WITH thousands of revelers covered in multi-colored paints and their faces, even ears and hair, smudged like a canvass done in surrealism or abstract, Cadiz City has once again proved that it is more than just a seafood basket in Negros Occidental.
Colors were literally splashed in almost all corners of the streets as Dinagsa goers came with a few things on target: for most, join the paint party and for others, witness the Ati Tribes adore Santo Niño through energetic dances last weekend.
As you inch your way to get some air in a crowd of people brushing shoulders against each other or most, jumping in loud drum beats, there are two kinds of people you meet along the way: The devotees of the child Jesus carrying images and religious icons and the party goers in white shirts with the end goal to go home "dirty."
For many years now, these two have co-existed during the highlights, making the Cadiz fiesta a religious celebration and at the same time, an occasion for the young to feed their thrills.
The Dinagsa merry making were all captured and even exhibited in a Photo Competition sponsored by the Information Office of Cadiz City government.
Dubbed as "Smudge," it highlights the unique paint party or "lamhitanay" to culminate the festival. On the other hand, it was one way to encourage professional and amateur photographers to capture significant moments during the occasion. Nearly 100 participants submitted their entries that were displayed in the heart of festival site. This initiative will allow the sponsoring unit to collect the best moments captured through lenses, or as in some entries, smartphones.
Michael John Napaton captured the hearts of the judges in his winning entry entitled "Selfie." It is a reflection of our young people's sense of adventure to celebrate life. In a way, as explained by the photographer, it shows the great deal Negrenses have for local activities that promote a deep appreciation for our grassroots and culture. The winner took home a trophy and a cash prize of P3,000, apart from the bragging rights that his photo will be the new "face" of the festival's promotional materials.
January has been a great month to celebrate our devotion, beliefs and sub-cultures, from Kabankalan to Cadiz, Iloilo to Bacolod's Chinese New Year Fest, these made our weekends busier than ever. Now it's time to anticipate February with so much love in our hearts.