Benito Vacio

Nurturing a talent

Recognize and develop your child's talents at a young age

When was the first time you noticed that your child was doing great things either in singing, rapping, dancing, drawing or sports, etc? Have you ever developed him/her in a particular field? If you haven't done something about it yet, get some tips on how a father nurtured his daughter's talent.

One time, I visited an English engineer in Bangkok who was married to a Thai. This man owned a Lanai type of house which he himself designed. The house was beautiful, but this did not get much of my attention. What intrigued me was a sepak takraw ball hanging in the middle of the house - a game which his seven-year old daughter played. This gave me a thought that perhaps Thailand had found a takraw champion in the making.

Like this English man, another dedicated father also embraced his daughter's talent, not in sports but in visual art. Bhea, his daughter, had achieved far beyond her years. At the age of only 12, she earned awards like: "Artist of the New Millennium" from the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) a US-based organization, Grand Prize Winner "Art for Peace", a world competition sponsored by Museo das Creancas Portugal, that gave her a free trip to Lisbon for a week; "First Prize Winner in Dress a Barbie Contest" with a trip to Japan Disneyland as the prize. They are amazing achievements indeed for a young girl, right?

I myself wondered how the father developed his daughter's potentials. According to Bhea's father, when the daughter was just two years old, he provided her with art materials like pencils, pens, crayons and coloring books to pique her interest in art. Then he enrolled her in art classes, let her join art competitions, made her participate in group exhibits and supported her to have a solo exhibition at Ayala Museum, the Philippines' center for showcasing works of distinguished artists of the country.

When his daughter was five, a daily paper in Manila held a nationwide coloring contest for children. The father encouraged his daughter to enter. After a week, they received the good news that their daughter was adjudged a regional winner in the age 5-6 category.

This gave the father the realization that his daughter had a talent. Consequently, he enrolled her in art classes to learn the basic tenets of drawing and coloring from three different art teachers, including a world-class art teacher whose students were regular winners in international competitions.

From that time onwards, Bhea won several district, regional, national, and international art competitions. Having been overwhelmed by the young and talented girl's achievements, one school principal hired her to teach art in her school. A number of art patrons also commissioned her to paint big canvasses to beautify their homes.

What was unusual with this talented artist, the father noted, unlike other kids, she would only draw during her lesson in art, before the contest, and during the contest proper. What was amazing too was that during competitions, she was so quick to compose her art pieces given a certain theme and she would get the grand prizes or major awards.

The father estimated his daughter's earnings from age 5 to age 12 to be nearly $3,000. Other than art, the talented child graduated from grade school with honors. She played the organ, sang, danced, and was keen on poem recitation, storytelling, news-casting, and table tennis.

In high school she was the captain of her volleyball team, but still found time to win art competitions. During graduation she was presented with the "Best in Art Award".

In college she was the recipient of the 1st JV De Venecia art scholarship in her Fine Arts course. Truly, the development of talents doesn't happen overnight. In fact, our talented girl spent nearly seven years of training.

Ms. Lea Salonga, the Philippines' No. 1 international singing star started earlier than seven. Ms. Liza Macuja-Elizalde, Prima Ballerina of the Philippines started at age eight. The legendary boxer of the Philippines and holder of the most number of boxing titles in the history of boxing, Manny Pacquiao, started boxing at age eight.

So what are you waiting for Moms and Dads? Awaken that sleeping talent in your child. Expose your kids to all areas of interest and let them specialize in areas they do well. Then give your full support until the child is ready to show the world what they have got.

By the way, don't be skeptical about the story above. You have my assurance that this is all true.

I am the father of Bhea.


Great tip! My daughter is always singing and dancing and I wonder if there is anything more I can do do nourish her talents. I will be looking for singing and dancing classes now. =) Thanks for sharing.

By Diana, USA, CA (27th April 2012)

Fortunately, I am a friend of Bhea's father..hahaha..Good job Mr. Ben..

By Harry, Bangkok (20th April 2012)

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