Friday, February 1, 2008

Surviving Sinulog 2008, 5th and last part

continued from part 4

Sunday, January 20, and the big day has arrived! I know all photography enthusiasts in Cebu were itching for the grand parade. No other day is more awaited. I heard that a record 647 photographers registered in the photo contest alone.

I suppose the ultimate goal is to win. Mine is to calibrate my skills against the renowned local photographers whose names always appear in the winning column year by year, some photojournalists, some pros. This year was the third year I joined the photo contest and needless to say, I still have not won, hahaha! (I just saw the winning 53 entries yesterday at SM Cebu Mall and I have to say, the compositions and timing of the winning photos were topnotch.)

There is another overriding reason why one must register in the photo contest. Doing so gives you an official-looking ID which allows you to cross rope cordons guarded zealously by volunteer students, weave through the contingents on the streets without getting accosted by security, and well, getting 10 free submissions for the contest. (I hear others would boost their chances by sending in more than 100 entries and pay the sums of money as an additional entry is P20-25/photo).

Canon EOS 350D, 1/160s, f/8, 55mm, ISO 100
Students manning the streets at the Osmena Boulevard, Cebu City, Sinulog 2006, Cebu, the Philippines

I have two problems. One, I cannot stay away from home the whole day as I cannot leave my very pregnant wife alone. Two, I had lumbar sprain several weeks ago, so I cannot sit or stand for prolonged periods without significant pain. For the life of me, bending or stooping is next to impossible. But photographic enthusiasm never wanes. With dispensation from my wife that she’d be all right, I took to the streets.

Although I could only stay for 5 ½ hours – the parade ran for almost 9 hours – I still managed to photograph half of the 51 contingents. Not bad at all. I also made the best of my soft, cheap but beloved 75-300mm USM telephoto lens as my bad back precludes any contortion on my part.

In the end, I ended up with an inventory of nearly 550 pictures. I dare say I like my pics this year than last year, hence the deluge of my flickr posts. They may still be not good enough to win but I immensely enjoyed what one can get to enjoy one day of the year. Besides I can always count on visiting my chiropractor to heal my spine. That and a Nuga bed, which definitely is another story.

Pit Senyor!

Here is the final batch of pictures of the Sinulog 2008 grand parade.

Le Dionaldo
Canon EOS 350D, 1/400s, f/8, 75mm, ISO 800
Le Dionaldo, lead dancer of the contingent of the Hambabalud Festival of Jimalalud, Negros Oriental, doing their presentation at the Sinulog grand parade, Cebu City, the Philippines
The municipality of the Jimalalud in Negros Oriental honors the hambabalud tree by naming its festival after it. Their contingent showcases the enchantment offered by a forest guarded by the mountain nymph, Diwata.

Canon EOS 350D, 1/40s, f/5.0, 18mm, ISO 100
the Tribu Cabadbaran of Agusan del Norte, at the Sinulog 2008 Grand Parade, Cebu City, the Philippines
Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte became city last July 2007. What better way to herald its arrival than joining Sinulog, considered the most prestigious streetdancing contest in the country?

Canon EOS 350D, 1/1600s, f/5.0, 190mm, ISO 800
the contingent of Pajo Elementary School of Lapu-Lapu City, at the Sinulog 2008 Grand Parade, Cebu City, the Philippines
I lived in the barangay Pajo of Lapu-Lapu City most of my life so it pleases me to see a contingent from my neighborhood. I’m glad they found a corporate sponsor this year as their costumes are quite attractive. Now, I wonder if I knew some of these kids!

Canon EOS 350D, 1/250s, f/9.0, 250mm, ISO 200
Micah Amor, lead dancer of the contingent from the Municipality of Carmen, at the Sinulog 2008 Grand Parade, Cebu City, the Philippines
The contingent from Carmen was one of eight groups which derived inspiration from the Yakan tribe of Basilan who sports distinctive face painting. They won big: 2nd in the Free Interpretation Category, Best in Costume (Free Interpretation) and third in the Streetdancing Category.

phototip Unusual patterns, like the way the dancers lock their hands, can be interesting subjects.
Canon EOS 350D, 1/500s, f/4.0, 75mm, ISO 100
the Lumad Basakanon of San Nicolas, Cebu City, at the Sinulog 2008 Grand Parade, Cebu City, the Philippines
For the nth time, the Lumad Basakanon grabbed 1st prize in the Free Interpretation Category. Costumes are expensive so in the past 3 years, they recycle their body suits and accessories and just add some new flourish like the quiver tube on their back. They are known for their frenetic fast movements that others try to imitate but cannot duplicate.

Balangay Pardo
phototip: Midday sun often gives flat images. Make the best of ambient shade to allow more depth in the photo.
Canon EOS 350D, 1/30s, f/5.6, 37mm, ISO 100
the contingent from Tribu Kinaiyahan of Barangay San Nicolas Cebu City, at the Sinulog 2008 Grand Parade, Cebu City, the Philippines
This tribe was wearing a hodge-podge of costumes. I recognize the the headresses which resemble the Ivatan-inspired rain gears called vacul. In the “Free Interpretation” category, anything goes!

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MAY said...

Hi Farl,
Just saw this blog of yours. I wonder if I can copy some of the pics you posted here as background for a Sinulog Festival invite in Madrid. The pics won't be clear, just faded background to a Sto Niño image. And we can acknowledge you as the photographer at the bottom of the invite. let me know if this will not pose problems.


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