THREE Filipinos have been proclaimed winners in the Southeast Asian Photo Contest by the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture.
Jose Melencio Brillo won the first prize, Raniel Jose Castañeda bagged the second prize and Herwin Barcelona emerged as the "People's Choice."
From its launching in October 2016, the Southeast Asia-wide art competition has received 1,263 entries from 284 photo enthusiasts―including 101 professional photographers―from 10 Southeast Asian countries.
Anchored on the theme "Celebrating Southeast Asian agriculture and fisheries," the entries portrayed the vibrant countryside along with the Southeast Asians who plant, fish and harvest food.
Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., SEARCA director, said the aim of the photo contest was to capture the joy and passion that Southeast Asian farmers and fishermen, processors, traders and consumers share as they harvest, process, sell and partake of the fruit of the land and sea.
He said the theme reflects SEARCA's commemoration of its 50th founding anniversary as an institution.
"[SEARCA] has helped build capacities of Southeast Asians, generate knowledge through cutting-edge research, deliver research findings through knowledge resources and learning events, all the while adapting to the constantly changing agricultural landscape at the national, regional and global levels," Saguiguit said.
Brillo's image bested all the other entries in SEARCA's 10th photo contest with a fisherman holding up his morning catch as he sits in an outrigger on the tranquil Pulilan River in Bulacan.
Castañeda of Manila won the second prize with his photograph of a fisherman casting a net in a river to catch fish for his family.
Kyaw Kyaw Winn, from Myanmar, won the third prize for his photo of two women carrying a basket of fish from the sea.
Barcelona of Bongabong, Nueva Ecija, won the "People's Choice" award for his photo of an onion harvest in his town―the "onion capital" of the Philippines. His photo garnered almost 2,000 likes via online voting.
SEARCA's publications will feature the winning photos and the other shortlisted entries and other materials that promote agricultural development and cooperation in the region.