Calidad Humana 2013 winner is a fraud

Calidad Humana 2013 winner is a fraud

In the song “Get Up, Stand Up”, the late Bob Marley said that “You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Sadly it didn’t reach Mark Joseph Tajo Solis, a Political Science graduate at the University of the Philippines, in time as his devious photo-grabbing streak was put to an end after he was exposed by the real owner of the award-winning picture.

Solis could’ve easily walked away with the Calidad Humana National Essay Photography Competition’s grand prize (roundtrip to Brazil and Chile with USD1000 pocket money), just like he did on previous photo contests (1, 2) which he joined and won. This time, however, the legitimate owner of the picture (seen below) which Solis used to enter the competition isn’t going to let anyone take credit for his work without putting up a good fight.

neptune, king of the sea
Neptune, King of the Sea by Gregory John Smith which Mark Joseph Tajo Solis grabbed from Smith’s Flickr account and used as an entry for Smile for the World photo contest.[Original Image]

Gregory John Smith, a Brazil-based social entrepreneur (ASHOKA) and founder of Children At Risk Foundation, appealed to the panelists of the Smile for the World photo contest to strip Solis off his ill-gotten prize and instead award it to him.

The prize money, according to Smith, will benefit his foundation which supports hundreds of children both in Brazil and in our country. Meanwhile, he plans to use the roundtrip tickets for his planned visit to the New Smokey Mountains next year as part of his outreach program.


Above is another picture that Solis grabbed from Flickr and used as an entry on the 1st Papworth Trust’s photo competition which he won on 2011.[ Original Image]


Roberto Mayorga, the Chilean Ambassador to Manila and the man behind the recently concluded photo contest, was disappointed by the revelation. But despite the anomaly, he told Rappler that he still believes that “majority of Filipinos have plenty of Calidad Humana,” He adds by saying “Unfortunately, these kind of exceptions are the risk you have in your nice country. This shows it is necessary to take care of your good people, preserving among them the positive elements of their personality.”

Mayorga said that they will conduct further investigation regarding the issue. But I guess it wouldn’t take long before the panel pass their judgment as the Solis has already admitted to his disgraceful action and has written a letter of apology which he exclusively shared to Rappler.

“I was driven by my youth, lack of experience, and the inability to see the repercussions of my actions… I am in deep remorse for what I did. I am truly sorry, Sir Gregory”

– Excerpt from Mark Joseph Solis’ letter of apology to Gregory John Smith

In my opinion, it’s forgivable to screw up once in a while; we are human beings after all. But to do such a disgraceful deed over and over again is no longer what I would consider as a simple “lapse of judgment” but a bad habit which, to me, is just one of the many by-products of the seemingly incurable cancer in our society.

This only goes to show that earning a college degree, even from a respectable university, doesn’t automatically make anyone a better person. Knowledge can be acquired over time, but INTEGRITY is something that you’re either born with or not.


This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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42 Responses

  1. Choosyfruit says:

    Sabi nga ng iba, bad habits never die. Parang nga tiwaling pulitiko. Ang kaibahan lang niya sa mga pulitiko natin ay siya ay nagsisisi pero ang mga pulitiko natin, hindi, bagkus mas lalo pang mag di-deny at ipapasa sa iba ang sala. Mga kupal na politiko. Maglaho na kaya kayo.

  2. Iyan Sommerset says:

    That guy has now lost his right to participate in anti-corruption/pork barrel rallies. The sad truth is that this mentality – do anything you want until you are caught – is inherrent in contemporary pinoy culture.

  3. AbdulTarukMamiatai says:

    serial cheater na ang batang yan… namimihasa na gumamit ng litratong hindi sa kanya dahil di siya nahuhuli. Tama po kayo, ang integridad at pagiging tapat ay hindi nakukuha sa pagtapos sa mga magagarang paaralan. kahit mababa lang ang iyong pinag-aralan basta meron kang kagandahang pag-aasal, hindi mo mararanasan ang hiya na sinapit ni Mark Joseph Solis.

  4. abuzalzal says:

    To prevent fraud? very simple

    Contestants MUST provide the RAW/unadulterated file (this should indicate the date taken in the EXIFF etc etc) then the finished product

    The likelihood of a fraud is still there, pero sa world of photography, kung hawak mo ang RAW file, ito ang nagpapatunay na sa iyo talaga yung pic.

    • AbdulTarukMamiatai says:

      nice idea abuzalzal! katapos mo lang ata mag jakult ah kaya maganda pag-iisip mo.

    • abuzalzal says:

      i don’t need compliments.
      I need somebody who can refute my logic and suggest something better

      Then we’ll have a debate

    • abupalpal says:

      Be happy… Jorpetz lagi, jakol pag may time.

    • FanBoy says:

      Tignan nga natin king may mag magaling dito sa digital negative :D

    • abuzalzal says:

      Mas nakakahiya pa dito yung mga posts ni @Bob Freking. Yung render ng Nexus 5 at iba pang post wala man lang source.

      Calling Mr.FreKING! The undisputed KING of article STEALING and photo FETCHING!

    • wew says:

      gago ka abuzalzal may nakakahiya ka pa dito hahahaha ni hindi mo nga mapatunayan ung bintang mo kay freking eh…kung niankaw nga nya yan patunayan mo!tulad ng sabe ko dati wag kang gagawa ng imbentong ebidensya ah….hahaha insecure ka lang kase kay freking kasi ung render niya ginagamit ng mga sikat na tech sites sa ibang bansa….eh ikaw anu na ba napatunayan mo bukod sa tanga ka?

    • abuzalzal says:

      kung alam mo lang, napatunayan ko na dito sa yugatech na wala talagang sd slot ang Lenovo K900. ano ka ngayong kupal ka?! hahahahah!

    • wew says:

      puta naka isa ka lang kung makapagmalaki ka na sa sarili mo kala mo natalo mo na c abe!bilangin mo nga kung ilang beses na kitang(isama mo na ung ibang readers) naitama sa mga katangahan mo…AY OO NGA PALA ASAN NA UNG HINIHINGI NAMIN NA LINK?WALA KA PA BANG NAIISIP NA PALUSOT NA EBIDENSYA?ABA,BILIS BILIS DIN MAS LALO KANG NAPAGHAHALATAAN NA TANGA KA.

  5. Flor Galang says:

    quoting “majority of Filipinos have plenty of Calidad Humana,” which is true,
    so its very simple, APOLOGIES NOT ACCEPTED by the rest of the Filipinos.

  6. applesed says:

    ikulong yan, lahat ng mag nanakaw dapat ikinukulong

  7. luxindomino says:

    ganyan talaga graduates ng UP. magnanakaw!


    • noobee says:

      I find this comment very offensive. It is unfair to call all students and alumni of UP thieves just because one student’s stupidity. I agree that this guy should face the consequences and I do hope that UP does something about this.

      It is a shame that you are using your alma mater’s motto, lux in domino as your nickname/codename. The fact that you let yourself be blinded by one person’s stupidity, declaring that all UP students are thieves makes me think that you are still in the darkness.

      I know of UP students and alumni who are successful without stealing from others. My parents, grandparents, classmates and friends are some examples. Try shifting in UP and see how hardworking the students are before making any judgements.

      One man’s action does not define the community. What he did as I said is way beyond wrong and goes against what UP stands for. And it is a shame that the integrity of the whole university was brought down because of it.

    • Stan says:

      I’m from Ateneo and I have good friends who graduated from UP. Please don’t drag Ateneo’s name on your bigotry. That’s just plain stupid and embarrassing. Who are we to judge cheaters anyway? We abhor the act, I get that. But we also need to reflect on ourselves and stop pointing our dirty fingers on other people.

  8. jiyt says:

    Eew nakakahiya ang UP.

  9. meh says:

    He should go to jail for fraud

  10. Reader says:

    Sabi nga ni Rihanna, “Don’t tell me you’re sorry ’cause YOU’RE NOT. And baby when I know you’re only sorry YOU GOT CAUGHT.” (emphasis added)

    Pwede pang pagpasensyahan kung once lang nangyari pero hindi eh. Nag-sorry lang siya kasi nahuli. Ang kapal ng mukha niyang mag-speech pa tungkol sa photo na di naman siya ang owner. Pwe!

  11. FanBoy says:

    What an ass! Basahin niyo full letter niya kay Gregory Smith lalong na ka ka hb!

  12. abuzalzal says:

    Mas nakakahiya pa dito yung mga posts ni @Bob Freking. Yung render ng Nexus 5 at iba pang post wala man lang source.

    Calling Mr.Freking!

  13. What’s scary is that, according to reports, he was (is?) a grad student of Public Administration.

  14. Roni says:

    Joseph Tajo Solis, Our future senator! So sad.

  15. Frek says:

    Boooob!! Kabahan kana hahahahaha! Walang lihim na hindi nabubunyag hahahaha! :))) king of copy paste! :))

  16. Tito Sotto says:

    Sinotto lang pala, kakambal ka pala ni Tito Sotto, amp! Siguradong taga UP ka ba or taga Wanbol University?

  17. Jay says:

    The award should logically move to the 2nd placer, who is also from UP. Not all UP students are bad.

  18. silent b0bjay says:

    chillax lang mga dre! puff and pass

  19. Sayang naman pero, sana susunod wag n nya ulitin.

  20. kurt angle says:


  21. Milhouse says:

    baka pati yung LETTER OF APOLOGY eh kinopya lang din niya!

  22. fmarte says:

    Could’nt have said it better than the last paragraph! How true!!!!

  23. daxtar says:

    yan ba ang itinuturo nila ngayon sa public administration?
    KAYA naman pala itong mga public officials natin e expert na pag katapos grumaduate !
    kawawang pilipinas ! tsk tsk tsk !

  24. 'em says:

    “This only goes to show that earning a college degree, even from a respectable university, doesn’t automatically make anyone a better person. Knowledge can be acquired over time, but INTEGRITY is something that you’re either born with or not.”

    Very well said!!!

    • FanBoy says:

      I don’t think someone is born with integrity. If you believe in that, then you also believe that we’re all born with a silver spoon. Integrity is not tied to one’s surname, level of education, financial capability, position or what have you. Integrity is something that you work hard on to earn and keep.

  25. wew says:

    SOTTO-wannabe lol

  26. awooo says:

    a famous artist once said. good artists copy. great artists steal..

  27. Abiel says:

    Also add… Class and honesty with integrity!

  28. wew says:

    nakakahiya siya pati UP nadadamay sa kagaguhan niya.

  29. RJ de Leon says:

    Ironic how a contest that’s meant to highlight & celebrate the best qualities in humanity just brought out the worst instead for want of the top prize.

    His insincere ‘apology’ does nothing to absolve this pathological plagiarizer from all his previous shameful ‘crimes’ (discovered & undiscovered/undeclared). You, Mr. Mark Joseph Tajo Solis, are scum.

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