Filipinos top Asia-Pacific photo contest

Shielo Mendoza
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Showcasing exceptional talent and creativity, Filipino photographers topped the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)-sponsored photo contest, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement Thursday.
 
Reynaldo Mondez and Romeo Doneza bagged the first and second prizes with their entries “Solar Energy Panels” and “World Wide,” respectively. They stood out from the 204 photos submitted by 95 photographers from 17 APEC member-economies.
 
Wong Chi Keung from Hong Kong won the third prize for his entry “No-Boundary Network.”
 
“I am very happy and truly humbled by this experience,” Mondez said as quoted from a release from the APEC secretariat. Mondez is a retired photographer from the National Housing Authority and currently runs a small wedding photography business with his son in Manila.
 
Two other Filipino photographers, Ellen de Leon and Robert Anton Pimentel, made it to the top 10 with their respective entries “Winds of Change” and “Economic Harmony.”
 
The winners, which were announced Tuesday in Honolulu, were chosen by a panel of international judges based on the following criteria: quality of photograph, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.
 
Symbol of hope and sustainable future

The winning entries also best reflected APEC’s 2011 priorities of strengthening regional economic integration, advancing regulatory cooperation and promoting green growth.
 
“The photo is a symbol of hope for a sustainable future, even in the most remote parts of the Philippines,” Mondez said, explaining his winning photo of children playing basketball next to a hut and a solar energy panel, which was taken in a rural village in Rizal province.
 
He added that through his photo, he was hoping that he could convey the importance of making renewable energy more accessible by lowering the cost of the technology.
 
To solicit comments and votes, APEC posted the top 10 photos on its Facebook page. Mondez received over 4,600 “likes,” which also won him the APEC Popular Choice Award.