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In line with the celebration of the National Arts Month, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) launched the 2020 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) through the kick-off event of the annual Art MADE Public. The launching was led by MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña, SM Supermalls senior vice president for Marketing Millie Dizon, and Fundacion Sanso director Ricky Francisco as guest of honor. (Photo courtesy of SM Supermalls)

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) has launched the 36th edition of its excellence recognition program for the visual arts – the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence or MADE. Through the annual “Art MADE Public,” a series of art events were lined up in select venues in Luzon (SM Angono, Rizal), Visayas (Gallery Orange, Bacolod City), Mindanao (SM Lanang Premiere, Davao), and NCR (S’ Maison, Pasay City).

Guided by the theme “SPECTRUM: The Art of Possibilities,” MADE challenges Filipino artists to channel their ingenuity in creating a spectrum of works that represent Filipino artistic excellence. In this realm of infinite possibilities, masterpieces are made. For decades, MADE has empowered artists to imagine, discover, and unleash their full potential.

On February 1, a kick-off event and in celebration of National Arts Month was held at S’Maison in Pasay City, graced by MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña and SM Supermalls senior vice president for Marketing Millie Dizon, with Fundacion Sanso director Ricky Francisco as guest of honor.

Held in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), SM Supermalls, and United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Art MADE Public will go around the country to promote Philippine art and heritage consisting of several activities such as art exhibits, lectures, and workshops. The lectures will feature renowned Filipino artists, architectural and heritage practitioners as resource speakers. These venues, at the same time, will serve as source of information and guidelines for interested painters and sculptors who plan to join the MADE Recognition Programs for Painting and Sculpture.


A SHOWCASE OF MADE’S FINESTS

This year’s exhibit showcased the recent artworks of past MADE awardees, highlighting new art forms and styles, unique themes, and exceptional works that reflect the journey of the artists. Featured works included that of 2019 MADE awardees Jayme Lucas (“Sugat ng Tahanan”), Christian Maglente(Untitled), Cedrick De La Paz (“15/30”), Dave Alcon (“Distinct), and Arman Arago (“Ang Tanda ng Bata”).

Recent masterpieces of Leeroy New (“Sigbin with Tree”), Mark Justiniani (“Hole”), Elmer Borlongan (“Record Digger”), Alfredo Esquillo (“Laban ng Loob 2”), and Anton Del Castillo (“In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted”) were also part of the exhibit, including those of Raffy Napay (“I Live Here”) and Mark Andy Garcia (“Existence”).

On the other hand, the lectures featured the talks of Eskinita Gallery owner and visual artist Alfredo Esquillo and WTA Architect + Design Studio principal architect and Anthology Festival director William Ty.


A CALL FOR FILIPINO PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS

The MADE Painting Recognition Program is open to all Filipino painters aged 18-35 years old who have not staged a solo exhibition. The MADE Sculpture Recognition Program, on the other hand, is open to all professional and amateur Filipino sculptors who have not won in any Sculpture competitions of MADE in the past. The deadline for submission of entries is on/or before May 8, 2020. Interested participants may register online through bit.ly/MADE2020_paintingform and bit.ly/MADE2020_sculptureform.

Two (2) grand awardees for the Painting Recognition Program and one (1) grand awardee for the Sculpture Recognition Program will be chosen by a distinguished panel of judges. They will each receive PhP 500,000.00 worth of financial assistance and fund for artistic development, plus the “Mula” glass trophy designed by visual artist and MADE awardee Noel El Farrol. The grand awardees will be recognized during Metrobank’s 57th anniversary in September and will also become members of the MADE-Network of Winners (MADE-NOW), the alumni organization of past MADE awardees which implements pay-it-forward projects that benefit marginalized sectors.

Established in 1984 by the late Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian, MADE has served as a platform for discovery for the most passionate and persistent creative visionaries in the country. To date, more than 400 visual artists and design professionals have been recognized. A majority of them are now carving significant names in the local and even international art and design scenes.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Art MADE Public runs from February 1 to April 10, 2020, to be staged in various cultural institutions and SM Supermalls S’ Maison, Pasay City (February 1-7); Gallery Orange, Bacolod City (February 15-21); SM Angono, Rizal (March 19-25), and SM Lanang Premier, Davao (April 3-10). Registered architects who will attend the lectures shall get the Professional Regulatory Commission-Continuing Professional Development (PRC-CPD) accreditation.

For further details, please contact Badet Macaraig at telephone number: (02) 8898-8094; email: therese.macaraig@metrobank.com.ph; or visit MADE Facebook page @MADECompetition.

As an annual tradition, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) held a simultaneous distribution of “Bags of Blessing” on the day of Chinese New Year, January 25, 2020. This year, a total of 25 cities and municipalities across NCR, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were chosen to serve as distribution areas wherein another P10 million worth of food packages were distributed to 10,000 families.

The main event was held at the Universidad de Manila in the City of Manila, where 400 families from the city received assistance. The gift-giving activity was led by Metrobank Group chairman Arthur Ty; Federal Land chairman and GTFI president Alfred Ty; GTFI honorary chair Mary Ty; GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy Buncio; and Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña. They were joined by City of Manila Vice Mayor Dra. Honey Lacuna; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional director for NCR Vicente Gregorio Tomas; and Manila Department of Social Welfare director Ma. Asuncion Fugoso.

The Bags of Blessing is the brainchild of the late Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. Since its inception in 2011, it has become an instrument in giving back to underprivileged families and providing an opportunity for them to take part in the Chinese New Year celebration.

The inspiration behind this activity is the traditional ang-pao, a red envelope containing cash used to deliver best wishes, luck, and good energy. Instead of cash-giving, specially designed red bags containing P1,000 worth of food packages—rice, canned goods, milk, sugar, noodles, and other basic commodities—are distributed to indigent families.

“Bags of Blessing is really about giving back to the community. It’s trying to share what you have, and hopefully it puts some meaning and difference in their lives,” shared GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy Buncio.

Beneficiaries were carefully selected by DSWD and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through its network of dioceses and archdioceses. Other than belonging to the status of living below the poverty line, families affected by recent calamities, Indigenous Peoples (IPs), and non-beneficiaries of DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) were also given priority.

“Sharing and reaching out to our neighbors is not a novel act for the organization. Heart for community has always been at the core of what we do and Bags of Blessing, which is now on its eighth year, is rooted in that very idea. Amidst the festivities of the Chinese New Year, we aim to provide aid to those in the peripheries of society,” said MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña.

The leaders and employees from the network of Metrobank branches as well as the different subsidiaries and affiliates of GT Capital Holdings and the Metrobank Group participated in the series of gift-giving activities. Key partners also include the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) who provided security and logistical support, in coordination with concerned local government units and Catholic archdioceses.

In Metro Manila, distributions were also held at the City of San Juan, Makati City, Muntinlupa City, and Las Piñas City. In Luzon, distributions were carried out at San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte; Dagupan City, Pangasinan; Baguio City, Benguet; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; Baliwag, Bulacan; Porac, Pampanga; Imus City, Cavite; San Pablo City, Laguna; Lipa City, Batangas; and Legazpi City, Albay. In Visayas, areas included Naval, Biliran; San Remigio, Antique; Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; Cebu City, Cebu; Cordova, Cebu; and Tubigon, Bohol. In Mindanao, distributions were held at Cagayan de Oro City; Misamis Oriental; Davao City, Davao del Sur; Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur; and Koronadal City, South Cotabato. All sites catered to 400 beneficiary families each.

Metrobank, through its corporate social responsibility arm, Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), immediately responded to the call for relief assistance to cater to families displaced by the eruption of Taal Volcano. Under its disaster relief and response program dubbed as “Helping Hands”, a total of P2.6 million was allocated, of which a portion of it was coursed through the network of Metrobank branches in South Luzon for them to implement immediate relief efforts.

On January 21, more than 1,700 families in select affected municipalities in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite were reached out.

A total of 783 families in select evacuation centers were given relief assistance in the province of Batangas, particularly in Batangas City, San Luis, and Bauan. On the other hand, 900 families from Mendez, Alfonso, and Dasmariñas City were also given the same assistance in the province of Cavite. The assistance was in the form of food items, hygiene kits, sleeping mats and blankets.

The distribution was held in partnership with the Batangas Police Provincial Office, Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group, the Philippine Marine Corps, Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units.

The rest of the donation was coursed through the Philippine STAR’s corporate social responsibility arm Operation Damayan and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation. MBFI also provided financial support for a soup kitchen to be implemented by Manila Broadcasting Company DZRH’s Operation Tulong in the coming weeks.

MBFI remains responsive to aid survivors of natural calamities through relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) donated an initial amount of P2.6 million to assist affected families by the eruption of Taal volcano on Jan. 12.

The relief assistance will be coursed through the Philippine STAR’s corporate social arm Operation Damayan, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, MBC DZRH’s Operation Tulong and Metrobank South Luzon (Batangas and Cavite) branches. Relief ranging from cooked food, food packs, water, hygiene kits, face masks, blankets and sleeping mats will be distributed in identified evacuation centers.

MBFI remains responsive to aid survivors of natural calamities through relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The search for exemplary Filipino public servants continues—the nomination for the 2020 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos (OF) is now open.

Ten (10) Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos in the academe, military, and police will be recognized for demonstrating service above and beyond the call of their duty. Four (4) teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers will receive PhP 1 million worth of cash incentive, a trophy, and a gold medallion and will be honored during Metrobank’s 58th anniversary celebration in September 2020.

The 10 awardees will also be conferred the title “Metrobank Foundation Fellows in Public Service” and will be provided the opportunity to share their expertise and best practices through lectures across the country.

“We are looking for individuals who embody the words ‘Beyond Excellence’. This means that they are models of excellence in their professions and of service in their communities,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “The combination of their accomplishments and character provide inspiration among their institutions and fellow Filipinos towards the shared pursuit of nation-building,” he added.

The search is held in partnership with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, Rotary Club of Makati Metro, Philippine Savings Bank, and Rotary Club of New Manila East.

Read the full guidelines via bit.ly/OFAwardFAQs2020 and access the nomination forms via bit.lyOFAward2020.

Deadline for nominations is on December 27, 2019. Visit the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Facebook Page for more information.

In time for its 10th anniversary celebration, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), the Ty family foundation, turned-over a newly constructed barangay health station last October 17 in Cabunga-an, Tarangnan, Western Samar. The facility will benefit 5,000 residents from six (6) neighboring barangays namely Cabunga-an, Bangon Gote, Binalayan, Lahong, Talinga and Dapdap.

Cabunga-an Barangay Health Station

This is the fourth barangay health station built in partnership with Plan International Philippines, a development and humanitarian organization advocating for children’s rights to education, protection, health care and high quality of life. Besides the provision of primary healthcare to locals, maternal services from pregnancy to post-partum including childcare will also be made accessible. It houses several rooms for consultation, sterilization, recovery, labor and delivery.

Labor room

Delivery room

GTFI also sponsored the health station’s equipment and the purchase of a motorcycle ambulance for the transportation of patients, especially for pregnant mothers.

Motorcycle ambulance

As a grant-giving organization, GTFI assists qualified non-government organizations focusing on maternal and child care through the following priority areas: maternal health–construction or rehabilitation and equipping of new barangay health stations; medical and surgical missions; mobile clinics; assistance to public health facilities; training for health care providers on maternal and child health care services; and nutrition. Two (2) more health stations with birthing facilities are set to be turned over in barangay Kinitaan, North Upi, Maguindanao and barangay Bungued, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao this month. GTFI was established in 2009 to integrate the philanthropic activities of the Ty family by investing in strategic development programs primarily in education, health, and disaster response through direct interventions and grants.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) conferred this year’s Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair in Law to newly appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on October 2 at the Supreme Court En Banc Session Hall, City of Manila.

Before his appointment as chief magistrate, then Associate Justice Peralta delivered his paper “The Significance of Recent Development in Criminal Law, Procedure and Jurisprudence to the Philippine Judicial System” which covered the interchange of initiatives between branches of the government in the development of criminal law, with emphasis on judicial reforms.

The lecture cited recent laws and Supreme Court rules and decisions on the adjustment of penalties, probation, plea bargaining in drug cases, reduction of sentences of personas deprived of liberties based on good conduct time allowance, community service, continuous trial and the use of videoconferencing technology in conducting testimonies.

According to him, the inclusion of the mentioned legislative enactments and court rulings in his presentation were chosen not only based on the efforts of the Judiciary to decongest court dockets and address court delays, but because they “greatly affect the rights of the accused of life and liberty.”

“With the advent of modern age and liberalism, the idea of justice that is hinged on punishment and vengeance, known as retributive justice, is slowly being replaced by one that focuses on reparation and reconciliation—the concept of restorative justice,” wrote Chief Justice Peralta on his paper’s conclusion.

MBFI President Aniceto Sobrepeña remarked justice is delivered when one receives what he or she deserves. “The lecture at its heart is about the changes our judicial system has undergone to better serve people, wherein wrongdoers are held accountable, restored and sent back as contributing members of society,” he added.

Now on its 16th year, MBFI and PhilJA’s Professorial Chair Lectures seeks to promote excellence in the judiciary and legal education through the delivery of timely and comprehensive discourses by seasoned legal practitioners not just for legal practitioners but for the general public as well.

Chief Justice Peralta joins notable professorial chairholders which include Court of Appeals Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao (2018), Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Romeo Callejo (2017), Retired Court of Appeals Associate Justice Magdangal de Leon (2016), Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Vitug (2014), Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen (2009) and Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna (2007).

GT FOUNDATION BATCH 9 SCHOLARS COMPLETE CERTIFICATIONS AT TMP TECH. Four (4) GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) scholars under its Scholarships for Technical-Vocation Education Program (STEP) completed their two-year certificate degree on general automotive servicing course from Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology (TMP Tech). The ceremony was held during the TMP Tech’s 9th Commencement Exercises on October 16, 2019 at Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. They are (L-R) James Red, Steven Lumacad, Exel Maputol, and Mike Anthony Obias IV. They are joined by GTFI president Alfred Ty (2nd from right), TMP Tech president David Go (3rd from left), TMP Tech scholarship and corporate social responsibility (CSR) officer Ronald Gaspar (rightmost), GTFI assistant executive director Irene Labitad (2nd from left) and GTFI senior program officer Marla Dator (leftmost). To date, a total of 58 GT Foundation STEP scholars have earned TMP Tech certifications and are now employed in the automotive industry in the country and abroad. TMP Tech is a non-stock and non-profit educational institution geared towards transforming the Philippines into a human resource development hub to meet the needs of Global Toyota.

35 YEARS OF FOSTERING FILIPINO CREATIVITY AND ARTISTRY: PROMISING YOUNG ARTISTS RECEIVE METROBANK ART & DESIGN EXCELLENCE FEAT

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) recognized this year’s Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) awardees in a ceremony held on September 19, 2019 at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park in Pasay City. Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat graced the event as Guests of Honor.

On its 35th year, MADE chose the theme “UNLEASH” to reflect MBFI’s continuing advocacy to seek out and exalt Filipino visionaries—young individuals who bring vibrancy to the evolving art scene whether they are working with a blank canvas or a space waiting to be transformed.

“The establishment of MADE in 1984—which signaled the start of the Foundation’s corporate social responsibility activities—was therefore a deliberate decision. George Ty envisioned art as an asset to our democracy, and an important investment for economic development,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.

“From the outset, MADE became an extension of Metrobank’s commitment to engage with communities, improve lives, and boost the economic growth of the country,” he added.

Two (2) Grand Awardees for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas and Watermedia on Paper Categories received a financial assistance worth P500,000 and a “Mula” glass trophy designed by 2009 Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture (MPAS) awardee Noell El Farol. On the other hand, three (3) other finalists were given Special Citations for their remarkable artworks.

The conferment of the 2019 MADE Awardees was led by Ambassador Haneda and Secretary Romulo-Puyat, Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, Federal Land, Inc. senior vice president and MBFI trustee Anjanette Dy-Buncio, and Sobrepeña.

MADE Painting Recognition Program


GRAND AWARDEE
OIL/ACRYLIC ON CANVAS CATEGORY
Title: “Evanescing Lives from the Homeland”
Artist: Jayme Emille C. Lucas

Tarlac City-based artist Jayme Emille Lucas is the Grand Awardee for the Oil/ Acrylic on Canvas Category. Emerging from the tradition of Social Realism, “Evanescing Lives from the Homeland” conveys a powerful snapshot of farmers. Deeply influenced by “the kind of environment” that Lucas lives in and to other places where Lucas has been, the work shows the farmers not involved in their back-breaking labor but confronting the gaze of the viewer.

Arrayed on a clearing and against the tall stalks of a sugarcane plantation, the three central figures embody a palpable posture of defiance, ready to tell their plight. Of different ages, they belong to three generations, which suggests how farming is passed on unbroken along familial lines and how the cycle of poverty becomes entrenched.

What makes this work haunting and urgent are the ghostly emanations of those who have passed on but continue to influence the living to continue the struggle. Intensifying the uncompromising stance of the farmers is the sky, with its churning dark clouds, which threatens rain. The symbolism of the impending rain is two-fold: it conveys both nourishment of the earth or its devastation.

Rendered “like a photo taken from the past being forgotten inside an old photo album misplaced and lost in the house,” the winning-work makes certain that the story of struggle and resistance of farmers continues to be told.

A graduate of Bachelor of Arts major in Advertising from Tarlac State University, 22-year old Lucas works as a freelance artist. She hopes to hold an exhibition one day and to create a mural art in an elementary school in Hacienda Luisita which can serve as inspiration to students.


GRAND AWARDEE
WATERMEDIA ON PAPER CATEGORY
Title: “Existence of Blue”
Artist: Christian Jame F. Maglente

Twenty three (23)-year old Grand Awardee Christian Jame Maglente deals with the timely issue of mental health, which seems to disproportionately besiege young people who are still trying to gain a foothold in life. The “blue” in the title points at the literal color of the painting’s background while at the same time alluding to the “blues,” which is an informal term for extreme sadness or depression.

Depicted in a depressive state, the central figure, mirrored on his left and right sides, crouches on top of a column, as he is consumed by a tumult of thoughts and feelings. His confused interior reality is expressed as an explosion of pigments interspersed with skulls and skeletons, which symbolize the figure’s contemplation of mortality and death.

Occasionally, in this complex web of a struggle made visible, flames shoot up, which may be read as a wish for destruction. But fire is also a cleansing agent. Just like the phoenix, the figure may be undergoing a process of purification in order to achieve health, balance, and stability. It is also a comforting notion that the background against which this metaphorical conflagration transpires is a light shade of blue, the color of dawn, of new beginnings.

Through its painfully lyrical examination of the mind in crisis, the work renders in concrete terms the struggle that attends a breakdown and makes a compelling case for intervention.

A graduate of Fine Arts major in Painting from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Maglente plans to create a masterpiece like no other and wishes for other people to have an appreciation about art.


SPECIAL CITATION
OIL/ACRYLIC ON CANVAS CATEGORY
Title: “25/7”
Artist: Christian Cedrick M. Dela Paz

Recipient of Special Citation in the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas category, Christian Cedrick Dela Paz locates the everyman in the familiar setting of the jeepney in 25/7. The title suggests that the 24 hours that constitute a day seem never enough, what with the many responsibilities a common folk has to juggle simultaneously in order to keep body and soul together in an urban place.

This lack of time is symbolized by the man mournfully looking at his watch, with his evidently sad eyes and pursed, downturned lips. Behind him, framed by the jeepney window, is a wash of black, which may be the pre-dawn sky as he rushes for work or the night as he goes home with only a few hours left for rest.

Further emphasizing this lack of time is the paper bag of a convenience store which is open all day and all night. It may be that of the figure or another passenger, which has left it on the floor of the jeepney after hurriedly consuming a meal, because time is not sufficient for a proper sit-down to enjoy it.

25/7, with its dark, brooding color palette, confronts how modernity has robbed man the time to recuperate from the travails of the everyday. One has to make do with the little mercies offered to him while, as the figure in the work by Dela Paz demonstrates, longing for a more enduring form of alleviation.

Dela Paz, 23, plans to hold his own exhibition someday. His goal is to showcase Filipino culture and art to future generations through his works. Dela Paz is a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Visual Communication from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology. He is currently affiliated to art groups Tuklas 2018 and Door 305.


SPECIAL CITATION
OIL/ACRYLIC ON CANVAS CATEGORY
Title: “Upuan”
Artist: Dave Alcon

Upuan, which receives Special Citation in the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas category, by Dave Alcon makes evident the structure of social, political, and economic hierarchies, conveyed by the metaphor of the chair. Found anywhere from classrooms to boardrooms, from government to religious institutions, the chair is a symbol of representation, inclusion, and power and whose association with privilege extends into language.

In the work, stacks of chairs, rendered as line drawing against a black background, crowd into a dense, structure in the bottom two-thirds of the canvas, which eases up in the middle before assuming once again a hectic complexity. From this point, the structure tapers off, assuming the shape of a pyramid. The background opens up as the chairs become fewer and fewer until the pyramid culminates into a golden throne that, because of its color and stylized rendition, becomes the dominant element of the composition.

Stark in its choice of color palette and subject, Upuan is a deceptively simple revelation of the sheer competition necessary to achieve the throne’s enviable position, which is paradoxically held up by the chairs that maintain the structure where only the very few, if not one, can reach the top.

Based in Muntinlupa City, 21-year old full-time visual artist Alcon’s works usually tackle political and economic crises, and environmental issues. In the future, Alcon wishes to continue creating artworks and dreams of becoming a successful and well-known artist. He earned his Bachelor’s degree major in Advertising from the Technological University of the Philippines Manila.


SPECIAL CITATION
WATERMEDIA ON PAPER CATEGORY
Title: “Walang Hihigit pang Sandata”
Artist: Arman Jay S. Arago

Art has been used as a vehicle to convey anti-war sentiments, as exemplified by Walang Hihigit Pang Sandata, recipient of Special Citation for Watermedia on Paper category, by Arman Jay Arago. Rendered in monochromatic green, the work is dominated by a central figure who has abandoned his military roots (as evidenced by his fatigue which now pools on his right leg) and now wears layman clothes as he earnestly holds a Bible to his chest.

With his head slightly tilted upwards in an attitude of expectation and his left leg having taken a decisive step, the figure is depicted ready to take a different journey from that of his previous life: to minister God’s Word.

As if moving towards the viewer, the figure straddles over the implements of war—grenades, missiles, automatic rifles that constitute a veritable still life of destructive force—that have caused countless loss of lives as well as grief on the part of those who have been left behind. A telling detail is how a strong light bathes the left side of the figure, which symbolizes Divine Providence, illuminating the path towards his new life.

A member of Linang Art Group, 27-year old Arago is a graduate of Bachelor of Technology major in Drafting Technology from the University System of Rizal- Morong. He dreams of becoming a national artist one day.

This year’s MADE Painting Recognition Final Board of Judges was chaired by artist and Green Papaya Projects art director Norberto “Peewee” Roldan. Members of the Board included multimedia artist Katrin De Guia, 1989 MADE Grand Awardee Antonio “Tony” Leano, curator Andrick Caesar “Ricky” Francisco, and visual artist Albert Avellana.

“UNLEASH” Exhibit and MADE Symposium

Another highlight of the night was the unveiling of an art exhibit entitled “UNLEASH,” showcasing the artworks of this year’s MADE semi-finalists and national finalists. Artworks displayed were made available for sale during the exhibit run.

Meanwhile, a lecture entitled “MADE Symposium: A Series of Lectures on Re-discovering Philippine Art & Cultural Heritage will also be held in the same venue on September 20. With topics about “Art Competitions and its Relevance to Philippine Art & Design Landscape,” “Use of Technology in Documenting Heritage,” “Legal Issues in Art & Heritage: On Forgeries and Conservation,” and “Beyond the Market: On Local Art Fairs and International Biennales,” the lectures will tackle relevant topics and issues in Philippine arts and cultural heritage.

With speakers who are experts in the field, the lectures also aim to share first-hand experiences and engage the audience through an open discussion on issues which are most relevant to the Philippine art scene.

Tracing its humble beginnings in the year 1984, the annual MADE was conceived by late Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty at a time when the nation was at the throes of economic crisis and socio-political unrest. The Filipino people were in search for meaning and hope beyond the uncertainties at that time. While many took their struggles to the streets, Dr. Ty discovered much promise and potential in Philippine visual arts as an alternate creative bullhorn for people to be heard.

Thirty-five (35) years since, MADE has continued to be a platform for the discovery of the most passionate and creative visionaries in the country. To date, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) has recognized more than 400 creative visionaries serving as drivers behind the transformational and uplifting power of visual arts in nation-buildingmajority of them are now carving significant names in the local and even international art scenes.

(With words from renowned poet, art critic, and MADE-Alice Guillermo Art Criticism Awardee Carlomar Daoana)

Tracing its humble beginnings in the year 1984, the annual Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) was conceived by late Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty at a time when the nation was at the throes of economic crisis and socio-political unrest. The Filipino people were in search for meaning and hope beyond the uncertainties at that time. While many took their struggles to the streets, Dr. Ty discovered much promise and potential in Philippine visual arts as an alternate creative bullhorn for people to be heard.

Thirty-five (35) years since, MADE has continued to be a platform for the discovery of the most passionate and creative visionaries in the country. To date, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) has recognized more than 400 creative visionaries serving as drivers behind the transformational and uplifting power of visual arts in nation-building – majority of them are now carving significant names in the local and even international art scenes.

But more than a competition that breeds artistic talent, MADE has evolved to become a development program that facilitates a generation of fresh ideas for social development. It has set the benchmark among the country’s art competitions as a pioneering corporate social responsibility (CSR) program for the arts.

“The dawn of this annual art tilt can be traced back to an aspiration that took hold 35 years ago: to provide a platform for Filipino artistry to flourish. Over the years, MADE has evolved to become a formative platform that enables emerging artists to translate their ideas into masterpieces,” shares MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña in his message.

Unleash the Artist Within

This year’s theme, “Unleash,” reflects MBFI’s continuing advocacy to seek out and exalt Filipino visionaries—young individuals who bring vibrancy to the evolving art scene whether they are working with a blank canvas or a space waiting to be transformed.

A new batch of MADE awardees is set to be awarded on September 19 at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park in Pasay City. Two (2) Grand Awardees will receive financial assistance worth P500,000 and “Mula” glass trophy designed by 2009 Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture (MPAS) awardee Noell El Farol.

Meanwhile, three (3) other finalists for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas and Watermedia on Paper Categories, Painting Recognition Program, will be given Special Citations for their remarkable artworks.

MADE Painting Recognition Program

Tarlac City-based artist Jayme Emille Lucas is the Grand Awardee for the Oil/ Acrylic on Canvas Category. Emerging from the tradition of Social Realism, “Evanescing Lives from the Homeland” conveys a powerful snapshot of farmers. Deeply influenced by “the kind of environment” that Lucas lives in and to other places where Lucas has been, the work shows the farmers not involved in their back-breaking labor but confronting the gaze of the viewer.

Arrayed on a clearing and against the tall stalks of a sugarcane plantation, the three central figures embody a palpable posture of defiance, ready to tell their plight. Of different ages, they belong to three generations, which suggests how farming is passed on unbroken along familial lines and how the cycle of poverty becomes entrenched.

What makes this work haunting and urgent are the ghostly emanations of those who have passed on but continue to influence the living to continue the struggle. Intensifying the uncompromising stance of the farmers is the sky, with its churning dark clouds, which threatens rain. The symbolism of the impending rain is two-fold: it conveys both nourishment of the earth or its devastation.

Rendered “like a photo taken from the past being forgotten inside an old photo album misplaced and lost in the house,” the winning-work makes certain that the story of struggle and resistance of farmers continues to be told.

A graduate of Bachelor of Arts major in Advertising from Tarlac State University, 22-year old Lucas works as a freelance artist. She hopes to hold an exhibition one day and to create a mural art in an elementary school in Hacienda Luisita which can serve as inspiration to students.

Twenty three (23)-year old Grand Awardee Christian Jame Maglente deals with the timely issue of mental health, which seems to disproportionately besiege young people who are still trying to gain a foothold in life. The “blue” in the title points at the literal color of the painting’s background while at the same time alluding to the “blues,” which is an informal term for extreme sadness or depression.

Depicted in a depressive state, the central figure, mirrored on his left and right sides, crouches on top of a column, as he is consumed by a tumult of thoughts and feelings. His confused interior reality is expressed as an explosion of pigments interspersed with skulls and skeletons, which symbolize the figure’s contemplation of mortality and death.

Occasionally, in this complex web of a struggle made visible, flames shoot up, which may be read as a wish for destruction. But fire is also a cleansing agent. Just like the phoenix, the figure may be undergoing a process of purification in order to achieve health, balance, and stability. It is also a comforting notion that the background against which this metaphorical conflagration transpires is a light shade of blue, the color of dawn, of new beginnings.

Through its painfully lyrical examination of the mind in crisis, the work renders in concrete terms the struggle that attends a breakdown and makes a compelling case for intervention.

A graduate of Fine Arts major in Painting from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Maglente plans to create a masterpiece like no other and wishes for other people to have an appreciation about art.

Recipient of Special Citation in the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas category, Christian Cedrick Dela Paz locates the everyman in the familiar setting of the jeepney in 25/7. The title suggests that the 24 hours that constitute a day seem never enough, what with the many responsibilities a common folk has to juggle simultaneously in order to keep body and soul together in an urban place.

This lack of time is symbolized by the man mournfully looking at his watch, with his evidently sad eyes and pursed, downturned lips. Behind him, framed by the jeepney window, is a wash of black, which may be the pre-dawn sky as he rushes for work or the night as he goes home with only a few hours left for rest.

Further emphasizing this lack of time is the paper bag of a convenience store which is open all day and all night. It may be that of the figure or another passenger, which has left it on the floor of the jeepney after hurriedly consuming a meal, because time is not sufficient for a proper sit-down to enjoy it.

25/7, with its dark, brooding color palette, confronts how modernity has robbed man the time to recuperate from the travails of the everyday. One has to make do with the little mercies offered to him while, as the figure in the work by Dela Paz demonstrates, longing for a more enduring form of alleviation.

Dela Paz, 23, plans to hold his own exhibition someday. His goal is to showcase Filipino culture and art to future generations through his works. Dela Paz is a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Visual Communication from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology. He is currently affiliated to art groups Tuklas 2018 and Door 305.

Upuan, which receives Special Citation in the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas category, by Dave Alcon makes evident the structure of social, political, and economic hierarchies, conveyed by the metaphor of the chair. Found anywhere from classrooms to boardrooms, from government to religious institutions, the chair is a symbol of representation, inclusion, and power and whose association with privilege extends into language.

In the work, stacks of chairs, rendered as line drawing against a black background, crowd into a dense, structure in the bottom two-thirds of the canvas, which eases up in the middle before assuming once again a hectic complexity. From this point, the structure tapers off, assuming the shape of a pyramid. The background opens up as the chairs become fewer and fewer until the pyramid culminates into a golden throne that, because of its color and stylized rendition, becomes the dominant element of the composition.

Stark in its choice of color palette and subject, Upuan is a deceptively simple revelation of the sheer competition necessary to achieve the throne’s enviable position, which is paradoxically held up by the chairs that maintain the structure where only the very few, if not one, can reach the top.

Based in Muntinlupa City, 21-year old full-time visual artist Alcon’s works usually tackle political and economic crises, and environmental issues. In the future, Alcon wishes to continue creating artworks and dreams of becoming a successful and well-known artist. He earned his Bachelor’s degree major in Advertising from the Technological University of the Philippines Manila.

Art has been used as a vehicle to convey anti-war sentiments, as exemplified by Walang Hihigit Pang Sandata, recipient of Special Citation for Watermedia on Paper category, by Arman Jay Arago. Rendered in monochromatic green, the work is dominated by a central figure who has abandoned his military roots (as evidenced by his fatigue which now pools on his right leg) and now wears layman clothes as he earnestly holds a Bible to his chest.

With his head slightly tilted upwards in an attitude of expectation and his left leg having taken a decisive step, the figure is depicted ready to take a different journey from that of his previous life: to minister God’s Word.

As if moving towards the viewer, the figure straddles over the implements of war—grenades, missiles, automatic rifles that constitute a veritable still life of destructive force—that have caused countless loss of lives as well as grief on the part of those who have been left behind. A telling detail is how a strong light bathes the left side of the figure, which symbolizes Divine Providence, illuminating the path towards his new life.

A member of Linang Art Group, 27-year old Arago is a graduate of Bachelor of Technology major in Drafting Technology from the University System of Rizal- Morong. He dreams of becoming a national artist one day.

This year’s MADE Painting Recognition Final Board of Judges was chaired by artist and Green Papaya Projects art director Norberto “Peewee” Roldan. Members of the Board included multimedia artist Katrin De Guia, 1989 MADE Grand Awardee Antonio “Tony” Leano, curator Andrick Caesar “Ricky” Francisco, and visual artist Albert Avellana.

For over three decades now, 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. (With words from renowned poet, art critic, and MADE-Alice Guillermo Art Criticism Awardee Carlomar Daoana)

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