June 24, 2024

From the 20 photographs of birds taken around Baguio, Benguet, and the Cordillera, three winners were selected: that of Arnulfo Gabilo, top photo with cash prize of P9,000, brothers Brian Carlo Layugan, second prize with P7,000 cash and Steven Bruce Layugan, third prize with P5,000 cash.     

Thus ended the titit amateur photography contest launched as part of the 2nd Saleng Tree festival from June to September.

Titit is a generic term for birds. For the photography contest, they were photographed as various species, of different shapes and sizes, single or multi-colored, banded, mottled; common and exotic, blended with or in contrast with trees and grasses, in various modes.

Prints were exhibited at the City Hall lobby.

 The leisure activity of “birding”, that of wild birds being stalked and photographed, started as a Physical Education subject in 2013 at the University of the Philippines College Baguio, under Doctor of Philosophy and Human Kinetics Professor Jocelyn Floresca who is with the leadership council of Wild Bird Photography of the Philippines; and an environment advocate and bird photography and outdoor enthusiast.

 The group of bird enthusiasts or birders has grown to include bird watchers from Bulacan, Metro Manila, and Cagayan de Oro.

Floresca said Baguio was recognized as “Birding hotspot” in 2020.

Former Department of Education undersecretary and hobbyist Alain del Pascual, a judge of bird photographs, also stepped in with his “Lahing Makulay”, a joint painted artwork and photography project. An experimental visual aesthetic, photographed birds are artistically blended in through paintings of colorful threads or fabric design from a chosen cultural community.

The paintings were also exhibited at the City Hall lobby.

Other similar activities are planned for the next Saleng Festival. – Julie G. Fianza