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56th Shell NSAC awards Edward Russel Romero’s watercolor painting for poignant ode to mother’s sacrifice

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In the world of art, every stroke tells a story, and every hue carries emotions. Such is the case with Edward Russel Romero‘s masterpiece, “Nak, Uuwi Na Si Mama” (“Child/Son, Mom’s Coming Home”), which clinched the second prize under the watercolor category at the 56th Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC). 

Hailing from the University of the Philippines – Cebu, Edward’s winning artwork serves as a poignant tribute to his Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) mother, whose unwavering dedication paved the way for his education and artistic journey. He shared, “Super proud siya kasi siya yung naging inspiration ko.” (She’s super proud because she was my inspiration.)

Rendered in watercolor on a canvas, Edward’s artwork serves as a heartfelt homage to his mother. Its title encapsulates the anticipation and joy of reuniting with a loved one after enduring separation due to work abroad.


The inspiration behind Edward’s artwork sprang from personal experiences deeply ingrained in his familial dynamics. Growing up, Edward witnessed the sacrifices made by his parents, particularly his mother, who assumed the role of both breadwinner and nurturer when his father passed away. 

Edward recounted, “Nung nawala na sya (papa), ang mama ko na yung nagtaguyod sa amin at sya naman yung nag ibang bansa. Yung artwork nato ay appreciation at tribute ko para sa kasipagan at pagpupursigi nya sa ibang bansa para lang matustusan nya ang pangangailan namin at mapagtapos kami ng pag-aaral.” (When he (father) was no longer around, my mother took over the responsibility for us and she also went abroad. This artwork is my appreciation and tribute to her diligence and perseverance in another country just to provide for our needs and ensure that we finish our education.)

Edward meticulously chose each element within the artwork to convey the essence of his mother’s sacrifices. On the right side, a depiction of his mother’s devout faith is portrayed, symbolizing her steadfast reliance on spirituality amidst the challenges of working abroad. Conversely, on the left side, her profession as an educator is highlighted, signifying her commitment to shaping young minds even in a foreign land. Additionally, the central image captures Romero’s perspective of their reunions at the airport, which are marked by heartwarming embraces.

In essence, Edward’s winning artwork transcends the confines of the canvas and speaks volumes about the power of art to express gratitude, honor loved ones, and shed light on shared human experiences. As viewers gaze upon his masterpiece, they are reminded of the sacrifices made by mothers and the extraordinary resilience, love, and selflessness that define motherhood. It serves as a poignant tribute to mothers’ unwavering dedication and nurturing spirit. This Mother’s Day, let us celebrate and cherish the profound influence of mothers whose love knows no bounds in our lives.

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