Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR announces 48 grand finalists of its 1st National Photography Competition

Wednesday | June 19, 2013 | 5:00 PM

PAGCOR announces 48 grand finalists of its 1st National Photography Competition
PAGCOR Director Lito Tanjuatco was among the panel of judges in the screening of photo entries coming from the Visayas region.

THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) completed the search for the 48 entries that will move on to the final judging of the agency’s 1st National Photography Competition on July 5, 2013 at the Airport Casino Filipino in Paranaque City.

Maricar Bautista, PAGCOR’s Assistant VP for Corporate Communications said “the entries stood out among 5,500 photos submitted by amateur and professional photographers all over the country for the state-owned gaming firm’s first-ever photography competition. They were chosen by professional photographers of local and international repute.”

According to Bautista, the thousands of entries came from various provinces in the Philippines. “We have entries from as far as Batanes, Isabela, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga. The profile of participants is also diverse. There are students, professionals, photography hobbyists and experienced lensmen. The youngest participants are 18 years old and the oldest is 70 years old,” she added.

Similar to PAGCOR’s National Art Competition held in 2012, the agency’s 1st National Photography Competition adopted for its theme the country’s tourism slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”.

PAGCOR announces 48 grand finalists of its 1st National Photography Competition
Visiting scenic spots is indeed ‘more fun in the Philippines’ as shown in the photo contest entries from Metro Manila.

Bautista noted PAGCOR’s staunch support for the Department of Tourism (DOT) in promoting the country’s best attractions. “This is our way of helping promote the Philippines’ rare treasures, world-class tourist destinations, exciting culture and traditions. The event itself is a gratifying discovery of beautiful places in the country. We thank everyone who joined the competition,” she said.

According to Bautista, PAGCOR’s photo contest showcased myriad breathtaking destinations all over the Philippines which have yet to be discovered. “There are so many beautiful places even in quaint provinces like the 1.7 kilometer old port of Silay City in Negros, the awe-inspiring landscapes of Sambawan Island in Eastern Visayas, Leyte’s Canigao Island, and rare rock formations in Kapurpurawan, Ilocos Norte and Basco, Batanes. This only shows how blessed we are to have so many extraordinary natural attractions in the country,” she added.

PAGCOR announces 48 grand finalists of its 1st National Photography Competition
PAGCOR Director Eric Nuguid during the regional screening of the Mindanao entries.

The regional judging of the entries from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Metro Manila were held last June 3, 7, 10 and 14 at Airport Casino Filipino. The screening was handled by some of the country’s best photographers and visual artists referred to PAGCOR by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Cinematographer and Urian Awardee Nap Jamir who was one of the judges for the Visayas screening said he had difficulty scoring the entries. “There are a lot of exceptional photos out there that just end up being seen by the photographer’s circle of friends, or on Facebook. They need a wider audience and we are glad that PAGCOR’s competition provided them that opportunity,” he added.

Fellow judge Joe Galvez, senior photo editor of GMA online, also noted the competition’s contribution to boosting the country’s tourism sector. “From the images, makikita nila yung other side of the Philippines na captured by ordinary photographers, they may be professional, amateur or hobbyists. Hindi siya yung typical na marketing material. Ito natural ito. Kuha ito ng mga ordinaryong tao na may camera,” Galvez cited.

On the other hand, Eduviges Huang (chairperson of the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation) said that despite her years of experience as a judge in various photo contests, she had a hard time judging the images submitted to PAGCOR’s photography contest. “There are a number of images that are taken in places that I have never visited yet. Ang gaganda nila. Apart from the popular tourist spots, there are still so many places in the country that need to be showcased and there is no better tool to do that other than photography,” Huang added.

PAGCOR announces 48 grand finalists of its 1st National Photography Competition
PAGCOR invited an esteemed panel of judges in selecting the 48 grand finalists in the agency’s first-ever national photography contest. For the Luzon regional screening, the judges were (from left) Mr. Albert Avellana (owner of Avellana Art Gallery), PAGCOR’s Assistant VP for Corporate Communications Maricar Bautista and Mr. Philip Escudero (professional photographer).

Other judges during the regional screenings include Wawi Navarroza (Awardee of CCP’s 13 Artists), At Maculangan (Artist/Photographer), Albert Avellana (owner, Avellana Art Gallery), Philip Escudero (professional photographer) and Joey Tanedo (professor of Visual Communications, UP Diliman College of Fine Arts). On the other hand, the judges from PAGCOR were Directors Lito Tanjuatco and Eric Nuguid, and AVP Maricar Bautista.

All 48 photos that made it to the final judging of the 1st PAGCOR National Photography Competition will be exhibited from July 5 to 12, 2013 in Airport Casino Filipino. The formal announcement of winners will be on July 12, 2013. There will be 12 grand winners (three from each category – People, Nature, Structures/Historical Landmarks and Customs and Traditions) who will each win P75,000. The winning entries will be used for PAGCOR’s 2014 calendar. The 36 non-winning entries will also get a consolation prize of P20,000 each.

Bautista announced that PAGCOR will also have a special award for the “Most Liked” photos which will be chosen via online voting. “The contest for the “Most Liked” photos is open to all PAGCOR Facebook followers from June 20 to July 9, 2013. You can vote for your favourite photos by visiting our FB page,” she added.

The complete list of the 48 grand finalists to the 1st PAGCOR National Photography Competition can be viewed at the agency’s official website ( and facebook page (

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