Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Smiles for the World: A Photo-Essay Contest of the Chilean Embassy

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day“ by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. This is just one saying that a smile can make a difference or a smile could be the result of a good and happy experience.

A smile is an expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness, or amusement. Filipinos are not technically defining a smile as just a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles near both ends of the mouth and by flexing muscles throughout the mouth. Smiling from the dictionary could be something that is understood by everyone despite culture, race, or religion; it is internationally known. Cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communication throughout the world.

The Embassies of Chile under Ambassador Roberto L. Mayorga and Brazil, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, University of Asia and the Pacific, Ateneo University, De La Salle University, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and The Philippine Star have joined together in a project called “Calidad Humana”, a project in order to preserve and promote the traditional human compassion, friendship and sense of humanity of the Filipino people and in order for everyone around the globe to understand how Filipinos can still manage to smile in spite of natural calamities and problems. With this goal, a photo contest, “Smiles for the World” has been launched with a first prize award of US$1000.

 The Chilean Ambassador Roberto Mayorga welcomed us with a smile at the Chilean Embassy in Makati last November 15, 2012 and invited us to his humble office to ask us on what exactly "blogging" or being a "blogger" is all about.

We explained it to him as simple as possible in layman's term. There he discussed the details of their plans and he is asking the help of us bloggers to disseminate the contest for everyone to participate.

A colleague volunteered that she will also disseminate the information to different social media practitioners that could attract more entrants and to give awareness not only to the Filipino people but to the world the positive outlook of Filipinos in life and to encourage all the races to be the same in spite of the different experiences we are facing everyday.

The project would like you to share your photo to represent the cheerfulness of a Filipino and to address your message to the rest of the world. Tell stories and let the rest of the world to know the uniqueness of that smile you took.

Deadline for submission will be on February 28, 2013 while awarding ceremonies are expected to be held in the first week of July. The cash awards are US$ 1,000 for first place; US$ 600 for second place; and $ 400 for third place. There shall likewise be non-cash prizes.

Competition Rules

1. This year’s competition is open to all Filipino citizens, regardless of age, place of residence, and occupation.

2. There shall be only one entry per person, submitted in soft copy to the following address:

3. An entry, to be considered, shall comprise the following:

a. An original 8×10 photo showing one or more Filipinos at home, in school, at work, at play, at leisure, or in portraiture. The photography subject(s) shall be existing persons, with the setting identifiable upon request of the organizer. Qualifiers and winners might have to be asked to produce 13R photo size.

b. A positive, encouraging message with no more than 140 characters (letters, numbers, and punctuation marks) in font Arial 12 spreading the smiles in the photo to the rest of the world.

c. A one to three-paragraph essay in English, with no more than 200 words (excluding punctuation marks), appropriately titled, that succinctly explains the message of the photo. While the essay shall be in English, Filipino words or terms may be used if deemed expedient by the author for absence of satisfactory equivalents in English. The concept of calidad humana (see above) should be explicit in the essay.

d. An accomplished form, see below, that indicates: Full Name (First, Middle, and Last), Age (with Date-Month-Year of Birth) Title of the Photo-Essay, Brand of Camera Used and Technical Settings (if any) Home Address, Land Line, Mobile Number, and e-mail Address Current School and/or Place of Work and Corresponding Mailing Address Personal Certification on the originality of the photo

4. Deadline for submission is 28 February 2013; awarding ceremonies are expected to be held in the first week of July. Entries shall be the property of the Embassy of Chile, which reserves the right to use the work, edit and publish it as deemed appropriate, but always duly acknowledging the author. A panel of five (5) individuals shall decide on the preliminary qualifiers based on the criteria below. A final panel of five (5) judges, to be selected by the organizing committee, shall determine the winners without regard to scores earlier given to qualifying essays. Winners shall agree to be interviewed on camera on matters related to the theme of the competition The decision of the preliminary and final panel of judges shall be deemed final.

Without attempting to give weights to the criteria for qualifiers and winners, the basis for judgment shall be as follows:

Effectiveness of the photo, with the corresponding essay, to capture the spirit behind the Filipino smile and what it stands for; The overall quality of the photo and essay entry as a medium of expression, without necessarily appealing to technical considerations, except perhaps for grammar, mechanics, and usage in the case of the essay; The uniqueness and impact with which the photo and the essay convey the theme of the competition Judging shall always be on the photo and the essay in combination.

According to the project site “CALIDAD HUMANA is human compassion, sense of humaneness, strength of character, and human tone. It is unique to the world. It is expressed through our cordiality and friendliness, our positive outlook in life, and SMILES on our faces.

“CALIDAD HUMANA, literally translated as the quality of being human and loosely translated as strength of character, may refer to the sum total of distinctively human characteristics that dignify and ennoble a person and enable him to contribute to a culture of excellence either in his immediate, mediate, or broader environment … either in unusual or day-to-day situations and circumstances.

It is not a state a person is in but a constant movement to attain the state of human perfection.“Calidad humana marks the person noble in his dealings, steadfast in his convictions, and unfaltering in his equanimity, without any pretensions … everything that contributes in the end to LIFE WELL SPENT.

 “One need not have most, or much less all, positive traits in heroic proportions, nor would one need to be exempt from defects of character. What is needed for calidad humana is a quality or a cluster of qualities that steadily stands out in one’s personal and social life, hand-in-hand with an unwavering struggle for the other human virtues.”

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