Cagayan Museum officials said that while it showcased the output of a photo workshop, it likewise served as a long-overdue tribute to the late Richard “Chang” Guzman, a multi-awarded Cagayano artists.
Called "Cagayan: Art of Darkness Cave Photography exhibit," it captured the archaeological richness of the province through images of caves at the same time recognizing the efforts of Guzman, the acknowledged father of Cave Photography in Cagayan Valley.
Primitiva Talla, the museum curator said that the photography likewise wanted to showcase the tourism potentials of Cagayan and to create awareness to the province, being the Caving Capital of the Country.
Talla said the exhibit was earlier planned for the Arts Month in February but works of the various artists failed to beat the deadline.
Unfortunately, not one of the works of Guzman can be viewed as those brought to Manila by the museum office failed to produce the needed enhancement of the photos. Photos on display include those of Oliver Domingo, Jaivin Arugay, Railey Camarao, Vladimir Laureta, Paul Agustin, Atty. Jojo Caronan, Architech Reiniel Pasquin, Jerome Elizaga, Dagul Ramirez, and Ted Babaran.
The visiting photographers include Raulito Esquerra, Jerry Rendon, and Rawen Balmana of Balincaquin Conservancy who earlier conducted a photography workshop to Cagayanos in December last year.
“It’s actually an output of the group,” Lory Decena- Malbog of the Cagayan Museum said.
The training and the on-going exhibit is a project of the provincial government through the Museum office while the technicalities have been provided by Balincaquin Conservancy and the Sierra Madre Outdoor Club.
It likewise showcases the rich biodiversity of the province focusing on its cave system considered as the longest in the country.
Guzman is a pioneer photographer in the region in the early 1970s who specialized in cave photography.
Some of his works still adorn the archaeology section of the Cagayan Museum while the rest of his collection had been now saved by the provincial government. Aside from caves, Guzman’s other favorite subject is the Negrito along the Sierra Madre mountains. He was one of the founding officers of the Sierra Madre Outdoor Club (SMOC), the first mountaineering group in Northeast Luzon.
Guzman was killed by a single bullet inside his apartment in Tuguegarao City three years ago. The crime has yet to be solved.