News and Events

CEU Alumna Bags 1st Place in Nationwide All-Women Arts Contest

Photo courtesy of SM Supermalls

Besting 732 art entries nationwide, Centro Escolar University alumna won first place in the recently concluded Sining Filipina, the first all-female arts competition in the Philippines, held at SM Aura, Taguig City on March 15, 2024. 

A book author and artist, Maria Gemma Suguitan-San Jose is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication major in Journalism in 2018. Her entry in the Non-Figurative category titled “Layers of Experiences” received the nod from the panel of judges.

“I didn't know that I would be able to make it to the deadline but I made it! So I guess it's luck and hard work,” San Jose said in a video interview posted on SM Supermalls Facebook account.

San Jose received a total of Php250,000 as cash prize.

A celebration of women creativity

As part of Women’s Month series of activities of SM Supermalls, the inaugural event of Sining Filipina is a combined celebration of art, empowerment, and creativity among Philippine women artists. It also aims to provide an avenue for all Filipina in the country with extraordinary talents.

Steven Tan, President of SM Supermalls, said the competition received 732 entries nationwide in two categories, Figurative and Non-Figurative, with only 72 were exhibited for more than a week at SM Aura Atrium.

“All works are for sale, and proceeds will go to the non-profit group Zonta,” Tan shared. 

“Layers of Experiences”

San Jose’s winning artwork speaks of “an empowered woman who is made wiser and tougher by various experiences wherein she has learned lessons from.”

Photo courtesy of Zonta Club of Makati & Environs Facebook Page

She continues to describe a woman by saying that “those imprints help her face the trials she encounters in life. She is not perfect, but does her best every time. Failing, for her, is always an opportunity to learn and become better. She weeps, but does not give up. Instead of drowning into self-pity, she finds ways to overcome and rise above difficulties.”

Her art piece “is made with layers of imprints from the tip of skewers.” It also leaves “a compelling message that woman power equips generations; with what they need in order to build a strong nation.” 

For more information about CEU, please visit the official website of the University at You may also follow CEU on Facebook at @theCEUofficial, @CEUMalolosofficial, @CEUMakati05; on Twitter at @CEUmanila, @CEU_makati05, and @CEUMalolos; on Instagram at @ceuofficial; on Youtube @CEUofficial; on Tiktok at ceuofficial_; and on Spotify at EscolarYAN Podcast.

Written by: Atty. Eduard M. Riparip

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