[PHOTO AT LEFT - Cool city: Fernando Zapata’s photo entitled “Timeless Baguio as an Idyllic Tourist Destination” won first prize in the photo contest launched by Victory Liner, in partnership with YKL Color-Fujifilm. MANILA, Philippines]

MANILA, JUNE 21, 2009 (STAR)  The captivating image of a foggy Baguio City, captured by photographer Fernando Zapata, came out on top in the conclusion of the “Timeless Baguio as an Idyllic Tourist Destination” photo contest launched by Victory Liner, in partnership with YKL Color-Fujifilm and Manila Bulletin. Zapata bested more than 1,500 entries submitted to the contest, and his winning photo, along with other winners and finalists, was part of the roving exhibit held to showcase images throughout Northern Luzon.

Zapata’s photo undeniably reflects his love for the City of Pines. “It has always been my passion to record Baguio City in its simple splendor, its wonderful people and momentous events. I let my photographs speak for my emotions and hope that the viewer feels what is behind the photo.”

Zapata’s entry captured features the gate of the Mansion House shrouded in fog. He shared there was no secret in coming up with such a concept — he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“My wife and I were on our daily walk by the manmade lake in front of the Mansion House, when we noticed that the fog has come down, enveloping the area to almost zero visibility,” related Zapata. “It was then that I looked for an establishing area to record the moment.”

For Zapata, there is a certain challenge in capturing that “unique angle” of Baguio because of the constant changes in the city. “In one moment the city is splendid in its sun-kissed condition while the next minute, the fog goes down blanketing the city,” he said.

Still, Zapata believes that his photo is timeless because “it will live after me. That memory of a foggy, pristine Baguio will forever be recorded in time. It will guide my child and our children’s children to see Baguio through my eyes, with a prayer that they will use it in their endeavor to preserve and protect our city.”

Zapata, who has joined numerous photo contests organized by local and national organizations, expressed his deep appreciation for being recognized by Victory Liner and Fuji Film. He also encouraged fellow photographers and photo aficionados to “just keep on taking photographs, capture both those beautiful and not so visually entertaining scenes. Do not hesitate to take pictures of what you want; in time you will be rewarded.”

Other Winners were Roger Tingle’s My Hometown (2nd Prize), Lino Almuenda’s “Victory Terminal (3rd prize) and Silvestre Quintos’ Victory Joe, Welcome to Baguio! (Special Prize).

The successful event is just one among the valued activities aimed at promoting the North through Victory Liner’s Northern Exposure campaign. To know more about Victory Liner, visit

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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