Two Pinoy teen artists win top intl honors

By Katrice R. Jalbuena, Reporter

Two young Filipino artists took home top honors in an international picture contest held in Japan recently.

Bernardo Matudan, a third-year student from Batasan Hills National High School, placed first and 12-year-old Jamille Bianca Aguilar, second, in the 15th Annual World Children’s Picture Contest.

The contest was organized by the Ie-no-Hikari Association, a Japanese charitable corporation dedicated to the cultural promotion of rural communities.

The yearly competition is sponsored by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries; Nippon Hosei Kokai (NHK); the International Society for Education through Art; the Japan Federation of Art Education Teachers; and the International Raiffeisen Union.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Domingo Siazon Jr. reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Bernardo received the gold prize for his work, “Time is Gold,” while Jamille Bianca won the silver prize for her work entitled, “The Different Side of Me.”

During a ceremony held on March 24 in Toranomon Pastoral Hotel in Tokyo, the works of Bernardo and his 19 gold prize co-awardees were selected from more than 50,000 entries from 66 countries. The judges included experts from the National Museum of Art in Tokyo and the country’s premier universities and art associations.

Jamille Bianca won the silver prize along with 39 other young artists for her work.
Siazon invited Bernardo to the Philippine Embassy on March 27 to personally congratulate him on his win. He encouraged the young artist to continue honing his artistic skills and developing his math skills to fulfill his dream of becoming an engineer.

Bernardo was accompanied by his teachers, Maria Hazele Pineda and Nobel Pineda. His award-winning piece, which he created using a ballpoint pen, and the other entries may be viewed at Ie-no-Hikari’s website at

Ie-no-Hikari will start accepting applications for the 16th Annual World Children’s Picture Contest from June 1 to September 30. Details will be made available on the group’s website.

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