Monday, October 2, 2017

Creative Works of Imagination at the 2017 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence

The tradition of celebrating Filipino artistry and creativity continues as the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) recognized another batch of promising artists for the 2017 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) in an awarding ceremonies held last September 21, 2017 at the at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park, Pasay City. Three young painters and two professional sculptors will be welcomed to the roster of MADE awardees since 1984. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero served as guests of honor. National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose, together with distinguished art personalities and officials from the diplomatic community, government, academe, civil society, and business graced the event. 

This year’s MADE carried the theme “IMAGINE” where Filipino painters and sculptors were challenged to root their creative works on the very seedbed of their artistic genius—the human imagination. MBFI believes that as artists, they hold the power to imagine things anew. Through MADE, they are empowered to showcase and render their creative side to become true works of art.

“The theme affirms our advocacy to empower artists across the country to create new worlds and alternative realities rooted in every seedbed of creative genius: the human imagination,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “But more than that, it is a call to action. It poses a challenge to every Filipino far and wide to use the power of their artistic judgment to bring color to our nation” he continued. 

Sculpture Recognition Program

Bacolod City-based sculptor Moreen Joy Austria earned the Grand Award for her sculpture entitled “Pagtaguyod.” Inspired by the closeness and warmth of Filipino families, Austria used fabricated stainless steel to form human figures of a family supporting each other as they rise.

For Austria, Pagtaguyod also embodies the sense of family and inclusion that is reflected on how Filipinos relate with their countrymen. On top of the sculptural piece is a blue “paper airplane” that symbolizes a society of progress and optimism.

A reflection of values that define Filipinos, Pagtaguyod translates to a range of meanings: Promote. Patronize. Foster.

Adulmari “Toym” Imao, Jr., on the other hand, was awarded with a Special Citation for his sculpture entitled “Monument for the Pursuit of Happiness.” Inspired by the tree of life, the sculpture features the growth and blossoming of an individual depicted by different family milestones that is shown from every side of the work.

Imao used a canopy populated by migratory birds which takes a contemporary form of a sarimanok, to depict the many narratives of happiness in the family that a person would always remember. The whole piece is supported by bamboo pillars which imitate the strength and courage of Filipinos to hurdle all challenges with the support of their family. Imao is the son of national artist Abdulmari Imao and has done many symbolic sculptural pieces in the country. 

In partnership with property developer Federal Land, Inc. (FLI), this year’s Sculpture Recognition Program awardees will have the chance to be commissioned for the actual installation of their art piece along the Metro Park rotunda in Pasay City.

 The Final Board of Judges was chaired by architect and glass sculptor Ramon Orlina, joined by multi-awarded sculptor Juan Sajid Imao; renowned art critic and author of more than 40 art books Cid Reyes; internationally-acclaimed sculptor Daniel Dela Cruz; sculptor, art teacher, and Art Informal Galleries co-founder Salvador “Joel” Alonday; and the country’s pioneer in art installation Luis “Junyee” Yee, Jr.

Painting Recognition Program

Amateur artists Paul John Cabanalan and Marvin Quizon were the Grand Awardees for the Painting Recognition Program under the categories of Oil/ Acrylic on Canvas and Watermedia on Paper, respectively.

Concerned with the daily issues happening in their local community and in the country, Ilonggo artist Cabanalan used his art piece entitled “Genesis” to portray chaos and disorder through a mix of elements like human illustrations of varying emotions and sizes, city buildings, and some component of nature.

With his observations and experiences as inspirations of his works, Cabanalan believes that his paintings serve as his journal, a record of his experiences, the people he interacts with, and the places he has visited. An Architect by profession, Cabanalan finished his degree at the Iloilo Science and Technology University.

On the other hand, Marvin Quizon’s “For Those Who Lived and [are] Forgotten” uses an image of a lifeless bird with flowers and branches growing from it, a reminder of life that comes after death and a symbol for new beginnings and opportunities that may open.

In his work, Quizon also conveys the significance of life for those who have lived and departed, emphasizing their good deeds which must always be remembered by their loved ones. A native of Baliuag, Bulacan, Quizon finished Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising Arts at the Bulacan State University-Malolos. 

Meanwhile, Caviteño artist Jett Stanley Osian received the Special Citation for his artwork entitled “Tell Lie Vision.” Entered under the Oil/ Acrylic on Canvas category, the work rendered monochromatic television sets watched with awe by onlookers whose backs are turned to the viewers. The art piece depicts questionable information being fed by the media as well as the humanity’s clamor for social truth.

A full-time artist and a member of an artist group Studio 1616, Osian hails from Dasmariñas, Cavite and is a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising Arts at the Technological University of the Philippines in Manila.

This year’s Final Board of Judges was chaired by one of the country’s leading advertising art director and visual artist, Lydia Velasco. Members included award-winning visual artist Emmanuel “Manny” Garibay; contemporary visual artist Ferdinand Montemayor; visual artist and West Gallery owner Soler Santos; and Ateneo Art Gallery curator and Ateneo De Manila University Fine arts Department lecturer Ma. Victoria “Boots” Herrera. 

Awarding Ceremony & Exhibit Opening

Grand Awardees for both Painting and Sculpture Recognition Programs received a financial incentive of P500,000 plus a “Mula” glass trophy designed by sculptor and past MADE awardee Noell El Farrol. Recipients of the Special Citation for Painting and Sculpture Recognition Programs received financial incentive of P30,000 and P50,000, respectively, and a plaque. They automatically become a part of the MADE-Network of Winners (MADE-NOW), the alumni organization of MADE awardees, leading pay-it-forward projects for the marginalized sectors.

The winning artworks, including the semi-finalists, will be exhibited from September 22 to 23 at the Le Pavillon. A two-day lecture will also be held in the same venue—September 22 “MADE Art Exploration Lecture Series” and September 23 “Cultural Heritage & Education Program Lecture Series” from 9AM to 5PM. Admission to the lectures is free. Interested individuals may call Nicole Soriano at 898-8856; e-mail; or check the MADE Facebook page for updates.

Now on its 33rd year, MADE has set the benchmark among the country’s art competitions, raising the general public’s appreciation for the arts through exhibits and lectures and has long served as the career launch pad of the country’s most admired contemporary artists and sculptors. Among its past awardees are Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Jan Leeroy New, Salvador “Buddy” Ching, and Andres Barrioquinto.


The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) was established on January 8, 1979 by Dr. George S. K. Ty, sixteen (16) years after he founded the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank). As the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group, the Foundation implements various programs in recognizing excellence among key pillars of society, education, visual arts, healthcare including active and dynamic partnerships with other organizations that likewise provide services for the underprivileged sectors of society, while remaining to be responsive to relief and rehabilitation efforts for affected Filipinos in times of natural calamities in the Philippines and in Asia. Its flagship programs include the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos, implemented under 3 component recognition programs—Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and Country's Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS); Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE); MetroGold Scholarship Program (MSP); Metrobank MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC); Grants and Social Development Partnerships; and Disaster Response. MBFI also spearheads the celebration of the National Teachers’ Month (NTM) held from September 5 to October 5 of every year since 2008. It also supports programs aimed at educating the citizenry on public-interest issues through research and lectures given by the distinguished chair holders of the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lectures, established by the Foundation in partnership with reputable educational institutions. MBFI is also the principal owner of the Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH), one of the leading centers of wellness in the country. The Foundation endeavors to be the country’s premier corporate philanthropic foundation contributing a significant impact on social development. As a development organization, its goal is to uplift individuals and the sectors they represent and strategically link with institutions for a shared-purpose. By creating and propagating a culture of excellence and providing solutions to stakeholder’s needs, the Foundation shall continuously expand its scope of reach and be at the forefront in serving communities. “Excel. Engage. Empower” or the 3Es shall remain our roadmap. 

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