MANILA, Philippines?More than 70 children expressed through art and dance just how vital water is to life during a celebration of Earth Day in Arroceros Forest Park in Manila.
Winner Foundation, the park caretaker, celebrated the event with the theme, ?Water is Life,? under the canopy of indigenous trees that thrive inside the 2.2 hectare park.
?I think it?s alive again. We?re here on a regular basis, every Saturday, and we have a lot of volunteers helping us. There are no more bald patches in Arroceros,? said Winner Foundation president Regina Paterno.
Several children participated in the art contest, one of the highlights of the celebration. Paterno said the contest was aimed at educating the youth about the importance of water to nature and how parents could emphasize this to their children.
?By initiating creative and fun activities like this art contest, we hope to instill among the young one?s love for the environment and awareness of the need to protect and preserve trees, animals, water and other parts of our natural environment,? she added.
The contest began at 9 a.m. with children working on their drawings on tables set up in the area fronting Pasig River as their parents looked on. The competition, sponsored by Manulife Philippines Inc., drew 69 participants aged 4 to 12 years old.
Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nes Jardin, painter Phyllis Zaballero and portrait artist Gig de Pio later assessed the entries and proclaimed Hamzah Marbella, 7, as the winner in the ages 4-7 bracket. Karla Sumulong, 5, was named the first runner-up while Chester Aaron Sia, 7, was second runner-up.
In the ages 8-12 category, Jeremy Tiongco, 12, was named the winner followed by fellow 12-year-olds Vikram Nakhwal and Axl Rose Lacang in second and third places, respectively.