About our Covers


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Jeeploma

Pinoy Pride, the theme of the 32nd DPC-PLDT Visual Arts Competition (VAC 32), looked beyond the adulation of famous Filipinos who have gained recognition in the nation’s history or on the world stage. Young artists all over the Philippines were asked to contemplate and bring to light things inherent in our national identity, culture and diversity that we should celebrate. These could be places, practices or perhaps, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

The VAC 32 grand prize winner depicts this theme by succinctly capturing a father’s pride. Entitled “Jeeploma”, a play on the words, “jeep” and “diploma”, the winning oil painting was submitted by 24-year-old Paul Taladtad, a third-year Fine Arts student of Adventist University of the Philippines in Silang, Cavite. His artwork was inspired by a personal experience while riding a passenger jeep, reinforced by a photograph of the jeepney coin holder that he actually saw on that same jeep more than six years ago. (The picture was first posted by Justin Linatoc in November 2012.) The experience touched Taladtad, a son of a jeepney driver, on a very personal level.

In the winning painting, only the work-worn hands of the man are shown, and these are enough to convey that he is a jeepney driver. In typical fashion, a narrowly folded twenty-peso bill is slotted around the middle finger of his left hand, which is resting on the steering wheel. Three fingers on his right hand are perched on the jeep’s familiar coin box, which is adorned by the graduation pictures of the man’s three children. The coarsely textured rendition of the coins and the peso bills in the box conveys how tough it has been for the man to make a living.

This tightly framed image depicts a sense of pride on two levels. First, the photos of the young graduates serve to proclaim the father’s pride at their having finished college, thereby securing a brighter future for themselves. At the same time, they constitute a pat on the father’s back for having managed to support his kids through their years in school despite the meager earnings he collects every day in that small box.

On a broader level, the painting is a visual paean to the jeepney driver (and to other Filipino breadwinners who similarly scrape for a living). The details of the composition make it viscerally palpable that every centavo had been hard-earned and well-spent by this anonymous man. In that sense, the masterpiece is a unique tribute to the ubiquitous jeepney and the aspect of Filipino culture that it represents-a source of Pinoy pride, indeed!

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Ngiti

Pinoy Pride, the theme of the 32nd DPC-PLDT Visual Arts Competition (VAC 32), looked beyond the adulation of famous Filipinos who have gained recognition in the nation’s history or on the world stage. Young artists all over the Philippines were asked to contemplate and bring to light things inherent in our national identity, culture and diversity that we should celebrate. These could be places, practices or perhaps, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

“Ngiti”, the cover artwork by 24-year-old Jayvee M. Valencia of Sto. Rosario, Paombong, Bulacan, depicts this theme in a setting familiar to Filipinos who have grown up playing traditional games like palo sebo. The acrylic painting won second prize in VAC 32.

Valencia, a third-year Fine Arts student at Bulacan State University, says that we should look beyond the fun and entertainment value that these games bring to community festivities. To him, such games embody an element of our culture, passed on from generation to generation, that we should cherish and take pride in.

The smiling faces and coiled limbs of the two children on the wooden pole are rendered in patches of pastel hues and set against a background bathed in sunshine. This happy scene brings across a facet of our character that many have come to admire: the Filipinos’ positive disposition. No matter the challenges in everyday life, we would somehow manage to find reasons to smile and to find joy in simple things. Through his painting, Valencia conveys his own optimism that this trait will always reside in the Filipino and be a consistent source of pride.

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Bayanihan sa Bayan ni Juan

Pinoy Pride, the theme of the 32nd DPC-PLDT Visual Arts Competition (VAC 32), looked beyond the adulation of famous Filipinos who have gained recognition in the nation’s history or on the world stage. Young artists all over the Philippines were asked to contemplate and bring to light things inherent in our national identity, culture and diversity that we should celebrate. These could be places, practices or perhaps, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

To 19-year-old Kenneth Leo Pamlas of Amacalan, Gerona, Tarlac, the sheer richness and beauty of our nation’s natural resources should be a source of immense pride for every Filipino. The cover artwork, entitled “Bayanihan sa Bayan ni Juan”, by this third-year Fine Arts major from Tarlac State University, delivers his interpretation of the theme through a montage of symbolic images. The acrylic painting garnered third prize in VAC 32.

In his artwork, Pamlas introduces a twist to the usual depiction of bayanihan, the Filipino value of communal unity and cooperation. The familiar bahay kubo, borne on the shoulders of Filipinos working in harmony, still constitutes the central image, but all these elements seem to be floating in a timeless, borderless dimension. Within this undefined space, the Filipino spirit freely flows in and out of the house and through the people carrying it.

Underneath the central image, the composite figure of indigenous creatures embodying uniqueness, strength and majesty-the dugong, the tamaraw and the Philippine eagle-convey the sense that these natural endowments serve to guide the nation toward its destiny. On the kubo’s thatched roof, Pamlas playfully adds a chimney-like image of a Philippine tarsier on a thin tree trunk, as if to say that the tiny primate serves as a look-out, surveying the horizon with its bulging eyes.

As a whole, the painting invites Filipinos to take pride in their nation’s innate wealth and to make use of these to carve out a unique and sustainable path to development.