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UPAAT Clicks winners hailed!

By: Gretchen Mangahas

After more than a month of activities for the event, the UPAAT’s first-ever virtual photography competition organizers declared winners who beautifully captured stories of autumn through their smartphone lenses.

This was organized by the Socials and Events Committee headed by Diana Roldan and Arianne Chung after UPAAT members who participated in a survey signified most interest in photography as a social activity of the association. With the physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event served as a reflective moment and a time to reconnect with nature for most participants. It also became a venue for social interaction and connection among the UPAAT members.

The event kicked off with a Photography Virtual Webinar held on October 31 facilitated by UPAAT Council member and UPAAT Clicks Project Director Leo Mascariñas. Tito Leo, as he is fondly called by younger members of UPAAT, openly published his Photography Playbook I, Autumn 2020 issue which is a “flashcard format that serves as a companion to the UPAAT Clicks webinar and presents photography as a way of seeing.”

Photographs taken using smartphones only from September 22 (official start of fall) and November 15, 2020 were qualified for the competition. Forty-seven participants submitted a total of over a hundred entries online before November 16, 2020. A Facebook Group was created for online voting from November 19-27 for the People’s Choice category while a panel of judges evaluated the submitted entries and identified winners for the Judges’ Choice Category.

The following winners were declared during the UPAAT’s Virtual Holiday Party on December 19, 2020 where preparations for an upcoming UPAAT Clicks 2.0 was also announced:


First Place – Velika Masongsong

Second Place – Roseanne Realubin

Third Place – Ana Roldan

Honourable Mention – Rosario Pascua

Honourable Mention – Amalda Ada

Honourable Mention – Noel de Guzman


First Place – Marie Rusela Abis

Second Place People’s Choice – Rissa Wycoco

Third Place People’s Choice – Ryeanna Ponce de Leon

Top prize winners bagged prizes including - a digital certificate of recognition, an inclusive digital photobook, a limited edition compact disc featuring the UPCC, an aromatic and hand-poured soy candle reminiscent of autumn (courtesy of Campfire Diaries), a 2021 Toronto Camera Club desktop calendar (courtesy of Leo Mascariñas), and a premium stainless steel insulated bottle featuring their winning photograph.

All participants received a digital certificate of participation and an inclusive digital photobook featuring all participating photographers and their entries.

The panel of judges was composed of veteran artists whose talents and works have been recognized in Canada, the Philippines and in other countries. They were:

Nancybelle Gonzaga Villarroya graduated in 1973 from UP Diliman with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. She taught High School Arts at St. Scholastica’s College from 1974 until their migration to Canada in 1976. She has been involved in photography as a hobbyist, and presently a Contributor to Getty Images for the past 10 years. More than 2000 of her pictures are on display for commercial purposes at Getty Images. A number of her photographs have been published.

Romi C. Mananquil earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines. Upon graduation, he went into advertising but distinguished himself as an award-winning illustrator for comics, books and magazines where his paintings were used as covers. Romi later joined the arts faculty of the University of the East, College of the Holy Spirit and the U.P. College of Fine Arts, where he rose from Instructor to Assistant Professor, Department Chairman and Artist-in-Residence. He was commissioned, with two others, by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to design the 1983 New Design series and Flora and Fauna series of Philippine banknotes and coins some of which were in circulation for three decades. In 1986, he moved with his family to Canada. In 1988, he founded the Philippine Artists Group of Canada, became its first president, and headed it for 14 years. As an artist, he garnered art commissions, awards and recognitions both in Canada and the Philippines.

Leo Mascariñas’ photographic works have received numerous awards. They have been exhibited and published in many places and on different platforms. Leo has shared his talents through various workshops and lectures for several organisations in Canada and the Philippines. He holds the distinction of being the first and only Filipino-Canadian to have reached the Masters Division of the Toronto Camera Club. The TCC was established in 1888 and is among the world's oldest and most venerable photography institutions. He is also a member of the Canadian Association for Photographic Art.

Joe Rivera shares, "For me, the challenge for an artist is to see beyond what the eye sees, to go beyond what first impressions make. To go deeply into a place or into an object, one must be in full command of one’s powers of observation, be keen on the possibilities of what chaos, confusion, irregularity may bring into one’s art. Art that provokes another’s worldview is part of this process of becoming—of the artist engaging and being engaged by his environment."

Raymond Santos is a part-time professional photographer for Little Manila (LM) Confidential, a local Filipino community-based newspaper here in the Greater Toronto Area. Raymond has also covered media events, finding himself behind the lens, capturing artists, like Raining Jane, Jason Mraz, Marianas Trench, and Kamikaze, in their live concerts. Raymond joined UPAAT in 2015. He completed BA Sociology in University of the Philippines, Los Baños.

Here are the other winning entries:

All photo entries can be also viewed on the UPAAT Clicks Facebook Page.

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