THREE Filipinos won the 2017 Southeast Asian photo contest by the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
Jose Melencio Brillo, Raniel Jose Castañeda, and Herwin Barcelona won three of the four top prizes in the Southeast Asia-wide art competition.
From its launch in October 2016, the photo contest received 1,263 entries from 284 photo enthusiasts—including 101 professional photographers—from 10 Southeast Asian countries.
With the theme "Celebrating Southeast Asian agriculture and fisheries," photo entries depicted the vibrant countryside along with the Southeast Asians who plant, fish, and harvest food.
The aim was to capture the joy and passion that Southeast Asian farmers and fishers, processors, traders, and consumers share as they harvest, process, sell, and partake of the fruits of the land and sea.
The theme reflects SEARCA's commemoration of its 50th founding anniversary as an institution that has helped build capacities of Southeast Asians, generate knowledge through cutting-edge research, deliver research findings through knowledge resources and learning events, all the while adapting to the constantly changing agricultural landscape at the national, regional, and global levels.
It was Brillo's image, which bested all other entries in the tenth photo contest of SEARCA, with a fisherman holding up his morning catch as he stands in an outrigger boat on the tranquil Pulilan River in Bulacan.
Castañeda of Manila bagged the second prize with his photograph of a fisherman casting a net in a river to catch fish for his family.
The third prize went to Kyaw Kyaw Winn of Myanmar for his photo of two women carrying a basket of fish from the sea.
Meanwhile, Barcelona of Bongabong, Nueva Ecija, won the "People's Choice" award for his photo of a bountiful onion harvest in his town—the "onion capital" of the country. His photo garnered almost 2,000 likes via online voting.
The winning photos and the other short listed entries will be featured in SEARCA's publications and other materials that promote agricultural development and cooperation in the region.