Honolulu (HI) – Photo entries by two photographers from the Philippines were adjudged first and second prizes in a photo contest sponsored by the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The photo contest was aimed to award photographers that dramatically capture APEC’s priorities in 2011 such as in the areas of strengthening regional economic integration, advancing regulatory cooperation and promoting green growth.
Reynaldo C. Mondez’ photo “Solar Energy Panels” won grand prize. Another Filipino photographer’s submission, “World-Wide”, took second prize and was awarded to Romeo B. Doneza. Wong Chi Keung from Hong Kong, China, whose photo “No-Boundary Network”, took the third prize.
The winning photographs were chosen by APEC judges from 204 photo submissions by 95 photographers in 17 APEC member economies.
To engage the community throughout the Asia-Pacific, the top ten photos were posted on the APEC Facebook page for comments and votes. More than 10,000 votes were cast during the two-week voting period – Mondez received over 4,600 “Likes” for his photo, also winning him the APEC Popular Choice Award.
“I am very happy and truly humbled by this experience,” said Mondez, a retired photographer from the National Housing Authority of the Philippines. He currently runs a small wedding photography business with his son in Metro Manila.
“The photo is a symbol of hope for a sustainable future, even in the most remote parts of the Philippines,” said Mondez. His winning photo of children playing basketball next to a hut and a solar energy panel was taken in a rural village in Rizal province.
“What I’m trying to convey to the world is to make renewable energy more accessible to everyone by first lowering the cost of the technology,” he added. “Through my photo, I hope to reach out to the decision-makers who are involved in renewable energy.”
APEC is currently working to reduce unnecessary trade and investment barriers to environmental goods and services, in an effort to lower costs and increase citizens’ access to important green technologies. APEC is also developing energy-efficient policies to support a sustainable, low-carbon future that also reduces carbon emissions.
“Big steps have been taken this year to promote green growth in the Asia-Pacific,” said U.S. APEC Senior Official, Ambassador Kurt Tong, who was a member of the judging panel. “We are addressing the concerns of APEC citizens at the grassroots level.”
“The places and people captured by these photographers serve as reminders of the value of APEC’s work in fostering greater cooperation and promoting sustainable growth in economies and among everyday citizens.”
Also on the panel was Agence France-Presse’s Photo Editor-in-Chief, Eric Baradat who was impressed by the many high-quality submissions. “The three winning images exude both creativity and conscious composition,” said Baradat. “They capture the very essence of what APEC is doing.”