THE SUN IS GONE. But it leaves behind traces of its once dominant presence in the slivers of orange, pink, and yellow that streak the darkening skyline and find reflection in the waters of Mandaue and Mactan that are now turning to deeper blues and greens. The ships moored in the harbor have switched on lights whose glimmer is caught by waters. From a distance can be viewed buildings and houses that have also turned on their lights to fend off the coming darkness. The mountains in the distance have already begun to blur. Night descends.
Within the brightly lit Cathedral grounds, vine-covered columns stand guard over "New Believers" now casually attired, a couple whose ordinary clothes are in a prayerful stance, and the other in stretch pants and ballerina shoes.
Out in the streets, other rituals take place: a cotton candy vendor tends to his makeshift stall under an unseen street lamp that bathes his space with golden light; under the glare of only one bulb, a woman on the side street patiently grills barbeque for waiting customers including one busy with his cellphone in a more brightly lit street corner are two men in stationary motorcycles hoping to catch passengers for Habal-habal rides.
In his five remaining works, Deguilmo depicts the struggle of fishers to draw out from the sea their sustenance as light dims to give way to night. They face the problem of a banca with a "Detached Outrigger". Armed with only one Petromax, they wait as darkness envelops them. They must have borrowed another banca from a neighbor, for soon, they fuel another petromax with kerosene and the glow it emits gives them confidence for their endeavour. They cast fish traps and use the intensity of the light radiating from several Petromax to lure the fishes.
Adeste Deguilmo's exhibit ultimately shows the power of his realism in capturing not only the nuances of the shades of night, but more importantly, the people who struggle to overcome darkness.
Dr. Teresita G. Maceda