Design excellence
CITY SENSE - Paulo Alcazaren () - October 13, 2007 - 12:00am

The Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) National Competition held its colorful awards night recently. I always make it a point to attend the event since it is the only nationally significant competition that includes architecture and interior design as categories, acknowledging these two as fields of creativity and art.

I also make sure to attend because BluPrint magazine (of which I am editor in chief) has been a media partner for the past three years. Also, this year I was invited to be one of the judges for the Interior Design category.

MADE started in 1984 as the Metrobank Painting Competition. It evolved after its initial success to become the Young Painters Annual in 1997 and in 2003 it expanded as the Metrobank Arts and Design Excellence or MADE competition to include, aside from painting, categories in the fields of architecture, interior design and sculpture.

The national competition is open to Filipino painters and sculptors 18 to 35 years old and licensed architects and interior designers from 25 to 45 years old. Its partners for the architecture and interior design categories are the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers and the United Architects of the Philippines. Since it started this expanded scope, Federal Land and BluPrint have also supported the competition.

This year, Mark Andy R. Garcia won the painting competition with his “The Attack of the Righteous.” Second place went to Lynyrd Arwyn V. Paras, with third place going to Jaime Gubaton. In the Water Media on Paper category the grand prize went to Mervin C. Vergara’s “Weaving Dreams.”

The top plum in sculpture was awarded to Harry Mark C. Gonzalez for his sculptural statement on a recent ecological catastrophe, “A protest over the Guimaras oil spill.” Special citations for sculpture went to Glennd R. Pagaduan and Rinald Sotto.

The Metrobank Foundation prize for Achievement in Sculpture was given to Juan Sajid D. L. Imao. The young Imao represents a new generation of sculptors with a growing body of large work created for and displayed in open public spaces — from the HV dela Costa statue at the Ateneo de Manila, landmark urban sculpture at Bonifacio Global City, and civic statues as far north as Batac and as far south as Iloilo.

The grand prize in architecture went to architect Jose Ricardo A. Adriano. Adriano, a UP College of Architecture alumnus, created a structure he calls “The House of X: An extraordinarily cross-ventilated X-form home.” I had the opportunity to see the structure and it is indeed well ventilated, making use of modernized ventanillas and taking every opportunity to brighten up the indoors with natural light. His constraint was also having to find architectural expression in a fairly generic suburban lot. He managed to do it with style and pays homage to vernacular Philippine architecture without resorting to caricature.

The interior design grand prize went to Wilhelmina S. Garcia with the special Citation Prize going to Cheryl D. Montebon. It was difficult to judge the two. They were the last two standing after a preliminary judging exercise. Federal Land then lent them two identical condominium units to fit out with their creations. Garcia won due to her creative recycling of old construction materials salvaged from demolished houses. This she does without diminishing the quality of the spaces she has created. The resulting flavor was in fact quite distinctive because of this.

Montebon, on the other hand, made full use of her background as an industrial and furniture designer based in Cebu. She contemporized local materials to create very stylish interior elements that may, however, be more suited to the minimalism of higher-end demographics, though she did this within the same budget as the winner. Her understanding of industrial methods to make furniture, however, was outstanding.

Winners in the painting competition, Oil-Based Medium on Canvas category, received P150,000 (first place); P 130,000 (second place); P 120,000 (third place). Winners in the Water Media on Paper category, Sculpture, Architecture, and Interior Design competitions received P 150,000 each.

Judging the interior design entries with me were interior designers Johnny Hubilla, Cynthia Belleza, Wilfrido Nicholo Magcase and Jie Pambid. Judges for the architecture prize were architects Manny Mañosa, Jose Siao Ling, Gigi Chua Chiaco, Hedy Luis and ABS-CBN SVP Cory Vidanes. At the awards night I bumped into the judges for the other categories: friends of mine like Ramon Orlina, Cora Alvina, Cid Reyes, and Bogie Ruiz (whom I had not seen since our Singapore days). Other luminaries attended like Sanso, my bosses from Mega Publishing Group Sari Yap and Lorraine Belmonte, fellow heritage activists Bambi Harper and John Silva.

Congratulations to all the winners and kudos to the Metrobank Foundation for continuing to hold this important annual competition.

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