Pitik South Cotabato: A photo community that nurtures passion and growth

photos contributed by Carl Corpuz/Pitik South Cotabato
photos contributed by Carl Corpuz/Pitik South Cotabato

INSPIRED by his vision of having a photography group in South Cotabato Province, Carl M. Corpuz started a photo community that welcomed photographers and enthusiasts. They helped each other grow and learn from their shared passion.

During the pandemic in 2020, he founded “Maniniyot South Cotabato”, a Facebook group that connected mobile photography enthusiasts. Later, he expanded the group to include photographers who used DSLR cameras. He organized online photo contests for the group, which he either funded himself or obtained from sponsors.

However, Corpuz became busy with his studies and other things, and the group lost its momentum. Fortunately, he remained friends with some of the members and kept in touch with them.

Some members of ‘Maniniyot South Cotabato’ joined the Tnalak Festival 2022 as official photographers of the event. Corpuz still had an interest in creating a photographers’ community.

He and fellow photographer and digital influencer Arvin Lee Palma shared the same vision.

They noticed that South Cotabato had a growing number of photographers.

On August 13, 2022, Corpuz organized the first Scott Kelby’s 2022 Worldwide Photo Walk in Koronadal City. That event inspired him to finally establish Pitik South Cotabato.

“I wanted to create a photography group because there was none. I was looking for a group that respected everyone’s opinion. I decided to take the initiative and respond to the demand for a photographers’ community,” he said.

The name Pitik South Cotabato comes from “Pitik,” or to shoot, a word that local photographers use to describe taking random shots of people at big events in the region.

“I want to give the word ‘pitik’ a formal meaning and associate it with street photography. This group emphasizes fun while learning,” Corpuz said.

Corpuz found it easy to manage the group with the help of his fellow co-founders, Arvin Lee Palma, Francis Philip Baniqued, and Jaylyn Montiague, as well as its dedicated officers.

As the president of Pitik South Cotabato, Corpuz faced the challenge of having limited funds to organize events. But that did not stop him and his group from pursuing their passion for photography and supporting their fellow photographers in South Cotabato and the region.

Corpuz, a 21-year-old multimedia arts student from STI General Santos, blends digital art and photography in his creative experiments. Even though Corpuz specializes in product photography, he keeps learning other genres, such as street photography. This is part of the group’s improvement as they share their diverse range of photography styles and techniques.

They also support their members who join local, national, and international photo contests. They offer constructive feedback and tips to help them improve their skills.

The group also talked about the issue of some photographers offering low rates for their services.

They had a healthy conversation about knowing their worth and valuing their art. Corpuz advised that beginner photographers should start with modest expectations and gradually grow as they hone their skills and reputation.

On August 13, 2023, Pitik South Cotabato marked its first anniversary with a festive event at Danaw Garden Lounge, Koronadal City. The photography group elected its new officers and discussed its plans to open its membership to more enthusiasts. The group also brainstormed about the possible events they would hold in the coming months to showcase their skills and passions.

Some of their plans include holding a photo exhibit in a mall and organizing an event every month. They also plan to venture out and expand the community to other provinces. Corpuz wants to encourage others to create their versions of ‘Pitik’ and welcome anyone interested in photography.

The group is also willing to collaborate with other groups or government agencies, like the Department of Tourism, to help promote South Cotabato and the region through photography.

“Look for a community or group that does not invalidate your opinion. A group that can help you grow and understand you. Shoot what inspires you. Always practice. Just keep shooting. Don’t worry about what others think. Focus on your goal and dream.”


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