Heavy rains battered the windowsill.
From outside, looking in through the glass windows of Ateneo de Manila’s Institute of Social Order (ISO) building, the rain seemed to beat on images of mowed mountains, flooded and silted waterways, and miners dead by landslide.
But that was that. At least for those inside the building, the rain was outside; detached, thankfully, from the images – photographs of death, destruction and damage neatly plastered on mounted boards.
The gathering, the installation, and the rain that perhaps blest the entire affair, was to conclude the Oro, Plata at Mata Photo Contest last Sept. 9.
The result of a partnership between the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. and PECOJON – The Peace & Conflict Journalism Network Philippines, the event brought together photojournalists, amateurs and hobbyists, and civil society organizations in the hope of bringing forth awareness on the impact of mining.
Their output: photographs that document realities on the ground, seeds to a body of work that will eventually tour the entire country and Germany.
Winners in professional category included, in order, Jeoffrey Maitem of Koronadal, South Cotabato, Keith Bacongco of Davao City and David Leprozo Jr., who based in Baguio City.
They received a plaque, token from PECOJON Philippines, a copy of their own photo exhibit panel and cash prizes ranging from P11,000 to P22,000 pesos.
Maitem and Bacongco work depicted the rescue operations of the landslide of a mining site in Pantukan, Compostella Valley.
Leprozo winning photo, on the other hand, was a landscape shot of a mining site that sheared off a mountain side in the boundary of Baguio and Benguet provinces.
In the amateur and hobbyists’ category, Reynald Remegio of General Santos City, H. Marcos Mordeno of Bukidnon and Julius Mariveles of Bacolod City garnered the top three slots.
Remegio’s photo documented a rescue operation at a collapsed mining site in Tampakan, South Cotabato.
A human-interest image of a little girl engaged in the adult job of processing potentially hazardous minerals at the mining site in Zamboanga del Norte was Mordeno’s winning piece.
Mariveles’ shot brought the audience back to an abandoned and decrepit mining site in Negros Occidental.
Each received a plaque, a framed copy of the exhibit panel showing their winning piece, a token from PECOJON Philippines and a cash prize ranging from P9,000 to P10,000.
The final category was exclusive for PMPI members, focal organizations and point persons.
Each winner received a Samsung ES80 digital point-and-shoot camera plus a plaque, a copy of their own photo exhibit panel, a token from PECOJON Philippines and cash prizes ranging from P6,000 to P11,000.
The winners all came from Samar and included Mario Ian Mosquisa, Ma. Narcisa Badilla and Villardo Abueme.
Special prizes were also given to photographers who submitted their pictures on or before April 22, as the rest of the world celebrated the Earth Day 2011.
Receiving the prizes were Jes Aznar, Reynaldo Remegio and Ma. Narcisa Badilla.
The Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. is a venture between and among over 300 civil society organizations in the country – including church-based groups, non-government organizations and people’s organizations – and Misereor, an overseas development agency in Germany.
With the poor in the center of its work, PMPI espouses a common-development agenda within a rights-based and integral human development framework.
PECOJON – The Peace and Conflict Journalism Network Philippines, on the other hand, is a network of journalists working together to provide high quality and conflict-sensitive reporting of issues and concerns affecting humanity.