By Aye P Ubaldo
As young Filipino music artists are world-renowned, the country is growing a fine crop of visual artists as well. Heeding the first Doodle 4 Google challenge launched July 10, the competition opened for entries from all students across the country in four age group categories.
The competition sought the best of the country’s youth to express themselves through art to address the question: What can I do for the Philippines? Quite heavy stuff, considering the first age group is for 5-8 years old. Packing the punch, Doodle for Google required entrants to reinvent and incorporate the Google logo—one of the most recognizable in the world—into the artwork.
No less than 51 thousand entries found their way to the Google office. And, last November 7 at the SM MoA, bagging the grand prize was an entry proudly from the southern part of the Philippines, ‘Sari-Jeepney’ by Kim Patrick Saren of Nabunturan National Comprehensive High School got the most votes from online fans, and got the judges nodding as well. Saren won the top prize under the 15-17 years old category.
Saren is the proud winner of unique trophy by Google, while his winning art was displayed on Google Philippines’ landing page the whole day of November 10.
PANA member companies were in full support of Google’s majestic endeavor. Saren’s college education is in the pocket as well with PHP 400,000 educational grant from BPI Foundation for his choice university the Philippines. From National Bookstore, the high school student goes home with an art kit and an Acer C720 Chromebook. And, his high school in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley, a province of Davao, gets a connectivity grant worth P350 thousand from the PLDT-Smart Foundation.
According to Saren, “This is a sarimanok inspired idea. It symbolizes Filipino culture with deep appreciation of hard work and creativity,” wrote Kim of his doodle. “The concept is created to solve problems like traffic, economy, education and basic needs. The key on the tail signifies the solutions to the problems wherein we must fly high with pride and honor.” Saren’s work topped all entries based on artistic merit, creativity, and theme communication.
Inspired by the mythical sarimanok, Saren says, “The ‘Sari-Jeepney’ symbolizes Filipino culture with deep appreciation of hard work and creativity. The concept is created to solve problems like traffic, economy, education and basic needs.”
Other winners include Angela Kaitlin Tiu’s “Love and Care for the Philippines,” Avryll Nartates’ “Coral Ripped or Coral Reef?”, and Jay Portallo’s “Symphony for Peace” won for the 5-8 years old, 9-11 years old, and 12-14 years old categories, respectively.
Worthy of note, Portallo also hails from southern Philippines, the 14 year old a student of Iligan City East High School. “I will inspire many Filipinos to appreciate their culture, preserve Filipino music and produce original Filipino compositions and ethnic instruments,” writes Portallo.
“Through the competition, we saw the depth of the Filipino youth’s insight, creativity, and innovation. They are very keen on the idea of nation-building,” said Ryan Morales, Google Philippines Country Marketing Manager. “The doodle reflect the aspirations of the nation over pressing issues—from solution to flooding to environment protection to food for the poor, value of education, culture preservation, and global competitiveness.”
Google 4 Doodle boasted an eclectic board of judges with 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida, TBWA-Santiago Mangada Puno Senior Art Director CJ De Silva-Ong, PLDT-Smart Foundation, Inc. President Ma. Esther Santos, and BPI Foundation, Inc. Senior Vice President and Executive Director Fidelina Corcuera.
Gail Tan, Google Philippines Communications Manager was profuse in her admiration and appreciation. “Thank you to the Filipino people for voting enthusiastically which helped narrow down the entries to the best of the best. It has been a heartwarming journey for us at Google. We have seen a glimpse of the unselfish heart and the resilient spirit of the Filipinos thriving in our children,” said Tan.