Salim and Viray win Pacifica art contest

Posted on Nov 18 2019

Irish Viray, Category 2 winner, poses with her winning artwork. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)

An 11-year-old student at Brilliant Star School, Selina Salim, and Saipan Southern High School’s sixteen-year-old Irish Viray were named winners of the 2019 Pacifica Art Contest hosted by Pacifica Insurance Underwriters, Inc.

Salim and Viray each received a $300 cash prize and various art supplies.

Their winning pieces, which highlighted the CNMI’s resilience after Super Typhoon Yutu, will be featured in Pacifica Insurance’s marketing campaigns for the holidays and in the upcoming year.

Pacifica Insurance Underwriters, Inc. president Shirley Sablan and marketing coordinator Samantha Sikayun paid a surprise visit to the two at their schools last week to announce the contest’s winners.

Salim won first place in the 6-11 age division (1st to 6th grade), while Viray won first place in the 12-17 age division (7th to 12th grade).

There were over 300 submissions: 100 plus entries for the 6-11 age division and 200 plus for the 12-17 age division.

“I was blown away by the level of talent during this year’s art contest. Our judges had the most difficult task of choosing just two out of the many,” said Sablan. “On behalf of everyone at Pacifica, I would like to thank the judges, school administrators and teachers for helping us ensure the success of our contest.”

Selina Salim, Category 1 winner, poses with her winning artwork.

Students were asked to create and submit an original art piece, including the slogan “Faith & Hope Post Super Typhoon Yutu.” Art pieces were judged on the criteria of creativity and originality, quality of art piece, clarity of theme, and presentation.

The artwork of the top five winners will be made available for viewing on Pacifica’s art contest web page ( and the company’s Facebook social media page (

This year’s judging panel included Youth Affairs Office special assistant Monique Boyer Sablan; 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Concepcion Cabrera; and Stellar Marianas national director Crispin Deleon Guerrero.

“Having different opportunities for students to showcase their abilities, talents, and comprehension of current events happening throughout our island is important. Super Typhoon Yutu really took a toll on our community and to see that reflection of hope and faith to overcome throughout their pieces of art was very special. I thank Pacifica Insurance for continuing this awesome opportunity and I look forward to supporting many more to come,” said Monique Boyer Sablan.

“The creations of those who participated in this contest were amazing. I applaud everyone for sharing their talent of their reflection of Super Typhoon Yutu,” said Deleon Guerrero. “I can’t wait to see these art pieces displayed not only here in the Marianas but worldwide as well. We are definitely ‘Marianas Strong.’”

“Thank you, Pacifica Insurance for allowing me to be a part of your annual art contest. This year was especially special because it was dedicated to those who suffered through Super Typhoon Yutu, and by judging the incredible art pieces submitted by our youth, I felt in my heart the pain and loss that were endured during this difficult time. It gave me the feeling that no matter any difficult time, as long as we work together as a community, we will remain strong and overcome any obstacle together,” said Cabrera.

For more information about the contest, call (670) 234-6267/7722/7310 or email Pacifica Insurance is located at the Joeten Center in Susupe. (PR)

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