Herden Pedrajas, president of the Mindanao Bonsai Society, Inc. (MBSI), won with his semi-cascade styled “Dapedak” Blue Bell (Desmodium sp.).
But the grand prize winner went to Bobby Gopiao, also a Filipino and president of the Philippine Bonsai Society, won the grand prize through his cascading Bantigue (Pemphis acidula). His entry also won this year’s grand prize during the Philippine Open Bonsai Contest held in Metro Manila.
The Japan contest, now on its eighth year, was organized by the World Bonsai Friendship Federation (WBFF), in cooperation with the Bonsai Clubs International (BCI), Nippon Bonsai Association and Japan Bonsai Growers Corporative.
The 50 winners were chosen from among the more than 350 entries from 24 countries.
Pedrajas became the first bonsai artist from Mindanao to gain such award.
He said this feat was a result of the tutelage by his bonsai master, Vic Ceballos, and the support of his fellow MBSI members.
His entry won second in the 2006 Mindanao Open Bonsai Contest held in General Santos City last August.
Other Filipinos whose entries also chosen among the top 50 winners were Angel Uyehara with his informal upright Bantigue and Felicidad Gupit with her windswept-styled Kamuning Bilog or Binangonan (Murraya exotica).
The screening and selection committee of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation selected the best photos for each applicant.
The committee then selected the top 50 which displayed good Bonsai techniques, artists’ skills and point of view as international winners.
The display of the 100 selected entries will be exhibited in the Japanese Bonsai Exhibition Taikanten in Japan. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)