Solis’ modus was stealing photos of other people online and entering them in competitions as if it was his own – complete with a story of what the photo is all about.
It has been reported that Solis has won numerous competitions, bringing home rewards and enjoying the perks that goes with the prize in the three years that he has been trying to outsmart people.
At the end it was his stupidity that did him in.
It was bad enough that Solis has been forging other’s people work in contests and passing it as his, but it is simply sheer idiocy to compose a story about the picture that does not depict the real thing, even if it shows what it really is.
Take for example his ‘winning’ entry in the 2nd Calidad Humana National Essay Photography Competition organized by the Chilean Embassy with the theme “Smiles of the World.”
It was about a photo of a smiling boy draped with seaweed, who he said was named Nilo and was from Zamboanga City. The caption stated that the boy helped his father farm seaweed.
In reality, it was a photo owned by Gregory John Smith, who probably took it when the boy happily surfaced with the seaweed draping over his head and he named it “Neptune, King of the Sea.”
Smith, a social entrepreneur, is also the founder of Children at Risk Foundation, which, ironically, helps children at risk both in Brazil and the Philippines.
Smith could only lament, saying, “an impostor… abused my copyright.”
And to think that the “Calidad Humana” (translation: Human Quality) competition speaks about the integrity and the strength of the human character of Filipinos!
But, stealing the photo and claiming it his own is only part of the whole Calidad Humana charade.
What completes it is what my beef is all about against the brazen Solis, which is this:
The seaweed on the boy’s head is not the same kind of seaweed that is being farmed in Zamboanga to produce carrageenan, a well known food and industrial additive.
Rather, what is draping on the boy’s head, by the looks of it alone, is the seaweed called sargassum.
You don’t culture sargassum the way we culture or farm eucheuma cottonii and spinosum in Zamboanga and other parts in the Philippines, which are the primary sources of carrageenan.
Sargassum is what we see washed up on the shores by waves especially after a bad weather or typhoon, where kids love to pick it up and pop the berrylike gas-filled bladders of some of the seaweeds.
Makes me wonder if, indeed, Solis even know what I am talking about or if he can distinguish at all which is which if he is presented with the different specimens.
Solis has made fool of people competing and showing what isn’t his. On top of that he also takes people for a ride pretending that he is a learned person in his essays.
Hope this ignominy that Solis has brought unto himself, his family and country will open up his eyes and make him a better and more responsible person as he goes on with life.