Another Malasiqui learner wins national creative painting contest

INSPIRED by the hardship of her life, a Grade 5 learner patiently learned how to paint, and thanks to his teacher-coach, she emerged national champion in the recently-concluded Department of Education’s creative painting contest to honor the bravery of war heroes.

Rica Isla and her coach, Frias, hold their winning entry (Contributed)

Rica Isla of Apaya Elementary School in Malasiqui town bested more than 200 other entries nationwide in the 79th Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veterans Week.

The Department of National Defense, Veterans Federation of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and DepEd collaborated, organized and sponsored the activities that included a virtual symposium and oratorical contest.

The contest sought to create awareness of historical places in the Philippines during World War II where veterans fought and sacrificed their lives for the country, and to remember the reasons why Filipinos enjoy freedom to this day. It had as its theme “Kagitingan ay gawing gabay, pandemya ay mapagtatagumpayan”.

Her coach, Benny Gilbert Frias, said in an interview that prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Isla and her schoolmates would gather around in school during lunch break to learn how to paint.

Frias would identify who among the learners from Grades 1 to 6 have the potentials and skills in drawing and guided them.

He bought their materials as the learners are from poor families.

Those who were under Frias’ tutelage the past years and are now in secondary education have become assets in their schools, Frias proudly narrated. Others are already earning from doing art works, he added.

Frias does mural and charcoal painting and other related arts and is happy to share his talents to the young ones.

He said when the 79th Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veterans Week creative painting contest was announced, he chose Isla to represent their school from among his proteges because “being an artist myself, I knew she would stand out”.

The contest was open to Grades 4, 5 and 6 students.

Although it was Isla’s first time to join a national creative painting competition, Frias was confident she would make it “because she learns easily, her hands are quiet and is very good in coloring”.

“Her conceptualization is deep and she draws her inspiration from the struggles of their life,” Frias said.

Isla is a daughter of Samuel Sr, a tricycle driver and her mom Maritess is a full-time housewife.

Because of the pandemic, there was no program for awarding of prizes but a trophy and certificate have been sent by the DepEd to Frias. The cash and other prizes are expected to follow. (Eva Visperas)

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