Havaianas Judging-7
Related Posts: 7 Tips on Havaianas’ Flipping for the Beach Contest

I was happy to be one of the judges for the “Havaianas Flipping for the Beach contest. Thanks to all OAP friends for all your support! I learned a lot as a judge and I want to share my learnings with you.

Learning #1: Follow the instructions to the detail or you’ll get pre-screened. There were a total of 300 entries which were pre-screened to 21 finalists. The agency handling the entries removed those who did not follow instructions. Most of the criteria were focused on being unique so Boracay and Palawan entries were removed. If you join a contest, your first goal is to get past the pre-screening committee. I guess this is true for all contests — writing or photo.
Havaianas Judging-2
It was so cool to judge alongside Simeon Jun Ventura, Jr. , Editor-in-Chief of Mabuhay Magazine, Liza Ilarde, Editor-in-Chief of Travel Life, Anne Arcenas Gonzalez, Managing Director of Terry S.A, and Marbee Go, Travel and Tourism Editor of Manila Bulletin among others…

Learning #2: Impress the judges by making your presentation stand out of the crowd.
The most creative entry made a lasting impression thus, influenced the scoring of the judge. The judging were very subjective based on the background of the judge. In this particular contest, there were 9 judges to average out that subjective bias. Your second goal in a contest entry is to impress the judge with a presentation that would knock the judge off her chair and say wow.

Havaianas Judging-5
I loved the presentation and personality of this particular entry. I rated this entry a 91% because of the uniqueness of the experience and creativity presented in the Camotes Island entry. The entry was able to present the author’s unique activities and experience and the beach being one unique destination through a big postcard collage-type presentation. Most of the other entries were forgettable because the authors formatted their entries like a travelogue versus a celebration of the uniqueness of the place.

LEARNING #3: Give the judges what they are looking for.
The judges were looking for evidences that will address the judging criteria. For this particular contest, the criteria were: Uniqueness of Experience (50%), Uniqueness of Beach Destination (20%), Uniqueness of Activities in the Destination (20%), and Presentation/Creativity of Entry (10%). Give the judge very good reasons why he should rate you high in each criteria.

Havaianas Judging-3
The Balicasag photobook was also a memorable one. The Balicasag Island is a nearby island in Bohol. This was the highest rating I gave out, 93%. Inside the book was a collage about their experience and showcasing why Balicasag Island is an awesome place to visit.

Learning #4. Show versus Tell.
There is a big difference between telling the judge what the place is about versus showing the judge what the experience looks and feels like. I’m trying to practice this in OAP by making each reader of the blog experience what it feels like to be there through excellent photos, and concise description of the place by using nouns more than adjectives. (It is hard and I try to improve my writing each day).

This should apply to videos, as well. However, we were disappointed with the submitted video entry because they were more of AVP-type versus a video showing the unique experience.

Havaianas Judging-4
I wanted to acknowledge the effort of the person who submitted this Pagudpud entry, complete with props of seashells and sands from Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Although, I have personal issues with people getting sand from the place because I adhere to the principle: “Take nothing but pictures and Leave nothing except footprints.” Pagudpud is not a unique destination anymore but the presentation was so good that it got past the pre-screening committee.

The 21 finalists featured the following destinations: Bohol; Cloud 9, Siargao; Coron; Busuanga, Isla Naburot, Guimaras; Anawangin (2x), Zambales; Pandan Island (2x); Misamis Oriental Aquamarine Park; Buslon Beach, Surigao del Sur; Sugar Beach, Sipalay, Negros Occidental; Balicasag Island, Bohol; Animasola and Sombrero Island in Burias Masbate, Camsur; Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte; Malapascua, Cebu; Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon; Anini-y Antique Nogas Island, ; Hundred Islands, Pangasinan; Mabini Beach,Compostela Valley and Camotes Island, Cebu.

Learning #5: Why did I not submit my entry? It was easy for any travel writer and photographer to win this contest. Most of the entries were personal and blog-type entries so I could have joined the contest if I was not invited to be one of the judge. I was personally disappointed that Caramoan or Calaguas Island did not make it. I would love to go back there and promote the islands. I do hope Havaianas would organize Flipping for the Beach contest every year.

Havaianas Judging-6
The distinguished panel of judges of Havaianas Flipping for the Beach 2008! Thanks to Terry S.A. for inviting me to be one of the judge in this prestigious contest.

7 winners will be announced very soon…


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.