THE much-awaited results of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s Photography Contest 2023 were finally revealed today, Sept. 13, with PAGCOR’s announcement of the 24 grand winners from among 5,400 entries nationwide.
The 12 winners in the conventional photography category received Php80,000 each in cash prizes, while the 12 winners in the mobile category took home Php35,000 each – the biggest prizes so far in the history of PAGCOR’s photo contest.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco, who graced the event, said the agency was overwhelmed by the huge turnout of participants for the competition, which made a comeback this year following a six-year hiatus.
“We were overwhelmed by the significant number of participants who joined this photo competition. Because of this project’s success, we will make this photography competition an annual event,” Tengco said.
“At dahil naging matagumpay ang photo contest na ito, we will refine this para maging isang kilalang photography competition organized by PAGCOR. Umasa din kayo na dadagdagan pa natin ang prizes sa mga susunod na taon,” he said.
Tengco said this year’s contest, with the theme “Sa’n Tayo Next?”, showcased relatively unknown but beautiful destinations of the Philippines that hold huge potentials of becoming major tourist spots.
“The winning photos showed just how beautiful the Philippines is. So, instead of going abroad, we encourage all Filipinos to explore the beauty of our country and help promote domestic tourism,” he added.
There were five winners each from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Metro Manila in both categories. The non-winning grand finalists for the conventional category also received Php25,000 while the mobile category grand finalists received Php10,000.
“The Golden View of Mt. Utopia”, captured by 32-year-old self-taught photographer Reymund Requina from Cebu City, bagged one of the grand prizes under the conventional category.
“Sobrang blessing in disguise ng photography sa akin. Nung panahong walang wala ako, itong photography ang sumalba sa akin kaya sobra-sobra talaga ang pasasalamat ko rito,” Requina said.
The other conventional category winners were Aljon P. Tugaoen (Over and Under the Rocks of Pangil); Gerardo S. Pacios, Jr. (Batok); Dionisis Q. Silva (Amazing Cave); Louie Lawrence B. Lacson (Side Trip Tayo sa Kabalin-An Pond); Jumelito S. Capilo (The Elusive View of Panimahawa); Alvin B. Cempron (Malitbog); Oliver M. Atienza (Kalinaw sa Malinao (Tranquility of Malinao)); Earl Ryan G. Janubas (Splendid Impasugong); Klienne M. Eco (Payapang Umaga); Macbeth T. Omega (A Filipino Masterpiece – The Maligcong Rice Terraces); and Christopher G. Andres (Celebrating Centuries of Cultivation).
The 12 mobile category winners, meanwhile, were Nicko A. Melendres (The Mighty Casaroro Falls); John Rhoel V. Florentino (The Last of the Last Frontier); Celbert A. Palaganas (Remnants of the Golden Past); Rowell C. Clenuar (The Alicia Panoramic Park); Jack David C. Ponpon (Philippines meets the Pacific); Daryl P. Anahaw (Playground of the Gods); Anthony T. Into (Green Dots of Hope); Jessie James Jalon F. Esteban (The Next Chapter: Discovering New Frontiers of El Nido Beach); Sherbien M. Dacalanio (Warzone to Wow Zone); Alvin Mike M. Mahait (The Gentle Pawikan of Negros); Gerard Jonathan C. Laserna (Gentle Beast); and Ronald P. Portula (Tropical State of Mind).
Mindanao regional screening judge and nature and commercial photographer Edwin Martinez commended PAGCOR for reviving the competition, which highlighted the country’s vast tourism potentials.
“This is a very good project as it does not only help develop the talent of our photographers but, more importantly, promotes our tourism industry especially the places that are not so famous but can rival the other known spots in the country in terms of beauty,” he said.
The other prominent photographers and artists who served as judges were Jijo de Guzman, Bobot Go, Lauren Malcampo, Wig Tysmans, Pepper Teehankee, Edwin Tuyay, Jo Avila, Jilson Tiu, Ernie Sarmiento, Wawi Navarozza, Sherwin Magsino and Noel Guevara.