By Martin Sadongdong
A total of 1,430 creative and artistic minds gathered during the seventh year of the with the theme “Unity in Diversity” held today, National Heroes Day, at Seaside, Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City.
The theme was inspired by the current situation the country is facing, especially the war in Marawi City, according to MB Brand supervisor Alice Mallari.
“Unity in Diversity ang napili naming tema dahil sa ongoing situation ng bansa natin. Alam naman natin na may conflict ngayon sa Marawi City and it’s because of the different opinions and perspectives ng mga tao. Gusto naming ma-promote ‘yung unity kahit may pagkakaiba-iba tayo ng mga paniniwala (We chose “Unity in Diversity” as the theme because of the ongoing situation in the country. We know that there is a conflict in Marawi City and it’s because of the different opinions and perspectives of the people. We want to promote unity despite the differences in our beliefs),” Mallari said.
Mallari said the participants in the sketch fest has almost doubled compared last year, where about 800 artists from all ages participated.
Mallari credited the early promotion of the event to its success. She said as early as May, they already laid down their promotion strategies.
She also bared that they kept on injecting new ideas in the event to entice more participants.
In fact last July, they held the Visayas and Mindanao leg of the MB Sketch Fest in Cebu City and Davao City, respectively — a first in the history of MB.
“Nagdagdag kami ng provincial leg para ma-promote pa ‘yung arts among Filipinos and alam naman natin na very talented ang mga Pinoy (We added the provincial leg to further promote arts among Filipinos because we know we have a lot of local talents),” Mallari said.
The MB Sketch Fest this year continued the inclusion of exhibition category, which was added last year, aside from the three other categories, namely Kiddie, Junior and Senior.
Last year’s exhibition category top winner Archie Oclos, for example, started gaining prominence as he already started accepting commission artworks and even held his very first art exhibit in a museum in Makati City. He was also tapped to paint the portrait of famous tattoo artist Whang-od at SM Aura.
“Hopefully, marami pang artists na madiscover through this event, hindi lang mga matatanda kundi pati na rin mga bata (many more artists would be discovered through this event, not only the old ones but also the young ones),” Mallari stated.
Zakk Deyniel Titulado, one of the youngest participants, is already aware of what’s happening in the country at a tender age of six.
Titulado proudly shared his artwork before this reporter and called it “Yin Yang.” It featured flags from different countries, prominent religious icons like Buddha and other symbolisms, mosques and churches, a bright sun and a smiling earth.
Titulado’s father, 29-year-old Niño, said his son got the concept of his artwork when he saw it on a television.
“Sabi niya, kahit daw magkaiba ang ugali ng mga tao, opposites parang yin at yang, pwede pa rin daw mag-complement, magkaintindihan basta mag-pray (He said that despite peoples’ opposite characteristics, it is possible to complement and understand each other by praying),” Niño said in between smiles.
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