Picture perfect moment for real photo tilt winners
Will the real winners please stand up?
From the ashes of a plagiarism scandal, rose three new winners of the Calidad Humana “Smiles for the World” photo-essay contest.
They are businessman Medardo Marquez and freelance photographers Hannah Maria Reyes and Arnold Jumpay. All three used to be the respective second, third and fourth placers in the said photo tilt, until Mark Joseph Solis was stripped of the first place award after he was found to have plagiarized somebody else’s photograph.
Chilean Ambassador Roberto Mayorga recently opened his house for a simpler awarding ceremonies to name the new set of winners. The first place prizes that include $1,000, roundtrip tickets to Chile and Brazil and a high-end mobile phone that were returned by Solis, were awarded to Marquez, the real and deserving winner.
Marquez’s winning photograph was that of three shirtless boys with missing teeth taken more than 10 years ago. He captioned it with the message: “We may be naked and toothless, but we are blessed for our spirits are undaunted and our laughter pure. We are children of Filipino earth. Our smiles brighten up every dark cranny in the land.”
Marquez said those children in his photo should be big and with teeth by now, but he would always be reminded of man’s innate goodness each time he sees little ones smile.
Moving up from third to second place was Reyes who in 2012 took a photo of a granny from the Butbut tribe in Kalinga, Apayao who was covered with tattoos. She titled her work “The Happiness in Our Skin” and said “Filipinos fluently speak the most important language—smiles.
Reyes won $600 and a mobile phone. She is a batch mate in UP of the self-confessed plagiarist Solis.
Jumpay, the new third place winner, received $400 and a mobile phone. His photo featured four senior women from Banaue which he titled “Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Of Lines and Smiles”.
Jumpay said unlike many modern women, the elderly Ifugao women love their sun-baked skin and tobacco-lined teeth and proud of their tribal colors. They offered unbridled smiles, rendering their eyes more linear as they posed for the photo, Jumpay added.
As for Solis, the ambassador has accepted his apology and convinced him to participate in the social programs of Calidad Humana as a way of redeeming himself. The embassy will no longer press charges against Solis, who is still the subject of investigation by the UP, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and an attached agency of the Office of the President.