Veteran photojournalist Gil Nartea visited the town of Angono, east of the Philippine capital, to look for giants, or “higantes.”
What he discovered instead are mortals who were hunting for food during the pandemic.
“I visited Angono hoping to find higantes,” said Nartea.
The town of Angono is known for its “giants” and holds the annual “Higantes Festival,” a secular celebration to express gratitude to its patron Saint Clement.
The “higante” has been used as symbol of agrarian protest during the waning years of the Spanish colonization in the country.
Scholars said that the “higante” refers to the towering caretaker of the land whom the residents were exacting and taking revenge.
The town of Angono also considers the “higante” as a symbol of the people’s aspiration to be great in their respective field and contribute to the development and pride of the town.
Back to Nartea, not satisfied with the “giants” displayed at the entrance of town hall, he decided to take a stroll on the banks of Laguna Lake.
“Here I saw people with guns, long guns, to catch fish. They called it ‘paniniksay,’” he said.
Instead of spear (“tiksay”), however, the fish hunters used air guns.