MANILA, Philippines - Inspired by images and colors that beautifully reflect how Chinese traditions and cultures have been embedded in the everyday lives of Filipinos, a group of photographers used their skills to capture images that convey the depth of this relationship. Apart from the noodles, lanterns and fireworks that have become part of Filipino traditions, the Chinese influence can be felt in just about every aspect of the Filipino way of life down the generations. Armed with their cameras, these photographers captured vignettes of this dynamic relationship.
As a living representation of this phenomenon, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), in cooperation with the Camera Club of the Philippines (CCP), recently launched an online photo contest that aimed to promote the ever-changing Filipino-Chinese culture. Entitled “Connected Community” it perfectly encapsulated the Filipino-Chinese ties. “Connections” loosely translates to guan xi, a relationship of one person or party to another with obligation built overtime or simply—reciprocity.
The online photography competition ran from 8th of August 2016 until 16th of October 2016. It garnered three hundred entries from photographers all over the Philippines.
Last November 3, the winners of this contest were feted by the FFCCCII. From the professional category, Froiland Rivera was hailed the best and took home P70,000, Emerson Catindoy bagged second place and was awarded P40,000, and Dante Peralta emerged as the third placer and received P20,000. Seven other professional photographers made it as finalists namely Noel San Andres (4th), Mary Grace Anne Batalla (5th), Carlito Galamgam, Jr. (6th), Joselito Riñoza (7th), Josefino Mario de Guzman (8th), Richmond Chi (9th) and Romado Javillonar (10th). Apart from the cash prizes awarded to the first, second, and third placer, all ten (10) photographers from the professional category were given Chinese tea sets and plaques.
Meanwhile, for the amateur category, Catherine Aragoncillo bested hundreds and secured the top spot in the category, taking home P40,000 in cash. Ysabel Victoriano emerged victorious in second place with P20,000 in cash, while Bernard Recirdo II was named third placer and brought home P15,000 in cash. Seven other photography hobbyists were named as finalists in the category including Alyssa Uy (4th), John Christian Alvariño (5th), Emman Foronda (6th), Gaea Lei Osilao (7th), Douglas Lopez (8th), Jerrica Sabariaga (9th), and Ryan Malabonga (10th). Similar to the professional category, all ten (10) photographers brought home Chinese tea sets and plaques.
The photos of the finalists were also posted on its Facebook page. Garnering the most number of positive reactions and shares is the photo “The Rockstar Treatment”. Its owner, Mary Grace Anne Batalla, claimed the special prize with P5,000 and plaque.
“We were amazed at the talent and artistry of the winners in capturing the theme, Connected Community,” said FFCCCII President Angel Ngu. “Through this competition, the Filipino-Chinese ties really stood out. The photographers went beyond the obvious Chinese elements. Each photo that made it into the finals really had a compelling story to tell.”
“The entries are all works of art, and serve as a testament to the special bond between the Filipino and Chinese people. Each image showed how deeply interwoven Filipino-Chinese culture is, and will continue to be, in the generations to come,” said CCP President Philip Clayton Yu.