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July 17, 2015

AirAsia and Nikon launch Best Travel Photographer Contest


Four Filipino contenders to travel around Asia with award-winning photographers; 
Over 200,000 AirAsia BIG Points are up for grabs!

An executive assistant, a front desk agent, a car salesman, and a barista will be stepping out of their comfort zones, and out of the country, as they face the challenges of becoming the first AirAsia Travel Photographer for 2015. Each contestant will be accompanied on his or her one week travel to an assigned destination in Asia by an award-winning photographer and a member of the press.

The #IamAirAsiaTravelPhotographer contest is jointly organized by AirAsia and ThinkDharma Inc. (exclusive distributor of Nikon Digital Cameras) in partnership with AirAsia’s global loyalty programme, BIG which will award winners with over 200,000 BIG Points or its equivalent free flights to any of AirAsia Group’s 100 destinations.

The contestants are Velvet Lagman (executive assistant), Sarah Garcia (front desk agent), Antonio Nepomuceno III (car salesman), and Paul Delfin (barista). The Nikon Pros, who will also serve as photography coaches, are Adam Lee, George Tapan, Raymond Cruz, and Parc Cruz.



(3rd from L-R) AirAsia Photojournalist Adam Lee, contender Velvet Lagman-Macasaet, contender Sarah Garcia, Nikon pro and master photographer George Tapan, Business Unit head of ThinkDharma Paolo Salazar, AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros, Startegic Partnership Head of AirAsia BIG Jenny Au, Senior Marketing Manager of AirAsia BIG Caroline Wong, Nikon pro and photographer Raymond Cruz, contenders TJ Nepomuceno III and Paul Delfin with AirAsia cabin crew in their iconic red uniform at the recent launching of #IamAirAsiaTravelerPhotographer contest in Taguig, Manila.



The four mentors and coaches of the contest, namely:

George Tapan – a self-taught photographer, Tapan served as director of photography of Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Magazine for eight years, won the ASEAN Tourism Association Award in 1999, won the gold prize for Pacific Asia Tourism Association twice, and first place in the Places Category for the National Geographic Photo Contest in 2011.

Christian Raymond Cruz – a graphic designer and one of the pioneers of landscape photography in the Philippines, also a self-taught photographer who spent the last seven years traveling the country and the world to capture the best nature scenery, and spends time sharing his knowledge and experience under the Redefining Vision Landscape Photography Workshops.

Philip Anthonie (Parc) Cruz – started as a hobbyist photographer in 2005, Cruz spent a lot of time tagging along with other photographers until he found his niche – portraits and cinematic shots. He is a privileged part of Nikon’s pool of endorsers and has since traveled around the Philippines and the world while imparting and encouraging other photo hobbyists to develop their creativity through visual images.

Adam Lee – an award-winning portrait and travel photographer who was trained in Los Angeles, he spent the last seven years assisting organizations to use photography as a means to tell stories and build communities. Lee is AirAsia’s resident photographer who contributes a large portion of his work to the airline’s in-flight magazine, marketing and communications, social media and brand management. Lee has won three silver awards and two honorable mentions in the Prix de la Photographie Paris 2014 competition and awarded the 27th ASEANTA Award of Excellence for Best Asean Tourism Photo in 2013.


The selected for the contest , newbie photographers who will partner with the four photography masters are:


Marie Velvet Lagman-Macasaet – Marie is 36-year old an Executive Assistant to the SVP and Country Manager of VXI Global Solutions and mom to a 5-year old boy named Paco. She recently finished a half-marathon and bathing in an onsen (Japanese hot spring) while backpacking in Tokyo. She enjoys hiking, trekking and scuba diving. She is partnered with Coach Adam Lee.

Sarah T. Garcia – Sarah is a Front Office Agent at the Lancaster Hotel n Madaluyong City and loves to eat, love everything extraordinary and loves art. She is partnered with Coach George Tapan.

Paul Vincent Delfin – Paul is a Barista of Starbucks at the Greenbelt 3 branch. He’s into Indie music, loves football and loves long trips. He is an eager photography enthusiast as a form of art. He is partnered with Coach Parc Cruz.

Antonio Nepomuceno III – a marketing professional of Toyota in Taytay, Rizal, he is definitely a car enthusiast who is outgoing and loves the company of people, a necessity for his type of job. He is partnered with Coach Raymond Cruz.

Lucky bloggers will also be traveling with the contestants and photographers for the #IamAirAsiaTravelPhotographer contest among them are  Mae Ilagan from WheninManila who will be traveling to Yogyakarta, Indonesia with Velvet and Adam, Mervin Marasigan of Pinoy Adventurista with team Sarah and George are going to Malaysia, Edel Santiago of Viva Manilena with team TJ and Raymond are going to Bangkok and Winslow Co of Yugatech with team Paul and Parc ( are going to Hong Kong.)

Each team will be traveling around some exotic places in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to help everyone capture their best entries in categories that include landscape, food, portrait, architecture and travel. Winners will be awarded with over 200,000 BIG Points, AirAsia’s global loyalty program, or its equivalent free flights to any of AirAsia’s 100 destinations.

Online voting via www.airasiatravelphotographer.com will be open to the public starting August 20, 2015 with Nikon cameras and BIG Points to be given away to lucky voters. 

The Grand Winner of the Best Travel Photographer Contest will be announced on September 11, 2015.

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