Photo club Zone Five’s creative passion to benefit Bulacan children’s education foundation

by Noel Casaje - ethereal

Team Out of Town Blog Hub (www.outoftownblog.com) – Zone Five Camera Club (Z.V.C.C. or Zone V) is a group of individuals with a shared passion for the art of photography. Their aim is to elevate the art in its varied forms and find a community steeped in learning and camaraderie. Of late, due to the call of the times, Z.V.C.C. felt the need to help alleviate through their art. Z.V.C.C. will be holding an online exhibit and charity sale at www.zonev.org from October 23 to 31, 2021.

Called ‘Images of H.O.P.E.’ (HELPING OTHERS PROSPER & EXCEL), the week-long event will showcase some of the best still camera work by Zone V.

(L-R) Zone Five Camera Club (ZVCC) Program Committee Head and Secretary Leys Masangcay, ZVCC President Cha Pagdilao, ZVCC Special Events Committee Head and Board Director Angela Panlilio, ZVCC Exhibit Committee Head and Board Director Bern Wong, ZVCC Member and Assumption Development Foundation (ADF) Graduate Ruben Castor Ranin, ADF President Dr. Micorazon Olango, ADF Academic Relations Officer Marvin Senobio, ADF Graduate Oyo Bunag, ADF Public Relations Officer Carmina Camua, and ADF Person-In-Charge Minda Kelly.
(L-R) Zone Five Camera Club (Z.V.C.C.) Program Committee Head and Secretary Leys Masangcay, Z.V.C.C. President Cha Pagdilao, Z.V.C.C. Special Events Committee Head and Board Director Angela Panlilio, Z.V.C.C. Exhibit Committee Head and Board Director Bern Wong, Z.V.C.C. Member and Assumption Development Foundation (A.D.F.) Graduate Ruben Castor Ranin, A.D.F. President Dr. Micorazon Olango, A.D.F. Academic Relations Officer Marvin Senobio, A.D.F. Graduate Oyo Bunag, A.D.F. Public Relations Officer Carmina Camua, and A.D.F. Person-In-Charge Minda Kelly.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Assumption Development Foundation (A.D.F.), a non-profit organization dedicated to the learning development of select youths of Sapang Palay, Bulacan.

For more than 40 years since its formation, Zone V has grown in membership numbers and craft skills, with many among its members receiving local and international acclaim in photography competitions.

The Club is passionate in its pursuit of photography as a pure art form and firm on the belief in the medium as a conduit for making a positive difference in people’s lives.

The A.D.F. is one of many advocacies.

by Noel Casaje - ethereal
by Noel Casaje – ethereal

Helping the cause of education

Established in 1966, what would become A.D.F. was borne out of necessity: a community of 20,000 informal settlers relocated from Manila to Bulacan.

Thrust into no man’s land and lacking the most basic of needs, a Carmelite Missionary and Assumption College San Lorenzo set up a school to provide, at the least, schooling for Grade 1 to 6 children.

A.D.F. later became a foundation in 1995, whose mission is to “help disadvantaged children by breaking the cycle of poverty through education.”

by Manny Inumerable - Ang Mga Pag asa Ng Bayan
by Manny Inumerable – Ang Mga Pag asa Ng Bayan

An A.D.F. website post (from November 2009 data) said that more than 586 high school students and 162 college students have graduated from the program.

‘Images of H.O.P.E.’ aims to sell 200 prints and raise at least P300,000, which will be used to buy computer equipment for A.D.F. scholars.

The prevalence of remote learning in the new normal makes computers a critical and indispensable education tool.

Z.V.C.C.’s ultimate goal is to build a learning hub at A.D.F. Earlier in the year, the Club partnered with P.L.D.T. to connect the A.D.F. facility with fiber connectivity.

With the coming addition of the computer sets, A.D.F. scholars soon have a fully functioning digital learning center.

by Jun Bongat - Dried Sapsap
by Jun Bongat – Dried Sapsap

The transition to virtual

Z.V.C.C. members stay sharp by holding friendly competitions as a way of recreation and of challenging one another every month.

From its regular meetings and photo contests held at the Old Swiss Inn at Makati, the Club reached an impressive milestone when it transitioned onto online platforms in the first quarter last year due to pandemic lockdowns.

The onset of COVID-19 shifted most everything to the virtual world; thus, Zone V developed ZHub, the Club’s website www.zonev.org to serve as its virtual hub.

It catalogs all Club activities, namely monthly contest winners, newsletters, the Z Academy – a learning platform consisting of artist talks and workshops headed by Jeff Dytuco, and member’s galleries – all of which are collectively designed to drive traffic into the Z-hub website.

ZHub will serve as the stage for the ‘Images of H.O.P.E.’ exhibit/charity sale.

Featured will be color and black & white prints from its 50 members, including the Club’s Ambassadors of Zone Five; a group composed of Jay Camus, Manny Inumerable, Cha Pagdilao, James Singlador, Danny Yu, and Ruben Castor Ranin, who was himself a recipient of an A.D.F. scholarship.

by former Zone Five Club President Allin Santiago - Landscape
by former Zone Five Club President Allin Santiago – Landscape

Z.V.C.C. Ambassadors

Combined with his discerning eye for visual arts, photography became Jay’s platform to create beauty. Though he came across Zone Five at a 1993 exhibit, it wasn’t until about a decade later that he officially joined, later becoming Club president. Jay enjoys macro shooting the most, especially creating experimental, conceptual, and abstract images.

Another former Z.V.C.C. president, Manny, was introduced to photography when he was 12 years old with an inherited Royal 35M rangefinder. His favorite subjects are landscapes and human interest. Manny’s biggest pride is his collection of amazing antique cameras housed at their ancestral home turned museum, the “Galleria Taal” in Batangas.

Photography has been profoundly transformative for Cha, making simple everyday experiences fuller because of newfound keenness to details and the realization that there is beauty all around. She is the current chair of the Federation of Photographers of the Philippines Foundation Photo (F.P.P.F.) World Cup 2021, and is on her second term as president of Z.V.C.C.

A recipient of the “Ani ng Dangal,” a prestigious award given out by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, James’ images represent his advocacy for environmental and nature conservation and a passion for travel and mountaineering. He has also won numerous awards from international photography competitions and was once the president of the F.P.P.F. Photo World Cup.

Danny had been shooting since the days of film before settling down to start a family. Now that he’s retired, his interest in photography was rekindled as a hobby. His favorite genres are travel and street photography. Danny is the former president of Copacabana Apartment Hotel and chairman of Copa Holdings, and also a former president of Zone Five.

As mentioned, Ruben is a proud scholar and product of the Assumption Development Foundation.

by Bong Benavent - Silhouette
by Bong Benavent – Silhouette

Ruben indulges in photography as a hobby, and his interest in landscape and travel photography began during his mountaineering days in 2012. Ruben’s images have received numerous accolades, and he founded a couple of photography clubs before joining Z.V.C.C. as part of his personal advocacy.

“At Zone V, we believe that photography as a creative outlet is not a means to an end. And so we’re using our passion to contribute to change,” said current Club president Cha Pagdilao. “Yes, ‘Images of H.O.P.E.’ is a showcase for the talents of Z.V.C.C.’s membership. But more than that, it’s a way for us to use these talents in helping the community.”

At the moment, A.D.F. has 287 high school students in four high schools at Sapang Palay. It also provides assistance to 173 college students attending different universities, state colleges, and institutes.

“Zone V invites all art buffs, collectors, and photography enthusiasts to please join us in this worthy cause. Together, we can push to make a change for the good one print at a time,” Pagdilao closed.

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