Nature, culture inspire Cordillera students in Mural Painting

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Students drew inspiration in Benguet’s rich culture and nature in the mural painting competition along Km. 5, Halsema Highway in Benguet capital town La Trinidad.

The competition is part of La Trinidad’s 35th Strawberry Festival celebration with the theme, “A more colorful agro-echo tourism.”

Jonathan Villalobos, a student from the University of Baguio, noted his team was inspired by the tourist attractions found in the capital town. “Our painting is our gift to nature and the supposed gift of Balili River to La Trinidad,” he added. Balili River gained a notorious image after contamination from human and animal waste and garbage from Baguio.

Princess Gadang of Benguet State University was also inspired by the beauty of La Trinidad and used the mural to deliver her message on nature conservation.

Blas Comiles, the only out of school youth participant, shares “going organic” in his painting. He decried the use of pesticide in the agricultural products. Comiles added the sweetness and bounty harvests of strawberry, vegetables, and flowers should be taken cared by nature. “Let nature nurture it,” he emphasized.

Chester Zambrano, the officer-in-charge, stressed the event is an avenue for students and the youth to express their message on culture enrichment and nature preservation.

But environmental science professor Denisa Domondo of Benguet State University reminded students should do more. She suggested students should do clean-up drive in Balili River. They should also be reminded and practice proper waste management.

The winners of the event will be given cash prizes to be awarded on the culminating and awarding ceremonies of the Strawberry Festival 2016 on March 29.

The Strawberry Festival is a month-long festivity that aims to promote the capital town as the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” and boost the tourism sector.

The paints and paintbrushes used in the painting were provided by the organizers including snacks and lunch of the young painters.

By Peter Dalocdoc Jr.

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