A photography contest hosted by casino operator Imperial Pacific International, Ltd. has named four first place winners in as many divisions during an awarding ceremony at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan Monday afternoon.
The contest, called Cultural Heritage Month Photography Contest, named Logan Atalig as the first place winner in the Kindergarten/Headstart division. The other first place winners were Mary Salcedo for the elementary division, Hannah Salcedo for the middle school division, and Tahj Salas for the high school division.
“I took my picture on the day before it was due. My friend and I missed the sunset and he came late from farming. When he came I was asked if I still wanted to take a photo and I said yes since the lighting was good. So, yeah, I really like chasing sunsets and that’s what I wanted to portray in my photo,” said high school first place winner Salas.
Mercedes Deleon Guerrero, the program director of Chamorro/Carolinian Cultural Heritage Studies, said, “I would like to encourage all parents to continue supporting your child or children when such an event takes place. This event allows us to remember, honor, and promote our culture and to be proud of who we are. The winning pictures portray our culture, traditions, and beliefs. It is critical that we continue to share, promote, and practice our culture so that it will continue to be passed down to the future generations.”
The second place winners, from Kindergarten to high school, were Maria Guerrero, Toviann Masiwemai, Seiji Gonzales, and Karen Agulto. Finishing third, from Kindergarten to high school, were Landon Toves, a tie between Vaniqa Torres and Kianna Palacios, Destiny Cabrera, and Pia Dela Cruz.
Geri Dela Cruz, executive director of Imperial Pacific’s Corporate Social Responsibility, said, “I think the community embraced this event very well. The number of entries we got was a very good number considering it’s the first time for us to hold such an event. What matters most is the fact that 350 students, CNMI-wide, somehow made the effort to talk to someone about culture.”
Judges for the event were Robert Hunter, Michelle Atalig, Tom Tebuteb, Farah Younis, Daisuke Yanai, Lauren Benson, Patricia Kapileo, L.J. Castro, first lady Dian Torres, and Deleon Guerrero.
Tao Xing, chief services officer of Imperial Pacific International, said, “It’s was a great event. I would like to thank the team for a great job. I would also like to thank all the supporters, judges, and parents. We are going to host another one next year and hopefully more people come out.”
All first place winners went home with $200, second placers with $100, and third place winners with $50. There were over 350 entries submitted that focused on a theme “Celebrating Who We Are.”