Filipino photojournalist Ezra Acayan’s COVID images win Pictures of the Year Asia

Ezra Acayan Pictures of the Year Asia
Filipino photojournalist Ezra Acayan and some of his winning images in the 2022 Pictures of the Year (POY) Asia competition. Photos from Mark Cristino via Ezra Acayan FB/POY 2022 FB.

Filipino photojournalist Ezra Acayan has won a Pictures of the Year Asia citation and other top honors in the 2022 edition of the competition.

Acayan won first place in the Covid Picture Story category for his work titled “A Failed Response”, a series of photographs that captured ordinary citizens and health workers amid the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines which was placed under one of the world’s longest lockdowns.

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In an Instagram post, Acayan said he dedicates the winning photo essay to “all the heroes of this pandemic.”

The winning photo series is captioned:

“Despite remaining under the world’s longest lockdown for most of 2021, the Philippines still experienced one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia. Millions went hungry and jobless as businesses closed, and those infected struggled to get beds in hospitals,”

“Healthcare workers have resigned out of fear and exhaustion as they bear the brunt of what critics say is a failed pandemic response. The government has been heavily criticized for its sluggish vaccination campaigns, overly militarized solutions, and corruption of billions in pandemic response funds.”

The Filipino photographer also received an Award of Excellence in the tilt’s Nature & Environment category for his photo showing the aftermath of Super Typhoon Rai, known in the Philippines as Odette, in Loboc, Bohol province.

Acayan, who was named the Photographer of the Year in Asia in 2021, was also named a finalist for the same category in this year’s competition which judged photo entries from Asia-based photographers from April 8 to 10, 2022.

POY Asia is an official program of Pictures of the Year International (POYi), the world’s oldest competition for photojournalists and documentary photographers.

Ezra Acayan is an award-winning photojournalist based in the Philippines who is best known for his work on social issues and human rights.

Acayan was earlier named among other young Filipinos who were recognized as the “Leaders of Tomorrow” in the Generation T (Gen.T) List 2020 for “shining a much-needed light on human rights abuses.” His images of the eruption of Taal Volcano were also featured in TIME Magazine.

The winners of the 2021 edition of the Pictures of the Year (POY) Asia competition also included Filipina photojournalist Hannah Reyes Morales.

LINK: Filipina photojournalist Hannah Reyes Morales
Filipina photojournalist Hannah Morales tapped for Nobel Prize exhibit in Oslo

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino photojournalist Ezra Acayan for bagging top honors in the 2022 Pictures of the Year (POY) Asia competition.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.