2014 Review: UAE-based Pinoy bags NCCA Ani ng Dangal

As 2014 comes to a close, we remember with pride the many events and undertakings which shaped the Filipino community in the United Arab Emirates. Early this year, a Filipino photographer based in Abu Dhabi was chosen as one of the Ani ng Dangal awardee by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

163353_411915095497328_30085676_nEmmanuel “Manny” Fajutag, a native of Simara Island in Romblon, was recognized for achieving the highest levels of artistic excellence in visual arts and bringing honor to the country. The award was presented by NCCA Chairman Prof. Felipe M. De Leon Jr.

The Ani ng Dangal or “Harvest of Honors” is an annual affair in the Philippines celebrated as a highlight and concluding rite of the Philippine Arts Festival. With this award, Manny joined the ranks of  former recipients Nora AunorSarah Geronimo, Jericho Rosales and Lea Salonga.

The Ani ng Dangal is given to a natural-born Filipino artist or group that has reaped top honors in international events. Its coverage includes the seven art disciplines: Architecture and Allied Arts, Cinema, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Literary Arts, Music and Visual Arts.


Married to the former Juvy Anne Roco with three children, this photographer finished in 1994 his Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Philippine State College of Aeronautics at Fernando Air Base Lipa City. In 1998, he joined the Philippines Air Force. He was assigned as Flight Crew and Mechanic at 20th Attack Squadron at Sangley Point in Cavite. After ten years, he decided to leave the military service with the rank of Sergeant.

He moved to UAE in 2007 and worked in Dubai Air Wing as helicopter mechanic. Since 2009, he’s connected with the Global Aerospace Logistics. His fascination for photography started three years ago with a simple point and shoot camera. A self-taught photographer, he attended photography classes on Creative Photography, Wedding photography and Creative Lighting.

Of his achievement, Manny humbly said: “Photography has always fascinated me. When I moved to UAE, I found a lot more time to further develop this hobby and passion. I am extremely grateful to Sony for hosting a competition that allowed me to showcase my talent on a truly global level.”

ani ng dangal

Manny (5th from right) with fellow awardees



Manny won in the Open Travel category of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. He competed with the nine other open category winners for the Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year title. The overall winner was announced at a gala ceremony in London and received US$5,000.

The World Photography Organization announced this year’s contest received over 54,000 entries in 10 categories. Representing the best single images in the competition’s ten categories, the winning images span countries as far apart as Chile to Vietnam and capture a range of subjects from the moment before a couple get married to the Mangystau night sky in Kazakhstan, and the ‘Fung Shun’ fire dragon dance in Southern China.

He took the image while on vacation at Sibuyan Island last year. Titled “Rush Hour”, Manny made the shot from a passenger jeep. He said the image in essence captures the fading sunlight in the backdrop of a dusty, bumpy road typical of a remote island. It is further accentuated by the coastline and the gentle mountain range in the background.

Fajutag’s winning image along with other winners was on display at the Winner’s Exhibition in the famous Somerset House in London for the period April 26-May 12, 2013. It was also included in the 2013 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

manny's winning entry

RUSH HOUR. Shot on a Sony NEX-5, this is Manny’s winning entry to the Travel Open Competition in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. The Winners’ Exhibition was held on 26 April-12 May at Somerset House, London.

Did you enjoy this post? For more articles about Filipinos who made headlines in the United Arab Emirates, please like my Facebook page OFW in DUBAI. If you have someone in mind who you think deserves space in this blog, kindly contact the blogger or write down your comment below.

Back to Home