simply responded, “It just is so.”

After taking pictures at the Rizal monument, the group proceeded to Intramuros to continue their photo walk.

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TAGS: Jose Rizal, Monuments, Parks, Photography, Rizal Park, Tourism
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