TEXT BY IAN JOHN PAMPLONA
PHOTOS BY PAUL JOHNROU BECHAYDA/DISCOVER PANAY ISLAND BY HAWILI HUROM, INC.
WHO HAS NOT heard of Amazing Race, a reality television game show in which teams of two people race around the world in competition with other teams?
Contestants strive to arrive first at “pit stops” at the end of each leg of the race to win prizes and to avoid coming in last, which carries the possibility of elimination or a significant disadvantage in the following leg.
Why not localize this fun competition and give it some twist?
In Western Visayas, a group of fun-loving Panayanons thought of just that – and for a nobler mission: showcase the uniqueness of Panay and Guimaras islands, their people and culture.
For the past eight years the “Photorace” of Discover Panay Island by Hawili Hurom, Inc. has been attracting photography enthusiasts out to promote local tourism destinations and anything interesting and enjoyable under the sun in this part of the world.
Each team of two members is given a series of tasks/challenges to complete – specifically to take excellent photos of particular tourism spots, food or landmarks.
Competing teams must complete the tasks within a short period of time.
While it sounds fun, the Photorace is actually a test of endurance, creativity and sharp decision-making. All tasks take between four to five hours to complete.
In previous competitions, the race went as far as southern Iloilo province.
The most recent “Photorace” was held in Iloilo City on Nov. 11, 2018. Ten pairs slugged it out.
The race kicked off at Jaro Plaza. The challenging tasks were as follows:
* Take portrait and landscape shots with the statue of hero Graciano Lopez Jaena, the belfry and Jaro Cathedral in the background.
* Take a public utility jeepney to the La Paz Public Market and take photos of a) a woman selling vegetables, b) a man in the meat section and c) a woman selling dried fish. Then proceed to a bakeshop; take a picture of the bakeshop (landscape). Look for the Race Marshall who will hand the participants bread and drinking water for another shot. The team must consume the bread and drink water.
* Proceed to the City Proper via jeepney. Take a landscape photo of the Iloilo-Chinese Friendship Arch and another one with his or her partner with the arch as background. Then move to a famous downtown restaurant selling siopio. The team should take a photo of a siopao then photograph each other holding the siopao. After the shot, eat the siopao with no leftovers.
* Take a jeepney to Molo district. Inside the jeepney, ask a passenger to take a photo of the team. At Molo Plaza, take a photo of the famous Molo Church; the photo must include Greek statues at the plaza. Then ask a bystander to take a photo of the team with the Molo Church as background. Team members must also take a photo of one another with the statue of Maria Clara in the background.
* Move on foot to the Iloilo Esplanade and take a photo of a team member at the Efrain Treñas Landmark. Another photo, this time with the “I AM ILOILO” sign, must be taken, too.
* Take a jeepney to the Atria and find a famous batchoyan there. Take a picture of the establishment in landscape mode.
* Proceed to the University of Philippines Visayas – Iloilo City. Walk on foot to a hotel adjacent to the university and take a shot of a salon there, then proceed to the pool area and take photos of the candidates of Miss Teen Iloilo 2018.
* From the hotel, proceed to the Tanza Chinese Cemetery; find a particular tombstone and take a photo.
The first team to arrive at Kusina Tsina after the cemetery caper was declared the winner.
It’s fun to look at Panay and Guimaras from another angle of the camera lens. It gives people a fresh perspective, a new take on what seems to be the ordinary and usual.
For the next “Photorace” do you have other interesting but challenging spots in mind?/PN