The COVID-19 pandemic has hit so many people’s lives and livelihood. With strict community quarantine protocols in place in the country, canceled plans have become a painful reality that came with the new normal.
One of the badly hit businesses due to the ban on mass gatherings is the events industry. Weddings and birthday parties were cancelled and suppliers have closed shop temporarily to cushion the blow. (Read: How This Couple Beat ‘Wedding Mishaps’ Amid Taal, COVID-19 Disasters)
And while some regions in the country have already eased quarantine restrictions and are now allowing intimate gatherings, the events industry—especially small-scale events businesses—can still barely recover from the losses brought about by the pandemic.
My Pope Philippines talks with events photographer Rovic Jerome Tapawan, whose events photography business has seen better days, on how he dealt with the quarantine aftermath and how he powers through despite it all.
How long have you been in events photography?
I’ve been taking photos for a long time now, but for the events industry, I’m relatively new—one and a half year.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
Very. Even now, with less restrictions, it’s still not normal. Our clients have dwindled in numbers because most of them have moved or rescheduled their events. Many of them have not yet decided whether they will push through or not because things are not looking up any time soon. Some of them are still deciding on the date so we cannot move unless they approve it.
What did you do to supplement the loss?
Just like most people today, online businesses have become my saving grace. It is in demand now, so instead of shooting for events, we do product shoots online sellers. I also started my own online business—I opened a coffee brewing business and a clothing line. (Read: A Millennial’s Tip on How to Start an Online Business Amid Pandemic)
What’s your advice to others in events business who are struggling?
Just hang in there. Everything will go back to normal. Hindi man ngayon, pero magiging okay din ang lahat. For now, we just have to look for other ways to supplement the loss. Plus, let’s be thankful to those clients who are still pushing through with their events, despite it being small. Let’s give it our best shot. (Read: Laid-Off Chefs Team up to Start Online Food Business Amid Pandemic)
What’s your long-term plan since things are not going back to normal any time soon?
I will still practice and become better in photography and videography. May mga pasulpot-sulpot naman na mga shoots but of course, I still find alternatives to make a living. But I believe na unti-unti, babalik din ang industry.