MANILA – The National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) has called for more participation from Visayan artists in the 2021 Quincentennial competitions.

NQC executive director, Dr. Rene Escalante, made the call during the Mugstoria Ta, an online conversation hosted by Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.

Escalante announced that the NQC has extended the deadline for the Quincentennial Art Competition and Lapu-Lapu National Monument Design Competition until Jan. 6, 2021.

The extension will give more artists across the country an opportunity to be part of these competitions.

"We know that our artists have also been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. And so, we are organizing these competitions to help our artists. The Quincentennial celebration isn't just about tourism. We also want our artists to be involved," Escalante said.

The NQC said the painting competition has four themes: sovereignty, magnanimity, unity, and legacy.

The grand prize per theme is PHP500,000. 

To ease the burden of the artists in shipping their entries, Escalante said the NQC opened 23 new drop-off points across the country, mostly in museums manned by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

In the Visayas, the drop off points are the Museum of the Philippine Economic History in Iloilo City; the Negros Museum in Bacolod City; the National Museum in Tagbilaran City; Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Office, Rizal Memorial Library and Museum, Cebu City; Lapu-Lapu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission office; and the Department of Tourism 8 (Eastern Visayas) office in Tacloban City.

The competition is among the remaining activities of the NQC that will push through despite the pandemic.

More than 50 projects in time for the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations were canceled or indefinitely postponed.

The National Committee on Art Galleries of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts sits in the technical working group of the competition, with the NHCP.

Aside from the painting competition, Escalante also urged the public to join the Lapu-Lapu National Monument Design Competition, one of the flagship projects as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan.

The contest, he said, takes inspiration from the Bonifacio Monument design competition in the 1930s won by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino to commemorate Philippine revolutionary Gat. Andres Bonifacio, the founder and Supremo of the Katipunan.

To recall, Tolentino's creation, declared as the Bonifacio National Monument, now prominently stands in the middle of a major traffic circle located in the financial business district of Grace Park in Caloocan City. The edifice also became the symbol of the historic northern metro city.

Escalante explained that the submitted designs must encapsulate the heroes of the Battle of Mactan.

The proposed monument will be dedicated to them and will be in recognition of the valor that they have demonstrated during the battle.

The winning design will serve as the new Lapu-Lapu National Monument. It will be located inside the proposed Lapu-Lapu Shrine and Museum to be built at the Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City.

Escalante noted that the existing Lapu-Lapu Monument, also located at the Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, would not be replaced.

The classically styled design must be based on historical, archeological, and cultural research.

Entries must be submitted via electronic mail to [email protected] on or before the set deadline.

The winning entry will serve as the basis of the Lapu-Lapu National Monument, which will be the centerpiece of the proposed memorial shrine.

The winning entry shall receive PHP300,000.

The guidelines, forms, and additional details are available on the NQC website https://nqc.gov.ph/en/quincentennial-art-competition/.

In 2021, the country will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan, the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world, and other related events, collectively known as the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations.

President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order 55, s. 2018 created the NQC for this purpose. (PR)