“Filipinos have always been proud of their creativity, and this is one more way for artists to offer the world a glimpse of the visions inside their heads. The entries run from sentimental to delightfully surprising, all of them revealing different aspects of the Filipino Christmas,” says Yvette Tan, celebrated literary writer and author of “Walking the Dead and Other Horror Stories” and “The Last Moon,” the first storybook NFT project that was released at the 500-year-old Frankfurt Book Fair last October.
“While the contest asked the participants to showcase how Fiipinos celebrate the holidays through familiar local imagery of the Simbang Gabi (evening mass) and parols (Christmas lanterns), most, if not all, of the entries managed to capture Christmas in the context of the current situation in the Philippines, which had the strictest and the longest lockdown compared to other countries,” says Michael Mislos, managing editor of BitPinas.com, the Philippine-focused crypto news publication.
“Still, Filipinos are known around the world for their legendary resiliency and their ability to smile even in the face of sometimes insurmountable uncertainties. I’m impressed with the quality and the level of imagination of the artists who took part in the #tezmasPH competition and their depiction of how Christmas is celebrated by Filipinos today,” Mislos added.
“I hope this competition becomes an eye-opener particularly to the participants and the wider art community on the opportunities that NFT brings to artists around the world,” says Arias, referring to non-fungible tokens, which are unique digital items secured by blockchain technology and can be in the form of digital art, music, or even collectibles. Basically anything that can be stored digitally can be made into NFTs, allowing the creators to prove they created the digital item, and the owners to prove that what they own is unique and authentic. NFTs’ popularity went fever pitch when the digital artist Beeple sold “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days,” a collection of all of his work up to that point in his career, at Christie’s, the legendary auction house in New York, for $69 million.
Jowee Alviar, creative director and co-founder of Team Manila Graphic Design Studio, says there are practical reasons for artists and designers to be in the NFT space. “Many creatives lost their source of income last year because of the pandemic. Many artists are finding new collectors of their work through the NFT marketplace and community. In turn, they have offset their losses from last year and are now earning from selling NFT art. We hope this success multiplies in the coming months,” Alviar said in an interview with BitPinas crypto news publication.
#tezmasPH: Pinoy Christmas-themed NFT minting contest encouraged artists to mint their NFTs on any Tezos-powered NFT marketplace such as Hic et Nunc and Objkt.com. Because Tezos is a proof-of-stake blockchain, it uses two million times less energy to operate than proof-of-work blockchains. This allows for drastically less fees when artists mint their work. TZ APAC shouldered the fees for artists who didn’t have the funds to participate in the competition, allowing especially new artists to effectively begin their NFT journey.
“Even before NFTs, it has been a lifelong dedication of mine to help Filipino creatives monetize their talents and work with clients abroad. NFTs have added a new opportunity to monetize their talents directly through digital assets,” says AJ Dimarucot, renowned graphic designer and manager of the First Mint Fund, which also helps artists get onboarded to NFT by shouldering their first fees. I am glad to have discovered new artists through the #tezmasPH competition, and I’m confident that each new artist we onboard is another artist that will onboard other artists to NFTs,” Dimarucot said.
Tezos-powered NFT marketplaces are unique because the cheap gas fees allow users to experiment on their work. And this experimentation is visible in the #tezmasPH entries.
“The artists’ submitted entries are all on brand with the kind of work found on Tezos NFT marketplaces like Hicetnunc and never found anywhere else,” says Team Manila’s Jowee Alviar, referring to how NFT platforms on the Tezos blockchain show high levels of experimentation and a breadth of creativity from many artists not often found on other NFT platforms. “I am glad to be part of a competition that represents the best works and designs inspired by Philippine culture and showcase them to the global NFT community.”
“If anything, the competition has sparked interest for more local creatives to become aware of NFTs and the lucrative opportunity that is open for everybody. All they need to do is take that first step and try it,” Alviar added.
“Minting NFTs on the Tezos blockchain typically cost less than 10 cents, making it a highly economical way for artists to experiment on the blockchain. Artists are able to mint a wider variety of works, experiment with prices and number of editions, so they can find the right formula that works for them. This is especially important for budding artists as it can provide a form of financial opportunity and support that may help them overcome any financial pressures they face,” says David Tng, Head of Growth at TZ APAC and one of the judges for the event.
#tezmasPH is one of the first activities of TZAPAC in its commitment to increase Tezos adoption in the Philippines.
“I am personally impressed with the level of talent of the Filipino artists minting their work on Tezos-powered NFT marketplaces,” says Katherine Ng, Head of Marketing at TZ APAC. “#tezmasPH is just the first step as we further commit to help grow the Tezos community in the Philippines through a combination of a hyperlocal approach and stakeholder collaboration. We will continue to support the growing number of Tezos Filipino artists and will soon hold dialogue with the developer community as well.”
The paper of record chronicling the crypto movement in the Philippines, BitPinas started in 2017 to help spread correct information about crypto, DeFi, play-to-earn, and NFTs in the country. Find us www.bitpinas.com and www.fb.com/BitPinas.
About TZ APAC
TZ APAC is one of the leading adoption entities in Asia, designing blockchain strategies for enterprises and creators by working closely with experts and stakeholders in the Tezos ecosystem. www.tzapac.com
Tezos is smart money, redefining what it means to hold and exchange value in a digitally connected world. A self-upgradable and energy-efficient Proof of Stake blockchain with a proven track record, Tezos seamlessly adopts tomorrow’s innovations without network disruptions today. For more information, please visit www.tezos.com.
About JopΞtH Arias
Artist, forerunner, and digital nomad, JopΞtH is one of the earliest crypto artists and is the co-founder of the Crypto Art Philippines Discord Group. https://twitter.com/AriasJopet
About Crypto Art PH Group
Crypto Art PH is a community of artists and collectors dedicated to promoting awareness and education about NFT art in the country. https://twitter.com/cryptoartph
About NFT Philippines Group