Culture and the Arts Diaspora News

Pamana ng Lahi exhibit closes on high notes

Jhay “JhayO” Otamias shows the trophy and the Manny Pacquiao victory photo that won him the top spot in the Pamana ng Lahi’s Best Picture of the Year photo contest. Photo © Teodoro Yap

THE month-long exposition dubbed Pamana ng Lahi at the Filipino Cultural Center in Los Angeles concluded on high notes last Saturday.

Jason “JhayO” Otamias, a boxing photo enthusiast from Torrance, won the 1st place in the “Best Picture of the Year” photography contest. Bienvenido Sibug and Irwin Jazmines placed second and third respectively. The three photographers won trophies and cash prizes.

The photograph of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao with his arms in raised in victory after beating Mexican-American Jesse Vargas won the first place for Otamias. The photo was taken on November 5, 2016 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Most of Otamias’ work could be seen on the largest boxing portal outside of the US. He also contributes to the GMA network, through Chino Trinidad; and

A five-person jury picked the three winning photos from a pool of 21 entries – former concert pianist Maestro Dexter Grey, professional photographer Romeo Balboa, Chinese artist and photographer Cao Yong, Philippine Consulate-Los Angeles Public Information Officer Cesar Angeles and Filipino American Community of Los Angles (FACLA) President Fernandico Gonong.

The “Best Picture of the Year” photo contest is the third and last segment of a three-part month-long exposition undertaken by the Philippine Institute of Language, Arts and Culture (PILAC) and the FACLA.

The first part of the program was a show of Vics Magsaysay’s photography collection of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared World Heritage sites in the Philippines.

The second part was the exhibit of the works of eight distinguished Filipino American artists that included Rey Zipagan, Bienvenido “Boi” Sibug, Juan “Magoo” Valencia, Luz Balbin-Spanks, Johnny Esj. Otilano, Sal Budz Floriano, Parts Bagani and Vics Magsaysay.

The event was sponsored by Dra. Erlinda Grey, Rose Sarreal, Rosemary Mejia and Grill City.

Rock ‘n roll icon Mon Concepcion and Arturo Garcia, FACLA 2nd vice president display the certificates awarded to them for their contribution to the month-long Pamana ng Lahi exposition. Photo © Teodoro Yap

Veteran performer Mon Concepcion hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies of Pamana ng Lahi. He also entertained the crowd by singing a couple of his compositions and other Filipino hit songs.

Other performers included hip-hop artist and Iraq war veteran Mark “Bagyo” Villamac Ho, who came without fail despite an ongoing battle with life-threatening illnesses; and the Filipino American Community of St. Ignatius and the Silver Lake Adult Day Care Center.

Emily Roberts, PILAC president emeritus, facilitated the issuance of certificates of recognition from the California State Assembly and from the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Meanwhile, Bernie Targa-Ganon, president of PILAC, expressed her gratitude to the eight participating artists, the photographers who competed in the photo contest, the sponsors and the hundreds of visitors who visited the exhibit at the Filipino Cultural Center throughout the month of October as we celebrated the Filipino American History Month.


Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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