Sunday, March 27, 2016

24HourProject, Around the City of Golden Friendship in a Day

What does a whole day in Cagayan de Oro City look like? What if you could see the city in one day?

Excitement growing when I received the news from Renzo Grande (24HourProject Founder) that I will be going to lead a Documentary project around Cagayan de Oro City as the first City Ambassador for the 24HourProject, a global street photography experiment with this year’s theme: Human Condition. It was actually a fellow photographer named Gian James Maagad’s initiative on joining this global photography awareness which he started last 2014.
A group shot with the official participants of the 24HourProject Cagayan de Oro Leg taken around 2am at Ysalina Bridge (commonly known today as Carmen Bridge). Photo courtesy: Abel Matthew Silawan

The idea of the project is simple yet complex in its sense. Starting at 12:01am, registered participants assured themselves to capture as many scenes they want through photographs every hour and share one chosen image on social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It might sound simple yet the project is physically challenging as participants needed to keep themselves awake for the span of 24 Hours, hence the name of the project which includes keeping your mind on constant creativeness for that one decisive photo.

Taken at Macabalan Pier for that sunrise scene
Out of the 107 countries that joined the event with over 718 cities and 2,785 registered participants, 19 photographers from Cagayan de Oro joined the initiative with 1 from Iligan City. For the first time on joining this project, I was tasked in documenting the city as this year’s Ambassador.

March 19, 2016. The clock reads at 12:01am, that fleeting moment when excitement reaches its apex and everyone is ready to start the event. Because I take this event so seriously, it took me a lot of thoughts, and careful consideration with the given time to give them the necessary guidelines and the official itinerary. “Every image uploaded and shared every hour must express Human Condition that somehow reveals the real beauty of the image either happiness, sadness, humor, fulfillment, pain, love; an image that portrays both composition, and story, thus space and time.” I explained. Then, the event officially started.

PLAZA DIVISORIA- This is the assembly place where we started to kick off the event. We walked within the area and examined scenarios that will somehow represent the theme. 

GASTON PARK- Another area where we headed our way to the flower shops.

CAPISTRANO STREET- Named after one of the greatest generals in Cagayan de Oro which is considered to be a local hero, the street is still as great as the name implies. Well, not literally about heroism but more on foods. Here you can find one of the local's best "lugaw" with affordable rates. Check out the Image 4 showing a girl checking and/or preparing the food entitled "KONJI".

COGON MARKET- After roaming around the street of Capistrano, we headed ourselves to Cogon Market via Velez Street and JR Borja Extension. Cogon Market is actually CDO's public market, a great spot of documenting the local scenario and its daily activities.
A souvenir shot at the 2nd Floor of Cogon Market. Photo courtesy: Abel Matthew Silawan
MACABALAN PIER- Cagayan de Oro's very own Sea Port (Cargos and Passengers). This is good spot of documenting the sunrise.

BULUA WESTBOUND MARKET- Another public market on the west side of the city. If you like documenting fishermen doing transactions with middlemen or business owners, this area is good for you.

DE LARA PARK (MCARTHUR PARK)- Another public recreation site located in the city. 

VELEZ STREET- The road connecting to the sea and considered to be one of the oldest roads in the city. Yes, it was called the "Kalye del Mar" during the Spanish period.

Final Note:
Being the City Ambassador is one of the most challenging positions while doing the project. Not to mention that you need to be awake for the span of 24 hours. That’s from midnight to 11:59pm. Taking part in this project is like a marathon. You need to be constant with yourself, with your creativity and your skills while presenting your image results. As my first time on joining this event, the experience is totally amazing and possibly one of the most noteworthy occasions i had for a photowalk.

What something worthy about the event is that documentation is unimpeachable, so does reality in photographs.  While in the same manner, we never know the condition, the story, and the moment that we are heading through. Sometimes, we need to learn to listen to the story before we see the truth. It explains the basic nature of the photography- in particular, the connection with reality and time which portrays that sense of narrative.

I may not have completed the entire 24 hour challenge of taking every photo lacking the 2pm and 3pm time schedules nonetheless, I believe I am successful on documenting human condition in Cagayan de Oro City which applies to this event. A total of 22 hours is much interesting than compromising the entire project because your body says “I quit!”

As what Henri Cartier-Bresson once said, “Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that lives forever the precise and transitory instant. We photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make the come back again.” As stated around 1952.

See you on the next 24HourProject!

Check out the official photos i had during this year's 24HourProject. Click the image for bigger size format or click mouse 2 then click the "open image in new tab". You may also want to visit my photography facebook page at:






Bonus: The last photo i captured before going my way home taken at 12:10am on the 20th of March 2016 entitled Midnight Sonata.







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