Photo contest to promote Philippines tourism opens in Taiwan

People Ifugao Tribe. Rice terraces. View point. Banaue. Northern Luzon. Philippines. Banaue (or alternatively spelled as Banawe) is a fourth class municipality in the province of Ifugao, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 22,365 people.[3] It is widely known as the site of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Batad Rice Terraces and Bangaan Rice Terraces. Sometimes called by locals as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", the Ifugao Rice Terraces begin at the base of the mountain range and extend several thousand feet upwards. Two of the terrace clusters in Banaue, namely Bangaan and Batad, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage inscription. It is said that their length, if put end to end, would encircle half of the globe. Built 2,000 years ago, the rice terraces manifest the engineering skill and ingenuity of the sturdy Ifugaos. They are irrigated by means of mountain streams and springs that have been tapped and channeled into canals that run downhill through the rice terraces. The rice terraces once stretched northeast to Cagayan and as far south as Quezon. However they are now slowly being abandoned and showing signs of deterioration. A severe 1990 earthquake damaged some of the terraces' irrigation systems, while El Niño triggered droughts that led giant earthworms to erode the terraces' soil. Furthermore, the rice variety most suited to the area's cool climate is not a high-yielding crop; because it takes so long to mature, some Ifugao families have abandoned their land in the rice terraces in favor of land that reaps faster rewards. Photo by: Sergi Reboredo/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) Submissions are now open for a photo competition that is aimed at promoting the natural beauty of the Philippines and the work of its nationals in Taiwan, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei said Thursday.

In a press release, MECO said the contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers, who can submit any number of photos depicting the scenery of the Philippines or some aspect of Filipinos’ lives in Taiwan.

The competition will run until May 30, after which a panel of judges will select the top three entries and pick another five for special prize awards, said MECO, which organized the contest in collaboration with Litratista, an association of Filipino photographers based in Taiwan.

The judging will be based on originality, composition, technical excellence, artistic merit and relevance to the themes, MECO said.

The winners of the top three prizes will receive NT$15,000, NT$10,000 and NT$5,000, respectively, said MECO, which has launched the competition in Taiwan for the first time with the goal of promoting Philippines tourism and highlighting the contribution of immigrant Filipinos to Taiwan’s culture and economy.

In the special prize category, the winners will each receive a cash prize of NT$3,000 while certificates of recognition will be awarded to photographers shortlisted in the top 50 entries and their photos will be displayed in an exhibition, MECO said.

The five special prizes are People’s Choice Award; Best Camera Phone Photo Award; Best Young Photographer’s Piece Award for an under-18 photographer; Best Adventure Photo Award, for an entry depicting adventure activities in the Philippines; and Best City Moments Award, for a photo showing the tourist night life in any Philippine city, according to MECO.

Further details of the competition are available on request by emailing [email protected], MECO said.

(By Joseph Yeh)