It was a good day for pansit. And nothing attracts this group of people more than the smell of good food, aside from photography of course. On the first Sunday of February 2023, members of Alpha Camera Club gathered in IDO Café in Quezon City to celebrate not only the food but look back at the year that was and recognize their outstanding members of 2022.
As the country slowly recovers from the pandemic, Alpha began last year with a roar. Steered by its ever-reliable core group, the club was able to schedule several photo walk opportunities, out of town photo trips, promoted continuous learning through both in-club and external training and workshops, and encouraged growth through friendly competitions.
With the diligence of everyone in the club, Alpha was able to accomplish a mid-year book launch, the Eat-See-Q project, and participate in Gateway’s Art Fair in October 2022. These were among the highlights presented during the meetup last Feb 5, which was the first for the club this year.
By late afternoon, the pansit was already half gone, but the members patiently waited for the main event: the announcement of the club’s Top 10 Photographers and the Rookie of the Year. And amidst the cheers and fake jeers, the ten outstanding club members were named, and leading the pack was Cris Cleofas.
“Go with the challenge. And keep shooting,” said Cris in her short acceptance speech.
This is the second consecutive year that she bagged the coveted Photographer of the Year (POTY) award. As one of the club’s core members, her commitment to the club, her creativity, and her vision have always served as an inspiration to club members, both old and new, both young and super old, este, seasoned members.
The rest of the club members who got into the 2022 ranking include Doris Irene Pigon (10th), Jemai Adriano (9th), Ray Leyesa (8th), Buccino De Ocampo (7th), JC Borlongan (6th), Bing Duay (5th), Joon Navarro (4th), Jhing Montes (3rd), and Joy Ganaden (2nd). The Rookie of the Year (ROTY) was given to Ray Leyesa.
As the day winded down, members chatted away sharing stories about photography, travels, hobbies, business, and family. Some alcoholic beverages were drunk, the coffee pot was drained, the sizzling tofu and pork sisig were decimated, and the mounds of nachos disappeared. Indeed, people who love to eat are the best kind, but photography has brought this group of people together and their love for the craft will continue to bind them as Alpha moves forward to another productive year.