By Walter Ang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Reynaldo Samson, Jr. won grand prize in the oil/acrylic-on-canvas category with his 36 by 48 inches "Ang Hindi Matapus-tapos na Ebolusyon, at ang Walang Katapusang Paghahanap sa 'Di Matagpu-tagpuang Langit."
Lester Rodriguez won grand prize in the watermedia-on-paper category with his 24 x 36 inches "The Hidden Agenda."
Both Samson and Rodriguez are first time competitors, do not have any formal training in painting, and hail from Rizal (Antipolo and Binangonan, respectively).
For the sculpture category, which allows entries in glass, metal, wood, stone, and fired clay, Marc Vincent Cosico took top honors for his polymer "Superhero Complex."
The painting and sculpture categories are open to artists 18 to 35 years old. This year, one of the youngest competitors, 18 year old Dennis Ticao, received the special prize in the sculpture category for his terracotta "Riders of the Storm."
Other winners in the oil/acrylic-on-canvas category include Mary Grace Tenorio, second prize, for "Tanikalang Bakal;" and Rolf Domini Campos, third prize, for "Unfinished Bout." For the watermedia-on-paper category, Kathleen Yeo won the special prize for "Patungo."
Maureen Grace De Jesus won grand prize for the interior design category for her work "Rise of the Fallen," which features repurposed fallen tree parts. Heidrun Milan won the special prize for his "Eco-lecticReflection."
Miguel Angelo Mañosa, known for advocating "tropical organic" houses specifically designed for tropical climates, won grand prize in the architecture category for his work "Private Residence."
The interior design and architecture categories are open to licensed professionals 25 to 45 years old. These two categories are done in partnership with Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, United Architects of the Philippines, the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines, Metrobank Card Corporation, real estate company Federal Land, and architecture magazine BluPrint.
Each winner received a glass trophy designed by sculptor Noell El Farol.
Culture of excellence
Guests of honor at the awarding ceremony held at Le Pavillion events hall included Ambassador Luca Fornari of the Republic of Italy, Ambassador Liu Jianchao of the People's Republic of China, and Secretary Julia Andrea Abad, Presidential Management Staff Head.
Ballet Philippines performed at the beginning of the ceremony to a mixed group of artists, art patrons, business and government leaders, diplomats, and cultural advocates.
Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña gave the welcome remarks. "We are delighted to have been able to discover such promising talents among today's youth," he said. "We hope that our winners this year will continue to pursue their craft and motivate aspiring artists and designers to do the same, contributing to the development of Philippine art and design."
Metrobank founder and group chairperson George Ty created the foundation in 1979 to "share the fruits of [the bank's] success with society." Ty serves as the foundation's chairperson. Aside from the Made competition, the foundation has awards that honor teachers, policemen and soldiers.
The visual arts competition was created in 1984, then known as the Metrobank Annual Painting Competition. "The Competition was foreseen as an instrument that would engage the youth in a positive endeavor amidst the economic and political chaos that the Philippines was in at that time," said Made program officer Dolores Macayan.
In the mid 90s, the competition was renamed to Young Painters' Annual to "reflect the expanding interventions of the foundation in the arts." Beyond hosting competitions, it evolved into developing and funding art and design programs to "promote a culture of excellence towards holistic human social development."
The competition's current name was created in the mid 2000s when sculpture, architecture and interior design were included in its roster of categories.
Promote and educate
"To date, the arts intervention programs of Metrobank Foundation has given recognition to almost 500 young artists," said Macayan.
Previous winners of the competition include Elmer Borlongan, Anton Del Castillo, Mark Justiniani, Jan Leeroy New and Ronald Ventura.
Former winners of the competition are usually tapped to conduct art demonstrations or teaching sessions annually.
Aside from this year's awarding ceremony, an exhibit showcasing this year's entries was unveiled. A number of the artworks were put on sale, with proceeds going directly to the artists.
The foundation also hosted its own Art Exploration Series, lectures on art that included topics on printmaking; trends in Philippine architecture and interior design; as well as legal issues on copyright, forgeries and obscenity.
"The foundation has supported close to 300 arts-related activities such as exhibits of competition winners, art workshops, art festivals, facilities improvement of museums and schools, among others," said Macayan.
"Close to P15M has been disbursed in support of the programs over the foundation's existence."
For details, call the Metrobank Foundation at 898-8856 and 857-5918 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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