The Ways of ‘Hagis’ Boys: 1st Honorary Winner in Photo Essay Contest

Hagis Boys in Romblon

Aikee Fabul emerged as the 1st honorary winner in the Photo Essay Contest organized by ASCCA-Romblon. He captured a certain kind of lifestyle of the Hagis Boys. These youngsters surround a docking ship and shout “hagis” (throw) to the passengers on board, asking for coins.? Read his entry written in his mother tongue and translated into the English language.

The Ways of ‘Hagis’ Boys

Romblon has been constantly advancing, but there’s this certain kind of lifestyle that remains classic but surely is not dead in the water and is still kicking – and that’s the ways of them, “Hagis” Boys’.

Hagis Boys of Romblon
Hagis Boys of Romblon

They are those youngsters who quickly surround a ship/s whenever one docks at the port of Romblon or about to set sail, engaging with the passengers on board, shouting at them “hagis,” begging them to throw pennies in the water for them to dive for, retrieve, and claim. And at their young age, one will surely be amazed by their skills in this feat.

The Ways of Hagis Boys
The Ways of Hagis Boys

Fun as it may seem, that’s just the surface everybody has been seeing. Overlooked are the sad realities and risks that come with being one. It’s practically for certain that kids, who have it better in life, will most probably not think of doing it just for a few coins. But the “hagis” boys’ obviously see an opportunity in it and will almost do everything just to be able to earn as much money as they can for whatever intentions they have to spend it for. Not that they don’t enjoy being in the water, especially that they get to swim with their friends, but there surely is still the risk of drowning, not to mention choking on coins that they normally keep in their mouths, in between the cheeks and teeth while they are at it. Despite all of these, this kind of trade is still causing a great splash.

Hagis Boys in Romblon
Hagis Boys in Romblon

In the end, they may be providing a good show and a pleasing experience to passengers, but truly when we go deeper to the bottom of why exactly they do it, it exposes a reality that not all seemingly fun is. And since they won’t probably stop at doing it any time soon, maybe next time, when you board a ship and see them, at least don’t shy away and throw them a few.

Pag-unos ng Hagis Boys

Ang Romblon hay sige ang padayon sa pagprogreso, pero igwa guihapon ning nabibilin nga kanaangdan nga pangabuhi nga siguradong indi mamatay hasta may tubi, yara guihapon kag gakipay-kipay pa guid – imaw ang pagbuso ng mga ‘hagis “boys”‘.

Sinda adtong mga yaskit nga galukso sa pyer kag gapalibot sa gilid ng bapor pag may gadunggo o pahalinon sa Romblon, kag gasinggit sinda “hagis” sa mga pasahero, agud maghuyog kwarta nga inda unuson, para inda akuon. Sa inda kamayad magpaniid, aber mga unga pa lang, hay mapapabilib gid aber sin-o.

Malipay man siruon pero hay ibabaw lang inang nakikita ng kadam-an. Sigurado, ang mga unga nga kaayo ang pangabuhi, hay indi guid maisipan maglangoy para sa kwarta, pero ang mga ‘hagis “boys”‘, nakikitaan ninda ning oportunidad ang pagbuso aber tig-mamiso, kag ginahimo gid ang tanan magkakwarta lang guid, diin man ninda gastuson. Bukon sa waya sinda gakalipay, kay kaibhanan man ninda ang inda mga kakanam, pero indi gid kasalig, kay yara gid ang pagkalumos kag dapat andaman na baka madunlukan ng inda tinipon nga sensilyo sa bâbâ habang gabuso para makadamo kita. Pero aber ano nga kadelikado, yara guihapon sinda gawisik-wisik sa dagat.

Sa ulihi, aber kaayo kag kalipay sinda tan-awon, pagdinayuman ng tanan ang pag-intindi kung basi guida ninda guinahimo iton, magaguwa ang kamatuuran na bukon tanan nga kalipay hay tinuod nga kalipay. Pero kay daw mahuga man guihapon sinda nga pigilan, siguro sa masunod nga magsakay ka sa bapor kag makita sinda, paghuyog na lang guihapon siguro aber pila.

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), 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 empower its community to pass its values to the next generation.

Press Contacts ASCCA – Romblon
Email: [email protected]
Facebook Page:

Ismael Fabicon
Email: [email protected]

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 for future contests and updates.

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  2. Pinoy Travel Pod says

    I am from Davao City and yes Samal Island is indeed a great place. White fine sand and nice people. Cebu is also great, been there once. 🙂

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