Tthe social media arm of the Asi Studies Center for Culture and Arts – Romblon (ASCCA-Romblon) recently organized and held an online Photo Essay Contest on April 16, 2021. It aimed to bring together all aspiring photojournalists from the Romblon community to showcase their talents in photography and essay writing.
The event followed the theme, “Yabaw: Pagbantog it Ugat ag Hiwatong Romblomanon” (Revealing Romblon’s Roots: Capture Your Town’s Traditional Lifestyle).
The aim of the competition was to portray Romblon’s traditional lifestyles and ancient ways and capture them through a series of portraits or landscapes with an accompanying essay describing them.
A total of 13 participants from the various municipalities of Romblon took part in the competition and took breathtaking pictures of the traditional lifestyle of their hometowns that still live and thrive today. These photos were also accompanied by thoughtful essays written in their own language (Asi, Ini and Onhan) and translated into English that speak of Romblon’s rich culture and heritage – from net fishing, weaving, copra production to marble making.
Some participants also shared other traditions in their hometown, such as how their people make their original delicacy linumak, how their Aeta people thrive in their community, and how they make grass brooms and mats.
Eisley Josh Gregorio from Romblon, Romblon won first place in the competition with his photo essay, Kusog Ako Sa Pangabuhi para Mabuhi, Yari sa Banwa Ko! (My strength to live life is rooted in my country).
His breathtaking and incredible photos captured Romblon’s three most important traditional lifestyles, all of which are still alive and well today – marble manufacturing, copra production and fishing. But more than that, he was able to show them in their raw forms – how his people actually start by emailing the rocks to the bullets, tearing the coconuts to throw the net into the sea at the dawn crack.
Jansen Lloyd Magarejo from Romblon won second place with his photo essay, Magbinuligan, followed by Noemi Maquez from San Agustin, Romblon in third place with his photo essay entitled Ang Matuod na Manggad and Romblon (Romblon’s true treasures).
The five honorary winners are: John Eric Fabul, TJ Rufon, John Lister Mondia, Anna Theresa Fabonanand Sophia Maderazo.
Judge panel for the Photo Essay competition included Abner Faminiano, Nicon Fameronag, Jimmy Domingo, Rodne Galichaand Melo Villareal. The competition was also supported by various Romblon organizations, which included Bayay Sibuyanon, Romblon Eco Tour Services, RSU Learning Resource Center and Melo Villareal from Out of town travel blog.
The top 3 winners would receive cash prizes and additional gifts sponsored by travel blogger and social media strategist Melo Villareal. Honorary winners also receive cash prizes. All entries for the photo essay are displayed in the RSU Learning Resource Center. They will also be published and featured on the Out of Town Travel Blog by Melo Villareal.
About the Asi Studies Center for Culture and Arts (ASCCA) – Romblon
ASCCA – Romblon is a chapter of the Romblon Discussion List – Cultural, Livelihood, and Educational Assistance for Romblon (RDL-CLEAR), established in 1998. This nonprofit organization aims to restore and promote the culture and heritage of the Bantoanon community. ASCCA has already hosted many workshops, conferences, cultural activities and competitions to preserve Romblon’s nature, local language, culture and heritage and to enable its community to pass on their values to the next generation.
Press contacts ASCCA – Romblon
Also read: How to write a good photo set