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]