Filipino shines in Middle East as architect, photographer

FAME 3 covers

Leyte native Arch. Celso Beringuel Creer II is a topnotcher, a 6th Placer, in the Architecture Licensure Examination given by the Philippine Regulation Commission.

He is the first and only Filipino to win two successive first place painting competition awards in the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Painting Competition. He is the first Filipino to take the first spot in the Milano Expo in Italy and the Khalifa International Date Palm Awards, Date Palms Through the Eyes of the World Photography Competition.To date, he garnered more than 350 photography awards in the United Arab Emirates and in international settings in addition to internet and web-based competitions.


First portrait

Celso is only 38 years old. A namesake of his father, he was born in Tacloban City, the heart of Leyte.His mother Virginia Caneda Beringuel is a retired teacher. His parents knew very well that their boy has talent in visual arts and continued to encourage him in his passion.

He has four siblings, namely: Joy Asuncion, a bank manager; Jane Padillo, a Chemical Engineer; Celso B. Creer III, a Communications Engineer; and; Janice Rosillo, a Chemist. “I got my first award at an early age of four when my father’s friend challenged the youth in me to draw him on-the-spot in five minutes and got amazed with my first ever portrait sketch. The man then gave me an award of five pesos.”


Canvass of dreams

Celso attended the Divine Word University in Tacloban City for his elementary and high school graduating in 1991 and 1995 respectively. “I started receiving awards and recognitions for painting competitions and on-the-spot poster making contests when I was at grade school. I continued collecting trophies and medals up to high school and graduated as achiever and artist of the year in 1995.”

“My passion for visual arts colored my canvas of dreams and aspirations. This passion led me to take my major in Architecture at the Leyte Institute of Technology where I graduated in 2000. As a diligent student, I was awarded as one of the Most Outstanding Architecture Students of the Philippines by the Architectural Students Association of the Philippines (ASAPhil) in 1999.”

“In 2000, I was conferred the YMCA Outstanding Student Award while my school gave me the Most Outstanding Student of LIT Award, Achiever of the Year Award and Academic Excellence Award. By the year 2004, I was top sixth in the Architecture Licensure Exams and garnered a high grade of 98 percent in the design category. Because of this, I was given a National Award of Excellence by BOYSEN Philippines and a National Award of Recognition by the Philippine Regulation Commission.

From June 2000 to July 2007, he was Associate Architect of Intercasa Design in Cebu.

Journey overseas

By middle of 2007, he moved to Middle East. “I was hired as Chief Architect of Trans Dazz Design LLC by the year 2009. We worked on many projects including the Sultan Shamsi Palace and Sheika Shamsa Palace both in Abu Dhabi, Aman Villa in Emirates Hills in Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Charitable Foundation Main Office and Hamriya Hotel.”

 From September 2009 to present, he has been working as Senior Architect and Interior Designer of Urbanism Planning Architecture LLC based in the capital emirate of Abu Dhabi. “Currently working as a senior architect in Abu Dhabi, my streamline involves architectural design competitions whilst delivering great results to my company.”

In 2001, he got married to Charina Sarcos. They have two children, namely: Raphael S. Creer,15; and, Samantha S. Creer, 10. “As a photographer, Charina, my wife is my best photo buddy  who is always there to support and inspires me to create award winning photographs. She takes great photographs too.”


With his hectic schedule as an architect, Celso gives time for his hobby which is photography.  It was the year 2012 when he started to join photography competitions and gained numerous awards. “It takes a million clicks before your best shot and another million for the winning one. Talent is like a raw gold that needs to be polished by passion and hard work.”



 1st Place

  • KIDPA EXPO Milano 2015, Italy
  • Arabian Eye Click Ramadan Photography Awards 2014, UAE
  • Al Dhafra In the Eyes of Photographers 2015, UAE
  • ADIHEX Photography Competition 2013, UAE
  • Liwa Dates Festival 2016, UAE
  • Fujifilm Middle East, 45th UAE National Day Photography Competition 2016

2nd Place

  • SONY Picathon FotoArabia Photography Competition 2016, Int’l
  • Sweihan Photography Competition 2016, Int’l
  • MONOCHROME AWARDS International B&W Photography Contest 2014, Int’l
  • Mansoor Bin Mohammed Photography Award 2014, UAE
  • Al Dhafra In the Eyes of Photographers 2016, UAE



  • Shots from Al Gharabiya Awards 2014 (3rd place), UAE
  • Our Environment Photography Competition 2012 (3rd place), UAE
  • Our Environment Photography Competition 2014 (4th place), UAE
  • Al Dhafra In the Eyes of Photographers 2013 (4th place), UAE
  • Shots from Al Gharabia 2015 (5th place), UAE
  • Street Photography Contest 2015 (5th place), Int’l
  •  Sharjah Museum Noor Ali Rashid Lasting Impressions Photo Awards  2014 (7th place), UAE


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IMG_3984THE 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. He has released two books – Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold (2014) and Filipino Heroes in the Gulf (2016). Connect with him on facebook.


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