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UAE-based Pinoy photographer wins Sheikh Hamdan Int’l Photography Award

A Filipino photographer has been named among the winners of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award’s (HIPA) most recent Instagram Photo Contest under the theme “Mask”. 

Emmanuel “Manny” Fajutag, a multi-awarded photographer based in Abu Dhabi, uploaded his monochromatic photo of a young woman wearing their traditional make-up. 

Fajutag, who hails from the Simara Island in Romblon, works as VIP Helicopter Mechanic in the United Arab Emirates. 

Photographers hailing from different parts of the world were invited to upload their best pictures on the photo-sharing app with the hashtag #HIPAContest_Masks. 

The contest received hundreds of submissions, but only five photographers were selected as winners.

Aside from Fajutag, other winners of the contest include Muhammed Fazil, Shyjith Onden Cheriyath and Rinku Sharma, who are all from India; and Tan Tie Hiap from Indonesia.

HIPA Secretary General, Ali bin Thalith said, “The competition topics are chosen from the reality of different human activities, rituals, customs and behaviors associated with certain civilizations and cultures. There is always an attractive artistic interface for these activities and behaviors, and among the oldest and most famous in this context are masks that are worn, drawn or tattooed on people’s faces in hundreds of styles, colors, shapes, as well as connotations and meanings.”

“We offered this opportunity to showcase the creativity of photographers in this field and the result was a beautiful variety of mask arts,” he added.

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Winner: Emmanuel “Manny” Fajutag from the Philippines
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Winner: Muhammed Fazil from India


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Winner: Tan Tie Hiap from Indonesia


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Winner: Shyjith Onden Cheriyath


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Winner: Rinku Sharma from India

Mark Nituma

Mark is the editorial director of TFT and is currently based in its Manila headquarters. Upon graduating from UP Diliman in 2010, he joined the internationally-awarded TV magazine show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho as a researcher. Nearly a year later, he became one of its segment producers. In a span of five years with GMA7, he was able to travel not only the Philippines’ most beautiful spots but also the country’s least visited places—from some of the war-torn areas of Mindanao to impoverished parts of Luzon and Visayas—capturing a closer look at life in these communities. Mark also worked with various TV programs and specials such as Philippine Treasure and Reel Time. After his five-year stint in the media network, he flew to Dubai in 2016 to start his career as a journalist/reporter for The Filipino Times. Got story pitches? Send Mark an email at [email protected] or drop him a line on facebook.com/mark.nituma.

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