THE carnival street dance and the festival fireworks were the highlights of this year's Higalaay Photo Contest as most of the winning entries depicted candid shots of the dancers' beautiful costumes and colorful lights of the fireworks.
Organized by the Oro Photographic Society, the Higalaay Photo Contest consisted of more than 200 entries that showcase what "higalaay" means to Kagay-anons and the people gathered in Cagayan de Oro to celebrate the festival of the city's patron saint San Augustine.
According to Gian Paolo Duterte, past president of the Oro Photographic Society, this year is the first for the competition to be included in the Higalaay Festival's list of core events despite being conducted since five years ago.
"Through the years, it's our first time ngayon that we had an event for launching. We invited speakers from Manila. We partnered with Nikon school to bring in three speakers for the launching of the event to give the participants an opportunity to learn for the craft and for the discipline sa photography," Gian said.
"For the past years, we've been receiving contestants from nearby municipalities and provinces like Bukidnon, Iligan, Jasaan, places like those," he added.
Last Saturday, September 7, the Oro Photographic Society awarded the winners, who received cash prizes and gift certificates, in the different categories of this year's Higalaay Photo Contest.
The winners were: Jade Anthony Pilongo winning first and second place, and Efren Egama in third place, for SM Conventional Category; Emmanuel Paller for Dragon Boat Conventional Category; Bryan Lonzaga (first place), Russel Panogalinog (second place), and Jodie Rey Fernandez (third place) for Centrio Conventional Category; and Kristianne Maria Liscano (first place), Eser Opog Jr. (second place) and Llemuel Pantuhan (third place) for Centrio Mobile Category.
According to Gian, the mechanics for the competition includes simple editing and no heavy photoshopping, basic cropping, basic adjustments of highlights or brightness, contrast.
"Ang amin lang is the core theme or highlight would be just showcase what Higalaay means," Gian said.
The entries were judged based on its content (30 percent), technical (30 percent) and composition (40 percent).
As they are finally included in the festival's core events, Gian said next year's Higalaay Photo Contest will be "definitely bigger" with more prizes for the winners and more guest speakers from all over the country.