I got access to shoot Reyna ng Bulacan's coronation night. Our photography club Bulacan Letratista was the official coveror of the event. Reyna ng Bulacan is part of the annual Singkaban Festival week, and it's the sanctioned pageant that determines the province's representatives to Binibining Pilipinas, Miss World - Philippines, Mutya ng Pilipinas, among others.
I made sure to get to the venue (KB Gym) early so I could get behind-the-scene shots. I wanted to add something new to my documentation, this time shots of the preparations for the big event. It's a little something to be different from other photographers who only take photos of the contestants during the pageant proper. (Always try to be better and do something new.)
Alright, now to photos of the program proper. Awarding of special awards, introduction of last year's pageant winners, and others.
This blog post is quite long, so to help shorten it, individual photos of some candidates are in thumbnails below. Click on them to view in full.
I must commend the stage lighting. A little too many colors used, but otherwise excellent and made shooting a lot easier. I shot at 1/200 and played around ISO 400-800 and got good exposure. Made processing a breeze, too - all I had to do was crop and watermark the photos. Haha. And of course, convert to high-contrast black-and-white. There was a portion of the stage that had harsh lighting, and that's what I used for these photos below.
Back to color and the program. The 26 contestants were trimmed to a Top 16, then to a Final 7. The top 7 had a question-and-answer, all of them were asked the same question : "Are you afraid of growing old? Why or why not?" As we all know, this is the part where nerves really show.
There's only two of them left. The Reyna ng Bulacan 2012 is...
CONGRATULATIONS to the winners and all the contestants! Good luck in your succeeding beauty contests. Make Bulacan proud. =)
I'll finish with BULLET group shots.
That's all folks. Thank you to the organizers for giving us access, particulary backstage where I took behind-the-scenes. And oh, the front-stage view was terrific! I'd also like to thank Christopher Adriano for coordinating BULLET's coverage. Job well done!
Till the next post. =)
[13 September 2012]
I bring you photos from another edition of Bulacan's Singkaban Festival parade. This is the fourth time I've shot the event, and to be frank about it, each year the parade gets shorter, smaller, and more irrelevant. For a festival that's relatively young, one would expect that it would get better and bigger in subsequent editions. After all, it's supposed to be Bulacan's premier festival. Yet looking back, things have defied the logic of progression and followed the path of mediocrity.
Last year, I told myself I've had enough shooting the Singkaban. The 2011 edition didn't look and feel like a festival worthy of being considered Bulacan's best. So this year, I had to motivate myself to shoot it. I kid you not, up until that moment when I left the house for Malolos (where the Singkaban's held), I didn't know which camera gear to bring. I didn't bother planning for the shots. Before picking up the car keys, I decided I just wanted to have fun, so I brought my fisheye. Heck, they don't seem to put much effort in making the parade grand, well, I'll just play with it. (And I'm getting bored with the usual festival shots and angles.)
Honestly, I was more excited about being with Bulacan Letratista than shooting the Singkaban. Anyway, here's our group shot this year. Being the shooter, I'm out of the picture. Again. (Note to self : bring a tripod, or borrow one.)
So what happened when we got there? Just what I expected : a shrinking parade that shrank some more. The highlight this year were the floats made possible by donors and "sponsors". I wonder how small the budget was for this, as even parades by small towns (like Bustos and Pandi) seem to be better funded and organized.
Oh well. Just for the sake of it, I did shoot. One of my photography principles is to shoot with what you have, with what's presented to you, the best you can. No ifs and buts, no excuses. So... let's do it. Here are my fisheye captures :
And an album filler...
And that's all she wrote. We left as the program started, you know, all the speeches and grandstanding. Is it just me or does the Singkaban parade feel more like a political gathering than a cultural event? Is it just me or are there really fewer people (and fewer media people) who attended the Singkaban? Without all those provincial employees and students who were required to attend, how many people took the time to see the parade? Will it exceed a hundred?
(I have friends who help organize the event. I'm sorry, I'm just voicing my observation. Also, I'm just talking about the parade, not the whole festival. However, the centerpiece of a festival is the parade. Ask the folks at Bacolod's Masskara, Baguio's Panagbenga, Tacloban's Pintados, Cebu's Sinulog, etc. It's the parade that best showcases the festival. It's the parade that people go to see.)
My Singkaban photos from previous years, I'd like to share it before Multiply shuts down in December (click to access link) :
Singkaban 2009 : Indakan sa Kalye
Singkaban 2009 : Pasiklaban
Thanks for looking!
See you next year? Hmmmmm.... I think I'll pass.
[10 September 2012]