Photography

Edwina T. Bandong: The Woman Behind “Carrot Man”

Carrot Man Photo Edwina Bandong

“Carrot Man” Photo by Edwina Bandong

 The “Carrot Man” became an instant social media sensation when somebody by the name of Ms. Edwina T. Bandong uploaded her captured photos of a handsome young Igorot named Jeyrick O. Sigmaton on social media just days after she and her team of bikers passed by the Mountain Province on their way to Sagada. She didn’t intend to capture this young man’s good looks. Her real subject according to her were the carrots – the loading to a truck of freshly harvested carrots which Jeyrick does.

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What she initially saw was an ordinary guy who at a young age is already working hard to help his parents earn a living by helping them in the farm, just a typical subject of photography she might have thought.

But her staff, Cheenee de Guzman requested her to continuously take snapshots of this young man in action because apparently, Cheenee was already attracted to his boy-next-door appeal. So she did what was requested of her.

There was no conversation between them at that instance. She didn’t even know the name of the handsome Igorot guy. When she got home, she uploaded the pictures of the young man to which she intended to just tag her staff who was the real admirer of Jeyrick. She then labelled the photos Mr. Carrot Man.

Unfortunately or should I say fortunately, it had gone viral in just a few days from the time it was uploaded. And the rest, we all know was history.

The Carrot Man

Jeyrick Sigmaton captured by Edwina Bandong in a moment that will significantly change their lives

We already heard so much about this instant celebrity, Mr. Carrot Man. Through his interviews and TV guestings, we found out how he was discovered, how he was overwhelmed by his discovery, what his family background is, and some of his other personal circumstances.

We are also well aware that a month after, he was already given an opportunity to be an endorser of a fashion brand and soon he is about to sign a contract with a TV network. Those things were already publicized.

However, what a lot of people didn’t know is that – behind the rise to fame of this young man was a woman who, because of her eye for beauty has made a lot of impact in the lives of our Igorot netizens and made her an instant hero too.

For the Igorot community, an angel has arrived and in so short a time made their province known and has somehow improved the way our society looks at their natives.

So who is this accidental hero? Who is Ms. Edwina T. Bandong, the woman behind the discovery of Mr. Carrot Man?

Edwina Bandong

The author and her husband with Edwina Bandong

My husband and I were lucky enough to have had an opportunity to meet this woman and get to know her better thru my friend, Peachie Ciudadano, also a photographer, and a friend of Ms. Edwina.

Our place in Parañaque, which is near the coast of Manila Bay is a haven for photographers who wishes to capture the beauty of the sunset at its best. It was this one day when a group of photographers went to our place for a photoshoot that I grabbed the rare opportunity of setting up an interview with Ms. Edwina. And she happily obliged. Join me as I get to know this amazing woman—Ms. Edwina Bandong. 

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