The oldest university in Asia, The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, is celebrating its fourth centenary this coming 2011. The UST Main Building, the Central Seminary, the Arch of the Centuries and the University’s open spaces are being declared as National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum. Various activities are also being held by the university to celebrate its 400 years of service to the Filipino youth; one such activities is the UST Quadricentennial Photo Competition.
The contest, opened for both alumni’s and students, was held from the 1st of January to the 31st. Over 400 entries were submitted in the course of the month and judging was to be made by two respected photographers, Jun Barrameda and Noli Gabilo.
Too bad the contest was opened a few days after I went shooting at my alma mater, having already a few noteworthy shots.
So anyways, after hearing about the contest, I went back to UST, cameras and tripods slung on my back. Having four pre-visualized shots already in my head, I just waited for the golden afternoon light to streak into the university and hurriedly went to work on the four locations I had in mind before the light of the magic hour ran out of me.
As luck would have it, one of those four shots struck gold and was shortlisted.
The awarding was to be held two weeks after the submissions at the UST Museum. Unfortunately, I have work on that day, but I just had to attend the ceremonies. I had an early break from the office and taxied my way to UST, heavy España traffic and all. I arrived just in time for the introductions.
Finally the winners were soon being announced one agonizingly slow name after another; I nervously waited if my name was to going to be called as the room seems to turn a degree colder.
And after a few more names, my name was finally announced!
My entry bagged the third place for the Alumni Category. I was of course aiming for the grand prize of P75,000.00 but third prize is not bad at all.
My piece, titled "Enlightenment" is a combination of two of Santo Tomas' icons. The regal Benavides sculpture and the massive old world UST Main Building caught in the transition of day into night.
My heartfelt gratitude to my alma mater, The University of Santo Tomas, for my first major photo competition win!
The winning and selected entries are on display at the UST Main Building Museum, February 12 to March 6, 2010.
Viewing hours are from 8:30am to 4:30 pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Winning and Shortlisted entries can be viewed here: