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The Golden Heart Award

By the Philippine Day Confederation & the Philippine Centennial Movement 1998

The PCM Golden Heart Award was created to give a long over due recognition of Sym's noble work for unselfish efforts to share his gift with others by gathering young people with potential talents in art - teaching them, firing up their imagination and encouraging careers that might otherwise be set aside.

One of these young people, Edgardo S. Lantin, is an internationally recognized portrait artist who will receive a Distingction and Recognition Award in arts and culture, a project of the Canada chapter of the Philip - pine Centennial Movement.

Sym's own outstanding career, of course, is above mere praise. Busy as an artist of international repute can be, he still found time that might be more materially valuable to him and his family to devote to nurturing young artistic talent and careers.

He worked with the annual Philippine Festival and with private art galleries in organizing group exhibits of Filipino Canadian painters in Vancouver.

Like the first Dimasalang group he co-founded in Manila, the Dimasalang III group he organized here is composed of Filipino Canadian artists and his own former students. Vancouver artists, such as Lantin, Rod Pedralba, Noel Trinidad, Jesus Hipolito and others, are members of this group. Sym held regular art sessions and led on-the-spot painting to various locations.

Perhaps his extra-ordinary sympathy for young artists stems from his own struggles. Sym has said that he had always wanted to be an artist. His family was poor, but he says "I spent a lot of time reading art books." The great master inspired and fed his ambition. His flower gardens recall Monet works. But Sym has developed his own distinctive style that he liked to describe as "radiating composition." He builds a pattern from one color to create in the impressionist technique.

The awards were set up to celebrate Filipino talent and achievement, imagination and innovation.

The goal is to encourage and recognize Filipino men and women whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the future of our community.

The culmination is the expression of pride in common during the gala night of the Philippine Centennial celebrations. The recipients will be honored as Filipino Canadians in British Columbia demonstrate a special appreciation of distinguished individuals and their contributions to their community.