MB Sketchfest 2013 honors the Philippine Flag
Text by MA.GLAIZA LEE
Photos by JIM PUNZALAN
Red. Blue. White.
Individually, the colors might mean nothing. But together, they can conjure up an image of a rectangular piece of cloth, with equal parts of dark blue on the upper portion and a band of red on the lower, waving up high on a pole. A white triangle is on the corner, featuring a yellow sun with eight rays and three yellow stars.
Nothing can evoke nationalistic sentiments better than the Philippine Flag. It symbolizes freedom from the 300 years of oppression by the Spanish colonizers. It honors the bravery and valor of the Filipino soldiers who sacrificed their lives and fought against the invaders.
The first flag was sewn by Marcela Agoncillo. When the Filipino soldiers won the Battle of Alapan in Imus, Cavite on May 28, 1898, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo waved the flag. This became the historical basis for declaring May 28 of every year as the National Flag Day.But it wasn’t until June 12, 1898 when the Philippine Flag was officially raised for the first time, along with the first singing of the Philippine National Anthem written by Jose Palma and composed by Julian Felipe.
More than just a piece of cloth, the Philippine Flag is a spring of symbols. Its colors and components were not put there simply to be embellishments, but patriotic insignias to be remembered.
The sun symbolizes the “gigantic strides that have been made by the sons of this land on the road to progress and civilization.” The sun has eight rays, which represent the eight provinces “declared in state of war almost as soon as the first resurrection was started.” These are Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna and Batangas.
The Act of Declaration of Independence states that the white triangle “represents the distinctive emblem of the famous Katipunan Society.” The three stars represent the “three principal islands of the archipelago, namely Luzon, Mindanao and Panay, where the revolutionary movement broke out.”
The colors red, white and blue “commemorate the flag of the Unites States of America as manifestation of our profound gratitude.” Originally, there were no meanings attached to the individual colors. But through the years, the blue became the symbol of peace while red signified a time of war.
The Manila Bulletin reiterates that the Philippine Flag is an important legacy from our forefathers as a reminder that we have to strive to become a true Filipino people living in a democratic and sovereign country.
In line with the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day, the nation’s leading newspaper honored the Philippine Flag in its annual sketch/drawing competition, dubbed “MB Sketchfest 2013,” held recently at the Ayala Triangle Gardens.
Now on its third year, the competition centered on the theme “My Flag, My Country.” Each participant interpreted the Philippine flag and its role in the past, present and future of a nation. Although they were allowed the flexibility to interpret the Philippine flag, they had to abide the standard colors, elements and configuration of the traditional flag.
Edwin Castillo, a graphic artist from the Department of Tourism who took home the grand prize in the senior category, drew the iconic pose of Clark Kent when he would transform into Superman, only with the Philippine flag, instead of the “S,” on his chest.
His “Man of Steel” artwork depicted the Filipino resiliency. “Just like the Man of Steel, we must have ‘steel’ in the heart to rise above all the challenges that life throws at us, and yet we must also have a big heart to help our fellowmen,” he said.
The other winners in the senior category were Eduardo Perreras (second place) and Emmanuel Robles (third place).
For the junior category, EARIST fine art student Restie Dayrit brought home the bacon with his artwork that depicted a “flag-hand,” which suggests that Filipinos should practice what we preach and act on what we see. Second and third place winners were Jamille Bianca Aguilar and Trisha Co Reyes, respectively.
“Proud to be Filipino” by Jade Valerie Chuatak won the top prize in the kiddie category. The 12-year-old grade 7 pupil from St. Stephen’s High School urged young people to be proud of being a Filipino. Other winners were Maria Angelica Tejada and Abigail Tiu. Eliseo Perreras Jr. won the Makati Choice Award for his artwork that depicted the business city’s contribution in shaping a resilient and independent nation.
“The sketch fest aims to promote and strengthen the Filipino spirit. We pay respect to our flag, our country. The Philippine flag symbolizes our independence. More than that, it embodies the bravery and valor of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives so that the future generations could enjoy the freedom we have now,” concludes Manila Bulletin brand manager Ian Belleza.
The MB Sketchfest 2013 was in cooperation with the Ayala Land and Make It Happen, Make It Makati. Major prizes were provided by LG, Canon, Sennheiser and Native. Drawing materials for the Kiddie Category were provided by Maped, Colleen and Artline. Media partners for the event were Hero Channel, Art Plus Magazine, Asian Dragon, Animo Magazine and WhenInManila.com
MB Sketchfest 2013 Honors the Philippine Flag