The social media arm of the Asi Studies Center for Culture and the Arts – Romblon (ASCCA-Romblon) recently organized and held a Photo Essay Contest online last April 16, 2021. It aimed to gather all aspiring photojournalists of 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 Lifestyles).
The goal of the contest was to depict the traditional lifestyles and old ways of Romblon and capture them through a series of portrait or landscape photos, with an accompanying essay describing them.
A total of 13 participants from the different municipalities of Romblon joined the contest and captured breathtaking photos of the traditional lifestyles of their hometowns that are still alive and thriving today. These photos were also accompanied by thought-provoking essays written in their own language (Asi, Ini, and Onhan) and translated into English, which talks about the rich culture and heritage of Romblon—from net fishing, weaving, copra production, to marble making.
Some contestants also shared other traditions of their hometown like how their people make their native delicacy linumak, how their Aeta people thrive in their community, and how they make grass brooms and mats.
Eisley Josh Gregorio of Romblon, Romblon bagged first place in the contest with his photo essay entry, Kusog Ako Sa Pangabuhi para Mabuhi, Yari sa Banwa Ko! (My Strength to Live Life Roots in My Land).
His breathtaking and incredible photos captured the three major traditional lifestyles of Romblon that are all still alive and thriving today—marble making, copra production, and fishing. But more than that, he was able to show them in their raw forms—how his people actually start from chiseling the rocks for the marbles, grating the coconuts, to casting the net in the sea at the crack of dawn.
Jansen Lloyd Magarejo of Romblon won second place with his photo essay, Magbinuligan (Interdependence), followed by Noemi Maquez of San Agustin, Romblon in third place with her photo essay titled, Ang Matuod na Manggad ng Romblon (Romblon’s True Treasures).
The five honorary winners are: John Eric Fabul, TJ Rufon, John Lister Mondia, Anna Theresa Fabonan, and Sophia Maderazo.
The panel of judges for the Photo Essay contest included Abner Faminiano, Nicon Fameronag, Jimmy Domingo, Rodne Galicha, and Melo Villareal. The contest was also supported by different Romblon organizations, which included Bayay Sibuyanon, Romblon Eco Tour Services, RSU Learning Resource Center, and Melo Villareal of the Out of Town Travel Blog.
The Top 3 winners would receive cash prizes and additional giveaways sponsored by travel blogger and social media strategist Melo Villareal. The honorary winners would also receive cash prizes. All photo essay entries will be exhibited in the RSU Learning Resource Center. They will also be published and featured on the Out of Town Travel Blog of Melo Villareal.
About Asi Studies Center for Culture and the Arts (ASCCA) – Romblon
ASCCA – Romblon is a chapter of Romblon Discussion List – Cultural, Livelihood, and Educational Assistance for Romblon (RDL-CLEAR), which was established in 1998. This non-profit 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 languages, culture, and heritage and to empower its community to pass their values to the next generation.
Press Contacts ASCCA – Romblon
Also read: How To Write A Good Photo Essay