The National Digital Arts Awards (NDAA) has been highlighting the best talents in digital arts in the Philippines since 2003.

Last year’s search culminates through a grand awarding ceremony held at the Jose Rizal Ballroom of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila last Tuesday (February 26) showcasing the exemplary creations and world-class talents of young Filipino digital artists.

Presented by digital media and out-of-home advertising leader Globaltronics Inc., NDAA 2018 cited the best of the best from all the many entries they have gathered last year for all six digital categories – Digital Art in Print, Character Design, Animation, Digital Short Movie, Website Usage Experience and Drone Movie Experience.

The entries were judge by a panel of renowned personalities and experts which includes: BBDO Guerrero’s Ali Silao, award-winning director Arvin Belarmino, designer Avel Bacudio, Ariva Academy Philippines’ JM Matienzo, online artist and motion graphics producer Jobert Monteras, illustrator Vincent Aseo, Fil-Chi Media Productions’ Alvin Tan and Thames International Co-Founder and President Jaime Noel “Joel” Santos.

Here are the full list of NDAA 2018 winners:


Digital Art In Print

  • Harrison Espina – 1st
  • John Patrick Ganas – 2nd
  • Herod Montiel – 3rd
Harrison M. Espina

Character Design

  • Juan Salvador Almencion – 1st
  • John Patrick Ganas – 2nd
  • Andrei Lanuza – 3rd
Juan Salvador A. Almencion


  • John Patrick Ganas – 1st
  • Julian Felipe Bacani – 2nd
  • Auriel Paz Pinzon – 3rd
John Patrick A. Gañas

Drone Movie Experience

  • Jomari Batitis – 1st
  • Aaron Billy Mabini Red – 2nd
Jomari Batitis


Digital Art in Print

  • Jarred Olivares (Mapua) – 1st
  • Don Ray Perez Ramos (UP) – 2nd
  • Jerome Carlo Macanaya (UST) – 3rd
Jarred R. Olivares

Character Design

  • Emmanuel Fojas (UPHS Delta) – 1st
  • Gerald Magtalas (STI College-Caloocan)) –  2nd
  • Jan Ericka Cruz (UM) – 3rd
Emmanuel Fojas


  • Ablaze Arts (St. Benilde/Mapua) – 1st
  • John Clister Santos (Our Lady of Perpetual Succor College) – 2nd
  • Brix Jay Cabigat (UE Manila) – 3rd
Ablaze Arts
John Clister Santos -Wins special prize – a full scholarship program from CIIT College of Arts and Technology

Digital Short Movie

  • Arnavie Ave Lanas (STI Academic Center – Lipa)
Arnamie Ave C. Lañas

Present during the awarding ceremony are Globaltronics President William T. Guido, Globaltronics Chief Operating Officer Jasper Evangelista and Jump Digital Founder and Chairman Jed Marcaida.

William T. Guido
Jasper Evangelista
Jed Marcaida

The Pre-Event Media Conference

Prior to the NDAA 2018 program, a short media conference was held at one of the PICC function room where we were able to talk to three of the eight judges – Joel Santos, Jobert Monteras and Arvin Belarmino.

Judges: Arvin Belarmino, Joel Santos and Jobert Monteras

Compared to the past, what were the most significant changes you’ve noticed in this year’s competition?

BELARMINO: Very indie yun vibe. I think yun mga nasa student category yun napansin ko influenced sila with the independent films na napapanood nila kasi recently ang mga indie films dumami na yung venues so I think yun mga students lumaki na yung access nila to watch independent films at na na-apply nila dun sa short film nila.

MONTERAS: Ako naman napansin ko sa mga digital arts marami pa rin ang influenced by Japanese manga, sa mga character designs, mukhang manga yung mga to. I was hoping sana to get more entries na alam mo pag nakita mo na this is something new –  this is something different. It’s my first time to judge and I come from the creative enterprise so basically, I look at depth and texture. I don’t look at it from the artistic point of view but from its commercial viability.

SANTOS: So my first impression was, and I share it with the other judges, there was nothing that was totally different. Everything was on on the safe side, nobody was pushing the boundaries and developing something that’s edgy. So it’s similar too what you would usually see. Safe is usually commercially viable but you’re not also gonna stand out. I’m not saying they’re all bad, there are a lot of good works but I was hoping for something really edgy and yun really mapa-pa-wow ka. You know it’s a young competition, 5 years pa lang so it will just get better and better. We have to appreciate the fact that every year it gets better so this is just my initial comments.

Out of all the winning entries which is your most favorite and can you give us something like a verbal picture of what you liked about that?

BELARMINO: Sa entry from animation, may tumatak sa kin dun eh – parang narrative niya ay napapalitan na yung books and yung importance ng books. Tapos kung may kailangan sila naka Ipad na, parang na-execute ng director ng animation yun narrative ng maayos, yun isang yun malakas ang impact sa akin.

MONTERAS: Same thing. Actually may nakita akong visually stunning – naka 8-bit style. Storywise hindi siya ganun kalalim pero it’s visually stunning.

SANTOS: Actually I like the drones kasi meron din kong ambition na maging pilot noon eh everybody likes to fly di ba nung bata tayo may dream tayo of being superman so the drone category was good. They’re all good in the drone side because it’s a new frontier eh, it’s a different point of view so for me it’s visually catching. Technically they were all good eh but one had the better story particularly how doing drone or doing films with drones was a dream of his also because he wanted to be a pilot so at least may story siya hindi lang siya yung technical and how that opened up what you couldn’t achieve as a career he achieved it as a film maker so akin ok yun kasi parang pareho din ng story ko na gusto ko din maging ibon.

To end, the judges asked the media’s help to spread the word that digital arts (or the arts per se) is no longer a dead end career. There’s money in it now and there are already a lot of platforms out there that will help them grow. Parents and teachers should encourage kids to follow their passion and give them opportunities to showcase their talents to the world.

So in the next NDAA competition, let them join! It’s a digital world out there and that world is now ready for the next digital arts champions from the Philippines to shine!

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