Another Filipino is recognized by the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Italy for the Leonardo da Vinci International Art Prize. 

The museum has recognized Boholano Elvin Perocho Vitor, a seasoned painter and multimedia artist, for his 53x89-inch hyper-surreal work depicting Boholano fellow artist and environmentalist Pedro Angco.

In Lopez, Quezon, fresh arts graduate Alyssa Reynales, 23, also caught the museum’s attention.

Perhaps, it comes as no surprise as Lopez comes from a family of artists. Her siblings, grandfather, and uncle are all painters. 

"Actually, I'm from the family of an artist, here in Lopez. Yung mga ate ko po kasi are artist din po sila... Yung lolo ko po and yung tito, some of them po ay painters and nasa field po ng creative," Reynales says.

But it wasn't just her family that shaped her artistic journey. Her high school teachers also helped ignite her passion for the arts by providing her opportunities to participate in contests and journalism-related activities.

Reynales is part of Tanyag, a youth group in Quezon that is active in the local art community.

She says it is her eldest sister, Anne, who has the biggest influence in her life when it comes to the arts. Witnessing her sister's achievements in national contests and exhibitions ignited Reynale's aspirations, setting her on a path of exploration and self-discovery.


Seeking to further her artistic education, Reynales ventured three hours away from her hometown to attend Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) in Maine.

Here, she immersed herself in a diverse curriculum that encompassed visual art, music, and theater, broadening her horizons and deepening her appreciation for various creative fields.

It was at SLSU that Reynales' artistic prowess flourished, as she participated in international art exhibits and contests, expanding her worldview and reinforcing her belief in the potential of young artists.


Reynale's artistic style is a reflection of her multifaceted identity. She navigates between abstractionist and representational styles seamlessly, using vibrant colors and evocative imagery to convey personal experiences and societal messages. 

Her artwork often explores themes of resilience, Filipino identity, and the enduring bond between mother and child.

Oil paint and watercolor serve as Reynales' preferred mediums, allowing her to capture the depth of emotion and complexity of her subjects. Still, she remains open to experimentation, eager to explore new mediums like sculpture and carving to enhance her teaching skills and provide firsthand experiences to her future students.

Central to Reynales' artistic philosophy is a commitment to breaking barriers and challenging societal norms. She envisions a future where Filipino culture is integrated into the international arts scene and believes in the transformative power of art to sustain and uplift individuals.


Reynales says one of her biggest challenges in navigating through the world of art is gaining acceptance and respect from older generations of artists, with some doubting her abilities and intentions as a young female artist.

Despite facing criticism and doubt, Alyssa focuses on the positive support she receives and uses it as motivation to continue her artistic journey with resilience and determination.

"At least hindi [nila] ako mapipigilan magpinta. Parang binibigyan pa nga po ako [nila] ng lakas na loob na, if you see me less, [then] I'll do more," Reynales says.

Looking ahead, Alyssa envisions a future where art serves as a bridge between generations, a catalyst for social change, and a source of healing and happiness. 

Through her advocacy for youth empowerment, community building, and artistic expression, Reynales is not just shaping her own legacy but also nurturing the talents of future generations and shaping communities for years to come.

Reynales is thankful for the support she has received from her family, mentors, and peers throughout her artistic journey. 

She acknowledges the unexpected blessings and opportunities that have come her way like the Leonardo da Vinci International Art Prize.

The recognition, she says, is a dream come true for her, and she hopes to use this opportunity to promote Filipino art globally and inspire young artists, particularly women, to pursue their passion for art.

"Isa po akong nangarap na sana makatanggap din ako ng karangalan na to para sa ating bansa. Unang-una ko po kasing parang purpose is ipakita din hindi lang sa bansa natin yung obrang nagagawa ko, kundi sa mga international [scenes] at ibang lahi din po," Reynales says.

Reynales advises aspiring artists to invest time, effort, and resources into their craft, emphasizing the importance of practice and experimentation.

"Unang-una, mag-invest ka rin sa art. Kasi sa art nag-i-invest po talaga dyan ng emotion, ng pagod, ng time, ng energy, ng idea, ng isip, lahat na po i-invest mo kahit pera i-invest mo para mag-grow. Kasi kung wala ka naman po i-invest dun sa art, hindi naman po bubunga yan at magiging matamis yung bunga. Kasi kung sa mga nabanggit ko po yun ay wala ko lang, hindi po mag-grow," she says.

"Kasunod is yung material. Yung material, sayangin nyo, mag-practice kayo, ubusin nyo. Kasi yung material, nare-restore naman yan, nababalik naman yan, so yung time, minsan hindi na po eh," Reynales adds.