This Filipino achiever works as an architect and visual artist for a consultancy company in Abu Dhabi.
Outside of his regular workload, he embarked on a mission to contribute to the world of arts. In his journey, he has proven that poverty can never be a hindrance to reach one’s dream. Instead, it was an inspiring factor for him to courageously pursue with much vigor and commitment his desire to be on top.
As a well-respected photographer in Middle East, it was never hard for Anthony Austria to be recognized on a global scale. He took the first spot in the 2014 Western Region Al Ghabria Photography Competition and Sharaf DG World Photography Celebration Photography Competition. He was Grand Prize Winner of the Arabian Eye Street Photography Competition. He was also a winner in the Tokyo International Vaccine Institute Photo Awards.
Weapon to combat poverty
He considers photography as his hobby and joining competitions inspire him to do and aspire for more. “I grew up looking at art as a weapon to combat poverty. That even if we luck in material things then, my parents would be very proud of me.”
He dreamed holding on to his passion for drawing. This also served as his strength as well as his source of income to sustain his needs in school especially every time he wins in contests.
“Because of poverty, crayon was the only weapon I used in joining competitions and in God’s mercy, I won many times. God is so good and all-knowing that because of the hardships I encountered, he provided the right way for me to be able to accomplish what seemed impossible for a poor, struggling student to finish college and be able to get a licence.”
Because of his interest in art, he took architecture. “As a photographer and an artist at that, was just easy and natural for me to enter the world of architecture because of my innate desire to shine and excel in the field of art.”
He takes photography as an art through he can freely express his concepts and ideas. “For me, it is very important to be happy and inspired with what you do in your life. Through this medium, I can be able to make a masterpiece. Joining competition just come out second on my priorities that I have to give it serious though and consideration. Creating masterpiece gives you unquatifiable feeling of fulfillment – more than winning the competition.”
“My position is actually as Visual Artist but because my superior sees in me the will to emerge triumphant in the design phase, he entrusted me with big projects the execution of which depends entirely on my own.”
When he was studying architecture, he remembers his professors and classmates calling him as an “Idealist Architectural Designer” because of his weird and impossible designs.
“After passing the licensure examination and in the exercise of my profession, I make it sure to stand on my principle when it comes to concepts and ideas as a designer. Even until now, I cannot believe of my achievement that a Filipino would be able to make a design for one of the iconic buildings in Abu Dhabi.”
This is a feat which gives him enormous pride. “Salamat sa Diyos sapagkat sa biyayang galing sa kanya lamang nagmumula at tinataas ang lahat ng ito sa Kanya lamang.”
“Sa aking paniniwala ayaw kung tawagin ito na isang kabiguan sa mga nangyari sa akin buhay kundi isa itong pangyayaring hinahayaan ng Diyos para subukan kang maging malakas para kapag dumating ang unos kakayanin mo ito kasama niya. Kung meron man akong kabiguan sa buhay ito yung hindi ko nakitang buo ang aking pamilya pero dahil sa pangyayaring ito ngayon ko lang nakita ang sagot kung bakit nangyari ito.”
As an artist, he draws inspiration from his life’s experiences. “Dito ko hinuhugot ang aking mga ideya at konsepto kaya ako iba sa ibang manlilikha kasi iba ang kwento ko.
As a photographer, he took every single frustration as a challenge. “This is one challenge for me to show to the world that even we lack in material things, we can still be happy. I wish that my work of arts will serve as inspiration to continue with our colorful lives.”
Anthony is always grateful for having a family of his own. “Meron akong buong pamilya sa ngayon – isang butihing asawa at dalawang anghel na galing sa Panginoong Diyos.” His wife, Myrachelle is from Pampanga. They have two lovely kids -Yan Yan, 3 years old and Graceiy, 1 year old.
World of arts
“To succeed in life, you must have that strong faith in God. Everything we have at this moment – the money and all the material possessions that speak very well of our success – all these will be lost. What is important is you believe in yourself because God will never abandon you.”
For him, it is not important whatever one has achieved in life. The appropriate question would be, “Do I enjoy my life at present?” “If you’re happy and interested with what you do, in the process, you would never feel that you have achieved much and that you have been receiving awards.
“I never dreamed of becoming a topnotch photographer. All I wanted then was that my works will inspire.”
Anthony likes to describe himself as an old fashion artist. “I have this principle that I create images and masterpieces not because I wanted to win in competetions but to contribute to the world of arts.”
- First Place, 2014 Western Region Al Ghabria Photography Competition
- First Place, Sharaf DG World Photography Celebration Photography Competition
- Grand Prize Winner, Arabian Eye Street Photography Competition
- Winner, Tokyo International Vaccine Institute Photo Awards
- 2nd Place Winner, Society of International Sport Photography Competition
- 2nd Place Winner, 2014 ADIHEX Photography Competition
- 3rd Place Winner, 2014 Nikon I Am Movement Photography Competition
- 10th Place Winner, Ajman Photography Competition
- Finalist, Maybank Photo Awards
- Finalist, 2013 Nikon Awards
- Finalist, Indonesia Garuda Photo Awards
His shots were included in the books published on Emirates Photography Competition and Mansour Photography Award.
o0o —————– o0o
THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.