MANILA, Philippines – A day after the 2018 coronation night, the Binibining Pilipinas pageant found itself in hot water for damaging the artworks of University of the Philippines Fine Arts (UPFA) students. The artworks were used as backdrops in a pre-pageant shoot.
A Twitter user named Niki Esguerra called out event organizers ABS-CBN and Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc (BPCI) for damaging the students' artworks. "Not going to let this slide, especially since your central advocacy seems to be art," she said.
As of posting, Esguerra’s tweet has been retweeted 2,143 times.
Hello @ABSCBN and organizers ng Bb. Pilipinas. You not only used our college as a backdrop, but damaged students’ plates, and attempted to steal from the college. Not going to let this slide, especially since your central advocacy seems to be art. pic.twitter.com/E5HcOfrTei — Niki (@nikiesguerra) March 18, 2018
Twitter user Anya Bongato lamented that the artworks, which tackled sensitive topics such as depression and lumad killings, were only used for aesthetics.
just gonna add these screencaps din right here what's infuriating: - NONE of us knew about this at all - some subject matters in our plates + murals outside have very sensitive topics (depression, lumad killings, etc.) tas gagawin lang pangbackground nila pic.twitter.com/U7r4Q72VYN — Anya | A Vaporwave Mix (@AnyaBongato) March 18, 2018
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, fine arts student Liam de Leon said that the pageant crew moved their plates and statues without seeking permission from them. He said that his plate, which was not dry, was ruined because it was sandwiched between other plates.
“I know the janitors wouldn’t do that because they know how to handle artworks and clean our room,” De Leon told Rappler.
In another post, fine arts student Vien Valencia said that the lack of communication between the pageant crew and the UPFA was disappointing. He added that much of hard work, time, and money that were spent on producing the pieces have gone to waste.
"The idea of art as an advocacy, if it [should] not be pretentious and artificial, is significant and beautiful," he added.
The pre-pageant shoot was used as video for the opening and for the introduction of the contestants during the coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas 2018. It was held on March 18, Sunday, at the Araneta Coliseum, and Catriona Gray was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines.
Below is the video which shows the artworks as backdrop:
Rappler has reached out to BPCI and ABS-CBN for comment. – Rappler.com