Over 35 artists from all over Batangas province recently participated in the Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Art Awards held at Hotel 1925 in Lipa City. The glorious days of Lipa during the 1800s, brought about by the coffee boom, gave rise to the “illustrado” class — the original patrons of the arts in the province.
The grandeur of Lipa is long gone, but Batanguenos have ostensibly retained their taste for the arts as both masters, modernists, and millennials enthusiastically displayed their craft at the competition. The grand prize (worth P70K) was won by Carlos Castro for his “Inang Kalikasan”; 1st runner up honors (P50K) went to Nante Carandong for “Waiting for My Season” (Inset); while the 2nd runner up plum (P30K each) was shared by Joseph Albao for “Fragile”; and Marlon Delim for “Moringa Oliefera”. Officials from the city government of Batangas, and JTI, which advocates the propagation of art exhibits, workshops and contests in communities throughout the province, graced the event.