The Artistic Patriot
By Jessica Pag-iwayan
Discovering one’s gift is different for every child and individual. Some might discover it late, but for geniuses, their gifts mostly appear at their early age.
This is true for Promil Four’s newest Gifted Child, Worth Lodriga. Dubbed as the Philippines’ “Little Picasso,” Worth has bagged numerous prestigious awards in both the local and international art scenes because of his remarkable works.
In fact, this nine-year-old boy is the 2018’s Ani ng Dangal awardee for Visual Arts and the youngest member of the Philippine Pastel Association and Art Expands. But apart from his exemplary talent, another remarkable thing about Worth is his love for our country and his fellow Filipinos.
According to his mom, Wendy, she discovered Worth’s gift for drawing when he was just two years old. With a marker and whiteboard, the toddler drew three dimensional images of humans, which was unusually advanced from the usual stick figures his contemporaries would make.
His mom loves to paint and is an architect by profession, his grandparents teaches art and paints, and his aunts and uncles are also in the field of Fine Arts. worth is fortunate enough to be surrounded with gifted relatives who take turns in nurturing his passion with the proper guidance and training. In fact, as early as now, Wendy is already training her son with basic to advanced art lessons.
With so many possible subjects for his works of arts, Wendy admits she is very fascinated with Worth’s choice on creating paintings that highlight the Filipino culture and traditions. In his award-winning masterpieces, Worth showcases the Pinoy’s unique customs and values when it comes to courting, close family ties, and a parents’ love for their offspring.
As a fashion statement, the nine-year-old artist proudly wears a jacket inspired by the Philippine flag. Whenever he competes or even attends different events and media interviews, no matter the weather, he makes sure he wears his jacket to show the world that he is a proud Filipino. “I love the Philippines and I want the Philippine art to be known globally,” Worth tells Philippine Panorama. “My favorite culture is the Filipinos’ love for their family because there are loving and hospitable and Filipino families are tight.”
The 2016 Junior Picasso competition winner even created a series titled Mag-anak, and is already planning to mount his next series named Values and Traditions.
At such a young age, Worth is already aware that not all kids of his age are given the same opportunities and privileges like him. For one of his birthdays, instead of asking for expensive toys, a trip abroad, or new art materials, Worth urged his mom to help him set up an outreach program for him to share his blessings and talents with underprivileged children.
“It was my birthday, my mom asked me what I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to share my art with the poor. What she did was she brought me to Smokey Mountain and then we gave out food, drinks, coloring materials, art materials, and then I taught the children some painting and drawing techniques,” he says.
Through his artworks, Worth “wants to change the world” and attain “equality” for everyone. “I know I’m just a kid, but in my own little ways I can change the world through my art. And that’s by competing in the international contests and winning for the Philippines.”
To further widen his advocacy on helping others, Worth and Wendy will soon roll out Little Picasso Travel and Paints charity program. They plan to visit different parts of the country, and even abroad, to offer free art classes. “Our advocacy now is to share my art to the poor, because I know art is for everyone,” Worth ends.