/ 18 April 2021

Jerica Isabel Masculino and Charles Andrew Marce bagged the People’s Choice Award for the categories of photojournalism and editorial cartooning respectively in the culmination of Camilo Osias Arts Festival (CAMAF) 2021, held last April 12. They are among the announced winners to different categories, including the ten outstanding student journalists.

Jerica from Adamson University and Charles from Labas Senior High School are grade 11 students who both revealed that this is their first time to join a national journalism competition. Being a first-timer, these Senior High School students are already giving rise to a very promising future in the field of arts and journalism.

Finding meaning and inspiration

“I saw a lot of good entries that made me want to do better and improve,” Charles said when asked about how he felt upon seeing entries for editorial cartooning from other contestants. He expressed interest and openness to changes and new learnings as he get to discover techniques and find

inspiration from other people’s work, which could eventually help him develop and improve his own art styles. The budding artist humbles himself by keeping his expectations low saying that as long as he is doing his best, he has nothing else to regret for. Charles has been joining various art competitions such as slogan and poster making contests since elementary.

The same thing goes with Jerica and her skills in photography who kept mentioning how she was motivated by her competitor’s laudable works and how deserving everyone is of the title, saying “nakikita ko po na ang lahat ng sumali sa event ay deserve na manalo.” She also mentioned that rambling through the other entries enabled her to realize their strengths and styles. The young photographer said CAMAF opened opportunity for her to explore her skills and gain experiences now that she is in SHS.

Conceptualizing art

Despite having relevant experiences, both of them admitted that conceptualizing for their entries is one of the most challenging part especially that some areas of the country were reverted back to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to address the spike of COVID-19 positive cases.

Charles mentioned getting inspiration from his mentor who always reminds him to give depth to every art he will make. His work features Juan receiving money from a journalist and a virus peeping from the back. The money symbolizes truth, implying the message that journalists are the ones who expose truth during a health crisis. He said that everyday news and his personal observations are the reasons why he came up with this idea.

Jerica, who initially preferred going outside to take photos but are hampered by the restrictions of ECQ shared the same sentiments. The limitations brought about by the current situation urged her to think outside the box. “Naisip ko po ‘yong strength ng photojournalism, which is camera, at ‘yong mata at puso ng isang photojournalist.” Jerica’s entry entitled “Pantasya sa Reyalidad” shows three people with each one holding a camera. It can be seen through the camera’s lens the reflection of life’s realities. She said that she hopes to inspire and inform people with her work.

For the people

Charles and Jerica emphasized how important it is for them as student journalists to stay aware and vigilant. They said that while the new normal encompasses minimum mobility, it is as just necessary for them to continue doing their job as purveyors of truth using various means. They both agreed that social media is one of the best tools for them to reach out to people and disseminate information so they must maximize the use of it.

“Nararapat lang po na magsalita para sa mga taong walang kakayahang magsalita para sa sarili nila,” Jerica uttered highlighting her duty to speak up on behalf of those who cannot.


Jerica Isabel Masculino’s “Pantasya sa Reyalidad”


Charles Andrew Marce’s “Juan”