Saturday, April 27, 2019

From Tokyo with Love: Silvio and Ren's Pre-Wedding Session

The cold October air in Tokyo last year was no match to the warmth of the spirits of OFW couple Silvio and Ren.  It was Silvio and Ren's seventh year as a couple. Then already engaged and only a few months shy of their wedding, they decided to celebrate the forthcoming chapter in their lives with a pre-wedding session. I was lucky to be witness and image-maker of their couple's dreams.

Our session started at dawn in the biggest park in central Tokyo, the Kasai Rinkai Park. Silvio and Ren were troopers in waking early and donning their formal wear in the chill morning air. We waited for the sun to rise above the treetops, turning the sky orange. I took several shots of them with their backs turned from the camera, facing the east where the sun was rising. It was symbolic of Silvio and Ren facing the future together.

Ren recalled how she met Silvio, her Brazilian-Japanese fiance met and how their romance bloomed: “We knew each other through online site  We became chatmates, then friends. We started calling each other. You know, at first I really thought he was Filipino because I was amazed that he could speak Tagalog well. At that time I wasn't serious about dating because I traveled a lot with my employer & his family. Then when we moved to Japan, I decided to find another job and lucky enough I got hired at the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Tokyo. I met him there in person at the Embassy. When I first saw him in person, I felt happy being with him. Then I knew that he will be my prince.”

In the early morning, Silvio and Ren took a walk around Kasai Rinkai Park, on the gravel paths, across the grass paths and fields, stopping by the ferris wheel – all of where I took a number of significant photos. They were a quiet couple- certainly there was confidence in their seven years – as I saw in how Silvio held Ren's hand.

Ren shared about the qualities she is fond of in Silvio: “You know what I appreciate about him is the love & care he gives me. [He is] open-minded and very understanding. He is very optimistic. I love how he looks at things, seeing the positive side of a situation regardless of how hard it is.”

After Kasai Rinkai Park, we crossed the Tokyo Bay to shoot in Odaiba, a popular shopping and entertainment district in a man-made island. Silvio and Ren had changed to casual wear, and warmer clothes to brave the stroll in wintry-aired Odaiba coast.

In the streets of Odaiba came the highlight for Silvio. He brought a yellow Porsche boxter, his favored sports car. He sat on the wheel with Ren beside him. In another shot, they sat on the hood of the car, leaning into each other with both of their gazes fixed on the camera– Ren's hand resting assuredly on Silvio's leg.

After Odaiba, we crossed back to central Tokyo to explore Shibuya Crossing. In the urban spaces of Shibuya, Silvio and Ren showed their whimsy and humor, kissing at a pedestrian lane, and posing with heart balloons in a Hello Kitty booth.

Their lighthearted and lightfooted romp around Shibuya was as much as how they enjoy their time together. Ren shares, “What i like most though is relaxing at home, driving, talking being goofy together and laughing, always hugging and kissing.”

With their wedding drawing near, Ren, like her Silvio, thinks positive to carry their wonderful relationship into the future.  “I wish for the future of a lifetime happiness, having a family, lasting joy & growing old together with respect,” she said.

They wound down their day at the Shinjuku Park, one of Tokyo's largest and most popular park for its botanical gardens. Perhaps, it is this picture of Silvio and Ren sitting on a bench by the flowers, that touches me the most. This is how at the end of the day, you can find someone to be in quiet confidence with.

        Silvio and Ren proves that having different nationalities and coming from different cultural backgrounds are not hindrances to understanding each other, as long as you speak the universal language of love.

From my  personal experience shooting Ren and Silvio, I took these and many more back with me to the Philippines.  In my engagement with the couple, I found that the best ingredients for a long- lasting relationship are trust and respect. At the end of the day, those two matter most in growing one's love for each other.


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