August 14, 2020 (3:14 PM)

6 min read


HEARTS TIED. Social Sciences Dragons bag the top spot for Photography, along with School of Nursing Panthers in the Graphics category and Humanities and Letters for the Short Film Category in the Quarantine Creative Series during the first ever online 72nd Ateneo Fiesta, August 13. Screenshot by Angelo Mari Cabual

Revolving around the theme of “Lockdown”, the nine clusters showcased their Photography, Graphic Design, and Short Film entries for the Quarantine Creative Series (QCS) in celebration of the 72nd Ateneo Fiesta.

Such entries, revealed yesterday evening via AdDU’s Facebook Live, served as each cluster’s interpretations of the theme, centered on the challenges faced by students, frontliners, and regular citizens alike in dealing with the new normal.

The Social Sciences (SS) Dragons bested the Photography category, the School of Nursing (SON) Panthers topped the Graphics category, while the Humanities and Letters (HumLet) Wolves ranked first in the Short Film Category.

Photography Entries

The SS Dragons’ entry topped the Photography category, followed by the School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA) Tigers at first runner up, and Computer Science (CS) Chameleons ranking at second runner up.

The SS Dragons’ entry titled “Hearts Tied, a Glass Apart” portrayed the delicate relationship between a frontliner parent and his young child.

Photographer Kal-El Yap explained that the piece was inspired from a sense of sympathy towards the frontliners in their ordeals with the pandemic, but explained that this was nothing without due action.

“I believe that the struggles that our frontliners are facing right now should be given more importance. They are the real heroes of today, yet we shouldn’t give praise without due. Not only are they being ignored, the hazards that they face affect not only them but their families too,” Yap said.

He also detailed how participating in the QCS allowed him to refresh and find new opportunities in the field of photography.

“It’s quite a refreshing situation for me really, thanks to the pandemic I couldn’t go outside that much to do photo walks or do funshoots with my friends. This contest gave me a small start into a new world that is college, fresh new faces, different photographers with their unique angles, and many more things.” he said.

Similar entries from the CS and HumLet clusters were also presented, both depicting the plight of children and their families during the pandemic, with the latter’s entry gearing towards an optimistic tone.

The Natural Science and Mathematics (NSM), Business and Management (B&M), and SEA’s entries focused on the impact of isolation during the pandemic, with images of a routine-bound student, a masked and voiceless child, and a “jailed” individual desperately clinging on to glimmers of hope being presented respectively.

The SON went for an optimistic tone, portraying a grateful young man holding on to a delicious plate of barbecue chicken in a portrayal of persistent blessings in the face of the pandemic.

The entries from the School of Education (SOE) and the Accountancy (ACC) clusters were starkly different from the rest, depicting the plight of victims of domestic abuse during the lockdowns and the use of the pandemic through the controversial Anti-Terror Law to stifle dissent respectively.

Criteria for judging involved Technical Execution (30%), Expression of Theme (35%), Artistic Merit & Creativity (20%), and Overall Impression/Impact (15%). The presiding judges were Gian Tancontian, Igy Castrillo, and Murphy Caballero.

Graphics Design Entries

The SON Panthers’ entry ranked first in the Graphics Design category, followed by the SEA Tigers ranking at first runner up and the ACC Griffins placing second runner up.

The SON Panthers’ entry, titled “The Judgement Day”, was a visual depiction of the apocalyptic reality the country has been subjected to due to the pandemic. 

In their graphics, frontliners struggled to treat the infected as COVID-19 rained from the heavens accompanied by angelic trumpets, all being broadcasted by a chicken-headed reporter.

The piece’s creator, Vivien Lynelle Viado, created the piece out of frustration and disappointment with the government’s efforts to combat the pandemic.

“It’s heavily inspired by the current events in the Philippines like the signing of the Anti-Terror Bill etc. and the fact na I feel so helpless and frustrated [with] our administration, it pushed me to make this piece,” Viado said.

Viado also detailed how she found fulfilment in joining the QCS, and how collaborative support from the cluster helped her finish the piece.

“I had second thoughts on participating, but I’m glad I did. The event actually helped me in overcoming my art block. Finishing the artwork was indeed fulfilling, especially after the countless consultations and feedbacks.” she said.

The SS, HumLet, SEA, NSM, and B&M clusters presented pieces focusing on the impact of isolation on the various aspects of reality. From social media to daily activities and  from education to political participation, such pieces built on the ordeal with the “new normal”.

The CS and SOE clusters presented outputs depicting the Filipino people being caught in the crossfire with the government’s battle against the pandemic. The ACC presented an entry on the plight of a poor child and his family trying to go through online classes while still eating three times a day.

Criteria for judging was based on Form (50%), and Content (50%). Presiding judges were. Maiko Angelo Guino-o, Peterson Garino, and Randrew Mendrico.

Short Film Entries

The HumLet Wolves’ entry ranked first in the short film field, followed by the SEA Tigers at first runner up  and the SON Panthers at second runner up.

The HumLet Wolve’s entry, entitled “Replay”, depicted a heartfelt yet rushed online conversation between a young student and her frontliner mother.

Film director Francis Arrocena explained that he was inspired by the personal realization of taking the people and things he loved, especially those close to him, for granted before the pandemic.

“This quarantine made me realize that I personally took the ‘old normal’ for granted and that there were simple things that I barely appreciated before that seem so far away now, what’s worse is that most of the time, these are the things that I actually need,” Arrocena said.

Arrocena also detailed the difficulties of shooting the film during the lockdowns, but how everything ultimately went according to plan.

“For me personally as the director, it was the challenge of shooting a film without any physical contact, it was my first time to direct a film by only chatting through Facebook, giving instructions and directions to my actors (who were also in turn became their own cinematographers) was really challenging but I am thankful for my actors for pulling through, and also the production staff who coordinated everything despite it all being solely online,” he said.

Stress was tackled in ACC’’s “Deadline”, domestic abuse in B&M’s “Kanlungan o Kapahamakan”, loss in SEA’s “Duyog”, isolation in SS’ “Balisa”, SON’s “Natug Ka?”, and NSM’s “Yet to Be”, privilege in SON’s “Pagkatao”, and the struggle of educators in CS’ “The Struggle of the New Normal”.

Criteria for judging involved Content (40%), Technical Execution (35%), Originality (10%), and Overall Quality and Impact (15%). Deliberating upon the entries were Ralph Platon, Neil John Sumalinog, and Jesus Montajes.

End the silence of the gagged!

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