Filipino teen sensation Trisha Co Reyes was honored by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Monday (Oct. 17) with a recognition plaque in one hand and a four-year college scholarship certificate in the other.

Reyes was given the honors during the DENR’s flag raising rites where DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje lauded her achievement as “another resonant Filipino voice, telling to the world of the Filipino’s aspiration for a more secure, prosperous and life-sustaining world,” referring to her bagging the top prize in this year’s International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“In truth, this scholarship grant pales in comparison to what she has already accomplished early in life through her art,” Paje explained, stressing that Reyes’s achievement has immensely contributed to get the world’s attention to correct humanity’s excesses against Mother Earth.

“Once again, another Filipino has proudly raised and waved the Philippine flag across the world,” Paje remarked.

This year’s UNEP-organized competition received four million entries from 99 countries from children ages six to 14, posting the largest number of entries by far since it began in 1991 with Bayer.

This year’s contest theme, “Life in the Forest” was portrayed in Reyes’s entry showing a girl looking at a picture of vibrant animals and plants in full colors through a clearing behind two curtains through which images of a polluted environment is punctuated with felled trees and dead animals.

Reyes’ winnings this year is “the most rewarding in terms of prestige and financial benefits of the 70 awards she has received since she started competing in art contests five years ago,” according to her mother, Conchita Co-Reyes who has been working as a secretary at an administration office for a condominium building in Juan Luna, Tondo.

“This is the first time Trisha’s talent has been recognized with a scholarship award,” Mrs. Reyes said, adding that Trisha’s elder sister, Joselle Clarisse, was was the primary influence on the freshman student of St. Stephen’s High School in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Covered by the DENR scholarship grant are tuition and other school fees for the regular semesters and summer courses in any college or university; monthly stipend of P3,000; book and school supplies allowance of P1,500 per semester and P700 per summer course; thesis or research allowance not exceeding P10,000.

The granting by the DENR of college scholarship to children of non-DENR personnel but deserving high school students is provided for under DENR Administrative Order 06, series of 1991.