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11-year-old beats fears, wins Mexican art contest

MANILA--If 11-year-old Martina Ysabelle Perez had not decided to submit her artwork even though there were problems with the illustration board she painted on, she would not have won against 3,200 other entries in an international art competition hosted by Mexico.

“I almost did not want to submit it because the colors in the background, they would not blend, and when I erased it a little the illustration board peeled out,” Perez admitted about her painting during a special awarding night for her held by the Mexican Embassy in Manila.

“But I figured I'll submit it (and) let's see what happens,” she said.

Perez is one of the 10 winners of the “Este es mi Mexico (This is my Mexico) 2013” contest organized by the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs for children 8-11 years old all over the world.

The other winners were from Spain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Brazil, while there were two winners each from the United States and Taiwan.

Just for Fun

“My Spanish teacher told us about (the contest) during our first meeting on our first day of school,” Perez said in an interview with Inquirer reporters. She is a grade six student at Poveda.

“I figured it would be fun to join the contest and so I joined and I did have fun,” she said. This was her first shot to join an art contest.

Perez's painting depicts colorful winged skulls, some wearing sombreros, and a couple of winged guitars flying while in the background is a red sky from the setting sun.

Each of the skulls are holding onto different things with their mouth that are symbols of Mexican culture such as chili, maracas, nachos with a bowls of salsa, and the Mexican flag.

Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines Julio Camarena said that the skulls, which might look gruesome at first, are actually very representative of the Mexican culture of making fun of death.

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In this photo provided by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Martina Ysabelle Perez poses with a painting that won her a prize in the Este es mi Mexico (This is my Mexico) 2013 art ...

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