The Deutsche GesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, together with the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-BMB), recently held its fourth annual photo competition “Selfie for Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism 2017,” which in commemoration of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on May 22.
This year, after a strict screening of the over 600 entries received, Cebu-based student Marrise Tumampos won the grand prize with her photo “Follow Me, Humans.” In the photo, Tumampos was able to showcase a swimming sea turtle, one of the country’s critically endangered marine species—as if guiding the direction underwater. Asked about what she thinks her role is in protecting Philippine biodiversity, Tumampos stated “Everybody has responsibilities in being a steward for the environment. We all need to take care of our rich biodiversity because it doesn’t only help boost our tourism, but it also supports the variety of life.” Tumampos will get to go on an all-expense-paid trip to any of the protected areas or biodiversity areas under the jurisdiction of the DENR-BMB or a project site of GIZ PAME Project, except the Islands of Batanes.
“Follow Me, Humans,” grand prize (2017), Selfie Category – Marrise Tumampos
Grand prize winner, Non-Selfie Category – Mark Joseph Francisco
“Mt. Pulag,” grand prize (2014) by Rei Gallardo Jr.
“Saving Little Birdie,” grand prize (2015) by Erickson Tabayag
“Ancient Sea Turtle,”first runner-up (2916) by Dany Ocampo
“The Livelihood Stairway,” grand prize (2016) by Allan Jay Quesada
In past years, the competition has already been able to jet off aspiring photographers to their dream destinations. Last year’s winner Allan Jay Quesada went on a five-day, all-expense-paid trip to Gunung Leuser National Park in Medan, Indonesia. Thanks to his entry called “The Livelihood Stairway,” taken at the Banaue Rice Terraces.
That same year, Danny Ocampo won first runner-up with his entry ”Ancient Sea Turtle.” The photo was taken in Apo Island and features one of the island’s sea turtles which has given the island a boost in tourism as one of the most popular dive spots in the country. For his winning entry, Ocampo was able to travel to Busuanga where he searched for dugongs, as well as Coron where he was able to explore different dive spots.
Meanwhile, Erickson Tabayag was able to bag the competition in 2015 with his entry “Saving Little Birdie,” taken at a mangrove forest restoration area near his home in Palawan.
In 2014, Rei Gallardo Jr. was awarded the grand prize for his entry Mt. Pulag and Andrea Gaurana won the phone and mobile device category with her entry “Dulang-Dulang,” taken at Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon.
With this year’s theme being “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism,” the contest challenged everyone to capture scenes showing efforts to sustain biodiversity and how biodiversity is connected to sustainable tourism.