UST STUDENTS dominated the ArtPetron 2008, winning three grand prizes in photography and one in oil painting.

Grand-prize winners in photography were Advertising majors Alexa Remalante and Marcelo Bugaoan for “Lugod” and “Indayog” respectively, and Varsitarian photographer Paul Allyson Quiambao of the College of Architecture for “Season of Grace”. Another Advertising student, Blane Louie Rosales, won a grand prize for his oil painting, “Ipagpatuloy Ang Daloy Ng Alon.”

The grand prize winners received P30,000 while Rosales got P50,000. The grand prize winners received a trophy designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva.

Rosales’ “Alon” combines realism and collage, rendered in eye-catching colors. In his painting, four children are crouched, with painting masks, festive flags and other colorful images on the floor.

This year’s theme was “Alay sa Pistang Pilipino,” with some contestants in the photography contest shooting scenes from the Aliwan Festival.

“Imagine me dancing under the rain together with [the paraders] with my camera in hand, shouting, screaming and dancing to the beat. I loved every moment of it,” Advertising sophomore Alexa Remalante told the Varsitarian about the Aliwan Festival.

“The entries in ArtPetron get better every year,” National Artist and ArtPetron head judge Napoleon Abueva said in a press release.

All four Thomasian winners had not joined ArtPetron previously.

For Quiambao, praises from a well-known photographer served as a great bonus.

“Of all the photos I judged, this is the only one where I truly felt the spirit of fiesta,” George Tapan, a top photographer and ArtPetron judge was quoted to have said about Quiambao’s “Season of Grace.”

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For Rosales, the theme served as a great inspiration.

“I went to fiestas, to take pictures for me to paint,” Rosales told the Varsitarian in a separate interview. “From there, I experienced a part of our culture, and I really appreciated it,” he said in Filipino.

Bugaoan, whose thesis was on jeepney art, is a self-described advocate of Philippine culture. According to him, the theme worked to his advantage because he really enjoys going to fiestas.

While the theme did not prevent them from coming up with outstanding entries, some of the students admitted that schoolwork almost did.

“I worked [on the painting] for probably a month, but that wasn’t continuous because I also had lots of plates [to finish],” Rosales said. However, both say that these same plates honed their skills, and that the College of Fine Arts and Design has given them a good foundation in terms of technique.

Bugaoan, a senior, said that he is thankful they had Photography in third year. “CFAD instilled in us an eye for beauty, to find meaning in all that we do.”

For Quiambao, it’s all about developing the “eyes of a photographer.” He said that being an Architecture student helped him see things in perspectives others wouldn’t think of. In addition, now that he has won in ArtPetron, Quiambao says that he will join more art competitions to give honor to the Varsitarian, which he says has become a venue for him to showcase his skills in photography.

When the euphoria of winning this year finally fades, will they join ArtPetron again? For these young artists, it is a resounding yes. Rosales says that next time, he will focus on steadiness and on executing his work similar to how he did this year. Quiambao, on another hand, says that he wants to test the limits of his capabilities, to utilize the talent God gave him in photography. Marian Leanna T. Dela Cruz

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