The artistic voices of young artists soar in Shell Pilipinas’ 56th National Students Arts Competition (NSAC) with the theme, “GalÍng Pinoy, Galing Pinoy.”

Upper Row, from L: Serge Bernal, VP for Corporate Relations of SPC, Ed Brendon Encalona, 1st place, 2015 Shell NSAC; and Ronald Ventura, 1st place, 1990 Shell NSAC. Lower Row, from L: Dennis Marasigan, CCP VP and Artistic Director, Aladin Antiqueno, 1st place, 1992 Shell NSAC; and Jan Leeroy New, 2nd place, 2004 & 2006 Shell NSAC.

Shell Pilipinas Corporation puts the spotlight anew on the artistic passions of the youth in the 56th year of its National Students Art Competition (NSAC) with the theme – “Galíng Pinoy, Galing Pinoy”. For this year, Shell NSAC adds photography as a new category, recognizing the importance of seeing today’s society through the eyes of the youth and emphasizing their vision which showcases the distinct cultures and traditions of various Philippine regions.

Serge Bernal, Shell Pilipinas Vice President for Corporate Relations, commended the enthusiasm of the students and their interest in art, saying that it is “heartening to see today’s youth – our torchbearers of change and champions of tomorrow – are similarly impassioned by the traditions and practices that have shaped our nation. But our culture has also always been one of innovation and imagination, embracing change and technology so we may always push forward, and it’s that sort of tenacity and brilliance we hope will inspire your art this 2023.” 

He stated that “for 109 years, Shell has witnessed the remarkable growth and evolution of this country. Through all the ups and downs, the nation has adapted, thrived, and transformed, showcasing the resilience and spirit that define the Filipino people. We are proud to have been a part of this journey, using our platform to help power the progress of the country.”

“Shell NSAC is a springboard opening more opportunities in the local art scenes and serving as a torch in the dark. The Filipino people share a country of culture and innovation—we at the CCP believe this to be more than an idea,” said Dennis Marasigan, the current Vice President and Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

A storied history

Since 1951, Shell NSAC has been serving as a platform to celebrate the accomplishments and talents of young Filipino artists by developing, testing, and spotlighting their skills. Around 600-800 students join each year and, since its inception, Shell NSAC has produced 1,175 winners. The competition has also opened multiple opportunities for young Filipino artists in the local and international art scene. 

This year’s launch event did bring a surprise to many competitors. Beyond the usual categories of Sculpture, Watercolor, Oil and Acrylic, and Digital Arts, a new one was introduced: Photography. Bernal explained the reason: “In this digital age, where visual storytelling has become a powerful medium, we want to provide young photographers with an opportunity to showcase their talents and capture the essence of Filipino ingenuity through their lenses. We are excited to see how this addition will further enrich the diverse tapestry of Shell NSAC submissions.”

Transforming culture

“The process of artmaking is based on our cultural practices,” said Ronald Ventura, who placed 1st during the 1990 Shell NSAC. “Sometimes those cultural activities transform the ways of our perception, of course we can use our platforms to inspire most of our community.”

Aladin Antiqueno, who landed 1st place during the 1992 Shell NSAC, defined the “GalÍng Pinoy, Galing Pinoy” theme as “the cultural representation showcasing the values of the Filipino. Yung ang galing ng Filipino.”

“There are many ways art can contribute to nation-building—we can see it in many ways,” affirmed Jan Leeroy New, who was awarded 2nd place for the 2004 & 2006 Shell NSAC. “With the proper support by the government and organizations, it can become a proper way of providing livelihood. Develop the ideologies for the people and create progressive ways of moving forward for the county, for the better.”

Student artists are invited to join and showcase their ingenuity, innovation, and art throughout every corner of the country in the fields of Watercolor, Oil and Acrylic, Sculpture, Digital Arts, and now, Photography. Participants are also encouraged to join in numerous engagement activities throughout the year including face-to-face Art Interact workshops led by master artists and mural painting done in collaboration with other student artists.

The 56th Shell NSAC is co-sponsored by Boysen Philippines, and was held in partnership with the CCP, Ayala Museum, Galerie Joaquin, and the Orange Project. For more information about Shell NSAC, please click here:

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