THE LIBERATION of Manila 70 years ago was relived and immortalized through art during the UST annual inter-school on-the-spot painting competition last Feb. 7.

The Battle of Manila that led to the city’s emancipation amid World War II took place from Feb. 3 to March 3, 1945, and left around 100,000 civilian casualties. The University served as an internment camp of the Japanese at that time.

A total of 219 delegates from 15 universities and colleges in Metro Manila participated in this year’s contest themed “Memories of Valor, Dreams of Peace: The 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines” held at the Benavides Garden. UST partnered with the United States Embassy and Metrobank Foundation to sponsor the event.

John Nikko Pelaez from the University of the East-Caloocan won first place with his artwork titled, “Unsung Heroes,” which depicted a smiling boy—his face and body were colored in red, blue, and yellow. He was wearing a helmet and was draped in an army uniform while holding a white dove. Black and white scenes of war serve as the painting’s backdrop.

Ricky Natividad of Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science & Technology (EARIST) placed second for “70 Untold Stories,” an acrylic on canvas painting portraying a large lamp at the center that houses what looked like a father and his son, while varied sights of the sufferings of many soldiers were in the background.

The third prize went to “Past for the Future” by Francis Urquiola from Technological University of the Philippines-Manila while Thomasian Marina Monina Ceriola’s “The Death March” received the first honorable mention.

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Amulfo Ragma III’s abstract painting “Alaala at Pag-asa” received the Metrobank Choice Award.

Other winning artworks were “Kayamanan Pamana sa Aming Kabataan, Alay sa Mahal na Bayan” by Jhon Macarariola of EARIST for second honorable mention and “Victory at the Pearl Harbor” by Naomi Mendoza of UP Diliman for third honorable mention.

The awarding ceremony and exhibit were conducted on the same night of the competition, which was graced with the performance of the world-renowned UST Singers. The winning entries are on exhibit at the museum’s main gallery until March 7. Aliliana Margarette T. Uyao

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