Four Filipinos won five of the six top prizes in the 13th Photo Contest of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) with the theme "Cultivating Southeast Asia's Youth Agripreneurs."
The winners are Mariano Sayno, first prize; Phan Thi Khanh of Vietnam, second prize; Jose Ramos, third prize; and Christopher Andres, People's Choice Award.
Jaime Singlador bagged the SEARCA Director's Choice and the Philippine Department of Education Secretary's Choice, both new special prize categories.
Sayno's photo shows a mother-and-son tandem in the town of Laguna, which is known for its duck-raising cottage industry.
The photo that bested 761 other entries depicts a young boy cheerfully holding a duck as he watches his mother place freshly laid eggs in a basket.
Phan's photo captured a grandmother-granddaughter team patching a fishnet in the coastal city of Hue, Vietnam.
Ramos's winning entry is of a bright-eyed young boy who appears to be listening to an adult man as they gather weeds in a rice paddy.
Andres, which garnered over 1,400 likes on Facebook, shows two young men, the older one teaching the other how to plant seedlings.
The photo that bagged the SEARCA Director's Choice, Dr. Glenn Gregorio, is a refreshing image of two young girls and their grandmother in a cut flower farming scene.
For the DepEd Secretary's Choice, Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones selected a photo of children studying outdoors in a rural farming community.
With the contest, SEARCA hopes that more young people would be inspired to involve themselves in agricultural pursuits.
Gregorio said SEARCA wants young Southeast Asians to see the agriculture sector as an attractive business proposition that will earn for them a decent living, allow them to stay with their families, and one that will create a vibrant rural economies in their communities.
The winning photos were among the 762 entries submitted by 235 professional and amateur Southeast Asian photographers from 10 countries from September to November 2019. Although most of the entries were from the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam, entries from Thailand and Lao PDR were also among the top 15 finalists.
The top 3 winners received cash prizes of $1,000, $800 and $500, respectively, while the winners of the SEARCA Director's Choice and DepEd Secretary's Choice received $500, and the People's Choice Award, $200.
The winning photos and the rest of the finalists may be viewed at https://photocontest.searca.org.
The SEARCA photo contest is annually held and is launched every September.