Thursday, October 3, 2013

The real winners of the Smiles for the World Photo Contest organized bythe Ambassador of Chile



Over lunch today at the home of H.E. Roberto MayorgaAmbassador of Chile, in Forbes Park, the final top three winners of the Smiles for the World photo and caption contest were announced.

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EVERYONE'S SMILING

After an initial hiccup for the Smiles for the World photo and caption contest last month, while I was in Spain living a Travelife, all is indeed well and ending perfectly. 

It was a very happy occasion, with everyone smiling.



A SIMPLE AND HEARTWARMING PROJECT

Incidentally, Travelife Magazine is a proud partner of this wonderful and heartwarming project, that began simply as an idea of Ambassador Mayorga to make the Filipino smile and sincerity better–known around the world.

Ambassador Mayorga has been stationed in the Philippines for over three years now, and his experience here has been a very positive one. 



A DEEP AFFECTION FOR THE PHILIPPINES

He has grown to love the Philippines and Filipinos, and this very nice gesture – which has now ballooned into a project that is famous all over the Philippines and the world – is his way of thanking the Philippines for a wonderful experience.

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And, yes what a famous project Smiles for the World now is. 

When I went up the driveway of his official residence, every television station crew was there to put the new trio of winners up on tonight's news.

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FIRST ENCOUNTER

I was in Spain when the initial awarding ceremonies took place at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The CCP and CCP President Raul Sunico are also active event partners of Smiles for the World.

So this was the first time I got to meet the winners.



The first prize winner is a very nice and unassuming gentleman from Bacolod named Dodjie Marquez. He took his photo with a Nikomat FT3, which is an honest–to–goodness black–and–white film camera. It's the kind of camera used in the Vietnam War, apparently.

SERENDIPITY AND A WINNING PHOTOGRAPH

He didn't use this camera on purpose. It just so happened that it was the camera he brought on that day.

Well, Dodjie had been walking around Barrangay Binalbagan, Southern Bacolod with this camera, when he saw these three children playing. Realizing it was a beautiful photo opportunity, he snapped away – and this became the winning shot.



Dodjie told me today, regarding the initial incident of the Smiles for the World: "When I first heard about it, I was shocked and sad. I was really sad as a Filipino and as a student also of UP, that someone would do such a thing."

He added: "As for winning the contest, it hasn't really sunk in yet. But already I've been feeling like it's quite an additional responsibility. I was already ok, just being 2nd place."



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