By Martin Sadongdong
An artist from Las Piñas City bagged the top prize in the seventh Manila Bulletin (MB) Sketch Fest held at Seaside, Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City Monday.
Under the events theme, “Unity in Diversity,” Teodelorenz Racuya symbolically represented the struggle of every Filipino in his art piece, “Iba-iba Ngunit Sama-Sama,” which shows five persons at play.
“Itong artwork ko madaling basahin lang ng public at mga judges. Kung anong makita mo ayun na. Dito makikita mo sa nilalaro nila na may unity para maabot yung goal (This artwork is easy to read. What you see is what you get. You can see in the game they play the importance of unity in achieving their goal). So it’s a test of unity.”
Racuya said he personally experienced the traditional team wooden race in a church team-building activity in Laguna way back 2012.
He said the artwork is really special among other creations because of the virtues it embed: happiness, peace, love, faith, and hope.
“So kapag nagtulung-tulong lang tayo gamit ang mga virtues, sa kabila ng pagkakaiba, makakamit natin ang tagumpay bilang isang bansa (If we just help each other out with the help of the virtues, despite our differences, we can be triumphant as one nation),” he said.
The 41-year-old full-time artist bested 163 other exhibitors and took 1st place in the exhibition category. He won P50,000 and an MB loot bag containing various special items.
Second place was captured by Donnie Rick Cellano, while Junevy Llosa was third place and John Raymond Guevarra, fourth place. They received P30,000; P20,000; and P5,000, respectively.
Manila Bulletin Executive Vice President Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said the event turned out successful as it completely showcased the varying opinions of artists in relation to the theme.
“Talagang napakamalikhain nila and the way they portrayed their opinions and emotions into their arts showed we have a bright future sa ating arts,” he said.
Aside from 164 exhibitors, the event also gathered 1,266 participants in the Seniors, Juniors, and Kiddies categories.
Janus dela Cruz, a 31-year-old visual artist, painter, and print maker and one of the judges in the exhibition category, said the winning masterpiece represented something that is idealistic, very simple yet had all the elements to explain the struggles of a Filipino identity and progress.
“Using the theme, ‘Unity in Diversity,’ I chose the artwork which best showed the idea of nation building and uniting people even from diverse background. I wanted to find an artwork which represents the idea that although we came from different islands with different culture and traditions, we all have one blood which binds us all together to be Filipinos,” Dela Cruz said.
He said the future of arts seems bright with the showcase of talents he witnessed.
“I’m very optimistic with the turnout of the event. You know, Filipinos are very innately creative and we need outlets to showcase our talents, like these events, to be able to create. And out of the creations maybe, we can change our community and the nation for the better,” he remarked.
Other winners of the event include:
Seniors’ category or those 19 years old and above: Kirby Yaneza, first place (P30,000); Joemari Dinson, second place (P15,000); and Christian Jame Maglente, third place (P10,000).
Juniors’ category or those 13 to 18-years-old: Geoffrey Solidum, first place (P10,000); Trisha Danielle Sia, second place (P7,000); and Gaile Nicole Vargas, third place (P5,000).
Kiddies’ category: Jaliyah Maninang, first place (P5,000); Ma. Felicity Tejada, second place (P3,000); and Kurt Lugtu, third place (P2,000).
Meanwhile, Gimbern Villegas won the Manila Bulletin’s Choice Awardee. He took home P10,000.
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