MANILA CITY — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) successfully hosted the grand finals and awarding ceremony of the Young Creatives Challenge (YC2) on 21 March 2024 at the Samsung Hall, SM Aura, Taguig City.

The grandest battle of creativity drew 579 entries from all over the country, showcasing Filipino creatives’ exceptional talents in Songwriting, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Graphic Novel, Animation, Game Development, and Online Content Creation.

The grand winners in each category are:

  • Songwriting: “Lambing” by Rocky (Surigao City, Surigao del Norte);
  • Screenwriting (Short Film): “Fishing the Moon Out of Water” by John Peter Chua (Quezon City);
  • Screenwriting (Full-Length Film): “Bugkos: End of Childhood” by Breech Asher Harani  (Compostela, Davao de Oro);
  • Playwriting: “Ang Pagbuo ng Baliana” by Esmeralda Albis (Minalabac, Camarines Sur);
  • Graphic Novel: “The Girl and the Tamaraw” by AJRAVII (Quezon City);
  • Animation: “Ang Kampanilya” by Meeproduction  (Makati City);
  • Game Development: “High Times” by YYM Danni  (Manila City); and
  • Online Content Creation: Rose Ann Factolerin Espina and Kirby Jay Factolerin Caragan (Cebu City).

In addition to the ₱1,000,000 monetary reward, the grand winners from the Songwriting, Playwriting, Graphic Novel, Animation, and Game Development categories received assistance registering their intellectual property and promoting their winning work for production or commercial release.

The competition also awarded runners-up per category, with the first runners-up receiving ₱500,000, second runners-up ₱300,000, and third runners-up ₱100,000. Six consolation prizes of ₱50,000 each were also given.

As the judges recommended, the screenwriting category was subdivided into short and full-length. Each category will have grand winners who will receive ₱500,000, second placers will receive ₱300,000, third runners-up will receive ₱100,000, with the remaining participants receiving ₱50,000 each.

DTI also recognized the importance of online content creation, awarding ₱30,000 to the best TikTok content that promoted YC2, further emphasizing the expansive nature of creativity in the digital era.

Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, representing the DTI, expressed her enthusiasm for the event as she emphasized that YC2 highlighted the DTI’s role in advocating for and supporting the creative sectors as integral to the nation’s economic and cultural development.

“This competition was formed in line with the Malikhaing Pinoy Program, which aimed to harness Filipino creativity as a key driver of economic growth through the development of a robust and all-inclusive creative ecosystem in the country. Our goal is to make the Philippines Asia’s leading hub by 2030, attracting talent and investment from across the region,” Usec. Aldaba stated.

DTI, alongside Senator Imee Marcos, who has championed this project and emphasized DTI’s significant efforts in making this event a success, also acknowledged the creativity and perseverance of the participants.

“I’d like to congratulate all the participants for reaching this milestone in your artistic journey. In the face of many challenges and obstacles, you have indeed persisted, honed your skills, and unleashed your creativity in the most remarkable ways. Our lesson is one of hope. Panindigan mo ang sarili mo. Pangatawanan mo. Maniwala kayo sa talento ninyo,” Sen. Marcos added.

YC2 was fortunate to have an array of esteemed judges for each category, bringing their unique expertise to the evaluation process. For Songwriting, the panel included Noel Cabangon, Kedy Sanchez, Jimmy Antiporda, Jake Lanting, and Virginia Bactad. Direk Joey Reyes, Direk Roni Benaid, Suzette Doctolero, RJ Nuevas, and Niña de Castro judged screenwriting. The Playwriting category benefited from the insights of Congressman Toff de Venecia, Timothy Dacanay, Dominique Garde-Torres, Jonathan Tadioan, and Mariane Detera. Meanwhile, Jon Zamar, Andrea Pasion-Flores, Jack Lord Suson, and Hank Kanalz assessed Graphic Novel submissions. Digital Animation saw the expertise of Marlyn Montano, Marla Rausch, Francisco Santos Jr., Grace Dimaranan, and Patrick Astilla. Finally, Game Development was judged by Alvin Juban, Sharleen Sy, Andro Baluyut, Alexis Geronga, and Ryan Taclan. As the chairperson of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council under Republic Act No. 11904, DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual continues to lead initiatives that underscore the Philippine creative industries’ immense potential and play a crucial role in integrating them into the nation’s economic and cultural narrative. Building on this momentum, DTI has announced the second cycle of the YC2, promising an even bigger and more impactful event to elevate further and celebrate Filipino creativity. ♦

Date of release: 25 March 2024