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A Filipino wins in a Moscow-based international photo Awards

Only one Filipino won in the recently concluded Moscow International Foto Awards, where 15,000 entries were submitted.

Jophel Botero Ybiosa's "The Feast of Black Nazarene in Manila" entry won 1st Place Category Winner under the Event category. His entry also made it to the 40 Curatorial Selection where he will become part of a traveling exhibition around the world — the first Filipino to achieve such a feat. The winner was selected from among 15 participants.


"I feel proud to be the first Filipino to be included in the Best of Show Exhibition of MIFA 2017. Bringing honor to our country from international competitions and exhibitions has been my advocacy as a Filipino artist," said Ybosa, who is a photographer on the Princess Cruise Lines and active advocate included in Team Juan Makasining and Federation of Philippine Photographers’ Foundation.

Top Belgian photographer Alain Schroeder was this year's big winner, bagging the grand prize as well as the Photographer of the Year Award for his story called, "Who Will Save The Rohingya?", a series about the Rohingya Muslim minority which is an inconvenient ethnic group for the new government of Myanmar.

There have been quite a few Filipinos who have won in the Moscow International Foto Awards, since it started in 2013. Among past Filipino winners are Jeoffrey Maitem, Jeslani Reyes, Patrick Rivera, Teovel Iradon, Neil Oracion and Edwin Loyola.

In 2016, MIFA was embroiled in a controversy when it stripped off its grand winner of his prize due to an alleged fabrication of a documentary of underage girls on death row in Iran.  The organizers said they were unable to verify the authenticity of images submitted, the Moscow International Foto Awards rescinded the win it gave to Iranian photographer Sadegh Souri.

Founded by Hossein Farmani who is the chief founder of Lucie Foundation, a US-based photography foundation (, MIFA is one of the reputable competitions in photography in the world today. The MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FOTO AWARDS' mission is to recognize, reward and expose talented photographers from around the world and introduce them to the creative community in Russia. Photographers from all corners of the world are encouraged to enter their work in the competition. — LA/KVD, GMA News