PREMIUM RUM brand Don Papa Rum recently introduced a new set of award-winning packaging designs in its Don Papa Art Canister Series, which will be available in the Philippine market this October.

Alongside the Series’ launch, the company opened registration for the second Don Papa Art Competition, calling on all interested independent and gallery-represented artists to participate.

“We started the competition last year. We conceptualized the idea because we realized there is relativity to art because our packaging is very aesthetically pleasing. We won several awards for the packaging design,” said Cristhel Molina, brand manager of Bleeding Heart Rum Co., makers of Don Papa Rum, during the launch on Sept. 14 at the Mathilde Café in Makati City.

“We have always been supporting the Art Fair Philippines. We noticed there is a certain appeal to the art community, so we decided in 2013 to try it out. We can’t really touch the bottle for the label, so we thought ‘why not use a canister as a medium for art?,’” she said.

This month, the Canister Series design by the competition’s 2015 Grand Prize winner Riel Hilario, titled The Spiritual Landscape of Papa Isio, will be released. Canisters featuring the designs of runners up Barry Cervantes (Don Papa and the Babaylan) and Anjo Bolarda (Untitled) will be released in November.


“One of the reasons why [Don Papa Rum] had such a success it’s because of the packaging, because when you look at it, it looks stunning. Not to brag about it, but it is. And we have the credentials to prove that,” Ms. Molina said.

The rum itself, she said, is world-class.

“So how are we different from the international competitors and rum-producing countries? The taste itself. When you taste the rum on its own, you won’t be able to taste something like it in the market. Open a bottle [and] you would already smell the vanilla aroma. Don Papa is distinct in its taste, its packaging, and its story,” Ms. Molina said.

The art canisters will be distributed internationally. There have already been launched in Amsterdam. The Riel Hilario edition will be distributed in four Don Papa Rum markets: the Philippines, the Netherlands, France, and Germany. By December 2016, all three versions of the canisters will be available in the four countries.

The Don Papa Rum Canister Series will be available at select retail outlets in the Philippines such as Rustan’s, SM, S&R, and Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, among others.

“The idea of art canisters was received very well and created a buzz. So we are looking forward to it here in Manila,” Ms. Molina said.

As for this year’s art competition, registration for interested artists is ongoing until Oct. 15. The deadline for the submission of entries will be on Dec. 2. The design for the packaging is limited only to visual and flat media.

Ten finalists will be selected, and they will present their works at the Don Papa exhibit at the 2017 Art Fair Philippines. The winning artwork will become the next featured design in the Canister Series for 2017. The chosen artist will also receive an Artist Residency sojourn in Florence, Italy.

For details on the second Don Papa Art Competition, visit the Don Papa Rum Facebook page at or contact Dannie Alvarez at and 0915-688-8269. — C.A.M. Arcilla