My Strength To Live Life Roots In My Land: 1st Place Winner in Photo Essay Contest

Sunset in Romblon by Eisley Josh Gregorio

Eisley Josh Gregorio emerged as the 1st place winner in the Photo Essay Contest organized by ASCCA-Romblon. His breathtaking and incredible photos captured the three major traditional lifestyles of Romblon that are 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.? Read his entry written in his mother tongue and translated into the English language.

My Strength To Live Life Roots In My Land

It is undeniable that our Province of Romblon has it all. For here, we have all the necessary resources that we need in order to live and survive. In our healthy forest, we can find numerous standing tall trees like those coconut trees, which serve plenty of purpose to us. One of which is the Copra that yields useful products especially in the making of coconut oil.

Romblon Marble by Eisley Josh Gregorio
Romblon Marble by Eisley Josh Gregorio

It is the livelihood of our industrious Copra workers who do not mind working under the scorching heat of the sun just to provide us the highest quality of coconut oils. When we talk about the bodies of water: seas and oceans, we in Romblon also have it. It is where our everyday delicious fish viand comes from. Made possible by our tough fishermen, who do not mind how huge every wave is just so they could provide tasty fishes on our tables. And, of course, when we talk about Romblon, the first thing that comes to mind would be Marbles.

Copra in Romblon by Eisley Josh Gregorio
Copra in Romblon by Eisley Josh Gregorio

Crafted by our strong marble workers who work so hard, enduring the long process of marble making starting: from marble extraction from underground to marble carving, up to marble polishing. A unique livelihood of us, Romblomanons, on which we are proud to be known for. Because it a type of work only suitable for strong people, comparable to how strong the marble that we craft is.

Sunset in Romblon by Eisley Josh Gregorio
Sunset in Romblon by Eisley Josh Gregorio

Indeed, we Romblomanons, even living on a small island, could never be underestimated by anyone. Because wherever we may be, there is something that we can truly be proud of. And that is our natural resources that are always available for us to use for our living. Resources on which we can use to carry on life using any kind of livelihood we could possibly do.

Kusog Ko Sa Pagpangabuhi Para Mabuhi, Yari Sa Banwa Ko!

Indi ta man gid matago na diri sa Romblon hay sagana gid sa tanan. Aber ano na kailangan naton para mabuhi hay yari lang. Sa aton kabyasan, yara ang damo na puno, gapangtindog lang kag galabaw-labaw lalo na inang mga puno ng niyog na damo gid sa aton pakinabang. Isa na didto ang paglugit na ginahalinan ng aton mantika kag ng iba pa na gamit dire.

Trabaho ng aton mga mahuhugod na tagalugit na aber sobra nga kainit ng adlaw hay ginainda lang mataw-an lang kita maayo na klase ng mantika. Kung pag-istoryahan ta ang katubian kag dagat, igwa man gid kita ina. Dire nagahalin ang aton permi nga ginasuya na isda na nabubuoy sa pagpamana kag pagpamukot ng aton mga maiisog na mangingisda na aber anong humbak hay sumpungon mapakaon lang kita manamit na suya. Kag syempre, pag hinambay ang Romblon indi gid maduya ang aton ginapahambog na marbol. Human ng aton matitibay na bloketista, miyog-idyer, miyog-kuskos, kag hanggang sa mapakadto sa kamot ng miyogpalis. Trabaho nga aton ginapakadako kay trabaho ini ng mga matitibay lang na tawo, matibay parehas sa marbol.

Gane kita nga Romblomanon, aber aton isla hay maisot, indi gid kita ninda kaya ismolon. Kay sa aton pagpangabuhi kag sa aton buo nga kabuhi aber diin kita mapakadto, igwa gid kita pwede nga ikadako. Kay igwa kita banwa na sagana sa tanan kag pwede ta buy-an kusog para mabuhi gamit ang aber ano na klase pa man ng pagpangabuhi.

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
Email: asilanguagewarriors@gmail.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/asilanguagewarriors/

Ismael Fabicon
Email: fabicon@msn.com

The Photo Essay Contest was organized by the social media arm of ASCCA-Romblon. It started to hold monthly online contests last February 2021 on its official Facebook page for the Romblon community. Each contest aims to inspire fellow kasimanwas to showcase their talents and promote their own language, culture, and heritage at the same time. Follow our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/asilanguagewarriors/ for future contests and updates.

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