A Clash of Creative Forces in Tagisan ng Sining

By: Miguel La Torre , May 19, 2023

The highly anticipated national round of the Tagisan ng Sining (TNS) 2022-2023 soared back from the ashes more than two years since it ceased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

STIers from campuses nationwide displayed outstanding creativity, exceptional prowess, and utmost dedication to their craft as they engaged in a battle for the national title.



Upholding the theme Life of a Learner in Today’s Generation, this year’s Shutter’s Best Photography competition showcased the hard work put in by 61 students with their own interpretation of modern-day education.

Numerous contestants highlighted the importance of technology not just in school, but generally in today’s era; while some opted to stay with the traditional pen and paper setting. But at the end of the day, only one can prevail.

Having a mixture of the traditional and a much more modern educational scale, Albina Radzak Musalim, a 4th year BA Communication (BACOMM) student from STI College Cotabato, was crowned the national champion. Her photo — a student studying with her headphones on, her cellphone in one hand, and a pen and paper in the other, seemingly represents what studying majorly looks like nowadays.


Albina Radzak Musalim’s winning photo of a student studying using the traditional and modern mediums of education. 

She is using all the possible mediums for learning — audio and video, and she is also in the library

“She is using all the possible mediums for learning — audio and video, and she is also in the library,” said Jijo De Guzman, one of the competition’s judges and Canon Marketing Philippines’ Brand Ambassador.

“I like that touch on the school uniform too, with the hijab. I like the representation of the minority; in a sense, it makes it more inclusive. On a nationwide scale, magandang represented sila; so, that's a bonus,” the veteran photographer added.

Ruth Arabelle Go Niño, a Grade 12 Digital Arts student from STI College Sta. Maria on the other hand, went home with the 1st runner-up title. Capturing a student seemingly occupied by his phone amid the bustling school hallway, unbothered by the number of people passing by; depicting how one can quickly dive into their own abstract world.


Learning has now become accessible even through our gadgets in Ruth Arabelle Niño’s 1st runner-up clinching entry. 

“I think the way that the photographer interpreted the theme was that learning now in the 21st century, especially post-pandemic, I would say fast-paced, but also, there's this kind of an on-the-go feel like you must utilize all the devices at your disposal, you must be resourceful,” exclaimed Jay Jallorina, another one of the competition’s judges and a commercial photographer for DMCI Homes, Okada Manila, and Rockwell Land, among others.

“The way he/she portrayed it, there is that sense of on-the-go. He was not even sitting down, standing up, looking down, or wearing a mask. (It’s like) we're living in this new reality, this new normal, but learning must go on and at a much faster pace,” he said.

Last but not the least, featuring a creative perspective of how information travels to one’s mind, BS Computer Science (BSCS) freshman Anne Abegail Villafuerte Valiente was awarded the 2nd runner-up finish. Contrary to the first two photos, the STI College Bacoor student submitted a conceptual masterpiece featuring the old-fashioned way of learning through books.


Learning can indeed be fun depending on the perspective in Anne Abegail Valiente’s photo. 

“What’s also unique about this entry is that it's also open to interpretation. The way that the model is looking at me, it’s like an inquisitive — like anong makukuha mo,” Jallorina said.

“What are you thinking kind of look. It’s like a world of information, and as a student, you're in the middle and your eyes can be the funnel. Funnel to the knowledge. A tunnel of the funnel into your brain. It appeals to everyone kasi no matter what your interpretation is, you can relate to it the second kasi conceptual eh,” he added.


Meanwhile, the national round of the Director’s Cut competition showcased the creativity and meticulousness of the students in the form of a four-minute short film about their message to their future selves.

Adhering to the theme “To the Future Me”, the idea is to fluidly convey that imagining one’s future self and the things that they want for their future can motivate or push one toward achieving their goals no matter the challenges they face.

After ticking all the boxes in concept interpretation, creativity, and simplicity, STI College Cotabato’s BACOMM students Rawdha Hasan Ebrahim, Rusheena Jauhali, and Hendrich Talusan Rubio finished on top of the 60 entries and were crowned the champions with their heart-touching film.

Titled “Pamana”, the short film tells a story of a loving sister who cares for her younger brother who dreams of becoming a doctor. The film highlights the impact of honoring one’s dream in laying a foundation for a better legacy and future.


 By honoring the dreams of those who came before us, we carry their legacies forward and pave the way for a brighter future, as stated in Pamana. 

The storytelling in the film was very smooth and intact. It wasn’t jumpy, and I immediately followed the story and it stuck with me

In terms of technicality, the seasoned commercial director highlighted how the students covered all areas without fail. “In terms of color, they graded it well. The framing was really well thought out, it was well planned. You would see that the technology they used, the gadgets and all, were maximized,” the Creative Director of Revolver Studios and Shoestring added.

On the other hand, the troika of Bachelor of Multimedia Arts (BMMA) students John Philip Rosal, Anjeline Salandanan Buendia, and Jasper Domingo Gojit from STI College Caloocan brought home the 1st runner-up award with their motivational film “Dear Future Self, You Can Do It!”.

The film, which narrates how everyone has a dream and a story to tell the world, captured the eyes of competition judge Adonis Pira with its cinematography, editing, and lighting.


 Everyone has their own story worth listening to, tells Dear Future Self, You Can Do It! 

“The lighting was professionally done, the composition of the shots, the audio and scoring; the film seemed like the work of a professional rather than a student,” he said. “I saw how they smoothly stylized their shots, from the tumbled chairs to the billiard tables, and I know they are not professionals yet, but the quality of the video was done professionally," Pira, the Streetpark Productions, Inc. Head of Production added.

BACOMM students Jeanne Kaela Sugian, Jeremi Corona Morales, and Patrick John Camit of STI College Las Pinas bagged the 2nd runner-up to seal the podium. Their film, “Here and Now”, features a story about a girl trying to live the best life possible for herself without worrying about the future.

Completing the Director’s Cut line-up of judges was Madonna Tarrayo, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of top-rated production house Unitel Straight Shooters Media, Inc.


The future is the present as narrated in Here and Now. 

“The TNS event has become the institution’s annual tradition to give an avenue to our competitive students to harness their creativity, develop camaraderie, and practice sportsmanship,” STI Education Services Group, Inc. (STI ESG) Vice President for Academics Aisa Q. Hipolito said. “As advocates of real-life education, STI takes pride in hosting programs like this that immerse our students in real-life situations that are not usually learned inside the classroom,” she added.

Canon Marketing Philippines Online Content Consultant and another one of Shutter’s Best judges Aron Garcia further highlighted how the competition enables the students to get to know themselves better

“(You get) to know, engage yourself on how competitive you are, how you elevate your skills, techniques, and creativity,” the conceptual photographer said. “Winning is also a benchmark on how you go so far or how you've gone so far, because it tells how you’re elevating yourself from the crowd.”

“These impact also your credibility. Once you gain honors and recognition, that will give you an edge in this world,” he added.