iACADEMY Students Start Change through Inspiring Art Exhibit

iACADEMY Students Start Change through Inspiring Art Exhibit

As Filipinos, we have an important role to play in deciding the future of our country. With the 2016 national elections just months away, we are faced with the task of selecting leaders who will help pave the way for a better Philippines.

However, we can only make a truly informed choice when we are fully aware of all the issues that plague us as a nation, because these are the same problems that our elected leaders will seek to solve.

This year, we challenged our iACADEMY students to serve as catalysts for change by  creating artwork that would raise awareness regarding issues involving poverty, tax reform, healthcare, environment, transportation, and infrastructure.  

Their art pieces will be displayed during the 2016 iACADEMY Exhibit entitled START (Social Transformation through ART), which will be held at the Powerplant Mall on March 5 to 6, 2016. The installation will feature artwork composed of digital paintings, vector illustrations, 3D renderings, and photo manipulations with social relevance. 

Read on to learn more about the artists behind the 2016 iACADEMY Exhibit:


 Apple Aquino

“I want people to see the importance of standing up for yourself and fighting for your beliefs and goals in life.”

Apple is a fourth year student of Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and Technology. Illustrating female forms and clothes has been her passion since she started college. She loves to draw things in pencil. Yet after four years of stay in iACADEMY, she found different forms of art that she could also be good at ---- both traditional and digital, and one of them is shooting fashion editorials. A lot of the concepts in her mind have come to life through these visuals, and one of them is this piece for START exhibit entitled "Bars". Her goal after college is to become a Creative Director either for Magazine or a clothing company,

See more of her artwork online:

Instagram : @pommemai

Tumblr : pommemai.tumblr.com


Ar-em Bañas

“I feel like we are lagging behind other countries. We are too traditional and that’s something we have to work on. That’s why I used a paper-cut style for my work. It looks traditional but it was done digitally. It’s a reminder that we have to learn how to step up our game and improve as a nation.”  

Ar-em is currently on her second year in iACADEMY. She took up BS Animation after realizing her passion for story-telling and drawing from her high school days. She takes inspiration from various directors and artists— Sylvain Chomet, Tim Burton, Satoshi Kon, Gabriel Picolo, Mike Inel, Kerby Rosanes, among many others— and hopes to reach their skill level and to diversify her art style in the process. 

Even though most of her previous works were made with inks, colored pencils and paper, her pieces for START, entitled "Train" and "New & Improved," are digital paper-cut concepts that present the issues in public transportation. 

See her artwork online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rmbananas/

Tumblr: http://rmbananas.tumblr.com/

deviantART: roombananas.deviantart.com/


Elvin Marlo Obien

“Pagtingin ko sa labas ng bintana, dun ko nakita yung problema ng Pilipinas. Naisip ko, what if pagsamahin ko sa isang artwork lahat ng issues na ‘to? Tulad ng poverty at pollution. Dun nanggaling yung concept ko.” 

Mao is a first year student from iACADEMY, taking BS Animation. He is also a freelance digital artist that is inspired by Japanese Anime style. His piece for START entitled "The Choice is Ours" is a digital painting that tackles the issues of poverty and environment. You can see his artworks online at www.facebook.com/xscaverle



Hazel Key de Dios

“I chose poverty and food security for young children as the concept for my piece dahil ito yung issue na gusto kong ma-take into account ng future leaders natin, pati na rin ng voters for this coming election.”

Hazel is a first year student from iACADEMY, taking up BS Animation. She knew she loved art from childhood but only had the opportunity to pursue it now. Her digital painting piece for START is entitled "The Empty Bowl" that tackles the issues of poverty and food shortage especially amongst children. Follow her artwork online at www.facebook.com/kisama19


John Paul Castillo

“My topic is poverty and kung paano ito nagiging hindrance sa pagkamit ng dreams ng isang tao.” 

JP is a fourth year student from iACADEMY, taking up BA Multimedia Arts and Design. Ever since high school, he had taken interest in the world of art. He did it in a traditional way, drawing on papers, doodling on notebooks and using oil pastels. He wasn't used to digital drawing or the digital way of making art, that's why he never thought that he would be enrolling in Multimedia Arts at iACADEMY. Now, after 3 years of taking up MMA, he’s enjoying and still aiming to be the very best. His piece for START, entitled “The Tears of Flying Dream” is a combination of digital painting and vector art that tackles the issues of poverty and human violation. See his artwork online at behance.net/JPCastillo0 and instagram.com/jptcastillo


Juilian Bautista

“I made these artworks in the hopes that people will realize and see what it’s like for Filipinos who are experiencing the bad side of things. I want them to feel the need to act for these people and act against all the abuse.”

Juilian is in his third year of studying BS Animation. He enjoys painting with various mediums of art, but now focuses on specializing in digital painting, mostly making his works in a realistic style with dark color palettes. He never thought he'd ever develop from a young boy who couldn't even draw stick figures that well to a slightly older boy with remarkable skill and experience with art. His START artwork is pretty much self explanatory - a first-person point-of-view of Filipinos who are on the unfortunate side of things. See more of his works at www.facebook.com/juilianredb or at juilianbautista.tumblr.com 


Julia Raine Maglalang

“Why can’t we live in a country where healthcare is not an issue for everyone and where we can all access proper and affordable treatment?” 

Julia Raine P. Maglalang, or simply called "Juju Bear" by most, is a 3rd year student studying BA Multimedia Arts & Design at iACADEMY. Born to a family of creatives, it was no surprise that she showed interest in the arts at a very young age. Juju Bear is fascinated and often draws her inspiration from oriental culture, turning it into art of her own playful style. For START, her piece "Palaisipan Ng Kalusugan" is a piece that speaks about the state of the nation's healthcare system. 

More of her work can be seen on Instagram at @jujubearillustrations


Ken Presbitero

“A professor of mine mentioned once that the smog is really visible in Makati in the morning. That’s what inspired me to choose it as an issue for my artwork.”

Ken is second year student at iACADEMY, taking up Multimedia arts. He’s been drawing ever since he was a little kid and he initially saw it as just a hobby. He takes a lot inspiration from another artist, Yuumei. The piece that he did for START, entitled "The Smog in Our Skies" is about the smog hovering over the city. You can see more of his works online at http://vxvxvvxvxv.deviantart.com/


Maxine San Agustin

“I hope that when people see my work they feel inspired and realize that a little thing [like throwing trash properly] actually goes a long way.” 

Maxine is a second year student from iACADEMY. She is taking up BA Multimedia Arts and Design. Her love for art started by making paintings in High School. Besides painting, she is also fond of doing Photography,Video Editing and Graphic Design. Her artwork piece for START entitled, "Greener Philippines" is an illustration about promoting a greener and cleaner Philippines. See her artwork and photos online at:

Instagram : imsimplymaxine

Facebook: MSA Phottography

Behance: imsimplymaxine13


Darwynn Soriano

"Yung gawa ko, it's about conserving yung mga hinabilin satin ng past generations na buildings and landmarks. Maganda rin na meron tayong maipagmamalaki sa susunod na henerasyon na pwede ring magsilbing koneksyon nila sa atin." 

Darwynn Soriano is a fourth year student from iACADEMY taking up BA Multimedia and Design. Her passion is drawing, digital painting and reading fictional books. She began drawing at the age of 6 and has been making art ever since. Her dream is to become a concept designer for top animation/gaming companies. Her artwork for the START exhibit is entitled “Habilin,” which means entrusting or safekeeping anything, be it a promise or property, etc. It is a digital painting that tackles the issue of cultural identity and the importance of preserving one’s heritage. See her artwork online at instagram.com/isopropylacid/ and behance.net/isopropylacid


Jennifer Castillo

“I want to send a message to the government to create more programs that will educate the youth about reproductive health so we can lessen teenage pregnancy in the Philippines.”

Jen is a third year student from iACADEMY, taking up BA Multimedia Arts and Design. She has had a passion for art ever since she was a child, which made her decide to take it up as a career someday. She is inclined in traditional or digital drawing and has interest in photography and film. Her piece for START, entitled “Young and Expecting” is a digital painting that tackles the weakness of the Reproductive Health Bill. You can see more of her projects on her Snapchat: jen.castillo21 or on Instagram: jenfercastillo


Anne Garcia

“Our country is drowning in garbage and we don't have enough bills and laws regarding the filth we produce. I wanted to show in my piece that the trash around us affects us and the future of this country.”

Anne is a first year student from iACADEMY, taking up BS Animation. She realized her passion for design during her first year in college when she was still attending a different school and from there has been trying to hone her skills as much as she can. Her art style is heavily influenced by Eastern Asian style, known as Anime and the one who inspired her the most was her favorite digital artist Yuumei. Her piece for START, entitled “Sea of Filth”, is a digital painting that tackles the issues of health care and consequences of too much unattended waste. See her artworks online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DigiArtEienflower

Instagram: http://instagram.com/eienflower/

deviantART: http://eiensketcher.deviantart.com/ 


Dianne Bencito

“I decided to go with Gender Equality because  I wanted to emphasize that in our lives we can be equal and we should believe more in equality.”

Vibrant colors and wistful figures have always been the trademark for the 4th year Multimedia Arts and Design student, Dianne Bencito. Since she was little she had shown talent in drawing and had a good eye for color - copying the cartoons she watched and never coloring within the lines of her coloring books. Her dream is to write and illustrate her own fairytales and to travel the world.

The piece “Tabla” is her response to the distorted perception on Gender Equality in association to religions and beliefs.  “All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.” It serves as a reminder that in birth, life and death we are all equal and we should not let the norms of gender hinder us. 


Betina Mascenon

“Pollution is something that should be addressed because it doesn’t just affect the Philippines; it affects the world.” 

Back when the 15-year-old Betina was set on pursuing a music career, her heart wandered to the art in video games. She said, "I want to make something as beautiful as that. From game design to 3D animation to traditional art, she finally settled with a love for digital painting. Now she is a freshman in iACADEMY taking up BA Multimedia Arts and Design and also illustrates for Candy Magazine from time to time. Her work for START is called 'Change The Fallen Future' which tackles the future that not only the Philippines faces, but also the world, if air pollution is not addressed.



Lanz Manalo

“I chose poverty because it’s a serious issue and there’s not much being done about it. Not enough people are going out there and doing something concrete. They’re posting photos and getting likes and shares but they’re not really helping.”

Lanz is a third year student from iACADEMY, taking up BS Animation. He started drawing as a hobby when he was in elementary. Soon, he developed an interest for digital painting and animation and has been seeking to improve himself ever since. His piece for START, entitled "Start with a Snap",  is a digital painting that tackles the issues of poverty and social media. 



We encourage everyone to be pioneers of lasting positive change by visiting the START exhibit on March 5 to 6, 2016 at the Rockwell Powerplant Mall.

Change starts with being informed. We dare you to START today.


iACADEMY Buendia Campus
324 Senator Gil J. Puyat Ave.
Bel-air, Makati City Philippines 1209

iACADEMY Nexus Campus
7434 Yakal Street,
Barangay San Antonio,
Makati City Philippines 1203