Metrobank Art And Design Excellence Awards Recognize 8 Outstanding Filipino Artists

September 13, 2021



Micah Mongcal

The Metrobank Art And Design Excellence is one of the most prestigious and anticipated art competitions in the country, having discovered numerous art masters in the past. The works in this exhibit are of urgent and important stories of past events seared into our nation’s collective memory, and the current events we grapple with today. From a record-breaking total of 701 submissions, five awardees were chosen for the Painting Recognition Program, and three awardees for the Sculpture Recognition Program.

A nation’s struggle against a pandemic, a commentary on the horrors that plague society, the depth of the human psyche; these are the striking narratives that this year’s winning works express through masterful command of medium and technique.

 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence

The MADE is a program of the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), which aims to nurture the potential of artists and preserve our cultural heritage. Since the program began in 1979, it has discovered many talented artists, who have since become critically acclaimed in their fields. Some of the most well-recognized winners of the MADE Awards are Bobby Feleo, Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Leeroy New, Alfredo Esquillo, Andres Barrioquinto, Yeo Kaa, and Cedrick de la Paz. This year, the following new artists have earned the judges’ acclaim:

Grand Awardees and Special Citations

Grand Awardees:
“Between Heaven and Earth” by Ariosto Dale Bagtas (for Oil/Acrylic)
“Haunting Wail of Chaos” by Lymuel Bautista (for Watermedia on Paper)
“Bungkag” by Kathleen Sareena Dagum (for Sculpture)

Special Citation:
“Uncensored Fallacy of Faith” by Clark Manalo (for Oil/Acrylic)
“Binyag sa Landas-apoy” by Mark Laza (for Oil/Acrylic)
“Lucas 21:11” by Crispo Matiquilla for Watermedia on Paper)
“Nakakabinging Katahimikan” by Tyrone Dave Espinosa (for Sculpture)
“Isang Pangarap ang Managinip” by Carlo De Laza (for Sculpture)

MADE awardee

Between Heaven and Earth, by Ariosto Dale Bagtas

The winning piece for the oil/acrylic on canvas category offers a fresh way of viewing the impact of the pandemic on society as a whole, relating it to the effects on our individual bodies. The colorful shapes can be viewed as an abstraction of the body’s cellular processes that respond to the virus; at the same time, as a representation of our society’s response of coming together to support each other during this time of crisis.

Metrobank Art and Design Excellence

Bungkag, by Kathleen Sareena Dagum

The title of the grand awardee for the Sculpture category, “Bungkag”, is a Cebuano word which means “to fall apart.” The piece symbolizes the chaos and conflict of individuals that are oriented in different directions. The composition of the structure gives the figures an illusion of floating, lending an air of surrealism and lightness to the piece.

MADE Awardee

Haunting Wail of Chaos, by Lymuel A. Bautista

Another work drawing on the theme of conflict in society, this ingenious piece is painted on Stonehenge paper, which is shaped like a sheet of corrugated iron. This gives the figures a distorted appearance. It depicts a scene with a pack of dogs attacking and devouring each other, the midst of an infernal and squalid setting; meanwhile, ignoring the ticks that plague them. The piece is a depiction of how individuals and governments fail to address the pressing issues of the pandemic, consumed instead by self-serving pursuits.

Binyag sa Landas-Apoy, Mark Anthony Laza

This Special Citation Awardee in the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas category depicts a young peddler, hauling an icebox. This familiar figure is backgrounded by an ominously unfamiliar setting: a seemingly dystopian landscape, littered with bones and weapons. The work represents the haloed, innocent boy’s inevitable initiation into the life of the proletariat, along with all the hardship and danger it entails.

Uncensored Fallacy of Faith by Clark S. Manalo

This Special Citation Awardee in the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas category depicts a scene that is recognizable to many residents of Manila: the streets of the metro, filled with rushing people and moving vehicles. This everyday setting is disrupted by strips of color that resemble screen glitches, while the figures’ faces are mostly concealed or distorted. The main figures are a group of children around an altar, on which religious icons are displayed seemingly for sale. The piece criticizes our society’s understanding and demonstrations of.

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