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2 Binangonan students top Read-Along essay, photo tilt

/ 08:05 AM January 18, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Two students from Optimus Center for Development won the top spots in the recent writing and photo competitions held after the third Inquirer Read-Along Festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last November.

Jeremy Matthew Mercurio’s essay bested 15 other submissions in the writing contest, while Matthew Psalm Alcantara’s stood out among 47 submissions in the photo contest.

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The Optimus Center for Development, a school based in Binangonan, Rizal, is a regular Read-Along Festival attendee.

Students of Optimus have been consistent winners in Read-Along Festival competitions. Last year’s festival writing competition winner, Frederick Manuel Fronda, was also a student from Optimus.

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Mercurio, a Grade 6 student, a runner-up in last year’s festival storytelling contest, focused his essay on his experience as a contestant. “I have never been in this kind of spotlight before. I kept telling myself this is the chance I have been waiting for,” he wrote.

The two Matthews’ winning entries will be published in tomorrow’s issue of Junior Inquirer.

“The Read-Along Festival has been an experience our students will never forget,” said Lorna Matienzo, teacher at Optimus. “Thank you for continually providing a venue for our kids to show their talents and skills in storytelling, writing and photography. They have learned so much and enjoyed so much.”

The awarding of prizes for the photo and writing competition winners will be held during the Inquirer Read-Along session on Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. at the Inquirer main office in Makati.

All contest participants will also be recognized and handed certificates of participation during the session.

Judges for the writing competition were Junior Inquirer editor and Read-Along host Ruth Navarra-Mayo, Inquirer Super editor Pam Pastor, and Catholic Mass Media awardee and Junior Inquirer writer Dianne Villafuerte.

Judges for the photo competition were Inquirer Libre editor in chief and Read-Along host Chito de la Vega, Inquirer photographer and Read-Along storyteller Grig Montegrande, Inquirer Camera Club president Genie Lagman, and award-winning Inquirer photojournalists Raffy Lerma and Niño Jesus Orbeta.

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Registration is now open for this year’s Read-Along Festival, which will be held in November. Interested schools and organizations may send an e-mail to [email protected].

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TAGS: Cultural Center of the Philippines, Inquirer Read-Along, Jeremy Matthew Mercurio, Optimus Center for Development, photo contest, Read-Along Festival
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