The Rewards of Pondo Sharing

SEPT 29TH 2008

Four out of 171 entries have been given awards in the Poster Design Contest organized by the Communication Foundation for Asia for the benefit of Pondo ng Pinoy (PnP). The panel of judges for the contest, which was open to young students, was headed by no less than Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, with the help of Ambassador Tita de Villa and Bishop Jose Oliveros of the Diocese of Bulacan. The award-winning designs are now being used in posters and greeting cards and distributed around the country.

The worthy winners are: Sharmayne Desiree Ko Ng (First Prize); Bruce Jason Balaoro, (Second Prize), Jason Mondano, (Third prize), and Arnel Natividad (Consolation Prize, view his poster).

The theme of the poster design contest was “Fullness of Life”, and was made possible by a grant from Missio, Germany.

Sharmayne Desiree Ko Ng (view her poster), the first prize winner, is a second year high school student at Chiang Kai Shek College, who learned about the contest through her teacher who saw the ad at Sta Cruz Church. Being only 14 years old, Sharmayne was quite surprised to learn that she had won the grand prize. But her talent and interest in art may be genetically rooted as her father is an interior designer and her uncle an architect.

Sharmayne exhibits the creativity and confident touch of a great artist in the making. Her painting reflects the significance of Pondo’s call for small but regular 25-centavo contributions, believing that “A ripple can make waves.” On the PnP philosophy of giving with love, Sharmayne says, “Sharing is a very important value we should practise. We must share with other people our blessings from God. No matter how small, as long as it comes from the heart, it has much importance.”

Bruce Jason Balaoro (view his poster ) who is turning 18 in September, has an artistic bent which he is pursuing through a creative but practical course – Product Design and Development Technology – at the Technological University of the Philippines. He expressed admiration for the illustrations in Gospel Komiks, which he thinks are drawn “with much love and attention to details.”

Bruce learned about the contest through his mom’s officemates, and was motivated to join because of “the need to prove myself to my parents.” As he was familiar with PnP and its cause, Bruce was confident that his idea would suit the theme, which he paraphrased as “You can’t make a million without a penny.” Bruce truly has a practical way of seeing and explaining things, and is thankful that the cash prize he received “would be beneficial to my family, with the crisis and all.”

The third prize winner, Jason Mondano (view his poster), explains his delightfully-rendered poster design thus: “Jesus Christ holds the 25 cents, because he is the one who touches people into giving to the needy…and he is there on top because he is the root of all good things that the people (shown below) do”.

Jason learned of the contest when he saw the poster ad at the Manila Cathedral as he was about to hear mass. He grabbed the opportunity to try his luck. An 18-year old self-supporting Architecture student at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and one of eight children in the family, Jason feels so blessed about winning because the prize money helped pay for his board and lodging. He therefore advises his fellow youths not to pass up opportunities like these that come their way.

Aside from raising funds for the truly needy, Pondo ng Pinoy has been considered a real blessing by these young people whose more significant reward goes beyond their cash prizes — the chance to creatively express the heart of God through their god-given talent.