Zone Five Camera Club (ZVCC or Zone V) is a group of individuals with a shared passion for the art of photography. Their aim, to elevate the art in its varied forms and to find a community steeped in learning and camaraderie. Of late, due to the call of the times, ZVCC felt the need to help alleviate through their art. ZVCC 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.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Assumption Development Foundation (ADF), 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 both 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 for 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 ADF is one of many advocacies.
Helping the cause of education
Established in 1966, what would become ADF was borne out of necessity; that from 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.
ADF later became a foundation in 1995, whose mission is to “help disadvantaged children by breaking the cycle of poverty through education.” An ADF 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 ADF scholars.
The prevalence of remote learning in the new normal makes computers a critical and indispensable education tool. ZVCC’s ultimate goal is to build a learning hub at ADF. Earlier in the year, the Club partnered with PLDT to connect the ADF facility with fiber connectivity. With the coming addition of the computer sets, ADF scholars soon have a fully functioning digital learning center.
The transition to virtual
ZVCC 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 ADF scholarship.
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 ZVCC 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, which are 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 (FPPF) World Cup 2021 and is on her second term as president of ZVCC.
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 FPPF 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. 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 ZVCC 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 ZVCC’s membership. But more than that, it’s a way for us to use these talents in helping the community.”
At the moment, ADF 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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