ASUS PixelMaster Mobile Photography Workshop Goes to Davao City During Kadayawan 2018

In case you have not heard yet, ASUS Philippines and ZenTalk Philippines are currently running a 9-month long mobile photography workshop. This workshop is called the PixelMaster Master Class. Its aim is to enhance the mobile photography skills of interested ZenFans (ZenFone users) using the ZenFone 5 series, ZenFone 4 series, and the ZenFone Max series. Each session is led by the PixelMasters (photographers) and held every month. For the month of August, it is headed by PixelMaster Arlene Donaire, and they went to Davao City just in time for the Kadayawan Festival 2018. This is also the first time the PixelMaster class was held outside of Metro Manila.

As a tech blogger, I have personally owned and reviewed a few ZenFone smartphones since the ZenFone 2 series made a big splash in the smartphone and mobile photography scene here in the local market. And it is no doubt that ZenFone devices have one of the best mobile cameras out there. They just keep on getting better as new iterations come to the market. That being said, I immediately signed up for this event the moment I heard about it and I got the invite through Davao Bloggers Society about two weeks before the said festival. It was a three-day workshop and our PixelMaster for these sessions is none other than Miss Arlene Donaire (aka Foto Zubuano) who specializes in Travel Photography. You may go ahead and google Foto Zubuano to see her photos and work.

Having a great photography-centric smartphones like the ZenFone series is just awesome, taking great shots with less effort is as easy as point and shoot. But having extra skills in taking those photos will make the shots stand out even more. Unfortunately, these skills do not come in the packaging when we buy the phone. But thankfully though, ASUS Philippines gathered some of the best photographers from the country together for this PixelMaster Master Class project to provide us the skills, techniques, and knowledge that will help us uncover the full potential of these ZenFone series in terms of its photography prowess. So if you own one and would like to learn more and take your mobile photography skills to a whole new level, join a PixelMaster Master Class near you.

PixelMaster Master Class Day 1

Day 1 of our PixelMaster Master Class with Miss Arlene Donaire was held at Eden Nature Park and Resort. From Davao City proper we were picked up by a van, which ASUS provided, and brought us to the place. It was a whole day of fun, learning, and meeting new people. I was with fellow Davao Bloggers Society members together with a few chosen ZenFans from the city and neighboring places.

PixelMaster Arlene Donaire gladly and passionately shared so many photos she had taken from her last two years of travels around Southeast Asia using ZenFone smartphones. She also delivered some behind-the-scenes stories of those images to give us more details on how it was like when taking those shots. Miss Arlene is not just really good at taking great photographs whether using a smartphone or a professional camera, she is also a great story teller which I think, although not really required, is a pretty good combination if one is to dive into the world of travel blogging and photography.  As they say "a photo is worth a thousand words" and most of the time is self explanatory, but adding more details or story to it in written words and some backgrounds will greatly provide additional feels to it.

Those photos Miss Donaire shared were just so amazingly captured that I would never really have thought were taken using ZenFone smartphones had it was not revealed to us. And because of that, we were inspired even more to continue with our passion in capturing moments even just using  smartphones such as these latest ZenFone series. Being able to capture amazing and profound photos does not completely depend on what type of device that we use, it depends on what we currently have with us and.. on us, our skills and experience.

After a couple hours of Travel Photography lecture by Miss Arlene Donaire, we had our lunch which was so deliciously served by Eden and Nature Park as well, and then we spend the rest of the day touring the whole place while taking photos and applying all the things we learned from our PixelMaster.

We were given a couple hours to roam around Eden and to take as many photos as we want. Then after that we headed back to our "class room" to showcase our best shots. It was an individual presentation where we discussed our photos in front of everyone and then later on were critiqued by Miss Arlene Donaire and each of us was given additional advise on how we can improve our photos.

That's how it was on the first day. We went back to the city, had some rest for the following day's Indak-indak sa Kadayawan , a street dancing competition, in the city which was also one of the highlights of Kadayawan Festival here in Davao.

PixelMaster Master Class Day 2

The following day, our call time was 6:30AM. This was to make sure we catch the whole Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan and to have a great spot on the street to capture photos of each participants. Indak-Indak sa Kadayawan is one of the most colorful and most festive events of the whole celebration. If you would like to experience Kadayawan Festival, you definitely would not want to miss it.

ASUS was generous enough to let me borrow one of the phones they had, a ZenFone 5Q (one of the newest models from the ZenFone 5 Series). Having that said, all the photos, and even the embedded video below were all captured using this particular ZenFone unit. Most photos were edited using Snapseed app to exaggerate the colors a little bit further and to do some cropping out.

I would like to mention that even though I have been living in Davao City for five years now, this was actually the very first time I personally experienced and covered the Kadayawan Festival. Crazy right? Well, this is because of mainly two reasons. One, the parade always starts very early in the morning, just like this one. 7am or 8am is still way too early for me to get up, I know. Second is, there is internet, I can just do a quick search and I will find some people doing the live tweets with photos or livestream as it happens.

But then I realized, it is way different and a lot more lively and fun when seeing it happens right in front of you. I mean you will never see those smiles you see in photos as real and as inspiring as they are in person. Those dance movements and shouts they do while performing to their respective beats and chants are just something to treasure. If I could summarize my entire Indak-Indak sa Kadayawan experience in just one phrase, it would be "Nakaka-proud silang lahat".

This is how wide the photo is when using the ASUS ZenFone 5Q's wide angle mode on the dual rear camera

A couple of photos before the Indak Indak sa Kadayawan 2018 begins

PixelMaster Master Class Day 3

Our day 3 was not as busy as the first two days. Yet we made sure to be on the same street to see Pamulak sa Kadayawan (Floral Float Parade).

After the Pamulak sa Kadayawan parade, we headed to Cafe Tavera Restaurant not so far from where we were to have our lunch, a final presentation of our shots during the last two days, as well as the awarding of certifications.

These three guys in the last photo above, together with our PixelMaster Arlene Donaire and a couple of ASUS PH representatives, were the top three performers from our batch. They had the most beautiful Kadayawan Festival photos captured during the entire workshop. I think my shots are okay and not that bad, but these guys' photos, as well as the others, really stood out and delivered most, if not all, the things we have learned from Miss Arlene Donaire's Travel Photography Workshop via this PixelMaster Master Class. See below their winning photographs posted on ASUS Philippines Facebook page. Again, all captured using the ZenFone devices.

My ASUS PixelMaster Master Class certificate of completion, yay!!!

To learn more about ASUS PixelMaster Master Class and see when and where is the upcoming Master Class is going to be, you may visit

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