Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

Journalism instructor gets posthumous awards in PAGCOR’s 2nd national photo contest

Tuesday | June 11, 2014 | 7:40 AM

Journalism instructor gets posthumous awards in PAGCOR’s 2nd national photo contest
Amer Amor, a 31-year-old Journalism instructor from the University of Philippines Baguio who recently died in a motorbike accident received posthumous awards in the 2nd PAGCOR National Photography Competition for his entry “Return to Paradise” (right photo). His entry was one of the competition’s 12 grand winners and was also voted the “Most Popular Photo” in the Mobile Category by Facebook users.

Just like most participants in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) 2nd National Photography Competition, Amer Amor was excited to see his work stand out from thousands of photo entries submitted for the nationwide contest.

Unfortunately, Amor - a 31-year old Journalism instructor at the University of the Philippines in Baguio - never got the chance to see how his photo entry made its way to the grand finals. He would have been thrilled to know that his work emerged as one of the competition’s big winners and garnered over 4,500 likes on PAGCOR’s Facebook Page, winning the “Most Popular Photo” in the Mobile Category.

Amor died in a motorbike accident on May 15 while on vacation in his hometown in Donsol, Sorsogon. He was one of the 12 grand winners in the said category.

Ironically, Amor’s entry was entitled “Return to Paradise” – which seemed to be a premonition of his journey to the next life. His photo shows the idyllic Cadlao Island in El Nido with a mother and child taking a dip in the clear waters of Palawan at sunset.

Amor’s awards were received by his mother Sylvia and sister Rasyl during the awarding rites held on June 6, 2014 at the Airport Casino Filipino in Paranaque City. As a grand prize winner, Amor received a total of P35,000 plus trophy (P30,000 as Grand Winner and P5,000 for winning the Most Popular Photo in the Mobile Category).

“We were clueless that my brother joined the competition. We were mourning over his passing when we received a message from PAGCOR that Amer is a grand finalist in the contest. We are very thankful to PAGCOR because they recognized our brother’s talent. Even in his death, he still gave honour to our family,” Rasyl Amor emotionally said.

Aside from Amor, PAGCOR also awarded 11 other grand prize winners for the Mobile Category and 12 grand winners in the Conventional Category. Each of the Conventional Category winners received P75,000 cash and P30,000 for the Mobile Category. The entries of all grand winners will be featured in PAGCOR’s 2015 Corporate Calendar.

PAGCOR also gave consolation prizes of P20,000 each to eight grand finalists in the Conventional Category and P5,000 cash to each of the eight non-winning grand finalists in the Mobile Category.

The affair was a celebration of great talent. PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. lauded the grand winners’ artistry and skill in capturing extraordinary images that represent the country’s scenic spots, unique culture and beautiful people. “We received about 7,500 entries in this year’s photo contest. If you were considered a grand finalist, it means your photo passed the critical eye of the judges who are all seasoned photographers and renowned visual artists,” he said.

Naguiat added that with the success of the competition, PAGCOR will continue to make the photo contest an annual event.

Journalism instructor gets posthumous awards in PAGCOR’s 2nd national photo contest
Winners of PAGCOR’s 2nd National Photography Competition are joined by (standing, from left) seasoned corporate, documentary and advertising photographer Wig Tysmans, (2nd from left) PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Corporate Communications Maricar Bautista (3rd from left), PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. (7th from left), PAGCOR President and COO Jorge Sarmiento (9th from left) and Federation of Philippine Photographers’ Foundation Chairperson Eduviges Huang (10th from left).

Meanwhile, Ruwen Verdaguer from Atimonan, Quezon bagged the most number of awards in the Conventional Category. His two entries - “Mystical Mayon” and “Street Dance Warrior” - taken in Iloilo during the Dinagyang Festival were both grand winners. Apart from the total of P150,000 cash prize he received for his two winning entries, Verdaguer’s “Mystical Mayon” also bagged the Most Popular Photo Award. He received an additional P5,000 for the said recognition.

Verdaguer shared that he joined PAGCOR’s 1st Photo Contest last year but failed to make it even to the grand finals. “Hindi ako nawalan ng pag-asa kaya sumali ako ulit. I did not expect that both of my entries will win the grand prize and the Most Popular Photo dahil napakaraming sumali sa competition na ito,” he said.

Wig Tysmans, a seasoned corporate, documentary and advertising photographer who was one of the judges in the Metro Manila screening and the grand finals said several entries were excellent. He also commended PAGCOR’s commitment to the promotion of local tourism. “What better way to promote the Philippines than through a photo competition such as this,” he cited.

Tysmans added that since PAGCOR will be utilizing the entries of grand winners for its 2015 Calendar, the photos should not only be visually appealing but must first and foremost tell a story. “Whenever you see the entry, you should be able to discover something new every day. That photo should be able to grow on you,” he added.

Other winners in PAGCOR’s 2nd Photography Competition (Mobile Category) are licensed pharmacist Ray Johnino Carinugan for “Look Up”; Rodolfo Macaraeg, Jr. from Mangaldan, Pangasinan for “Serenity”; Neriza Angcay from Cebu City for her entries “A Plea to Senyor Santo Nino” and “Kids of Bantayan Island”; Elma Zambra, a housewife from Janiuay, Iloilo for her photo “Strawberry Taho”; Lawyer Ghelynne Avril del Rosario for “Just Passing By”; Industrial Engineering student John Paulo Baticulon for “Sweet Spectrum”; Timothy Joshua Vargas for “How Much is Mother Nature”; Emerald Jay Ilac for his entry “Clouds Unveiling Batad”; graphic designer from Cebu City Jennifer June Ngo Sibi for her entry “Boodle Fight” which shows a photo of her family’s favorites like danggit and dried pusit; and Desiderio Ayanan, Jr. whose entry was the exquisite “Coron Island Cove”.

For the Conventional Category, other winners include Harley Palangchao for his entry “More Fun in Banaue” taken during the 11th Imbayah Festival in Banaue; Aklan native Andre Andrade’s “Fishing in Kapurpurawan Rock Formation” in Ilocos; Norman Cruz Posecion’s “Salt Farmer” which features the salt-making tradition of Miagao, Iloilo; Arjoy Ceniza’s “Takbong Kalabaw”; Voltaire Anthony Rosario’s “Toss and Hit” which shows kids playing the traditional game of tumbang preso; Richie Reynan Tan for his entry, “Geronimo” which features young boys bravely diving from a beautiful rock formation in San Francisco, Surigao del Norte; Zer Jason Cabatuan’s “Zoom” showing an Igorot who joined a wooden scooter race during this year’s Imbayah Festival; Dionisio Jundio Salvador, Jr. for “Jeepney Rooftop Ride”; Gina Meneses’ entry “Sungka”; and Mclloyd Jumpay’s “Thousand Crosses” taken in Mabalacat, Pampanga showing penitents and devotees walking on the Mabalacat bridge carrying crosses during the Holy Week.

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