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Cebu News

Freeman photojournalist bags top prize in sports photo tilt

John M. Destacamento - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - In sports photography, action is the name of the game.

Well, not quite.

A photojournalist from The FREEMAN proved that the best sports photos are not always necessarily captured during a victory moment, hardcourt action, or game proper.

For Paul Jun Rosaroso, the best photo came in the form of young football players from Dumaguete City taking the time to freeze, bow down their heads, and pray to God moments before their game with Team Outkast composed of former Far Easter University players started at the Cebu City Sports Center last February 26.

The poignant entry earned Rosaroso the top prize in the 14th Thirsty Football Cup photo contest, and although it was not his first award as a photojournalist, it was his first first prize.

“Sa akong nakita mostly sa Thirsty photos, puro in action. Mainit o mag-uwan, maadlaw o magabii, sige og patid sa bola. Then nakakita ko ato nga team, before sila nag-start sa game, nakaingon ko sa ako kaugalingon, kini lahi gyud ni,” Rosaroso said.

He finished third in the same contest last year.

Unknown to many, Rosaroso – just like the many promising athletes he has taken photos of in his daily coverages as a sports photographer – actually started from humble beginnings.

He first worked as a newsboy in the late '90s, selling newspapers at a stall owned by his parents near what is now the Cebu South Bus Terminal.

Later, he joined The FREEMAN as an editorial assistant.

In 2000, when some of the newsroom’s photographers resigned to look for greener pastures, Rosaroso took advantage of the vacancy to learn photography.

He remembers borrowing the camera of The FREEMAN sports journalist Caecent Magsumbol as he began to accept assignments to take photos of various events.

Through time and with sheer hardwork and determination, he was able to master the skill and is now one of The FREEMAN’s seasoned photojournalists with 16 years of industry experience.

Asked for his advice for aspiring photojournalists, Rosaroso, 40,  said they should have tons of patience and dedication for their job since it is filled with pressure and may not be a lucrative endeavor.

“Hardwork, patience and if you like what you do, buhata. Without love, dili molahutay ang tanan. Most of all, don't forget to pray to the One above. Make Him as a guide and partner,” he said.

Now on its 14th year, the Thirsty Football Cup is the region’s second longest-running developmental tournament which aims to harness grassroots sports talents, initially within Cebu only but has later expanded into other areas in the Visayas region.

What is even unique with the tourney is that winning teams get to donate part of their winnings to their chosen charities. (FREEMAN)

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