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Fil-Am Yen Baet Wins NatGeo Photo Contest

Fil-Am photographer Yen Baet bested five other finalists in National Geographic’s Exceptional Experiences Photo Contest to bag the coveted top prize.

It's official! ‘Rainy Night in Hallstatt’ takes Grand Prize at NatGeo Photo Contest. Thanks for the support!,” Baet broke the news via her Twitter account on March 17.

The contest result was likewise posted on the National Geographic website last week. It also stated that the grand prize winner will get a nine-day National Geographic Expedition to Peru for two, approximately valued at $13,000 (more than P 550,000).

The winner of the photo contest was determined via online public voting that ended on March 10, but only residents from the US were allowed to participate.

Baet’s winning entry, titled “Rainy Night in Hallstatt,” was taken “two years ago during a rainy and cold autumn day in Hallstatt, Austria,” she told in an interview dated Feb. 18.

More, she said that she submitted the photo “on the day of the deadline not thinking much of it and was surprised to get an email from National Geographic congratulating me for being one of only 6 finalists.”

Interestingly, she also mentioned in the same interview that this was the first photo contest she ever joined.

The now England-based photographer acknowledged her supporters via her website,, on March 18.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to vote, and to those who were not eligible to vote but helped spread the word, cheered me on and supported me in however way they can. Those votes were definitely hard-earned, and I can’t stress that enough.

Most of it came from people I don’t even know and spurred on by genuine friends and family who believed that this was so important to me, enough for them not to ignore or consider trivial,” she said.

More, an interview with GMA News Online on March 7 quoted Baet as saying that she’s “proud to represent the country,” being “the only Filipino who made it to the finals.

Baet, a full-blooded Filipino, was born in Ozamis, Mindanao. According to her interview, she and her family moved to the US in the early 90s and became American citizens not long after.

It is only when I moved to Europe that I discovered photography,” she added.