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Fine Arts stude is MB Davao sketchfest winner

DAVAO CITY – Mahaviir Ramirez, a 25-year old graduating fine arts student from the University of Mindanao (UM) brought home the top prize under the senior category of the first-ever Manila Bulletin Sketchfest Davao on Saturday at the SM City Davao in Ecoland.

The successful staging of the sketchfest dubbed “Unity in Diversity”, which was the first-of-its-kind here in the city, drew a total of 326 artists from different parts of Davao Region for all three categories – 75 kiddies, 158 juniors and 93 seniors.

Ramirez said he took the concept and inspiration for his artwork called, “Si Pagasa, si Kalayaan, at si Kapayapaan”, from the tri-people of Mindanao namley Christians, lumads, and Moros that they can still find a common ground to unite amid cultural diversity and religious beliefs.

“My inspiration are Mindanao’s tri people. There are lumads, Christians, and Muslims. Even if they are diverse in their culture and beliefs, we are all human beings. If you remove culture and religion, they are one and the same,” he said.

Tailing behind Ramirez were Philippine Women’s College of Davao’s Clyde Laudato who took 2nd place for his “Tri-People” work while UM’s Artemio Bongawan Jr. took 3rd place for his artwork “Connected”.

Ramirez said he is currently exploring another non-traditional medium using human hair to portray hope for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

“Why human hair? My inspiration is those people suffering from cancer. They lose hair because of chemotherapy. From that negativity, I want to create something positive which is to create a portrait of a child who is happy using a human hair,” he said.

He admitted that he lost some of his loved ones to cancer. (Antonio L. Colina IV)